“Team Up, Slim Down” Nutritional Challenge

First and foremost, this time of year (fall into winter) is a miserable time for most people. It gets darker out earlier, its cold, people feel like they have less time in the day and there is usually a direct relation to the mood and energy from the community within the box. So I knew we needed to do something to get members motivated. Not just motivated in classes, but motivated outside of the gym, at home, in their relationships and other hobbies outside of the box.

Coach Jesse was recently added onto the coaching staff after his completion of our Coaches Training Program. Within a couple weeks of his completion, we sat down and had a conversation about nutrition. Jesse is a fanatic when it comes to nutrition from his knowledge thru education as a Biology and his passion for alternative/holistic approach to chronic disease .  He is known to experiment with various diets and nutritional theories to experience the good and bad on a first hand basis.  Within 10 mins of talking we decided a challenge needed to happen. Within that same conversation, which lasted about an hour, we laid out the basic ground work:

1.  Unless people wanted it, no macros, no scales, no measurements..Keep it simple.

*We decided this because counting macros isn’t fun and we wanted to keep this simple and fun. No scales or measurements because we didn’t want participants getting to caught up in what they weighted but rather how they felt, how their cloths fit and energy levels.

2.  We went by a simple guideline for food..A theory I heard on Ben Bergeron’s Podcast and a model I personally use. Eat real food and nothing processed,. No added/processed sugar and only good sources of healthy fats, proteins and starches. 3-4 meals per day based on body type. Eat just enough, not too much, no second servings and no snacking between meals. We also emphasized portion control and what an actual serving size looks like.


*22-2 person teams (mixed and same sex gender) participated. 

*Weekly check-ins with assigned coach

*Weekly challenges (recipe sharing, additional workouts, food journals, specific ingredients being used in meals, etc)

*Daily questionnaires that had to be completed.

*Base line / bench mark workout at the start and at the end.

*Participants had full access to their assigned coach via email, text or in person.

*If you cheated on the diet, your partner suffered the point deducation based on our scoring system. 

*A leaderboard that was updated weekly. 


After week 2 is when I noticed it. The looks on peoples faces changed.  How they carried themselves, their heads and shoulders were held high. People were smiling more and their general personalities were lit up. Their energy levels all showed a dramatic change for the positive. It was like a light switch, a night and day difference. Around this same time is when I started receiving texts and emails on a daily basis how this challenge was changing their lives. Participants shared personal stories about how much healthier they felt both mentally and physically. Across the board most felt certain tweaks and aches have suddenly gone away.  By the majority, if not all, members who took part in this challenge had an overwhelming positive change in their lifestyle and overall health by simply changing their diet. It was incredible to experience. The community bonded. There was friendly competition along with friendly “trash talking”. The same banter you would hear when a big group of friends got together around a bon fire and reminisced about old times. It was awesome and inspiring.  Then we had the re-test of the benchmark workout. I have to be honest, part of me was nervous because human beings, especially those that do CrossFit are results driven. They want to see consistent, forward progress regardless of how small it is. This re-test would hopefully prove that every thing Jesse and I preached for 5 weeks would show to be true. That healthy eating will improve cardio-vascular health, lower body inflammation, increase energy levels, improve sleep and help you have clarity throughout the day. That the body craves healthy fuel and when its fed properly, the body can do amazing things.

These were the recorded results of the bench mark test for people who had submitted their both times. 

New score/ Old score

Chris T: 18:09 / 19:40

Ricky L:  18:50 / 22:27

Jacqui: 17:55 / 19:44

Kim S: 17:22 / 18:27

Bill F: 17:17 / 21:52

Mike H: 21:42 / 26:08

Jon C: 16:07 / 20:08

Dan E: 18:05 / 22:40

Carlos: 16:30 / 23:16

Steve: 23:01 / 26:16

Sabrina: 20:50 / 22:52

Marci: 19:30 / 20:38

Natalie: 16:55 / 19:44

Celeste: 19:15 / 26:20

Abby:  ?/ 18:35

Jon T:  ?/ 18:43

Chris K: 15:00  / 17:55

Kam: 16:33 / 18:15

Lindsay: 17:02 / 21:02

Mike D: 23:19 / 27:51

Castro: 19:07 / 22:51

Jen R: 16:00 / 22:00

Diana: 13:11 / 20:51

Rob K: 14:36 / 20:44

Gina: 14:46 / 18:05

AJ:  11:54 / 12:15

Lauren:  18:01 / 18:39

Tina R: 18:46 / 19:37

Kyle: 15:30 / 16:42

Jeremy:  14:41 / 21:10

Shannon:  12:09 / 16:49

Lisa W:  16:48 / 18:03

Maurita: 16:00 / 21:46

Taylor: 19:30 / 24:14

*if there are any I forgot, I apologize. These scores were taken from Wodify

The scores speak for themselves. Every single person who took part in the challenge, improved their time by minutes. Jesse and I were shocked. We were expecting/hoping for improvements but this was beyond what Jesse and I expected.  Jesse and i actually had a good laugh because we were so blown away and i think simultaneously said "holy shit, is this legit ?" It was..."Team Up, Slim Down" crushed it.

Speaking for myself, I so proud of everyone who took part in this challenge. Im proud you stepped outside your comfort zone and tried something new. I’m honored that you placed your trust in Jesse and I to help guide you on that journey.  There was a ton Jesse and I learned from this experience and we will make the next one that much better.

What seemed to be near impossible in the beginning, became rather simple towards the end. 

Until the next challenge, keep up the hard work!


Next blog: "How to eat for competition". 

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