Saturday, April 12, 2008

Shifting the Grid System

It's been a busy few months for me in BeachBody Land. We had our big MDB event in Anaheim, then straight to Maui to celebrate the top Team BeachBody coaches. Next was Philadelphia for our amazing sell-out debut of P90X on QVC. Most recently I was in Washington DC for our first ever Fitness Camp in that city, and a trip back to the city of brotherly love to meet with some of the players and coaches of the Philadelphia Eagles who are using P90X in the off-season. At each and every event I found people of all shapes, sizes, ages and athletic ability using P90X. How could this be? The popularity of this program has astonished me and everyone else at Beachbody. P90X was a niche product for Power 90 and Master Series graduates and for folks tired of wasting their money on gym memberships and expensive trainers. None of us ever thought it would get this huge. How are 62 year old grandparents and professional football players all getting results with a 90 day in-home extreme fitness program? It doesn't make sense when you first think about it. After the DC camp last week Mason Bendewald and I asked everyone what their "Ah-Ha" moment was. Seventy five percent said that they discovered that they were a lot tougher than they thought. This didn't surprise me because I hear that after every camp. Rick Burkholder, the Head Athletic Trainer for the Eagles was telling me that he and his players loved P90X because the eclectic combination of routines and exercises brought on plenty of "onset muscle soreness" but no joint and connective tissue pain and injury. The pace and speed of the weight baring routines forced users to keep keep the resistance low as they progressed through the program, for fear of burn-out and other side effects like vomiting. Ab-RipperX and the other calorie burning routines are atypical for football players so it forced them to use their muscles in new ways.

In the infomercial BeachBody President Jon Congdon talks about how the program keeps you "off balance" just enough so that you don't settle into a plateau. Most other programs stop working after awhile because the body falls into a pattern or grid. Once this happens the individual using said program has to start getting creative to break the grid. Shifting or breaking the grid is how you avoid plateaus and injuries. Most people aren't profession trainers or athletes so there's no way of knowing this, or even how to do it. The 12 different routines in P90X have a built in "Grid Shifting System" already. You don't need a Phd in exercise physiology to use P90X. All you need is a TV, DVD player, some weights or bands, a small space and a willingness and desire to find out what you're made of. A vast majority of the people using and sticking with P90X are learning that doing it "perfectly" is NOT the point. Not to say you can't become more efficient at using it over time (this is how you get stronger, more flexible and fitter) because each routine allows room for improvement. It's built-in design requires that you up the weight, increase your reps and range of motion. There's also a Lean, Classic and Doubles version to keep you on your toes round after 90 day round. Our good friend Mark Briggs (of P90X+ fame) is on his 13th round of P90X. This time he's rotating high rep-low weight/resistance days with higher weight/resistance low-rep days. Genius! P90X has been the number 1 infomercial in the country for weeks because the American public gets it. We are done being fooled and pandered to by companies that care more about their bottom line then your well-being. We understand and accept that the journey is long and sometimes hard, but worth it. The pendulum of laziness, depression, frustration and poor health is beginning to move in the direction of hope, happiness, clarity, purpose, fitness and good health. P90X is the tip of the spear for change and you're the people leading the charge.        


Glynis said...

P90X truly is wonderful... I do wish you would make a P90X Plus leg/butt DVD. I know all the guys love to work the biceps, etc, etc, but working legs is great - and nothing beats defying the shifts of gravity on the glutes!

nick c. said...

Wow Tony!

Right on, bro! Great to see true success in perpetual action! You know, the head trainer for my hometown heroes over there in Philly, R. Burkholder, said it right when he stated that P90X caused no joint or connective tissue pain when used properly. And to me, that's exactly the secret to the overall success of the program. With many other gym-based weight-training routines there is always the risk of injury to those delicate hinges of our bodies, especially over time. Injury is almost inevitable. People don't really need a lot of weight to get the job done, and that translates to less joint, cartilage and muscle injury. P90X helps generate functional strength and endurance as compared to the "all show and no go" of most "gym-rat" 9-hour sessions at your local fitness center.


Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.
Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862)

Amit said...


You said it! P90X is well worthy of being our national pass time... it is for me at least. Take care buddy!


it's joan said...

Hi Tony!
I just started p90x a few weeks ago after losing 40 pounds and hitting a plateau for 5 months. I love it! It has taught me that I am a tougher chick than I thought I was! I may not be able to touch my toes yet (blasted yogaX is killing me!) but I will be!

Come back to Philly! Do a camp in Philly! I was so excited to hear that the Eagles were doing p90x! Hopefully, it will help them next season. :-)

Thanks for everything!


Sophia (swmnwmn) said...

You are so right on with this, Tony.

I was never an infomercial watcher, much less consumer, but I am now a true believer and wanted to share a recent accomplishment.

I started P90 (the X-lite) December 30, 2007, and as of now have dropped 15 lbs and 19 inches, and am still losing. I used P90 for cross-training purposes to enhance my training as a masters swimmer, and I am so thrilled with the results. My endurance is better, I’m stronger and more flexible, and my mind set has actually changed to where I just take training a day at a time. I know I share these accomplishments with many, many Team Beachbody members.

So what really made me a believer?

Just this weekend (April 11-13) at our regional swimming championships in Pleasanton, California, my 45+ women’s medley relay team just broke the National Record!! We busted it by 5 seconds (old record 4:31, we did a 4:26). I swam the 100 breaststroke leg and, although I didn’t do my best time, I still had the lasting power to go one second faster than the individual race time I did just 15 minutes earlier. As well, I wasn’t fully rested and tapered yet for this meet because I’m saving that for the National Champs in Austin, TX May 1-4. I truly believe that the increased endurance I achieved using your program for cross training was a major, major factor in this achievement for me. I have never come close to a record, much less a national one, in my life.

With respect to my individual events, I took second in the 200 and 100 yard breastroke, and a third in the 50 yard breaststroke. I was a just few seconds off my personal best times that I last touched in 1995, before kids and before the additional weight, and I swimming tired, non-tapered and unshaved. However, I had the benefit of having added your program to my training regimen.

I wanted to thank you for designing such a great program and putting it out there where I and many others could find it. I just can’t wait to crank it up to the X once I get back from Texas.

You never know ... there could be an individual record in my future.

Thanks, TH!!


wyomingjill said...


I stumbled (literally) across your infomercial and watched it (something I wouldn't ever do).

I bought P90X because I saw how you transformed the actors in "13th WARRIOR". The infomercial is great though! (No offense) :)

I'm 2 weeks into it. Feeling stronger already. I agree with the other person though... need a butt and leg blaster!!!

I'm shooting for a 100 mile mtn marathon in 2009 using only P90X with one long run day per week. We'll see.....

Keep up the great work!! Great to see your doing so well!

Anonymous said...

Amen Tony!!


Fran said...

Tony: I met you in Anaheim. What a treat! Thank you for creating this life-changing program. I am on my third round, and I'll be 49 next month! I'm way younger than my mom was at my age, and it's all thanks to you. I hope you never change, cause you're a wonderful person.

Huy said...

Coming off the pendulum of laziness, I can honestly say that the whole P90x routine is fantastic. Thanks Tony and your dedicated team of superstars that made P90x possible, I'm just on phase 3 of the workout and I'm feeling great.

When my brother and I started Plyometrics we thought that it would be impossible to do and that only a machine or a superhuman can do it. Now we have become the "superhumans" we never thought we'd ever be. Once again thanks Tony for creating a fantastic package and a great workout system.

Christopher said...

Let's see, my reason for taking on P90X was that I needed something in between my losing alot of weight and transition back to what I was in my kung fu training so I can DO kung fu again. Alot of the kung fu training I had done was similar in concept to P90X except for WHY it was done that way. It was just something that was done. For example, some of the forms that we do, one has to be in physical shape for. It's much like the cardio programs but with brass rings and weight vests. Conditioning is a huge part of martial arts training.....and I'm talking about REAL conditioning, not the Americanized versions I see in the dojo/kwoon here.

Anyway, getting up to 270, I had lost 40lbs and plateaued for two months. But I had already seen the P90X infommercial.

So, my "AH-HA" moment was really more the desire to be part of what seemed like an elite group. Look, nobody believes those silly infomercials (even when they buy them)...........the one with the chair that you move back and forth on, I mean, c'mon. But P90X almost DARES you to do it. It's like, "Hey, you want results, you WORK for it and earn it." It's what makes it real, believable and yes, sellable. It also appeals to a wide variety of people who remember a time when exercising was somewhat commonplace in school. We all did some sort of running around, lifting, maybe some sports. Tai-Bo was way too "martial-artist" where P90X appeals to a wider crowd.

But still, the biggest things to me were, "be part of an elite group of people", and "WORK FOR IT". I think people are willing to work hard for results, it just has to be something that can be done 1) Easily 2) Build up to.

In reality, anyone can do P90X. They may not be able to get through the whole thing, they may not be able to do half of it. But the split up of each exercise with time stamps allow you to know you can stop and pick it back up. "Do your best and forget the rest" are not just words, they are words to live and do P90X by. Cause each time you do P90X, you find that you can do it more and more. You actually do find that as time goes on, you get stronger and can do more.

Hell, I not only look forward to doing it, I've ingrained it into my kung fu training. I've mixed in my kung fu workouts and replaced kenpo but keep the others because it DOES work everything.

BTW, I've lost 75lbs and am going to lose 15 more. By the time I'm done, with my second round of P90X, I'll be at 180lbs, down from 270lbs. I didn't want to just lose weight, I wanted muscle mass and strength and endurance.

I may not agree totally in philosophy with you Tony (although we agree on some things), but I do think that P90X is exactly what the world needs and needed and hope that you go even beyone P90X+.

Last thing, I asked in chat if you were ever going to incorporate kung fu into P90X, you may want to rethink that. There are some great P90Xish exercises that compliment the system well.

Christopher Ortega

Tommy Two Guns said...


Love the workouts.

I know this doesn't fit this post, but I have a question for you and didn't know how else to contact you.

I would like your take on the talk out there that rotating the lower body while keeping the upper body stable (e.g., abranome)can lead to lower back problems.



Anonymous said...

Tony, you've really put together an amazing product! We never expect anything less from you brother. It's amazing to see soo many people embrace this. I just started my 5th round and it never gets boring!

Anonymous said...

Wow to think I am doing a program that Professional athletes are doing. That is awesome!!!

Can't wait to one day be able to make it to a fitness camp. Las Vegas is a little to far and not in my budget for this year, but maybe next year.

300 Challenge

judy said...

Tony, I am not one of the lucky ones doing P90X but it is definately in my future. I have been excited about it since I started talking to those that are using it. I am in the middle of a round of P90 ( and loving it!) and will go on and do the Master Series before taking on the X. After seeing the results to be had with the program, I know it works.

"The 300 Challenge"

Randy Page said...

Hey Tony,
I was in the second group that got p90x. I got the autographed copy.(Bet your hand still hurts!!!) I bought it because I had done Power 90 twice and needed something more challenging. I started Power 90 at 265 lbs. wearing size 38 jeans. In 90 days I was down to 210 and size 34. I stayed at 210 until I did P90X. I dropped another 15 lbs. and was ing the best shape of my life. I probably sold anothe 20 people on it!! The problem came at the beginning of my second round of p90x. My wife was a gymnast and on, of all things, the XStretch I decided that if she could do it then I could pull my forehead to my knee on the split leg stretch. I tore my hamstring at the insertion point of my hip. Talk about a pain in the ass!!!! It took over a year to heal. I was so depressed that I went right back to the old habits with a vengence, eating and drinking. I even started smoking cigars again. Then in March 2008, almost 4 years to the day that I started p90x the first time, I found my old copies of Power 90. I again weighed over 260 lbs. In 30 days I was down to 230. I just fininished my first week of p90x and I feel great!!! I'm 47 (almost 48) and I'm dedicated to being better than I was last time. Just wanted to say thanks for giving me something I can do and stick with. I've been a cop for 20 years and I've seen and felt what sitting in a car, eating fast food and not exercising can do.
Thanks Tony. You probably saved my life!!

Nick said...


I believe much of the success is actually word of mouth. I was turned on to it by a friend who was turned on to it by a friend and so on. I've been very outspoken in my praise of P90X to my friends and am now up to three that have taken the plunge.

It's just a great, sensible (and no nonsense) program. I'm in my second round and look forward to P90X Plus. Then, I'm curious about the new one on one program.

You guys have created a machine. Hats off to you and the P90X team. Thank you!

Nick (Nashville, TN)