For your members, nutrition can be one of the trickiest parts of hitting their fitness goals. Even if they are engaged members that come to your classes regularly, they still may not be hitting their fitness goals. That is because, in reality, turning up to the studio and doing a workout is only half the battle, and making sure they are getting the correct nutrition is the other half.
Investing in the nutrition side of your fitness business can be extremely beneficial in two ways.
Firstly, it works as a great retention tool. If your members are seeing results faster because of the nutrition advice they are receiving, they are less likely to seek outside nutrition advice for their pre and post workout needs. This outside nutrition advice can range anywhere from just visiting a nutritionist to joining another studio that is ahead of the curve in this regard. Which is something you definitely don’t want!
Secondly, it can function as an additional revenue stream for your business, if you’re setting product and services that relate to nutrition on top of your fitness services. We discussed this before as part of our blog on 5 practical product and service ideas to boost gym revenue.
So in this blog, we will go through 4 fantastic ways you can begin implementing nutrition into your fitness business. We will look at:
- Implementing nutrition plans
- Partnering with health food businesses
- Holding nutrition events
- Creating nutrition based content
Implement Nutrition Plans
As we talked about in the introduction to this article nutrition plays a big part in someone hitting their fitness goals. It is also a big factor in keeping someone motivated. Their progression is not based on how they work out alone. You can accelerate this progression by providing comprehensive pre-workout and post-workout plans to your members.
So how do you go about doing this?
You are more than likely a seasoned fitness professional at this stage who knows their protein powders from their branched-chain amino acids. You may have experienced lots of fitness fads either by doing them yourself or seeing a multitude of clients trying and failing to stick with them.
So if you know the dos and dont’s of fitness nutrition the best way is to create simple meal + workout plans yourself. This will more than likely be the case in the early stages of your business when you may not be able to afford the services of a full-time nutritionist. Do plenty of research into how different types of people need different types of nutrition, for example, members who may be vegetarian or vegan.
On the other hand, if you feel you are at the stage where you have the money, and it will be a beneficial investment, hire a nutritionist. This could be on a part-time or full-time basis. In the long run, this is much better than looking after nutrition yourself. Your members will trust someone with qualifications in this field over someone who is just qualified in fitness.
Another key benefit of hiring a nutritionist is the psychological side of things. For a lot of people changing their eating habits is about changing a mindset and while you may be an expert at changing a person’s mindset in the gym, it’s an entirely different ball game when it comes to diet. As nutritionist Cynthia Sass explains a lot of nutritionists are trained in elements of psychology. “As part of my master’s degree in nutrition science, I completed 21 credits in counseling psychology. In many cases, the nutritionist’s role is to empathetically coach you, not judge you or scold you.”
What you should get from either doing the nutrition yourself or hiring an expert is a solid nutrition plan. How you use it is up to you. You can give a version away for free to all your members. Or you can leverage it as an add on to upsell members to a higher tier of membership. By offering them precise nutrition plans, they can follow you are instantly adding more value to the member experience. As well as that any health foods or supplements that you sell on-site should fit into the overall workout nutrition strategy for your studio.
Create Nutrition-Based Content
If you are serious about implementing nutrition into your fitness business, you need to produce content around this topic that you can post on your social media channels. You don’t have to entirely lay out the nutrition plans you have exclusively for your members, but you can provide tidbits of key information to keep the members motivated to stick to their plans.
The type of content you can make around nutrition includes:
- Infographics detailing different meal plans for pre-workout and post-workout.
- Video tutorials on how to count calories and the kind of foods you need to eat to hit different workout goals.
- Blogs or video tutorials on different easy-to-make recipes.
- General tips and tricks through written social media posts, graphics or short video clips.
Posting this content regularly will again be useful in building your studio’s authority on the subject over your competitors.
If you want to test the waters with this type of content, try implementing it into a workout challenge. Say you are doing something like a 28-day challenge. Have a dedicated page on your website where you post nutrition blogs, videos, and infographics every day or two. At the end of the challenge, get feedback from the participants to see if the content you provided helped them reach their particular goals. You can then improve the content for publishing normally on your social media channels.
Hold Nutrition-based Events
Having focused nutrition plans from a dedicated nutritionist has its obvious benefits. However, sometimes your members will still throw caution to the wind when it comes to food so you may need to take a different approach. As we discussed in our previous blog on gym event ideas, events are a great way of introducing new ideas to your members and to the general public.
The simplest way to put on a nutrition based event is through a seminar or workshop. Work with your staff nutritionist to put on seminars or invite well-known nutritionists and dieticians. You can keep this event exclusively to your members or open it up to members of the public to help bring it some more revenue for your business.
Workshops are another type of event you can put on. They are more interactive then seminars and are a cool way to introduce members to new nutrition concepts. The nutritionist can provide members with great training over a short period.
And when it comes to nutrition why not base the workshop about learning how to cook?
Partner with a cooking school type facility and teach your members the skills they need to implement the nutrition plans properly. You can charge a small fee from your members to cover the costs of the event and to bring in some revenue. You can also use this as a means of acquiring new leads by opening this up to the general public with the added bonus again of generating revenue.
Partner with a Local Health Food Business
If there are local health food businesses or restaurants in the area, consider partnering up with them to showcase different types of nutrition to your members. Not only will this be a great way of exposing your brand to a new audience it also gives you the opportunity to bring in different types of healthy eating. This can break the monotony of following a plan for some of your members and inspire them to try new kinds of healthy eating.
The other advantage of partnering up with local health food business is that you can put on bigger and better events. Consider putting on a jointly branded food tasting session at your place or theirs or co-sponsoring a stall at a local food festival.
Another super idea is to partner with a local restaurant to create a menu branded with your business’s name. You can work with a local chef, and your on-staff nutritionist can make a menu inline with the nutrition plan you have set out for your business. Post-workout you can send your members to the restaurant and possibly incentivize them with discounted rates.
By doing these types of health food partnerships, it helps solidify your reputation as an authority on nutrition in comparison to your competitors which can aid with both retention and acquisition.
Usually, fitness studios will only cater to the fitness needs of their clients. However, by implementing nutrition as another program in the studio, you then offer a more complete health and fitness experience that will aid in keeping your retention rates high.