Tony Horton is the creator of P90X, one of the most successful home workout plans of all time. As a child, he was a self-described ’98-lb weakling’ and began lifting weights in college. After graduating, he moved to southern California and worked a variety of jobs including as a go-fer for 20th Century Fox. He became the personal trainer for an executive at Fox, working out of his garage, and his list of clientele grew to include luminaries such as Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty and Annie Lennox. He was a spokesperson for NordicTrack and starred in several exercise videos, including one called Power 90. He then created P90X as a sequel which was his breakout hit. He has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. Horton is 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs about 185 lbs.
Tony Horton’s Diet
While Horton’s area of expertise is fitness, he knows the value of a good diet. However, he struggled for a long time with how much sugar he was eating. Horton loved his cookies and his late-night bowl of cereal. Now the first thing he asks a new client about is their diet. He follows the 90/10 rule of eating clean 90% of the time with that 10% of foods you love so you don’t feel deprived. Horton eats 3 balanced meals, and has things like nuts and a vegan protein shake for a snack. Today, he rewards himself with a small dessert as a reward for sticking to his diet and exercise plan all day long.
- Medium Carbs 30% 30%
- Medium Protein 35% 35%
- Medium Fat 35% 35%
Horton will often start the day with scrambled eggs and chicken sausage, a slice of avocado, onions and peppers, and some shaved Parmesan.
Horton will have something like a gluten-free burrito filled with chicken, brown rice, avocado and peppers for lunch.
Horton often has a piece of salmon with broccoli and quinoa at dinner as well as a big salad. He says he’s not crazy about kale, but he’ll spice it up with fresh herbs like basil, and add in some berries, cherry tomatoes and a balsamic vinaigrette.
Horton snacks on cashews, pistachios, almonds and pecans for his mid-afternoon snack. He often makes a vegan protein shake with berries, egg white protein and some cashews for added creaminess.
Earn That Treat
What to Eat
Gluten-free grains like quinoa, oats and brown rice
Chia Seed Meal
What to Avoid
Horton on the Importance of a Good Diet
‘Eat right with the intention of fueling your body with the things it needs to perform.’
Horton on the Junk Food Diet
‘Most people eat garbage all day long and then they pile dessert on top and they wonder why they have a stroke or heart attack at 52.’
Horton on Junk Food, Take II
‘Hamburger bad, fries bad, coca-cola bad…There, I said. Drink your water, people.’
Horton on Healthcare
‘The healthcare problem is not solved in the White House; it’s solved in your house.’
Tony Horton’s Fitness Routine
Daily Dose of Down Dog
Rogan lifts weights three times per week. He plans the details of his workouts every week on Sundays.
Zero Days Off
Unsurprisingly, Horton does not have a rest day, but he does vary his routine: plyometrics, P90X, boxing, heavy bag, versa-climber, you name it.
Days and Nights
Horton alternates between working out in the evening and in the morning. He says his night workouts are designed to help him ski fast and hard.
Jumpstart Your Week
Horton does plyometrics (jump training) on Monday evenings.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, Horton does his traditional Shoulders and Arms (Tues) and Chest and Back (Thurs) from his P90X or P90X3 routines.
Cardio to Get Over the Hump
Horton does an hour of cardio on Wednesdays: 5 minutes of stationary bike, jump rope, treadmill, ski machine, versa-climber, rowing, and heavy bag.
Friday Night Date?
Horton kicks off his weekend with Boxes & Balls: stabilization, isolation and box jumps.
Saturday AM Zen
Saturday is yoga day. He takes a class at 5 Point Yoga with Ted McDonald.
Zip Through Your Sunday
Sunday is not a day of rest for Horton. He does speed work, and sometimes will also add in an upper-body workout with rope climbing, peg board, handstand push-ups, etc. It might turn into an all-day event.
A Tony Horton Fat-Burning Routine
Of course Horton recommends P90X, but he’s got plenty of other workouts up his sleeve.
Do 10 reps per set. No rests between sets. Repeat entire circuit 1-2 times. It should take about 30 minutes. Do this routine 4x per week for the first 2 weeks, then up it to 5x per week for 2 weeks. If the exercises are too difficult at first, decrease the range of motion and/or do fewer reps.
You’ll need a mat for some of these exercises.
1. Sumo Jump Twist: Feet spread wide, toes turned out, arms by sides. Squat, lowering arms toward floor, then jump as high as you can. When you land, shift weight to right leg, then lift bent left leg out to side, twisting toward the left, elbows bent, hands together at chest. Return to starting position and repeat on opposite side. Do 10 per side.
2. Squat Lunge Twist: Stand with feet hip-width, arms by sides. Squat, raising arms to shoulder level. Lunge back with right leg, both legs bent at 90 degrees. Rotate the torso to the left. Raise left arm up and reach the right arm to the floor. Return to starting position and repeat on opposite side. Do 10 reps per side.
3. Low Chair Surrender: Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by sides. Squat, bringing hands in front of chest. Bring right knee to floor, then left knee. Return right foot to floor, then left. Stay in squat, this time starting with left knee. Do 10 reps per side.
4. Diagonal Lunge Kick: Stand with feet together, arms at sides. Lunge the right leg diagonally forward to the right, bending both knees at 90 degrees. Raise left arm forward and right arm back. Push off the right foot and kick forcefully, bringing hands into fists at chest level. Land in starting lunge position. Do 10 reps on 1 side, then 10 on the other.
5. Side Lunge Single-Leg Squat: Stand with feet together, arms by sides. Lunge right leg out to side, knee bent at 90 degrees, toes pointing forward. Bring fists in front of chest. Press off floor with right foot to stand on left leg, the lower into single-leg squat. Right leg hovers. Reach right arm toward floor by left foot, left arm up. Return to starting position. Do 10 reps on 1 side, then repeat on opposite side.
6. Plyo Push-Up Bird Dog: Start in plank position. Lower body to floor, then push up explosively so hands come off the floor. Land softly, elbows soft, and return to plank. Next, quickly raise right arm forward and left leg behind. Hold for 5 seconds. Lower and switch sides, holding for 5 seconds on opposite side. This completes 1 rep. Do 10 total.
7. Duo Plank Jack: Start in plank position, feet together. Jump feet wide, then back in. Bend right elbow and lower forearm to floor, then left (forearm plank). Jump feet out, then in. Return right palm to floor, then left. Repeat starting with left arm. Do 10 per side.
8. Plank roll V-Sit: Start on floor in plank. Lower body to floor. Roll over left shoulder onto your back and curl into a tight ball, then sit up and extend arms and legs in a V position. Reverse back to starting position. Repeat on opposite side. Do 10 reps per side.
Horton on Exercise
‘Exercise for the joy of feeling good and getting better.’
Horton on Quitting
‘Do not say you “can’t.” You can say, “I don’t want to.” You can say, “I’m not willing to put forth the effort.” But don not say you can’t!”’
Horton on Discipline
‘Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your body.’
Horton on Regrets
‘The joy of discipline or the pain of regret, which will it be today?’
Horton on Failure
‘Falling and getting back up is what brings you success.’
Tony Horton’s Supplements
Horton takes extra phytonutrients to help create the optimal acid/alkaline balance with Shakeology’s Green Boost.
Tony Horton’s Lifestyle
The 7-11 Sleep Plan
Horton says he made a pledge to himself to sleep for a full 8 hours, going to bed at 11 and waking at 7. He says if he goes to bed later, he misses out on sleep because his eyes pop open at 7 a.m.
Horton says he loves yoga and that it’s the #1 reason he’s in such good shape.
Horton held a bunch of different jobs when he was young, including stand-up comedian.
High On Life
Horton eschews alcohol. He says he only ever drank because others were, and he feels so much better without it.
Horton on Aging
‘Aging is for people who don’t know any better.’
Horton on Trying
‘You can get better, or you can get all gooey, and crotchety, old, pathetic, icky gross. Not me. Not into it.’
Horton on Habits
‘Bad habits are easy and discipline is hard, and ‘easy’ is where people gravitate. A good work ethic requires a painstaking daily effort. Easy typically leads to a life-long list of problems, but the discipline of having a plan leads to an extraordinary rewarding life. In the long run, the easy way makes life harder and the harder way makes life easier.’
Horton on Excuses
‘Excuses are a list of self-imposed obstacles that prevent you from having a better life.’
Beachbody Focused Energy
Beachbody Digestive Health
Beachbody Power Greens
Beachbody Performance Recharge
Lily’s dark chocolate
The Big Picture: 11 Rules That Will Change Your Life
Spark by John Ratey, MD