Co-Founder Derek Graham is an Orange County native, with a passion for connecting with others. Graduating with a degree in Business Marketing from San Diego State, Derek spent the first years of his career building a title company. Experiencing challenges with substance abuse following some heartbreaking occurrences in his personal life, Derek recognized it was time to get back on track.
Derek’s closest friends rallied around him, and collectively they embarked on what Derek coined the “12 Week Fitness Challenge”. To make it official, the rules they put in place were:
Last Supper Dinner: They would get together as a group to collectively help each other set realistic but challenging 12 week body fat goals, based on what their initial body fat was.
Camaraderie: This was not a ME against YOU program. Each person was to succeed by reaching their own personal goals.
Weekly Body Fat Testing: Each person was to be tested in a Hydrostatic Dunk Tank weekly versus relying on scale weigh-ins.
Reward: Each person who reached their goal would then go on a trip with the others who reached their own goals.
Consequence: Each person who did not reach their goal would have to donate $2,000.00 to the people who achieved their goals to add additional funds to those going on the trip!
By creating a structure, complete with accountability, it was just what Derek needed to keep him focused on his physical health and away from the challenges he had experienced.
During this very first 12 Week Fitness Challenge, Derek went from 18% Body Fat to 5.4% Body Fat in 12 weeks. Making this inaugural Challenge even better, all of the gentleman who were a part of the first Challenge achieved their goals and celebrated with a trip to Hawaii! The physical and social well-being changes Derek experienced were evident to family, friends, co-workers and clients. Over the next nine years, this friendly challenge attracted well over 900 participants…one of whom is now his business partner, Josh Boyd.
Derek had, for years, asked Josh to join in on the Challenge. Each time, Josh had a reason why the timing wasn’t right. One time, Josh told Derek “$2,000.00? That’s crazy! I’m not going to risk losing my money!” Derek replied “That’s exactly why you need to do it! You’ll do whatever it takes to not lose that money!”
In August, 2010, Josh made the commitment and embarked on his first “12 Week Fitness Challenge”. Completing his Challenge in November 2010, his Body Fat dropped under 5% and he lost 40 pounds! Inspired by their transformations, Derek and Josh decided to create a revolutionary business model centered around their 12 Week Fitness Challenge.
In April 2011, the 12 Week Fitness Challenge became a company, and their results oriented platform grew like wildfire. Purely utilizing word of mouth and referrals, their business grew rapidly. Individual participants were experiencing amazing results and their friends & family were noticing. Taking it one step further, Derek helped bring this platform into corporate wellness programs in Orange County, assisting top level companies in helping keep their employees healthy.
Eventually evolving into The 12, a health and wellness movement consisting of The 12 Training Classes, their signature 12 Week Fitness Challenge, Nutritional Coaching, and Nutri12 (their online supplement store), Derek feels blessed to have been on the ground floor of this innovative brand. Being able to take his own challenges and use them as fuel to create the best version of himself ultimately led the way for thousands of others to make the shift towards a health-driven lifestyle.
“I’m so grateful to be a part of a Movement that is changing lives. Nothing is more fulfilling than seeing others achieve optimum health and wellness. I’m inspired daily by our amazing members and their commitment to themselves and each other.”