As a Health Coach, I’ve been a part of these kinds of challenges a few times and I can tell you from experience how to run a fitness challenge for optimal effectiveness and how not to do it. The more communication and community you have, the better it will go.

salmon-and-brussels-sproutsThe most successful versions of these create a [closed] Facebook community for participants or use one they already have. Post to it often! Give recipes, tips, and inspiration daily to keep people going and to provide value every day.

Get your copy of our free Member Retention Guide for additional ways to keep your members engaged and loyal.

If you don’t feel like you have time or expertise, find someone knowledgeable who does. It’s really easy to find a Health Coach, Nutritionist, or Dietician in your area – we foodies are everywhere! Or ask me and I will help you!The other reason a Facebook group works well is it creates a sense of community so that others can commiserate, relate, and ask each other questions as they go. Encourage this! This keeps motivation going strong and builds a stronger sense of community than you started with.

Be specific! Don’t just say eat more vegetables.

Give your community guidelines (they don’t want to guess) and recipes.

Give them the “why”.

Rather than tell people to avoid simple carbs like bread, tell them why. Not everyone knows why, and the rest of us need reminders. If we know why, we are more likely to comply, even after the challenge is over. It’s difficult to “unknow” something.

Provide a specific time frame for the challenge.

As long as people know the goal in front of them, they can muster the determination and discipline to meet your challenge.Give people a way to monitor their progress. You can use Zen Planner for this in the workout tracking you have at your fingertips. Offer a baseline weight check in and then do that at regular intervals and especially at the end.

Tell participants what to expect without overselling it. Weight loss, more energy, ending food intolerances and so-called “hay fever”…. Give me a reason to sign up in the first place.

Lastly, ask for testimonials from participants. Those that did well are only too happy to share their success stories. Use this as fuel for the next round and advertising your own business.

Fitness challenges are a great way to keep your members engaged and loyal to your gym. For additional tips on how to keep your members coming back, get your copy of our free guide, Essential Strategies for Member Retention.

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