Beachbody Coach National Wake Up Call: 4 Tips to Running Successful Challenge Groups

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

LISTEN HERE:Building More Than a Challenge Group My Story A few years ago, I was working long days in a dead-end, stressful job but wasn’t making a lot of money. I was unhappy with my body but couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t losing weight even though I was putting in time at the gym. I have the Typical P90X story…I saw the infomercial late one night & was intrigued. I ordered it and then hid it in my closet for 3 months.
Finally I dusted it off and gave it a try but decided that I was way too out of shape to start with P90X so I started with Brazil Butt Lift. After seeing some results…I wanted to give P90X a try again but I needed help!
While searching for P90X transformations…I found my coach and picked her brain about Shakeology and since I LOVE a discount…I wanted to hear more about coaching.
So She sent me the “Decide” video and I can’t explain the feeling I got other than to say…it gave me butterflies. I’ve always felt like I was meant to do something incredible but I couldn’t figure out what that meant…and I was stuck in a rut with my job. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my future and the possibility of leaving the security of my job seemed terrifying.
My intuition told me to dream big and just go for it! .
The idea of getting in shape and helping people inspired me….BUT…my greatest motivation was the possibility of FREEDOM!
Freedom from my job, freedom from the alarm clock, freedom from missing out on family gatherings because of work, freedom of TIME! Freedom to be in charge of my future and create a life by design.
Building More Than Challenge Groups

Challenge groups are the cornerstone of our business! They are, without a doubt,  the most powerful tool we have because they are the BRIDGE that takes people from customers to Beachbody advocate to  coaches. We talk a lot about how to invite people to challenge groups, but how do you run a successful group, keep people engaged & create a team culture?

This is a little embarrassing to admit, but I struggled with Challenge groups. Probably my LEAST favorite activity as a coach was running them.  
I just wasn’t enjoying them and to be perfectly honest, I was going through the motions.
Since I wasn’t really embracing them...I had poor participation and very few success stories.  I realized that I wasn’t TRULY helping anyone...including myself.  
Earlier this year, I lost my way with my own fitness. Even though I was doing my workouts...ok MOSTLY doing my workouts and drinking Shakeology...I wasn’t paying attention to my nutrition or portion sizes. I had zero accountability.  I was a little shocked to discover that I had gained 15 lbs. That 15 lbs was a wake up call- I realized that if I was going to help my challengers, I needed to get back to my roots. I needed to reconnect with why I fell in love with coaching in the first place.  
I needed to be IN a challenge group! I needed to reconnect with the experience and what my challengers were going through.
So I committed to my workouts, I committed to the 3 vital behaviors and really dug deep to work on my greatest asset in my business...ME! Over the course of 2 months, I lost that “happy weight” and got in touch with what makes a challenge group effective.
My Results!
After running two AMAZING Challenge groups, I knew I was onto something.

I’m going to get right into how to run a successful challenge group which will lead to a strong & connected team. The 4 points I’m going to talk about about 1. Do as I do 2.Accountability 3. Connection and 4. Engagement
I would encourage you to write these down….take this information and personalize it to your business.
Let’s jump right into #1

  1. Do as I Do!   
    When you lead by example it creates trust & your challengers will have faith that you are guiding them on the right path.  Since they trust you, they will duplicate what you DO (not what you say). Challenger SEE, Challenger DO!
    I got caught up in the thinking that “I’m
    running  the challenge group so I don’t need to participate”  But as the coach, you should think of your  groups as built in accountability.
    It’s so easy to get swept up in helping others and let our own goals slack (as I have done) But it's important to remember to "put your oxygen mask on first" then help others.
    We are not perfect, we are allowed to have slip ups and be human...but as coaches...we’re the first people to jump right back in! So share that!
    After I gained some weight, I posted about it and got an incredible outpouring of support from my customers who related to my story and were ready to recommit with me !

    With the release of P90X3, now is the perfect time to recommit to your goals. We’re about 90 days away from the Beachbody Cruise! You can start something like a “P90X Dropouts Challenge” and do X3 along with your challengers who couldnt complete the original hour long workouts.
    Share your goals so people want to join you  in the New Year!
    Remember, don’t be a “Do as I say-er”
    Your challengers look up to you! Post YOUR journey along with them. People will follow and duplicate what you DO!
  2. Accountability- It’s all about keeping people accountable to their goals & it’s vital that you remind them WHY those goals are important to them. Let’s be honest, when people start a challenge...they are gung-ho for the first week or two...then reality sets in...they are sore...and all of these temptation and excuses set to arise.   
    As their coach, you want to remind them of their goals & reconnect them with their WHY
    every week.
    Something simple that I do is have everyone send me a weekly recap that includes their progress pictures & their measurements every Sunday. It’s a great way to track progress...but MORE importantly it’s to realign their actions with their goals. Trust me, they have a lot more incentive to stick with it when they know they have to hop into a bikini every Sunday!
    Make sure you are tracking your challengers results and who is sending in their weekly recap- there are many ways to do so. I am a paper/pen girl so while it might take a bit longer to do...I make a spreadsheet on a legal pad and check off their names as they send in their progress pics. You can also use Excel or Google Drive to make a spreadsheet & my friend uses an App called EverNote to create a personal folder with each challengers info. Find the way that works best for you!
    Now, I can already hear some of you saying “But what if my Challengers won’t send in a weekly picture?” It’s important that you set the expectation and tone for the group right in the beginning. During “pre-season”, the week before we start, everyone is ramped up and ready to go. I let them know what I need from them and share the WHY behind it. If they know that sending in a weekly picture is going to help them get better results, they are going to do it.
    Another trick: When people have one foot in the Challenge Group door but aren’t quite committed to all of the requirements, I say “Ok, I understand if you cannot participate this time around. I’m looking for success stories to feature on my blog & to send into Beachbody so for the group, I ONLY want people who are 100% committed to the recipe for success.” Chances are...they will message you back with a commitment.
  3. Connection: The MAGIC of Beachbody happens when people CONNECT and form a community. People coming together….forming relationships and encouraging each other. It’s so important that your challengers feel connected to not only you...but to the other challengers as well.  
    But before you assume that everyone is going to be insta-friends, step into their shoes for a second...think about their experience. Maybe they have never been in a Facebook group before...maybe they are really nervous to just start posting and talking to strangers.
    One of my FAVORITE ways to start a challenge group is with an ice breaker. Now, I know, Ice breakers can traditionally be a little dorky but you can really have fun with this. You want it to be something that is personal enough that they start to get to know one another...but not too personal that they would be nervous about posting. I start with a Pet post: everyone posts pictures of their pets. They have a lot of fun getting to know one another and commenting on the pictures. OR You could have them post a family could even do seasonal or themed  posts. Just something fun that gets the conversation started.
    Next, I encourage them to add each other on Facebook & exchange contact information so they can encourage one another. My goal is to create a mini community- a place that’s friendly where they feel safe & supported.
    The Challenge group guides are a GREAT template full of ideas...but if you have just been copying & pasting the are missing out! And chances are not really connecting with your challengers.
    I am not a fitness robot & I don’t look at my challengers like they are “just a challenger”  They are interesting, hilarious, fun, caring people who are wives...moms...sisters.... So my challenges are NOT just about fitness..they are a reflection of who I am and who my challengers are…

    Find fun ways to make the groups more personal. No one knows your customers like you- and chances are...if they wanted
    you as a have a lot of the same interests so why not share!?  I post do fitness & nutrition tips, but I also post about workout clothes, our favorite tv shows...what they like to do for fun...where would they like to travel?
    Get to know them better! Get to know what motivates them, what makes them happy or excited?

    Challengers who have a great experience and love the organization can go on to become some of your best coaches so be aware of the experience you are giving them.
  4. Engagement-  This kind of piggybacks on the last point but it’s more about how to encourage your challengers to show up everyday AND how do you keep them engaged AFTER the challenge ends. They can have great relationships with the other challengers, but unless they are checking in daily...they are less likely to follow through with the entire challenge.
    In the beginning of the group, I set the expectation that they need to make the commitment to check in everyday- even if it’s just a quick post. Accountability is KEY to not only their success but the success of the group!
    The stronger the relationship a challenger makes with me and the group and the MORE often they engage….The more dedicated and accountable they feel...which in turn means the better results they see.

    Establish Your Back Up Plan! When people miss a workout or get derailed, they want to hide from the group but that’s when they need support the most! So I talk to my challengers in the beginning about setting up a back up plan. I simply ask:
    “If I notice that you stop posting in the group, how would you like me to support you and get you back on board? Message you? Call?”  
    Be that little angel on their shoulder that encourages them to jump right back in!

    Recognition is another fun way to encourage people to engage. I post fun shout outs for the person who emailed their progress pics first! Or recognize the challenger who is always first to encourage others!

    Create a build up! I create reasons for them to come check the group to find out what's going on. (Ex: Recipe ideas, how you do your meal planning) “Check back on Friday for my infamous Shakeology recipe!”  “Tune in Sunday for my top meal planning tips!”

    Talk about Life after the Challenge! The challenge group is NOT just about a quick fix for 30, 60, 90’s about creating healthy habits. To me, a challenge group is only the beginning to a new lifestyle. I want my challengers to CONTINUE working out, drinking Shakeology and engaging in the network AFTER the challenge so I invite them to my general fitness group and empower them to help inspire others by posting their results, favorite shakeology recipes or meal ideas.
    I also give them the option to be a Challenge group graduate in my next group so they can continue on their journey. Even though they don’t have the title “coach” they have already have a lil experience under their belt  so I encourage them to share their journey and share tips that helped them through the first round. The experience strengthens their resolve to reach their own goals and opens the door to them becoming a coach!

    And lastly, have fun with your groups: be creative with your verbiage and make it enticing. Anytime there is a new program or I try something new with my group, I invite people to be a part of my “BETA” or “TEST” group! People love to be in on the ground floor! They love to be the “first” to try something. And  since it’s something I’ve never done before...I ask for a LOT of feedback. I ask that they help me by really tracking their progress and checking in OFTEN to share what they thought about the workout, a recipe, etc...! People love to give feedback, their opinions and know that their voice is being heard.
    Start a P90X3 TEST group and have everyone check in with a mini review of each workout.

    Challenge groups are the bridge between customer and coach. Good challengers make GREAT coaches!  Really honing in on the challenge group experience and how I’m connecting with my groups has made all the difference in my business. Not only am I excited about running groups, but I feel GOOD knowing that my challengers put faith in my as their coach & Im able to deliver! Take these 4 tips & look at your current challenge groups. How can you make them more effective and a better reflection of who you are? Remember, the speed of the leader is the speed of the pack & if you are leading with your own fitness...your challengers will follow in your footsteps. Together, you can accomplish great things!

I’m so thankful that I found Beachbody because it has not only helped me gain confidence and lead a healthy lifestyle…but it’s given me so much more! Freedom! Waking up every morning with purpose and passion is so much more than I could have ever dreamed of. Right now, we are stay at home pet parents but it’s such a blessing to be able to say that both Jay & I will be stay at home parents one day. And in June, I will be able to walk across the stage at Summit at burn my mortgage! True financial freedom!


  1. You are such an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story. Hope to meet you soon. Maybe at Summit???

  2. Such an amazing post!! Great information! Thanks :)

  3. Thank you for writing this. I've been flailing these past few months, I took on too much and was all over the place, never really committing to one thing at 100%. But I decided today that my focus was learning Challenge Group best practices and found your blog. I'm fired up, thank you so much :)
    ps: your dogs are soooo cute!!

  4. i took thorough notes.. thank you sooo much for sharing!!!