When your plumbing stops working, who do you call? Probably not the Ghostbusters, nor a car repairman. You call an expert in that field: a plumber.
The same goes for nutrition. When it comes to educating members, you want to go to the experts.
“If you don’t have an expert that’s working for you, outsourcing is a great way to get the most research into the hands of members,” said Christine Wells, the manager of CrossFit Hood River in Hood River, Oregon.
At the Box, Wells said they partner with Tim Saur, a life coach with a focus on health and fitness. Saur, also a member at the Box, shares research he has done, recipes he enjoys and holds cooking classes for gym members.
Before Saur, Wells explained Hood River would put on Paleo challenges, but it was extremely time consuming. Even though Saur’s nutrition consulting hasn’t taken off like Wells hoped, having someone to respond to those specific nutrition emails and questions is helpful. She also received great feedback from members on Saur’s classes and consulting.
Aimee Lyons, the owner of CrossFit King of Prussia in Bridgeport, Pennsylvania said she has brought in experts, who are typically members at her Box, and a chiropractor to speak on various nutrition topics. “Some people in the gym just get excited about it and geek out on nutrition,” she said of the members who have taken her up on offering their advice to the rest of the members at the Box.
Plus, the benefit of outsourcing nutrition expertise is available for Coaches as well. “What I see a lot is Coaches that feel like they have to be an expert on nutrition when they don’t,” said Paul Nobles, the founder of Eat to Perform. “There are already resources out there.”
One key Nobles gave, as a nutrition expert himself, is individualization. Whatever experts come in, it is important for Coaches and Affiliates to realize each member and athlete is different and has varying needs.
Lyons agreed with this. “There’s just so many variables that each individual person has to play with what they need to do,” she said.
Wells also said that it can take a load off Coaches, like saving her time in planning Paleo challenges. While Saur can keep up on all things nutrition, she and her Coaches can put their time in and focus on coaching and training.
The most important aspect, however, is simply making members aware of the nutrition issue. Start the conversation and help members understand that nutrition is essential to their health and fitness. “Just getting the information out there and somebody hearing one thing that will make them even do more research on their own,” said Lyons.