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A Teaching Kitchen in Your Studio?

Those of us who know how to cook typically learned by helping our
parents in the kitchen when we were growing up. We picked up on little
pointers, burned some toast, learned how to eyeball a measurement and
prepared recipes passed down through the generations. Developing a
comfort level in the kitchen requires practice—spending time there
planning, preparing and serving meals (and washing the dirty dishes!).

As time passed and life became busy, we lost the confidence our parents
gave us while teaching us the basics. When we stopped trying to cook,
the kitchen became daunting and confusing, so we began looking for the
easy way out.

After realizing this, I had a eureka moment.

If we could recreate a kitchen environment inside our training facility,
we could teach our community how to feel comfortable again with breaking
out pots, pans, knives and measuring cups—the true keys to lasting
health and fat loss. We could empower people with basic skills for
preparing real food. We could teach simple meals, along with tips and
tricks a professional chef would use.

Our program started with a simple folding table. After a few years of
successful mini-classes and positive feedback, I took the plunge and
dedicated 300 of our gym’s 4,500 square feet to the creation of a simple
kitchen environment. It looks and feels as though you just walked into
someone’s kitchen at home. It’s an environment that delivers more value,
more connection and a unique experience that has changed our community
for the better and, most importantly, for the long term.

The benefits we have experienced along the way are wide-ranging:

  • sustainable fat-loss nutrition habits
  • renewed hope among clients that they don’t have to train for hours if
    the food is right
  • more people talking openly about real struggles with food
  • a tripling of food-coaching sessions
  • real-food challenges and recipe sharing within the community
  • in-house lunch-and-learn sessions
  • 15- and 30-minute meal-preparation sessions
  • partnering with chefs to teach cooking lessons inside homes so clients
    see what’s possible with their current setup
  • a new profit center with classes and coaching
  • a great lead-generation and feeder program for introducing new clients
    to our facility
  • Bonus: Our story has been featured in multiple industry
    magazines and local newspapers, and has opened the door to consulting
    with businesses and fitness facilities around the country.

    To read more about the steps you can take to create a teaching kitchen in your space, please see “Building a Teaching Kitchen in a Studio” in the online IDEA Library or in the July-August 2015 print issue of IDEA Fitness Journal. If you cannot access the full article and would like to, please contact the IDEA Inspired Service Team at (800) 999-4332, ext. 7.

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