The Challenge of Fitness

October 20 - 23, 2016 Phoenix, AZ

About The Experience

ACTIVEIGHT is about the intangibles, the art, and the people that give fitness its deepest purpose. ACTIVEIGHT is a collaboration between fitness professionals and enthusiasts that goes beyond the science of movement to the craft of inspired action.

Video poster image

As fitness professionals, coaches and trainers, we possess the incredible opportunity to influence lives in profound ways. We create and offer spaces, places and experiences that build powerful and supportive communities by connecting and empowering people with the fitness they need, and deserve to act inspired in this life.

We need to honor this sacred calling. And we can truly only achieve that by activating one another. This experience has been created so that as coaches and human beings, we can share our unique talents, motivations and experiences in natural and authentic ways. It’s time to encourage, support, affirm and create with one another. It’s time to rise up! It’s time to ACTIVEIGHT! For those we’ve been given the privilege of leading and those we haven’t met yet...

Contact us with any questions you might have.


In no particular order

David Jack

Co-Founder of ActivPrayer and Director of the ActivLAB

One of the world’s most recognized sports performance and conditioning coaches, David Jack is an industry leader and consultant for major brands & publications such as Reebok, Rodale, Men’s Health, and Women’s Health.


BJ Gaddour

Men's Health Magazine's Fitness Director, Author of “Your Body Is Your Barbell”

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 Shred, The 21-Day Meta Shred, Bodyweight Cardio Burners, and Bodyweight Muscle Burners.

Jeremy Shore

Group Education Director for Matrix Fitness, founder of Strength To Serve

Jeremy Shore (CSCS, PES, CES, CPT) is the Group Education Director for Matrix Fitness and former Education Director and Lead Programmer for Dynamax Medicine Balls and Trigger Point Performance Therapy. As a fitness expert with 18+ years in the industry, Jeremy has made appearances on TV shows including The Doctors and The Rachael Ray Show. He is also the host of the Men’s Health 15-Minute Workout DVD. Jeremy is a Master Trainer for ReebokONE and the founder of Strength To Serve, a group focused on mobilizing the global fitness community to serve local non-profits.

Mark Verstegen

Industry leader. Visionary. World-class presenter.

Mark Verstegen is recognized as one of the world’s most innovative human performance experts. Verstegen pioneered the concept of integrated performance training and has brought that system to the world’s top athletes, teams, and sports organizations. Verstegen is the author of six books, including "Every Day Is Game Day" (2014) and "Core Performance," which popularized integrated performance training and has sold more than two hundred thousand copies.

Dave Gleason

Owner/Head Coach Athletic Revolution, Pembroke MA

Dave is the Owner of one of the top youth training facilities in the world – Athletic Revolution Pembroke, and has worked with thousands of athletes ranging from the shy six year old to all-stars at the professionals level. He’s also an acclaimed international presenter on youth fitness and widely regarded as the industry’s ‘go to guy’ for coaching kids ages 6-13.

Dave has been played a pivotal role in the development of the assessment and programming systems for Athletic Revolution International as well as new franchisee training and support. Athletic Revolution and it’s programming is now recognized in over 19 countries around the globe.

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

Khristie Gass

CEO of Physiques Health Club, 2014 Face of ReebokONE

Khristie Gass (ACE, AFAA, NASM) is the CEO of Physiques Health Club (est. 2003) and the owner of Physiques Elite (est. 2015), where she focuses on small group personal training by showcasing the Matrix Connexus Functional Trainer. She is also the creator of Funkie Fusion Fitness®, one of the top-trending group exercise programs for 2015–2016, featuring over 150 certified instructors at over 600 Fitness on Demand locations.

Khristie’s 15+ years of fitness experience include work with a semi-professional football team as well as work as a choreographer for a national award-winning dance team. Khristie Gass was selected to be the Face of ReebokONE for 2014 and also a contributor. In 2008, she was featured in FACE and Active Fitness magazines.

Andy Dooley

ISSA Master Trainer, 2016 Face of ReebokONE

Andy's fitness philosophy is that "Consistency, Discipline and Patience will equal Success" - his view was forged through his athletic background, service at Velocity, an athlete performance training company in San Diego. Two more years at Frog's Fitness refined his expertise in fitness conditioning and strength training.

Andy holds to a personal fitness philosophy of balance, health and wholeness in spirit, soul and body. His heart for people is evident in his committed involvement in the local community as a mentor for high school students and is the youth pastor at The City Church Ventura. The culmination of his fitness experience and involvement in his community has gained him national recognition. Andy was named the 2016 Face of ReebokONE at last year's ActivEight conference in November 2015. Hailing from Ventura, California, Andy ensures that building a strong sense of community is at the center of all he does.

Joe Carabase

Creator of the m.e.l.t. Workout, Owner of m.e.l.t. Fitness; 2014 Men's Health Next Top Trainer semi-finalist

Joe became an international best selling author by the age of 24 for his contribution to Total Body Breakthroughs, a book on helping busy people get in great shape in the shortest amount of time possible. This propelled Joe to be recognized by USA Today as one of the World’s Fitness Elite.

He has given speeches at companies like Smith Barney Morgan Stanley and the Department of Environment Protection and colleges such as the University of Massachusetts, Manchester College, and American International College.

In 2014, Joe was a semi-finalist in Men's Health's inaugural Next Top Trainer contest and is currently a contestant on "The 20s: The Search for the Next Beachbody Super Trainer" now streaming on Beachbody on Demand and airing on the POP Network.

Jana Hare & Vanessa Veloz

Soul Sisters. Purveyors of Fun, Joy, Love, and Happiness.

Vanessa Veloz (left) and Jana Hare (right) are ActivEight OG’s, and we are overjoyed that they are returning this year with a message of their own to share. Jana and Vanessa are inseparable soul sisters that bring infectious energy wherever they go. Always at the ready with their fun antics and shenanigans, these two will certainly leave an impression, to enjoy the moment, and “BE THERE.”

To top it all off, they have fitness credentials, too! Jana “The Dumbbell Bombshell” CEO, has a Master’s degree in Exercise Science, is a certified personal trainer, seasoned group fitness instructor, fitness model, and was a semi-finalist in the 2015 Women’s Health Next Fitness Star contest. Vanessa, after having incredible success with her own fitness goals in kickboxing, became the Group Fitness Coordinator at Elite Fitness and a certified personal trainer. She recently started “V-Fit”, where she provides fitness services and ready-to-eat healthy meal prep at affordable prices. Their ActivPrayer each day is to dedicate their actions to bettering lives, encourage the discouraged, and spark the fitness flame in others.

Jeremy Scott

Author, Coach, cover model; Owner of Jeremy Scott Fitness

Author, Coach, Athlete & Trainer Jeremy Scott is a real food eating fitness junkie, whose passion for his clients success can only be outmatched by his work ethic for it. Jeremy prides himself on giving you real unfiltered, no bullshit truth about health, nutrition, and real life advice to ensure you truly Make Success Mandatory in your life.

Jeremy is a former collegiate athlete & Cum Laude graduate turned best selling author; “Make Success Mandatory” “Get Lean Gluten Free”. His blog has been named one of the top 20 fitness blogs online by Breaking Muscle. He is a 4-x cover model; SHAPE Magazine named him one of the 50 Hottest Trainers in America. Jeremy is a contributor for Men’s Health Magazine and also a Reebok sponsored athlete.

Dan Bednar

ASFA – CPT; Co-owner of Cleveland Fitness Revolution

Dan Bednar holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Physiology and Biology from Baldwin Wallace College. He is an American Sports and Fitness Association Certified Personal Trainer (ASFA – CPT). Dan is also a member of ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine). He has a passion for helping people reach their health and fitness goals. Dan is a results oriented professional who has demonstrated the ability to assist clients far beyond their expectations. Dan also owns two fitness facilities serving North East Ohio.

Gideon Akande

NASM-CPT, Winner of Men’s Health 2015 Next Top Trainer, creator of Men's Health's Riptensity DVD

Gideon Akande is a versatile and passionate ambassador for health and fitness. In 2015, he won the Men's Health Next top trainer competition and created the Riptensity bodyweight training system DVD, released in 2016. Whether he’s leading an innovative workout at Studio Three, implementing a corporate fitness program, or delivering a motivational presentation, he is known for his engaging energy, skill, and charisma.

A Chicago native and lifelong athlete, Gideon graduated from the College of the Holy Cross (Worcester, MA), where he played Division I football and became one of the leading kickoff returners in the school’s history.

Gideon shares his expertise nationally as a regular contributor to Men’s Health Magazine. He also has appeared on WGN-TV and FOX 32 Chicago, and was named by Shape magazine as one of the 50 Hottest Male Trainers in America in 2014.

Tom Hurley

Founder/Lead Coach, Tomahawk Proving Grounds; Performance Coach for High School, Collegiate and Olympic Level Athletes

While earning his undergrad at Springfield College, Tom was heavily involved in partnering with Project Adventure in the design, construction and facilitation of their Adventure/Challenge Course on the colleges’ East Campus. A former Behavioral Therapist, and certified Fitness Professional, Tom combines years of knowledge and experiences to create unique personalized programs/events designed to address specific needs within teams that he works with. Tom has been working in the field of Sport Psychology as a consultant for over 10 years and currently programs with over a dozen teams in the areas of Mindset, Speed and Agility, Strength and Conditioning, and Sports Nutrition, Coach/Parent Relationship Building, Team Dynamics, Bullying, and Mental Skills Coaching and Sport Psychology.

Tom has been an Advisor/Speaker/Presenter at the Developing Champions Summit in 2016 and ActivEight in 2015. He will expand his role further at this year's ActivEight 3.0 conference. He is also a Best Selling Author and won the Editor’s Choice Award for "The Definitive Guide to Youth Athletic Strength, Conditioning and Performance."

Dean Carlson

Owner, Get Fit NH, Former high school and college competitive athlete

Dean Carlson, CPFT, FMS, Pn2. was a competitive athlete through high school and into college and was also in the US Army. After gaining and successfully losing 80 pounds, he and his wife/business partner opened Get Fit NH in 2008. Under Dean’s leadership Get Fit NH has been recognized Best Gym in Southern NH from 2010 to 2016, and Dean has also been recognized as Best Fitness Trainer 3 times in that same period.

One of Dean’s other passions is helping other coaches in the industry up their game. He has had many coaches and business owners come in for a visit into his facilities, and frequently spends time with the same via email or phone working through training and coaching ideas.

Scott Rawcliffe

Fitness industry leader; conference presenter; Co-owner of Revera Health & Fitness

Scott studied Kinesiology & Physical Education at Wilfrid Laurier University and is Co Owner of Revera Health & Fitness on the Gold Coast, Queensland. After spending over a decade working in the fitness industry, Scott identified two key issues: the lack of professionalism and fitness professionals that were struggling to succeed financially. Seeing this as an opportunity, he created the Fit Pro Podcast, started his social media consultancy business specifically for fit pros and began speaking at conferences all over the world. Scott has spoken at IDEA World, IDEA PT East & West, FILEX, NorCal Fitness Summit, Turbulence Training Trainers Summit, and Fitness First and Fitness Quest 10.

Jeff McDaniel

BS-ES, CPT, Metabolic Training Certified (MTC); Founder and Program Director of FastFit

Jeff is a nationally recognized fitness bootcamp instructor and personal trainer. Having twice being selected as “Best Personal Trainer” in Little Rock by Sync Weekly and Soiree’ magazines, he has worked with clients nationwide through his metabolic training program. He is the founder of FastFit Bootcamps, Little Rock's premiere fitness bootcamp for men and women of all ages. He also writes for local publications and performs speaking engagements to help educate people on how to move better, feel better and look better.

Jed Ballard, DO

Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, Battalion Surgeon for 2nd Army Ranger BN, 2016 Men's Health Ultimate Guy Top 3 Finalist

Dr. Ballard graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Exercise Science from the University of Northern Colorado and earned his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine at Des Moines University in 2010. He went on to complete a joint Emergency Medicine Residency at the Medical College of Georgia and Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center, has a focus in Ultrasound and Tactical Medicine, and has taught Ultrasound courses in the United States, Canada, Panama and Peru, as well as providing regular bedside teaching in the Emergency Department.

He has completed some of the more difficult courses in the US Military to include Ranger Assessment and Selection (RASP2) and Ranger School as well as earning Honor Graduate in the Special Forces Dive Medical Tech and Basic Airborne courses.

In his youth, Jed grew up in the country with his brothers where they did lots of manual labor and participated in small town sports. In October 2016, he was named the winner of the Men's Health Ultimate Guy contest and appears on the cover of the November 2016 issue of Men's Health Magazine.

Phil Hueston

Co-owner of All-Star Sports Academy in Toms River, NJ, author of the Amazon best-seller "Alchemy; Where the Art and Science Collide in Youth Fitness"

Coach Phil Hueston has over 17 years of in-the-trenches experience with athletes ages 6 to 60. His client list includes professional athletes in 4 sports and collegiate athletes as well as thousands of youth athletes, adult athletes and people who simply want to move, feel and look their best. As a contributor to and coach to other coaches, Phil provides unique insights and ideas that can help other coaches accelerate their clients' progress and performance.

Phil will be re-locating in the next 12-24 months to begin a new chapter in his fitness profession and craft. He looks forward to educating other coaches and fitness business owners in the areas of fitness science, 4 Pillar Fitness and the principles of ActivEight Fitness and ActivPrayer.

Kevin Curry

Owner of FitMenCook

In 2012, Kevin started a Tumblr blog called “FitMenCook” to share his meals online in order to build a community around healthy food ideas, as well as to keep himself accountable and motivated. His message is simple: “Our bodies are built in the kitchen, Sculpted in the gym.” Fit Men Cook is about all of us, both men and women. It’s taking our individual success stories and fitness and nutrition philosophies and sharing those ideas with the each other to grow and improve together. It’s all about everyday people—no matter the fitness level or athletic ability—aiming to live the best life possible through fitness and healthy eating.

Nikki Metzger

Owner & Instructor at BODI; Winner 2015 Women's Health Magazine's Next Fitness Star

Nikki is the owner of BODI, a High Intensity Strength & Conditioning gym in Scottsdale Arizona. She is a Nike Master Trainer, Mike Boyle Certified Funcational Strength Coach (CFSF), Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness Nutrition Specialist and was named Women's Health Magazines Next Fitness Star 2015! Her training methods are functional, effective and efficient and she thinks nothing is better than leaving a training session dripping in sweat and feeling awesome! She aims to energize, inspire, and push her clients to continually be their best.


A few inspiring stories from some of the ActivEight family members.

Sean Garner, strength & conditioning coach, runner-up of the 2015 Men's Health Next Top Trainer contest, and Men's Health writer and advisor, had this to say about ActivEight:

"My wife, Courtney, and I first got involved with ActivPrayer after I met David Jack at Men's Health Magazine. I initially new something was different about David, something contagious. ActivEight 2.0 (2015) was our first experience working with the ActivPrayer organization.

At the time we were going through a lot of struggle within our personal lives and business in the fitness industry. It was a weekend of getting re-charged and re-energized to press on for the greater good of ourselves and those around us. To become contagious in a positive way, pursuing the best in others and for others. That's being an Activator!

I would encourage any fitness professional or enthusiast to take a close look at this organization and attend their events. Those around you need YOU to rise up and lead them to a deeper meaning and purpose within their fitness journey which I've seen, felt, and experienced impact day to day life."

Experience Schedule

Please note that this schedule is subject to change.

Thursday, October 20th – 6:00 pm #KICK-OFF

  1. Open Fellowship (optional in Vista Room level 4 of fitness center)
  2. Gather - meet outside of main entrance lobby of resort – please dress in fitness casual & sneakers
  3. Large Group Experience Team Experience
  4. A Call to Action – Mark Verstegen
  5. Activeight Round Up – at the Rustler’s Rooste Barn (restaurant)

Friday, October 21st - 8:00am #DISCOVER

  1. Open Fellowship (optional) in Vista Meeting Room level 4 of fitness center
  2. Energy / Fuel Station Open, experience Bulletproof High Octane & KIND energy products in the Vista Fuel Room level 4 of fitness center
  3. Setting the Stage in Vista Meeting Room level 4 of fitness center
  4. “Getting on Board” Experience – Large Group - Activlab
  5. Small Group Discovery (snacks provided) Various locations
  6. Principles and methods of Coaching – Addressing the Challenges (lecture/experience) - Activlab
  7. Community Lunch (courtesy of Perform Better) – Aunt Chiladas
  8. Magnify the Good – Influence and Media – hands on, interactive experience
  9. Community Activation (featuring Strength to Serve™) – OFF-SITE
  10. Evening experience

Saturday, October 22nd – 11:00 am #CO-CREATE

  2. AP Experience: Dedicated Workout with Post Workout Nutrition) (ACT)
  3. Optional Fellowship – Vista Room
  4. Live “Mandatory Minute” Experience – Coach/Observation
  5. Lunch/Free time (on your own/water park gathering optional)
  6. The Pillars and the Principles of Coaching – Group activation - Activlab
  7. Free time
  8. Community Dinner and Experience – Kevin Curry

Sunday, October 23rd - 8:30am #ACTIVATE

Breakfast on your own, please dress in fitness casual, bring sunglasses, sunscreen & water bottle to fill at our filtered hydration stations.

  1. Optional Fellowship
  2. Energy/ Fuel Station Open - Be KIND & BULLETPROOF your day in the Vista Fuel room level 4 of fitness center
  3. Final Experience – When it Ends…it Begins – meet in the Activlab
  4. Recollect – Vista Room
  5. Blessing and Dismissal Experience – in the Vista Meeting room level 4 of fitness center
  6. Closing Fellowship (optional) in the Vista Meeting room level 4 of fitness center


Arizona Grand Resort & Spa

The region's only AAA Four-Diamond, all-suite hotel is ideally situated on the doorstep of 17,000 acres of South Mountain Preserve, the largest municipal park in the world and the most visited hiking destination in the state.

The resort features a challenging 18-hole golf course, expansive athletic club, luxury spa and salon, exhilarating 7-acre water park and six unique dining venues, creating the complete resort experience.


A limited number of rooms have been reserved at the resort for our guests. To reserve your room today with an ACTIVEIGHT discount of over 60% starting at only $119/night. THIS RATE EXPIRES ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 2nd. Please contact the Arizona Grand Resort at 602-438-9000 and simply mention the ACTIVEIGHT fitness conference.

You can also reserve rooms online on the ActivPrayer ActivEight Conference page on the Arizona Grand's site.

Register at

Sell Tickets Online through Eventbrite


Matrix Fitness

Activeight is an

Additional Information

Sign Up for Additional Updates

Socialize with Us