healthy habits

Creating Healthy Habits Part 2: Four Ways to Help your Coaches

Helping your team create healthy habits can benefit everyone in your gym community! Here are four ways to help your coaches achieve optimal wellness.

Emily Beers
December 7, 2023
Creating Healthy Habits Part 2: Four Ways to Help your Coaches
Helping your team create healthy habits can benefit everyone in your gym community! Here are four ways to help your coaches achieve optimal wellness.

When your members see a coach that’s in great shape, they probably make some assumptions about his or her healthy habits. They might think the coach isn’t tempted by cookies and pizza. Or that diligent meal prep comes easy. And they wonder how their coach’s motivation to work out every single day never wavers.

In reality, that’s not true for you or your coaches. In fact, coaches aren’t so different from members. Everyone is likely struggling in some area of their lives. Maybe that’s training or nutrition. Perhaps it’s with sleep or their mental health.

Helping coaches form healthy habits
Helping your coaches form healthy habits allows them to pay it forward to your gym community.

And as a gym owner, it’s in your best interest (and theirs) to help them. Today, we’re focused on your team. How can you help them foster healthier habits in the areas they need it most?

Four Ideas for Building Coaches Healthy Habits.

1. Encourage Them to Go to Class.

Once coaches have been in the fitness industry for a while, it’s not uncommon for them to go through phases of decreased motivation. For team members who coach multiple classes daily, it can be tempting to just head home after a long day.

After all, being “on” for long periods of time can be taxing. And before they know it, they’re working out just once a week... or less.

To help keep them on track with fitness-related healthy habits, it can help to re-create the narrative. Encourage your coaches to take classes regularly and join them yourself! You could even create a policy that coaches attend a minimum of two classes per week. Not only will you all be leading from the front and practicing what you preach, but you’ll be connecting with your gym community.

Another option - if schedules allow - is to choose one time per week that your entire team of coaches works out together. It might be just what the crew needs to feel reenergized and connected.

2. Run Coach Challenges.

You run various challenges for your clients. Why not for your coaches?

Try a healthy habits challenge that encompasses various aspects of wellness for your team. Incorporate things like fitness, nutrition, sleep, stress, mental health, etc. Let coaches earn points for completing simple daily tasks.

Run coach challenges to keep your team motivated
Run coach challenges to keep your team motivated and build camaraderie.

As a fitness example, issue a burpee challenge where coaches log their daily burpees for one month. If your team is as inherently competitive as ours are, bragging rights should be a sufficient prize. But you could also consider offering gift cards or gym swag for prizes.

Pro Tip: Use the new Challenges feature in PushPress Train to easily facilitate this challenge! Book a demo with our team today to find out more!

3. Get Them Out of the Gym.

Think about the reason that you and your members got into fitness in the first place. Chances are, it was to be healthier and fitter for life. It was not to be good at going to the gym. And yet many of us - especially coaches - can fall into a trap. Over time, we end up only ever using our fitness in the gym, where it can feel like all that matters are fitness PRs.

Sometimes your team just needs a little reminder that there’s more to life than the gym.

One way to do this is to have fun with your coaches! Plan regular team-building activities outside the gym and introduce your coaches to new activities or sports. For example, go on a hike together or play a game of pickle ball. They might end up finding a new hobbies or healthy habits that they’ll pursue on their own.

As Mike Giardina, Senior Manager of Health Education at CrossFit explained, “The end goal with CrossFit is health. And health is more than just moving well. CrossFit is more than squatting efficiently. It’s your mental, your social... and hell, it’s financial health. It’s about learning lessons in the gym and applying them in other areas.”

4. Talk About Mental Health.

In recent years, it has started to become more commonplace to talk about mental health in the workplace. And as Dr. Christina Migliara reminds us, the gym is no exception.

Migliara is a licensed mental health professional and owner of CrossFit Tailwinds in Jacksonville, FL. She recommends that you, as a gym owner, have regular “mental health check-ins" with your staff. During your regular meetings, take the time to actually ask about their mental health. It can be as simple as asking, “Hey, how’s it going? What do you need?”

Normalize mental health conversations
Normalize regular conversation about mental health and find out what your coaching team needs.

The end goal is simply to help your coaches become more in tune with how they’re feeling. Create a safe space where coaches feel comfortable talking about mental health challenges. From there, you can help them figure out what they need. Is it more sleep, a day off, a workout, a break? By pinpointing their needs, you can help them to get back on track.

Ultimately, not only will this help your team build better healthy habits but it will also create trusting relationships. And this is a win-win for everyone.

In Summary: Strong Community Starts with Your Team.

Culture and values trickle down from the top. As a gym owner, it’s important that you lead from the front and take care of your team. That way, it trickles down from your team to your community. For long-term success, remember that you can’t create the culture alone.

“You need to realize that you’re not the gym. The gym is your team,” said Migliara. “It’s all of you. When you think it only works and functions if you’re there, and it’s going to burn to the ground if you’re not, that's not a healthy business. You have to have a team that you trust.”

Therefore, it’s in your best interest to ensure you have a team of healthy coaches that practice what they preach. Help them eat well, move often, get a good night’s sleep and protect their mental health. When they practice wellness, they can pay it forward for your strong gym community.

Emily Beers

Emily Beers is a health, fitness and nutrition writer. She has also been coaching fitness at MadLab School of Fitness in Vancouver, B.C. since 2009.

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