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Tony Horton Interview Breaks Down P90X

by David Samra

Great interview/article in AskMen.com with P90X creator and celebrity trainer Tony Horton. The dude is 51 years old!!!!   The writer of the article tested P90X and lost 25 lbs.

Everyone is skeptical when it comes to fitness trends, especially those presented on late-night infomercials, especially ones that claim to be (and are) the No. 1 infomercial in the country. When something is so popular, AskMen feels obligated to put the product through the wringer. So, for the 90 days required to complete P90X we put our nose to the grindstone for your benefit, which is to report the truth to men.

Does Tony Horton’s P90X work? Honestly, that’s your decision, but this editor lost a total of 25 pounds, 4.5 inches off my waist and 10% body fat. Did I have the weight to lose? Hell yes I did. But I still had doubts as to whether or not I was the “ideal” candidate for P90X since it wasn’t developed as a weight-loss program — “it’s a lifestyle-shifting program.” When I expressed my doubts to Tony Horton and told him about my minimal activity and poor eating habits prior to P90X, he expressed to me that P90X is a “50-50 equation” where activity and nutrition are concerned. “P90X works for anybody really.”

P90X comes with explicit instructions about your training, an in-depth nutrition plan that can get pretty expensive, and there are hidden costs behind just the DVDs you order (you have to buy home gym equipment and optional protein powder and bars). While doing P90X some questions came up, some of which Tony answered for us.

tony horton on p90x skeptics

I think there’s skepticism because it’s a philosophy that is atypical. When it comes to approaching fitness, people want to master something and so this amount a variety typically is not a mentality that a lot of professional fitness folks take. They like to stick to the same old thing: Do cardio a certain way and get good at it, do yoga and get really good at it. I’m trying to avoid boredom, plateaus and injuries. We have different demographics [doing P90X]: We have people who are not in shape and we have ex-athletes that are looking to become better athletes, and oddly enough the combination of different types of exercises seems to work for both. Jerry Stackhouse just came out of retirement and he was doing P90X to get ready — and he’s knocking people over with how fit he is. How can you be skeptical about that? If you’re skeptical, you’re not very bright.

tony horton on p90x and comparable products

[P90X] is relatively hard, there’s an excitement about it, it brings out the best in people, it brings out their deep desires to want to be better because of a combination of things, [like] muscle confusion and new movements. A piece of machine, like a Total Gym or something, is probably very effective if you do what they tell you to do, but it doesn’t have any personality, there’s not a camaraderie there that you feel when you’re watching people who are working hard on the screen in front of you.

tony horton on muscle confusion

If you go up and down a ladder a bunch of times, you’ll get some exercise from that, but if you climb a rock wall, you’re gonna get a lot more. The nuances in muscle confusion [is that] it’s multidimensional. In P90X there’s a strong emphasis on flexibility, there’s a strong emphasis on resistance exercises, there’s a strong emphasis on core, there’s a strong emphasis on cardiovascular strength, there’s plyometrics in there for fast-twitch work. The idea is to work on your strengths and weaknesses, and that’s what muscle confusion does. Muscle confusion is a plateau-buster because you’re constantly challenging different aspects of your fitness.

tony horton on recovery during P90X

Great fitness comes from a smart strategy and the proper recovery time. It’s about stress management and getting enough sleep. People don’t talk about that because it’s not as exciting as muscle confusion, but it’s as important as proper diet and variety in exercise. Sometimes you have to do nothing so that you can do something.

tony horton on the key to P90X

With P90X we made sure that we created a product for a society that is extremely overweight, so that’s really the key. The key is to try to give everybody the opportunity to get fit and healthy. But we all have different starting points and that’s why there are so many modifications in P90X.

tony horton on preparing for P90X

There are really two different groups of people who come and ask me that question, and I say that you have to figure out which of these you are:

If you’re not athletic with a bunch of weight to lose and you jump into P90X, plan on having a really hard time for the first 45 to 60 days, where you’re not going to be able to do maybe half the routines, half of the exercises. But while everybody else is doing pull-ups and you’re toast, you’re marching in place and you come back another day and do an extra pull-up, an extra push-up. You have to modify the hell out of the program, but each time you come back, you might be able to do a rep or two more because you’re focused, you’re consistent, you’re eating right, [and] the weight’s coming off.

For other people, I say go get P90; the workouts are half as long, they’re half as intense, but it’s still working, it’s still six days a week and it’s still a diet program.

tony horton on why people fail or succeed

I think people fail because their reasons for doing it aren’t very good. Usually we get caught up in the desire to look differently in the future, but you have no idea how you’re going to look in the future. It all becomes about ego and aesthetics. Typically that’s the reason why everybody buys into theses short-term products that help them lose weight. P90X is not a weight-loss product; people will lose weight, but it’s a health and fitness product, it’s a lifestyle-shifting program.

The people who succeed are the ones that go: “I want a new life; I want to feel good; I want to be healthier; I want to be fitter; I want to do things that’ll make me less vulnerable to being hurt and getting sick.”

If your priorities are in order and your reasons why are based more on being a better person as opposed to looking good in front of people who could care less, that’s huge and that’s really the difference between the two.

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