Orientation - Best Practices for a Successful Challenge

Orientation - Best Practices for a Successful Challenge

A good orientation sets the stage for a great challenge.  A GREAT orientation sets the stage for an AWESOME challenge!  Now, we don’t just want to be good…good is the enemy of great! So…let’s be great! Here are some tips for hosting a great orientation and a delivering a positive experience for your new challenge members.

Pre-Orientation Best Practices: 

  1. Make sure challengers know when and where orientation is! They all receive an email receipt with the basic orientation details from your gym owner portal but it is important to follow up with a welcome email, call, and/or text to remind challengers and provide additional details including what to wear and what to expect. 
  2. Send us a virtual gym tour video that we can share with your challenge members so they can be familiar with the location and challenge coaches ahead of time.
  3. Have a plan for individuals who are unable to make your scheduled orientation.  Inevitably there will be a few individuals who are unable to attend orientation.  Have a plan in place to schedule alternative times, meet with individuals one-on-one, or communicate important information through a phone call or email. 
  4. Prepare for orientation – set up seating if necessary and prepare orientation materials. A little welcome folder with challenge info and a bottle of water are great to give out. Challengers may be nervous and having some handouts they can look over will help. Include things like schedule, important contacts, nutrition info, body progress sheets, etc.  Make sure you have tools ready to perform measurements including multiple tape measures, working scales, etc. and support staff or gym members willing to help out.

Orientation Day: 

  1. Let individuals know how long orientation will be.  We don’t want to overwhelm these new folks on Day 1 so try to keep the information basic and total time limited to an hour.    
  2. The introduction:  keep it short and simple.  Introduce yourself and the coaches. This is not really the time to go into all the details about each coach.  Just give the challenge members their names and maybe how long they have been with you. Time here should be less than 10 minutes.  If you start to see eyes glazing over…well, you have probably gone too long. Wrap it up and move on. It is great to introduce one of your past challenge participants here. Someone who will make them feel like they too can successfully complete the 6 week program and highlight the ways their life has improved since becoming a member of your gym family. 
  3. Give a brief explanation of how your program runs.  Set some expectations for the first couple of weeks.  It’s a beginner program where the foundational movements are taught.  Let them know they will probably be sore, it’s ok…you are there for them and communication is key.  Maybe a quick walk through the gym. 10-15 minutes should do it here.
  4. Talk about the importance of proper nutrition and sleep.  This will probably be the longest part. Give some handouts on your nutritional program or use the handouts we provide on your portal under the “Resources” tab.  Handouts are always a nice touch, it makes the challenge members feel like you took the time for them and they are important to you. Again, manage expectations here.  They will only get the results of the effort they put into the program. It is ultimately up to them to make the changes necessary, you are there simply to give guidance.  Plan for about 15-20 minutes here and also plan on plenty of questions.  Keep to the point you are trying to make or this part could go on and on.
  5. Take measurements and before pictures.  Data is so important for achieving their goals, they need to have a reference point.  Make sure you have extra hands to help you with this so it moves along quickly. It’s a great time for some of your other coaches to mingle and answer one on one questions.
  6. Lastly, a simple ice breaker workout (not necessary, but it’s kind of fun).  Something like a 7-10 minute AMRAP of 3 pull ups or ring rows, 5 push ups, and 7-10 squats.  You know the deal…a baby “Cindy”. Doesn’t take much in the way of instruction and you can get a bit of an assessment from the members.

Total time should be about an hour.  If you think you are going to have a longer orientation then be sure to let them know in your welcome email about how much time they should plan for.  The goal of the orientation is to calm the “pre-challenge jitters” and build some excitement for the weeks to follow. Remember, they probably won’t remember much of what you say…but they will DEFINITELY remember how you made them feel!!!