“Nutrition is the lever that drives weight loss and fat loss,” said Jonathan Aluzas, the owner and membership director for Arena Fitness, which has two locations in California.
This statement sums up why boasting a nutrition program at your club is so important. Without nutritional guidance, your clients and members may struggle to see the results they’re striving for.
“In my experience, at least 90 percent of our clientele who are from the general population want fat and weight loss,” continued Aluzas. “And I don’t see how creating significant and sustainable weight and fat loss is possible without having a sound, systematic nutrition program in place.”
A few years ago, Arena Fitness didn’t offer a sound, systematic nutrition program. In terms of fitness programming, it had hit the nail on the head — but without a registered dietitian or nutritionist on staff, Aluzas wasn’t sure where to begin with creating an effective and scalable nutrition offering.
“We had tried to develop our own system, we had tried software programs — nothing was really personalized and yet scalable,” recalled Aluzas. “We also knew that in spite of the fact we have really solid and effective training programs, we weren’t going to be able to help people get the body composition changes they wanted without having a strong nutrition piece in place.”
So, Aluzas began looking for a turnkey nutrition program he could implement at his club, and came across Balanced Habits. Before jumping right in, he conducted research and most importantly, talked to licensees about their experiences implementing the program.
“The feedback I got was universally positive,” said Aluzas. “After a long period of time interviewing a lot of people who were involved with Balanced Habits, we decided to take it on.”
Three years after implementing the program, Aluzas said Balanced Habits has been a game-changer for his gym business. “We now have a really solid nutrition piece in place we can offer to our members, and it’s also a lead generator for non-members,” he explained. “Tangibly, it’s been a very effective revenue stream. And, it’s also been a huge component in creating a good client experience, because we now have the ability to pair our training programs with nutrition in a way that really produces body composition results for people.”
Another added benefit is social proof. Aluzas explained because Arena Fitness’ clients are getting such great results through the combination of effective workouts and a solid nutrition program, they’re able to showcase those results in the gym’s marketing.
“It’s a great lead generator, because people come to our testimonials page, and virtually everyone on that page is on that page because of their participation in Balanced Habits,” said Aluzas. “When people go to that page and there’s just a sea of people holding whiteboards that outline the fat loss they’ve accomplished, the lean muscle gains they’ve accomplished, how many inches they’ve lost and the fact they can fit into their skinny jeans again — that has been an incredible benefit to us as far as driving leads to our business.”
In terms of implementing the program, Aluzas said the process was turnkey. “It’s a systematized program to the extent you can really just unpack it and implement it almost immediately,” he said. “That’s the benefit of using somebody else’s tried-and-true system instead of trying to create your own. You don’t have to go through all the trial and error.”
However, with any turnkey program you consider investing in, Aluzas advised doing your research. “Take your time to do your due diligence, and if you have the opportunity, interview licensees — because they’re going to tell you whether it works or not,” he said. “That’s going to really be the best source of information, is to talk directly with the owners who are using Balanced Habits or programs like it, to see what their experiences have been.”
Ultimately, the effort you put into finding a solid nutrition program will be worth it — for both your gym’s bottom line, and your members’ health.
“No matter how good your training is, if the nutrition part is missing in someone’s program, they’re going to be able to improve their health mentally, but they’re not going to be able to create and sustain the kind of body composition changes the general population typically wants,” said Aluzas. “Our Balanced Habits program creates revenue, produces results and gives marketing ammunition.”