Paul “Theo” Theodore Activated

It was 2009 in Louisville, KY when I first met Theo. He approached me at the first annual International Youth Conditioning Summit (IYCA) and said something to the effect of ” there’s something different about you” and I felt the same way about him.  He asked if we could talk at some point during the conference.  And we did.

He was a young coach at the time.  Just getting started.  He was carrying a lot of weight, but he “managed” it well.  Like so many of us do. So many decisions to make.  A young family, a crazy schedule and money was tight.  He was starting to question his calling, his craft, his place in the industry.  He was starting to question his voice as a coach and as a business, his message, his programs, his reason for doing it.  And the weight was real.  I felt it.

But I also felt his desire to do something special.  To be more than the circumstances, to want to overcome all that.  To rise, not fall away.  The proof of that desire was inherent in the truth he shared and in his asking for help.

Fast forward 5 years.  Two beautiful children, an amazing facility, a community coming together for inspired action.  A voice that speaks loud and clear.  Lives changed. Tears shed (many of my own at his facility, in his home, and from afar), a growing sense of purpose.  The weight is still there.  But it’s different.  He carries it differently.  It’s not about him.  But it had to start with him.  It’s not about us, but it has to start with us.

His story is incredible.  From his marriage, to his facility, to how his business has evolved. You’ve been where he’s been.  In the past, now or maybe in days to come…but you can go where he and his family are going…a place you deserve to be…

It’s time to rise up…and sometimes it takes being down for a moment to do it well.  It’s ok…we got you!

David Jack


Theo with logo(1)

Coach Theo

Coach Paul Theo is the owner of FMU Fitness, a Christian-based youth fitness and adult training company in Cleveland, Oh.  An ex-division one college wrestler and now fitness coach, motivational speaker, and author, he works with hundreds of kids and adults each week through is group training programs and community events. His reach extends far beyond his gym walls as he runs multiple school obstacle races and local charity events throughout the year. He resides with his beautiful wife Amber, and 4yr old son Giovanni and 10 month old Alana.
  • Voted Cleveland’s Best of the West Trainer
  • Featured as a Top 5 Finalist in Men’s Health Next Top Trainer Challenge
  • Pull-up world record attempt raised $39,000 for Cystic Fibrosis

For more information about Theo and his mission visit


S&C sage and legendary human being Dan John WILL activate

Dan John has been a strength and conditioning coach, trainer of trainers, educator, co-creator and activator at the highest levels of our field for over 3 decades.
He’s funny.  He’s serious.  He’s one of the coaches that I personally would like to watch when he doesn’t know I’m looking as often as I could.  He’s a man with a reputation for simple and powerful training wisdom that can change the way you look at coaching in a moment.
I’ve experienced it personally.
He has a servants heart with a capacity and desire to sow, so that others can grow.  His body of work speaks for itself and he leads a life worth following. He will activate the best in you, so you can do the same for those you serve, and for the industry you call your own.  That’s what masters do.
I’m humbled to welcome Dan to the activeight experience in Phoenix in October.  His presentation will be non-traditional and experiential.  I look forward to learning from him and watching how he carries himself when “no one’s looking”.   So should you!
Thank you Dan.
David Jack
Dan John 2014
Dan John has spent his life with one foot in the world of lifting and throwing, and the other foot in academia.  An All-American discus thrower, Dan has also competed at the highest levels of Olympic lifting, Highland Games and the Weight Pentathlon, an event in which he holds the American record.
Dan spends his work life blending weekly workshops and lectures with full-time writing, and is also an online religious studies instructor for Columbia College of Missouri.  As a Fulbright Scholar, he toured the Middle East exploring the foundations of religious education systems.
His books, on weightlifting, include Intervention, Never Let Go, Mass Made Simple and Easy Strength, written with Pavel Tsatsouline, as well as From Dad, To Grad.
To learn more and follow Dan John, visit

Coach Dave Gleason is activated

It’s a beautiful spring day in New England as I walk into a training facility known as Athletic Revolution (AR) South Shore in Pembroke, MA.  And there stands some of my favorite people on planet earth, Coach Dave Gleason and his wife Andrea.  After receiving my personal welcome, (which everyone who enters receives) we begin to prepare for the task at hand.

I’m there to support my friends Dave and Andrea and their amazing work, by capturing a bit of it for a TV segment for New England Cable News (NECN). But I know it’s so much more.  Because it always is when I’m with him. I know I’m there to learn, to be a part of something special, to build one another up, and to leave each other as better coaches and people.  And we do. We always do.

And so do his clients.  Kids that don’t say a word when they enter leave empowered and filled with energy, parents that sit quietly watching, approach me in private after the video shoot in tears sharing what this “place” means to them and their children.  You see and feel and come to KNOW that this “place” is more than a fitness  facility and a group of people running around and having some fun (which absolutely happens, and it’s GOOD, but it’s so much more) together.  And it is…more…

It is a family.  A place where people have a voice.  A place where they encourage each other, work through challenges together and establish foundations that will serve them and others well beyond their time at AR South Shore.

Dave Gleason can say all he wants.  His resume can too.  The way he carries himself might just be enough.  But when you SEE and FEEL what’s happening within their community, you realize that it’s much more.  And that’s the standard I choose to use to measure my friend.  Because it’s one of the highest of standards; the change you create and activate as a coach.

And Dave will bring that to Phoenix.  It’s who he is, and it’s what he does.  It’s a calling he honors well, and he’ll encourage and activate you to do the same.

Thank you Dave.



the activeight experience

Coach Dave Gleason:

DG Headshot

Owner/Head Coach Athletic Revolution, Pembroke MA

Keene State College 1993 – BS Physical Education/Health and Fitness

NSCA – Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist

IYCA – Youth Fitness/Conditioning Specialist – Level III

IYCA – Youth Speed and Agility Specialist – Level I

IYCA – High School Strength and Conditioning Specialist

2010 IYCA Trainer of the Year

IYCA Director of Youth Performance

Athletic Revolution International Director of Programming

Co-Author IYCA Game Play Performance

Co-Author IYCA Big Book of Programs

Co-Author IYCA Complete Athlete Development

Co-Author IYCA Youth Speed Development

Dave is also a consultant to Reebok International, Adidas (USA) and a consultant to trainers, coaches, physical educators, youth sports organizations and public school systems K-12.

Editor in Chief of and Fitness Director of the Brand Activated!

What the Men’s Health (and Rodale) brand means to me personally can’t be expressed in written words.  I will simply say that it is a first class publication, and organization with one mission: to help people live their WHOLE lives (Rodale).  It has been a tremendous blessing in mine, helping me do just that.

When I first had the opportunity to work with the Rodale brand, I read their mission statement, slightly different at the time, it was as if I had penned it myself; “To inspire people to live healthier lives and provide them with the tools to do it.” Activators. Educators. Thought leaders.  Industry change agents.

Fast forward 7 years, and in the midst of countless amazing projects and people within the Men’s Health Brand, there is one that I will truly be forever grateful for, honored to call a friend, and consider one of the finer human beings on the planet, Adam Campbell.

Adam has played an invaluable role in my career, personal and family growth.  He sees the big picture like few I have seen in the industry and even fewer in journalism.  He believes in the good, and the good in people, and gives them a chance to prove him otherwise.  He creates, collaborates, takes calculated and brilliant risks and leads with energy and passion.

He is an activator at the highest level.  He will make you better in one experience, though he will assist in many during his time in Phoenix.

On behalf of all of us at activprayer and activeight, I’m deeply grateful for your ongoing support, friendship, commitment to excellence, your continued inspired action and friendship AC.



Adam Campbell

Adam Campbell 2014

Adam Campbell is the Editor of and the Fitness Director for the Men’s Health brand. He is the author of the New York Times best-selling book, The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises, and The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises. Campbell has won two National Magazine Awards, and has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, The Early Show, The Dr. Oz Show, and Fox News.

Learn more at:

P.S.  Both Adam, myself and other team members like BJ Gaddour will be looking to discover and activate new talent, so bring your A game!  Remember, our pledge is to provide an experience, opportunities and resources that will help activate the greatness in each other and provide platforms to rise up and do the same for others.


The newest face of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” gets activated!

We’re excited to announce that our long time friend, peer and straight up soul sister, Jen Widerstrom will be in the house at the activeight experience in October.  She will literally be flying in from  the Season 16 “Glory Days” set to be with us.

Our host David Jack first met Jen on the set of what was at the time, a ground-breaking fitness DVD series in which they presented as co-leads.  A spirit of teamwork and life long friendship was born and it continues to grow.

Jen has an amazing story.  She has experienced nearly every level of success (and coincidentally, challenge, “funny” how that happens) that you would hope to achieve as a fitness professional, and human being, including multiple roles as a national television star.  But her greatest asset, her ace in the hole, the one  that she uses to activate others, and in turn herself, dawned on David when she first called to tell him that she was named to the Biggest Loser cast.  We will share that story and much more with you in Phoenix.

This is a special woman, and you will be grateful you met her.  Jen, we are honored to have you, and know the sacrifice you’re making to come out during the TV season.  Thank you for acting inspired for an intention greater than self!

With many thanks and BIG love!




Jen Widerstrom

Jen Headshot CAA

To learn more about Jen, her fitness success, and her huge humanitarian heart, visit the following link:!bio/c139r


activMAP – The Motivation Behind Your Movement

Why did you love certain sports as a kid and not others? Why did you always have the most fun by playing particular games? Why have you always been attracted to certain forms of exercise?

We believe that you are the greatest miracle in the world.  You were designed with unique gifts and a personality unlike anyone else in the universe. There are things that drive you that go DEEP down to the core of who you are. Those sports, those games, those exercises – there is something ABOUT them that touches you at the core.

We have a core belief that the best starting point is not talking, or prescribing programs, or sharing our expertise, but listening. We start with YOUR STORY.

Our friends and partners at SIMA International share this core belief. They’ve been developing the SIMA MAP for over 50 years by listening to the stories of over 80,000 people and understanding the patterns of motivation that have been present throughout their entire lives, from their first toy to their first high school touchdown to their latest achievement at work. There are certain patterns of motivation that are enduring, irresistible, insatiable, and explanatory. They are masters at bringing it to light. This is their craft.

Nearly two years ago, we partnered with SIMA to use the 50+ years of experience of their original MAP to develop an activMAP. How does your Motivated Abilities Pattern play out in embodied, physical, action? This is the purpose of the activMAP.

Understanding this is the key to understanding how to turn ordinary action into inspired action. And that’s how Craft is born.

Now, we’re opening up this development project to our Activators at ACTIVEIGHT. Every single person in attendance at ACTIVEIGHT will be given the opportunity to tell their story and receive a free activMAP analysis with professional facilitation. The cost of a MAP normally exceeds the cost of admission. As part of this special weekend, though, it’s our gift to you.

Your presence at this event already reveals a desire to use fitness to serve a greater purpose. Helping people understand how they uniquely motivated can open up doorways that lead to inspired action OUTSIDE of the gym. Isn’t that, after all, what it’s all about?

Most importantly, you’ll come away from the experience with one more tool as a coach, as a friend, as a family-member, and as a leader to ACTIVEIGHT the people you encounter on a day-to-day basis.

Eyes UP Rise UP.

More to come.





Strength to Serve and Founder Jeremy Shore ready to activeight

I first met Jeremy Shore in Los Angeles in 2008 on the set of a full production DVD project we did together for Men’s Health Magazine.  From the moment we met, I knew there was something different about him.

Since then, we have become as close as brothers, and he has gone on to create global impact in the fitness world through the platforms of media, education and coaching (as you’ll see below).  More than that, Jeremy has played a pivotal role in my life behind the scenes as a friend, mentor, and peer.  He has become one of my best friends, and is one of my personal activeight brothers.

Jeremy has also founded a movement we’ve partnered with called Strength to Serve (STS).  The truth that STS promotes is that our strength isn’t for us, it’s for others.  It’s meant to transfer out of the gym into the everyday lives we lead and to those who need it from us.  It’s inspiring people, and giving them tools to use their fitness to bring “strength” (the capacity for effective action as he says) to homes, communities and globally by using their fitness in a simple, yet profound way.  And the irony is, the more strength that’s given away, the more we seem to get in return.

Jeremy is a first class fitness professional and human being (job #1) and the STS movement is changing the way communities use, benefit from, and view fitness.  I’ve had the pleasure of working side by side with him in several cities and for various causes, and it has truly activated my life.

Jeremy will help deliver a live fitness media specialist hands on session, as well as a live strength to serve experience.  You’ll be grateful for both.  And maybe, just maybe, you might also get your medicine ball literacy seriously upgraded :)

We (and I personally) are grateful for your presence and your willingness to serve brother!  See you in October!





Jeremy Shore – “at a glance” -

J shore head shot

Strength to serve logo

  • Founder of Strength To Serve (
  • Dynamax Medicine Balls Director of Education
  • TriggerPoint Master Trainer
  • 17+ Years in the Fitness Industry
  • Expert Contributor to ReebokONE, Men’s Health, + Livestrong
  • TV Appearances on The Doctors + Rachael Ray
  • DVD Host: MH Muscle System Workout + 15 Minute Workouts


activeight experience welcomes BJ Gaddour

@BJGaddour  – entrepreneur, fitness professional and friend will be attending and sharing at the 1st annual activeight conference at Arizona Grand Resort in Phoenix October 23-26, 2014.

In addition to being a key part of our activator team, BJ will be sharing at least 2 things we can talk about at this point :)

1) Like all other activators – his story.  And you don’t want to miss it during “open mic”.  The intentions that drive him, and the actions he takes, and has taken to honor them.

2) The activ8 – BJ will lead a hands on experience covering 8 foundational movement patterns (based on the principles outlined in his best selling book, @Your Body is Your Barbell), complete with progressions, regressions, coaching cues, activwords (that set the foundation for pattern mastery and subconscious competence) and done for you tools to take home.

And here’s the kicker – he’ll deliver it live to fitness enthusiasts without any intake, architecture or pre-screening.  Discover the simplicity of the concept, and the profound results it can create.

Welcome brother, we’re honored to have you!!


Stay tuned for more announcements – we have a few dozen to come!

BJ GADDOUR, CSCS, is a bodyweight exercise and metabolic training expert. Named one of the 100 Fittest Men of All Time by Men’s Health magazine, he’s the creator of Men’s Health fitness DVDs DeltaFIT Speed ShredBodyweight Cardio Burners, and BodyweightMuscle Burners. He is the CEO of, an online fitness resource that provides streaming workout videos.

Gaddour graduated from Amherst College in 2005. He went from working the front desk at a gym to owning a successful gym. He now consults with top fitness brands as a writer, speaker, featured fitness expert, on-camera talent, and fitness model.

You can learn more about BJ on his blog (, where he shares fitness and nutrition tips. He currently lives in Milwaukee with his wife, Naomi. (And we’ll add, his two incredible boxers!)