From Briefcase To Gladiator

The term “career change” is self-explanatory. Basically, it means someone decides to make a switch to a different line of work. The switch, however, is usually not quite as drastic as the one made by Kevin Simons of Keller.

“I worked in the corporate structure of an IT company before becoming part of an executive team in the music industry,” he said.

OK. That’s a significant switch. But it’s not the one we’re talking about here.

Simons, who could not have cared less about physical fitness and who never worked out in any form, was introduced to Camp Gladiator by a friend. CG, as it’s often called, is 100-percent physical fitness. It’s strenuous exercise. It’s cardio and core strengthening and all those other words you hear from people who are dedicated to physically healthy bodies.

Simons took a detailed look at the program. He met some of the people involved in the CG franchise agenda. And he loved what he saw and heard.

“I loved everything about it,” he said. “And I wanted to be a part of it. I knew it would be a huge change. My wife and I discussed it and, four years ago, I became a personal trainer. My new mission became helping people of all ages to reach their health and fitness goals. Yes, it was a huge switch.”

According to the stats, Camp Gladiator is one of the fastest growing fitness entities in the country. It was founded in Dallas in 2008 by Jeff and Ally Davidson. There are no gyms involved. Instead, it pursues a physical transformation of lives through fun, challenging outdoor and virtual group workouts. The groups are led by Certified Personal Trainers, who use their own independent franchise as their operating vehicle.

Magazine fitness articles consistently recommend using a partner for encouragement and accountability in personal exercise plans. The shared goal, they say, makes everything more fun. CG agrees but, instead of a lone companion, they go several steps beyond and provide an entire community.

“We incorporated the outdoor group fitness in 2020 as a direct response to COVID,” said Simons. “CG covers all of Texas, and the Dallas area stretches all the way to the Rio Grande Valley. DFW has approximately 26,000 members, and my area (Keller/Alliance) has 3,500.”

He added, “Going through my own training period to prepare for my new role was fascinating. I learned how the body works and how it responds. I’m responsible for developing workouts that are effective for a grandmother in the group as well as for the 20-year-old athlete in the same group. And don’t forget all the people in-between those two. What happens is I develop it for the people in the middle while making sure it also benefits those on both ends. It’s an extremely challenging process, but it’s also
very rewarding.”

As noted, there are no gyms in the Camp Gladiator program.

“We partner with a variety of businesses and schools to use their open, outdoor spaces,” said Simons. “We ask our campers to commit to being the best possible version of themselves. We’re building a tight-knit community of people who love fitness. We hang out together, and the CG franchise owners work as a team in areas such as generating special events and involvements as well as incentives. Being part of such a tightly focused community places a sense of accountability on each member.”

CG provides unlimited access to more than 2,500 workouts each week. Each session is led by certified trainers from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Each “camp” is a 60-minute, full-body workout with cardio and strength exercises. No two workouts are the same, using variety to maintain the interest level in the four-week programs — with each succeeding week building on the previous one.

Four years have passed since Simons made his drastic career change. Has he looked back with any regrets?

“Not one,” he said. “I have no question about it being the right decision. It’s been fantastic for me at so many levels, and that includes my wife and three kids. I feel as if I’m handing my entire family a true legacy. How could I ask for anything more?”

“Camper” plans are extremely varied. Check

photos courtesy of

Like what you see?

Subscribe to our newsletter!