12 Week Fitness: The Challenge of a Lifetime

Josh Boyd - CEO/Founder

Josh Boyd

Josh Boyd’s health transformation. He says 95% of success is in the kitchen, eating cleaner.

Do you ever have those days when you wake up and think, this madness has to stop?! It happened to Josh Boyd. As a young successful executive, he outwardly had it all. But on the inside, he knew he had to make some life or death decisions. So he did something about it and overhauled his health and let his newfound love of wellness change his career. I got to talk to Josh, co-founder and CEO of The 12 (www.the12.com), a 12 Week exercise, nutrition and mindset training course designed to transform your body and most importantly your way of thinking with an emphasis on FOOD and accountability. For Josh, eating clean is 95% of success. He’s not only transformed himself, he’s made an impact on thousands of otheres. The results are pretty awe inspiring. Chew on this…

Q: You were in a completely different industry before you got into fitness. How’d you make that career shift?

I had been in the Mortgage Industry for 16 years. It’s all I knew.  In the summer of 2010, everything came to an end. I was constantly working 10-12 hours like most executives do, putting no emphasis on eating healthy or even having a daily plan at that. Working out was a luxury – at least, I thought in my mind. Finally, in August of 2010, I decided that I needed to make a change. I was at my heaviest – 189 Lbs at 5’7". I was over 28% body fat and everything else was pointing towards an early death. All of my family is obese and all of them have some sort of health issue. I had hypertension, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, my hair was falling out and I looked 20 years older than I really was. Not only that – I had sleeping problems, sweated all the time and was just a complete mess!

I decided that I needed to make a change. For 12 weeks, I dedicated myself to proper nutrition and daily exercise. Of course, I knew nothing about either, so I educated myself online by studying, taking courses and learning from basic popular websites and just kept learning. In 12 Weeks, I lost 40 lbs. and went from 28.7% Body Fat to 3.2% Body Fat and completely turned my life around.  Because of this change, I made such an impact on others around me - more than I had ever been in my entire life. So many people would run into me that haven’t seen me in months and were completely blown away. They didn’t recognize me and couldn’t believe how great I looked! Those reactions alone gave me the most self confidence that I’d ever had.  Over the next few months, I was able to help a handful of people and I felt something tugging at my heart.  I knew that I needed to take a leap of faith and do this as a career.  So I joined up with my business partner in April of 2011 and since then, over 5,000 people have taken the 12 Week Fitness Challenge all across the county and even the world.

Q: Tell us about The 12. How does it work?

The 12 Week Fitness Challenge is unique in many ways. The first key is that each challenger has a SET start date. The sole fact of having a start date helps people gear up and make a commitment to start a new chapter in their life.  Once they make this commitment we provide them with the a suite of products to support their efforts.  We focus on a person’s body fat % and not the scale weight. This is the only true accurate assessment of someone’s overall health. Having someone stare at a scale each day not knowing what that number represents has a negative impact on that person’s overall mental well-being. We focus on the body fat % and set a realistic but challenging 12 Week Body Fat goal so that we can break it down on a weekly basis. By calculating how many lbs of fat we need to lose weekly, we can make smaller realistic and reachable goals so that the challenger knows that the journey is possible from the beginning.  The challenger gets plugged into our community of thousands of Past and Current challengers who have gone through the process themselves. The support alone by encouragement, recipe sharing and daily posting on Facebook helps each person to take it one day at a time.

Q: What is your perfect workout?

My perfect workout is much different now compared to when I was 40 lbs heavier. When I started I just wanted to feel better. I didn’t want to feel out of place at the gym. I would set little milestones each day like 30 minutes, then 35, then 40, etc. As my endurance started getting better and I started getting more comfortable and knowledgeable I changed my outlook on workouts. This is when I started understanding the vital importance of Heart Rate Training and how certain calories are burned. When I first started I had no idea that calories burned at different internal temperatures and that certain exercises could cause more damage then good!

I started wearing a Heart Rate Monitor and became more focused on interval training – doing exercises that would spike my heart rate and then slowing down the pace or reps to have my heart rate drop. This was also a sign of how healthy I was becoming.  Now with me being below 5% body fat year round I focus mostly on Resistance and Body Weight Training. I like functional movement exercises that protect my joints yet challenge me mentally and physically. This is why our Fitness ReDefined Series is perfect. It is plateau-proof because each component of the workout provides a uniquely different emphasis or system response and heart rate training, so your body never gets accustomed to the constantly changing format.

Q: How does food play into your ideal of fitness?

Since my journey began, I have become a certified and registered Nutritionist as well as becoming a certified trainer through ISSA and NASM. I only took these certifications so that could better understand both Nutrition and Exercise.  After spending much time in each field, I clearly have been convinced that overall health is 95% Nutrition and 5% daily exercise! But each require 100% focus and attention. You can never out train a poor nutrition but you can become healthy and lose weight with proper nutrition and just your daily activities. You won’t see the optimum results, but you will see results.  I think when a person finally gets perspective on what foods do for and to your body, they finally can make a lifestyle choice and see long term results. From this they can finally get off the Diet Roller Coaster!

Q: Are there foods you completely avoid and if so, why?

I avoid refined sugars. I strongly believe that sugar will be the leading cause of death directly and indirectly in the near future. I avoid white flour products just because of the nature of how simple carbohydrates are used and stored in your body. I also avoid dairy as well. When I went through my transformation, I quickly started noticing that certain foods either helped me or inhibited me. Dairy was one of the products that once I cut out the cheese, milk, yogurt, etc. and I noticed my body was able to burn fat at a higher rate. This isn’t the case for everyone, but was for me. I have since also eliminated gluten Products as well as I started noticing some indigestion problems and linked them to products that either had gluten or were exposed to gluten.  Of course I avoid all processed foods, fast foods, deep fried foods, etc. Those are the no brainers!

Q: What’s your all time favorite ‘fit’ meal?

My Roasted Chicken Salad. I take two whole chickens and roast them with fresh herbs, garlic, pepper and some olive oil. I chop up the chicken with sliced almonds, walnuts, grapes, celery, jalepeno, green onions and I mix in dijon honey mustard along with some balsamic vinegar and put them on top of brown rice cakes. I could eat this for weeks on end.

Q: What tip would you offer our Cleaner Plate Club on how to eat cleaner with a busy schedule?

This is simple and its probably the tip I tell people about the most. Prepare your food ahead of time. We have a saying we use called 2H7 or 2 Hours on Sunday. Preparing your food ahead of time prohibits impulse eating during the week.

Grab your protein:

Skinless Chicken/Turkey Breast, Pork Tenderloin, Lean Beef, White Fish, Tuna Fish, Tofu or Soy Protein Products. Season with your favorite No-Salt Seasoning, Cover in plastic wrap and marinate for an hour. Make sure you have enough for the entire week. Grab multiple Protein Choices so that you are enjoying your lunches and snacks. So one day you might have Pork Tenderloin, the next day you have chicken and the next day you have grilled white fish.

Grill it up outside, inside, anywhere! Using a simple divice like a Foreman Grill or Panini Press can be used as well.

Grab your vegetables:

Celery, Grape Tomatoes, Broccoli, Carrots, Cauliflower, Bell Peppers, Romaine Lettuce, Beets, Onions, etc. You cannot eat enough vegetables! Load up on them!

Grab your grains:

Cook a large pot of either Quinoa or Brown Rice. You can cook in No-Sodium Chicken Stock for extra flavor or just use water with fresh herbs. Be creative here because you will only eat foods that taste good to you. Use Olive oil to sautee up green onions, raw sliced almonds, dried cranberries and mix with your cooked Quinoa or Brown Rice, or if you like to cut the extra calories out just eat plain with salsa or hot sauce! Using hot sauces to flavor is a great trick as they are very low on calories and sodium.

Once proteins have been grilled, set aside and let rest for 15 minutes. Once resting period is done, cut the proteins into fist-size portions and place into plastic baggies or tupperwear containers. We do this so that you can easily pack your food for the following day either when you wake up or the evening prior.

Grab a container of Protein, container of vegetables, container of grains and put in your lunch box!

For snacks we recommend that you pack a container of assorted raw nuts or an extra serving of raw vegetables. Pack this along with a Protein Shaker and two scoops of your Metagencis Protein Powder (You can purchase at www.the12.com).

This way you are hitting your 80% Target of daily Protein Intake. Remember you should be eating 80% of your body weight in grams of protein.

EXAMPLE: You should eat 80 Grams of Protein for every 100 Lbs you weigh


Q: If you were a food, what would you be and why?

Hmmmm I would want to be a food that has protein, Complex carbs, essential Fats and low on calories. This is hard but Beans come to mind! What a great source of all three!

Ask the Founder

Derek Graham - CSO/Co-Founder

Derek Graham

Looking at Derek Graham, you sense a calm, confident fire that has fueled his success as an entrepreneur. But about 10 years ago, he wanted to challenge himself to push his fitness level harder than ever. At 18% body fat, he certainly wasn’t out of shape but he knew he could get fitter. He joined up with a few friends for additional support and collectively upped the ante. If everyone could meet their goals in 12 weeks, they would all go on a fantastic trip together to celebrate. If one of them didn’t make their goal, they would have to put $2,000 into the pool for the other friends to go have fun without them. Needless to say, everyone was highly motivated to get to the finish line!

After 9 years of organically recruiting friends, their friends and their friends, 960 people had gone through the 12 week challenge and only a handful had dropped out. As one of the founders of 12 Week Fitness Challenge, Derek’s company works with clients to transform their bodies with sound nutrition, fat burning and strength building exercise and a system of accountability to keep everyone on track.

Just last year, Derek decided to challenge himself again – this time participating in a Physique competition. At 45 years old, he knew that it may require additional training and dedication, but he was ready for his next success story. With seven months to get into the best shape of his life, he wasn’t there to just place or “wave to his family” as he put it. He walked onto the stage with every intention of winning. In September of 2012, he not only won first place in the 45+ division, he took first place overall, proving that hard work and a great attitude can trump any preconceived notions around age or ability.

Aside from the trophies, Derek got the best kudos of all. “When they announced I had won, I heard my daughter cheering from the crowd saying, I love you daddy. What an amazing feeling,”

Now if that isn’t motivating, I don’t know what is.

Ask the Founder

Scott Perry - CTO/Master Trainer

Scott Perry

When I first walked into the warehouse space in Irvine, CA, I knew I was in for an adventure. First of all, it was freezing – at least by Southern California standards, and it was 8:30 am on a Saturday. Something in my gut told me I was going to get my sweat on in a real way as I scoped out the chin-up bars, kettle bells, medicine balls and football sleds on astro turf. A wave of intimidation came over me but dissipated after about 5 seconds once I met Scott Perry, Master Trainer and Chief Training Officer for The 12 Fitness Centers, a corporate and private wellness company that focuses on total well-being and corporate health programs.

For this trainer, a career as a firefighter took a turn towards fitness – and he’s still saving lives. Scott’s passion for fitness and helping people find their inner fierceness oozes from his pores. Combining core, strength and power moves, he’s helping to sculpt clients from all walks of life into the sexy, confident, supercharged beings they can be. Judging on his track record, and how good I felt after just two sessions, I have hopes for one of his newest clients – me.

Q: Tell us about how you got into fitness training and a little about your background.

I have always been very active and played competitive hockey for years. When I was 19, I started training in Firefighter school. Working out one day with best friend who was a fitness manager at a very large health club chain, he saw potential in me, and encouraged me to give training others a try. I thought I could do it on the side but after having my first client, I got bit by the ‘bug.” She was an older woman with arthritis, and helping her through her pain and seeing her transform felt so satisfying and contagious.

Q: What is your ‘fitness philosophy’?

I love functional movements that challenge you and varying workouts to focus on cardio, strength and core. I designed the G-12 Series to focus on different muscle groups. We call it “The One Stop Functional Movement Exercise Program” that’s plateau-proof and helps you to create continuity, consistency and challenge in each and every class.

It’s plateau-proof because each component of the workout provides a uniquely different emphasis or system response and heart rate training, so your body never gets accustomed to the constantly changing format. Our clients see a 500-1000 calories burned in just 50 minutes!

But really, anything goes, as long as you’re moving in a safe environment! Yoga, hiking, playing a sport, taking my classes, spinning – activities that involve movement will contribute to your overall fitness. We are excited about opening our very first The 12 Fitness Center location. This will be an environment that is focused on community and support where our clients can come and be around other likeminded people looking to take back their life! You should feel sexy and healthy working out. I work really hard to make people feel comfortable – that extra attention helps to guide you through the workout, especially if you’re just getting started.

Q: How do you eat cleaner everyday with your hectic schedule?

I pack our The 12 “Meal Management Bag” with healthy, nutrient dense foods to get me through the week. I use a George Foreman grill to cook my grass fed beef and natural chicken and will do several days’ worth at once. I also buy all my vegetables enjoy them raw with something low fat to dip them in – Cauliflower is one of my favorites. I actually really enjoy putting these meals together. I also love sliced turkey, almonds, The 12 approved protein shakes and apples as they’re easy to pack and eat between clients. Since starting our online supplement store it has made it easy to purchase all the necessary protein bars, supplements and meal replacement options! Pre-planning is so important for me so I always keep my energy high and don’t end up making a poor decision and eating Junk Food. Many think that just because I’m fit I don’t deal with cravings, I do and it’s exactly why I have to prepare. I also feel such a huge responsibility to lead by example for all of our clients. Even my 3 ½ year-old daughter eats the meals we prepare. My wife and I feel it’s our responsibility to teach proper nutrition and not just take the easy way out. We avoid frozen and fast foods, too, because of the high sodium content.

Q: If you were a food, what would you be?

I'd be kale. It's the most nutrient dense of all foods, and it's the healthiest for your system. Plus, I'm a green guy – I love my veggies.

Email Scott Perry