It’s a generally-accepted rule that most sequels pale in comparison to the originals, but Tony Horton‘s P90X program has bucked the trend of workout one-hit wonders. His philosophy is simple, yet struck a chord with millions: Avoid boredom, plateau and injury – the three things that can cause people to lose their exercise mojo.
After selling more than 4.5 million copies of the original, Horton released a second installment, P90X2, last year to rave reviews. I can personally attest to the program’s results-oriented approach, having knocked nearly a minute off my mile run time after completing the 90-day circuit (read more about it here, here and here). So it’s no surprise that recent release of P90X3 has people buzzing again.
It’s also no secret that I’m a big fan of Beachbody when it comes to getting in shape in the comfort of your living room. So I thought it only fitting to revisit a conversation I had with Horton about the success of the series, his “laws” for health and fitness, as well as how he stays fitter and healthier than men half his age…
Kinetic Fix: What’s your current workout & nutrition regimen?
Tony Horton: I’m getting away from the linear, traditional training programs of the past. If you’ve done P90X2, you’re familiar with PAP, which is pretty cutting-edge when it comes to athletic and multi-plane training – jumping, turning and twisting like an athlete would on the court. And in terms of nutrition, I’ve changed a bit and have gotten into eating fish and chicken again in order to maintain size and strength as I moved into my 50s. I always try to have at least one massive salad a day, and another big shift has been cutting out sugar, which has been tough because I’m kind of a sugar addict.
KF: We’re coming up on resolution time; how do you get motivated when you’re just not in the mood to work out?
TH: For me, that’s like asking, ‘How to you stay motivated to breathe, eat or sleep?’ Although it’s a task I choose instead of one that helps me survive, I know that if I do it, I’m a better man for it. My health and my immunity improve, and I’m less vulnerable to aches and pains. It’s a universal fact that if you move and eat right, you’re better for it. When you exercise, you slow the aging clock, and when you don’t you speed it up.
KF: Can you share your favorite piece of advice when it comes to staying in shape?
TH: Your goal should be to get fit and stay that way for the rest of your life; it shouldn’t be an up and down pattern where you keep gaining and losing. I have 11 laws of health and fitness, but there are five that rise to the top, which are variety, consistency, intensity, purpose and planning.
Variety means doing what you’re good at – and what you’re not. Consistency means working out five to seven days a week. Intensity means to stop doing it the same way; showing up is 90 percent of it, but the other 10 percent is paying attention and being willing to improve. Purpose means having something so powerful driving you that there’s no question you’re going to miss a workout. And planning and accountability mean figuring out what you’re doing – and when – and fitting that into your schedule. It becomes automatic at that point, like breathing and sleeping.
KF: What do you tell people who may feel too intimated to attempt the P90X DVDs?
TH: When people hear P90X, sometimes they assume that it means 90-minute workouts. There’s an extreme aspect, if you want it, but almost every single move has a modification. This is what gets you through the P90X series. It’s a slow, patient process over time, but you just have to show up and do it. Instead of giving it to you, you have to earn it – but once you earn it, it’s yours and no one can take it away.
KF: Finally, any advice for P90X and P90X2 grads who are hoping to tackle P90X3?
TH: I like to say that it isn’t harder, but it’s different – but it’s harder because it’s different. To graduate from one to the other requires the knowledge that you kind of have to start over because it takes a fit, healthy body and trains it like an athlete. It’s indoor training for the outside world.