How the Whole Life Challenge Makes You a Better Coach

By December 20, 2016Running a Gym
Reading Time: 7 minutes

I come from a community of gym owners who are go-getter, type-A, do-it-yourselfers. We gladly trade hours of our own time for measly dollars saved because the work is fun and satisfying. We look at problems that stop many people in their tracks and find a way over, around, or through — all by ourselves. We have an innate sense that if something needs doing, it’s best done by us.

This mindset means we get a lot of things done, quickly and thoroughly. But it also has a major downside. We always think we’re the best person for every job and no one can do it quite like us (and especially not better than us). As a result, we overload ourselves with projects that take us away from the things we do best (like coaching clients) and get us less then optimal results since we’re doing things someone else could do better.

You didn’t open a gym so you could spend your day being a bookkeeper or professional poster maker, right? Yeah, me neither, but it doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, I know a simple way for you to cut down on the busy-work and get back to the work of being a better coach.

How the Whole Life Challenge Makes You a Better Coach

The Magic of Delegation

When I was first cutting my teeth as a business owner, I was convinced my “skilled” use of Microsoft Word for creating fliers and posters was the best strategy for my graphic design. I did the work myself, using the cool fonts and colors Word provided. I remember thinking, what in the world do I need a graphic designer for?

And then, I met Katrina — a graphic designer, who astounded me with her simple, beautiful, and relatively inexpensive designs that were far better than anything I could come up with. My mind was blown, and Katrina had a customer for life.

Given the mentality described above, I’m not surprised that I regularly get asked this particular question from industrious gym owners: “Why should I do the Whole Life Challenge instead of just hosting my own challenge, doing it exactly when and how I want, and keeping 100% of the profits?”

Sure, if you want to do all the work of creating, designing, administering, tracking, and enrolling participants for your own challenge, you absolutely should do it. I’m serious. Sometimes you need to explore things for yourself, find out how difficult (or easy) it is, and satisfy your internal process that’s probably telling you something like, “I should be able to do this on my own.”

However, once you realize your time is best spent doing your unique ability (what you’re great at and love doing), you might find that letting go of the administrative and logistical work is exactly what you need to do free up your time. Your time as a leader and coach is best spent in front of your clients — helping them to be more accountable, to support each other, to build camaraderie, and to improve their lives. The Whole Life Challenge is the right tool for that job.

How the Whole Life Challenge Makes You a Better Coach

9 Reasons to Do the Whole Life Challenge

There are many reasons a trainer, coach, or business owner may choose to register a team for the Whole Life Challenge. Here are what I believe are the top nine:

  1. Even if you do nothing at all and just tell your clients about the Challenge, you will introduce them to something of incredible value that is time and community tested, effective, fun, and has the structure and methodology built in to change their lives. And they’ll always remember that it was you that introduced them to it. While this approach is not the best way to build a big and super-effective team, it works — and we promise to take good care of your people for you.
  1. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel. The Whole Life Challenge has been created, built, community tested, iterated, modified, and improved ad nauseam for the past five years. You don’t have to think about how to do it yourself or manage any of the creative or administrative processes. We’ve created the web and app platforms, the structure of the game, the rules, the place for your people to communicate, and the leaderboard. We’ve even got a plethora of articles and resources to assist you along the way. This frees you up to do what you do best — motivate, inspire, and coach!
  1. We’ll give you pre-made, professionally designed enrollment materials. We’ve greased the skids to make it as easy as possible. When you sign up as our business partner, you’ll get a link for your own unique landing page. Share this with your world – if people sign up from that page, they’ll automatically be added to your team. We’ve also created pre-written blog posts, emails, phone scripts, and social media posts. Oh, and all the artwork you need, from posters in the gym to banners on your website.
  1. You can customize the rules of the Challenge to make it unique to your community. Want to make a nutrition rule change for your team? Do it. Want to require a certain number of classes or workouts each week? Do it. Want to change the sleep requirement? Do that too. No one knows your community better than you. If you think one of our rules could be tweaked to make the Challenge better or more effective for the people on your team, we fully support that. Remember, you can’t actually change the rules on the WLC website, but you can inform your team “offline” regarding any modification you’d like to make.
  1. Your clients will get better results with your programming because they will start to take personal responsibility for their daily choices around their health and well-being — their habits outside the gym. This was one of the primary reasons we created the game — and it works. Your clients will start to see how their daily habits affect their life, health, fitness and well-being. They will start making different choices and take personal responsibility when they don’t. And they’ll talk about it, and support one another. All of this will lead to better results within your training program.
  1. Your coaching will get deeper and will have a greater, more meaningful impact. Ever been frustrated by clients who do nothing other than show up, work out, and leave without saying a word to you or anyone else? They don’t engage, don’t make a lot of progress, and don’t address things like nutrition, mobility, sleep, hydration, stress, and habits. The WLC is your opening into that world with these clients. You get to see exactly how they are doing in these areas and can offer your support, motivation and advice as you see fit.

How the Whole Life Challenge Makes You a Better Coach

  1. You’ll build community. The communication feed within the Challenge will be your team’s online home base. It’s the place they’ll go to share reflections, stories, progress, and obstacles, and it’s the place they’ll get to offer support to one another. With this shared online experience, your members have a reason to communicate with and support one another — outside of their time at the gym. And this will make their time in the gym that much more connected and powerful.
  1. You’ll build your sphere of influence. Unlike a challenge that’s done exclusively for your gym’s members, the Whole Life Challenge is open to and appropriate for anyone in the entire world. It’s appropriate for people who are twenty, or people who are ninety. It works for people who have completely different exercise habits (or none at all), and for people who live thousands of miles apart. Since your team isn’t limited to just your members, you can build your team to include significant others, friends, family, coworkers — and people who might have never, ever considered being a member of your gym. This allows you to get in front of a much broader audience, increasing your sphere of influence, and changing lives.
  1. You’ll earn some dough. We realize that running a Whole Life Challenge effectively can be hard work. Doing it for the benefit of your clients might be reason enough, but we want to make sure your business is also compensated for your efforts. For every paid player on your team, you’ll earn a revenue share equal to 30-50% (depending on the size of your team) of their registration fee.

If you’re still compelled to do your own challenge after reading all of this, you should absolutely go for it. But if any one of these points resonated with you, and made you think the Whole Life Challenge might be something worth checking out, then please get your questions answered and sign up your team. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.

Letting go of your need to do everything yourself, in favor of allowing us to handle the technology and administration, gets you back to what you do best — coaching your clients.

Andy Petranek on FacebookAndy Petranek on InstagramAndy Petranek on Twitter
Andy Petranek
Andy is what you’d call a modern day Renaissance Man: a former professional trumpeter who attended the Eastman School of Music; a snowboarder, mountain biker, surfer, kayaker, outrigger paddler, mountaineer, and former Marine (Gulf War veteran); a professionally sponsored adventure racer; and the oldest participant to qualify for and participate in the CrossFit Games at the age of 43.

Andy is a certified CHEK Practitioner and holistic lifestyle coach. He holds a spectrum of certifications from CrossFit and is also a Vivobarefoot certified running coach. He has trained as a Zen buddhist and graduated with a Master’s degree in spiritual psychology from the University of Santa Monica.

Andy founded CrossFit LA one of the first and most successful CrossFit training centers in the world and the first to be featured in national media. He is the co-founder of the Whole Life Challenge, Inc, currently its president, and is also a consultant and life/business coach. Andy lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Julia, and son, Dashel.

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