Monday, December 01, 2008

National Examiner Interview with Carol Bardelli

Hi Tony, I'm excited to get this opportunity to talk to you. My name
is Carol Bardelli, I'm a columnist at The Examiner, and I write for a
website called Healthy New Age. HNA has an existing page on you and
your exercise programs, some of which I've written. They wanted me to
rewrite the biography they have on you. That lead me to ask for an
interview with you through Beachbody's PR representative.

I have a few questions for you to open our interview. Further
questions, if any, will depend on your answers. Feel free to add
anything you'd like to cover. And thanks again for giving me this

Question one:

Tony, I've used all of your exercise videos, starting with Great Body
Guaranteed. Now I'm using Power 90X Plus and Tony Horton One On One.
I couldn't help but notice you can motivate people, including myself,
like no one else. An example is the portion of Power 90X Legs & Back
in which we do wall squats. I've got my back to the wall, my legs are
burning, there's about thirty seconds left. And you've got me and the
gang laughing out loud. What's your take on you're motivational
skills, combined with your personable demeanor and sense of humor?

I discovered a long time ago that the best way to get through the physical pain and agony of any workout is to have some fun along the way. Exercise is hard enough and to turn it into rocket science or make it so serious that it feels like torture, will certainly result in failure. I'm trying help people look at fitness and exercise in a completely new way. My goofy light hearted approach makes the physical intensity of exercise slightly more palatable. My coaches growing up cared more about winning and losing than the players on their teams. I was miserable during fitness tests and drills and there was never a sense that modifying an exercise was okay. I want everyone to play and I want everyone to succeed. I'm constantly looking for practical techniques that keep people in the game. If you're busting a gut during a wall squat, then I'm doing my job.

Question two:

Your programs are revolutionary, not because of their separate
components like resistance training, aerobics, stretching, yoga,
karate, plyometrics, and core. The unique way you blend them seems key
to the amazing results people are able to achieve in a short period of
time. What inspired you to design fitness programs that integrate all
aspects of exercise?

There are three things that cause people to lose faith in their fitness routines. Boredom, injuries and plateaus. When you repeat the same movements over and over again, one of these three will take you down. After 25 years in the fitness business I've seen hundreds of people get hurt, lose interest and stop seeing results because of lack of variety in their routines. Concepts/techniques like Sectional Progression with Power 90, Muscle Confusion with P90X and now Super Stacking with my new 10 Minute Trainer program are all designed to avoid boredom, injuries and plateaus. Running is a great but it's just one thing. Yoga is the Fountain of Youth in my opinion but it certainly doesn't improve your Plyometric strength. If you want a well rounded level of fitness and you want to continue to see results over a long period of time then variety is certainly the spice of health and fitness.

Question three:

With exercise systems like Power 90, Power Half Hour, Tony and the
Kids!, Tony and the Folks!, Power 90X, 10 Minute Trainer, Tony Horton
One On One, and Power 90X Plus, you literally offer something for

Power 90X, P90X Plus, and Tony Horton One On One, are designed for
folks looking to take their physiques to the next level. I can attest
to the challenging nature of these workouts, as well as the intensity.
Even after years of aerobics and weightlifting, I found myself almost
crawling to the shower after my P90X workouts. But, man, did I ever
see results. You're personally responsible you my finally developing
triceps definition. I finally have horseshoes. And now I'm addicted to
your extreme workouts.

Do you see a wider audience opening up to your style of extreme
workouts? And do you plan new projects along these lines?

First of all, congratulations on those triceps and thank you for your commitment to the program. If you had asked me this question a year ago my answer would have been different than today. P90X was intended for gym rats and people tired of spending money on expensive trainers and not getting results. A finite number of people in a niche market. We would have been happy if just these folks realized that you can get better results in your living room. Turns out our little niche in-home boot camp idea had legs. P90X has become a phenomenon. Everybody is doing it. Even folks who probably need Power 90 or some other milder workout program first. The amazing thing is that people (on their own) are approaching the program with common since. If there's a move or exercise that's out of their comfort zone, they skip it (for now) or modify it in some way. People are listening to what their body can do during these workouts and understanding that trying to keep up for the sake of keeping up is counterproductive. They're doing their best and forgetting the rest.

Question four:

On a more personal note, I have mild Cerebral Palsy. This has never
stopped me from doing anything including driving, horseback riding,
and of course, Power 90X. I also discovered that pull ups on the
program relieved my shoulder tendonitis, while plyo and yoga has
improved my balance. Did you think people with physical challenges
would use your systems, and that it could be used for rehabilitation?

You are living proof that a positive attitude is a huge piece to the success puzzle regardless of your situation. My nephew Andrew has a more than mild case of Cerebral Palsy and I've introduced to him all kinds of fitness routines that might have been considered too difficult for a guy with his genetic birth defect. He has a trainer, works out at the gym and goes to yoga twice a week. The fact is, we all have different starting points in life. The real measure of person is determined by how hard they're willing to work to overcome and deal with the hand they're dealt. I was the quintessential 98 pound weakling with a speech impediment, afraid of his own shadow, who got beat up at the bus stop by the local bully. That was my starting point. My challenge was great and long but worth it in the end. I'm not a physical therapist so it's not my place to say that it's okay for someone with sever physical challenges to jump into P90X, but I will go out on a limb and say that if you have the will, there is a way for anyone and everyone to benefit from a fitness program that challenges them.


nick c. said...

"The fact is, we all have different starting points in life. The real measure of a person is determined by how hard they're willing to work to overcome and deal with the hand they're dealt."

Tony, I believe that simple, yet penetrating statement sums up the core of your exercise and life philosophy, as well as mine. A lot of us tend to get all hung up on the details... why me, why now, why so much wasted time?? Well, why not you, why not now, and who cares how long it took to get there, really? In fact, we and others around us (including the big guy upstairs), evaluate and critique our lives according to our words, but also even more so, or actions. It's the guy or gal who backs up their strong words and rises up from the heavy hit and keeps on going forward who eventually wins. And that's precisely what your valued exercise programs have helped to do for thousands throughout the world: Rise up from the severe blows of obesity, diabetes, depression, cerebral palsy, high blood pressure, etc. and better their lives in all possible aspects.

Keep on "paying it forward," my good man!

Anonymous said...

I am such a huge fan of P90X. My husband and I are in week two. We are actually having fun doing it together. I have a blog called
I talk about P90 all the time and have it on my Amazon list. Can't wait to send out after photos. Thanks for coming through the TV like we are just working out with you. Ab Ripper - I hate it but I love it. :)

Jeff said...

I was one of those 275lb severely out of shape idiots who was too prideful to buy anything less than the most extreme workout I could find... namely P90X. I had to modify almost every move and could barely keep up. I made it through 30+ days before giving up and humbling myself to buy P90.

Brian said...

Tony, I am recent graduate of P90X and I am thrilled at the results I received. It has given me a new thirst for life.

I am looking forward to going into round two where I hope to see even better results.

I am taking a month of mostly cardio and some weights in between, but can't wait to get back into P90.

Anonymous said...

P90X rocks!

I always crack up when you say, "ceiling tiles" . . .

It never fails!

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't you love to run into the local bully who beat you up at the bus stop now! You have changed my life Tony

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Serge said...

Tony you have inspired my wife and I to the point that we literally go to bed dreaming of tomorrow's killer workout. We're on day 33 and my wife has seen the dramatic improvements that she was dreaming about on day 1. I'm over the moon because I finally saw some abs making there way out into the world last week. I do hate it but man do I LOVE IT! I'm using your P90X program so I can bring it for the upcoming Tri season and I've decided that I'm qualifying for Boston this up coming year as well.
I always thought I had it in me but your program has made me truly believe that my fitness goals can and will be reached.

Thanks Tony you are one wicked trainer and an awesome individual!

LisaErin82 said...

Tony--You are truly a motivation to me as a person who loves to workout, as well as a personal trainer who wants to see people off their blood pressure/diabetes/etc meds. You have helped me to develop programs so that people don't have to waste their money on a gym!! You have motivated me to get back into researching options for folks who might be too heavy to do even modified exercises in the X, but work to get there!! You are an awesome, admirable man Tony Horton!! And I love your 1on1s!!! 6 minute 5 second wall squat!! You were on to superstar lunges...I was still wall-squatting! You were ready to do groucho walk and I was finally there with you (falling down the wall is an awesome feeling when you know you did it!)

Keep on rocking Tony!! I was the overweight, almost-asthmatic one who couldn't get through a mile run without a break.....I ran my second half in november and am planning when to start the x+. You're awesome!

Anonymous said...

Dude, you were a 98 pound weakling who got beat up at the bus stop by the bully? Hard to imagine. I wanna beat up the guy that did that to you. Think a girl could beat him up? After your programs I think so!! Go ahead and post his name here and all your p90x grads will go beat him up.

(kidding...just tryin to make you smile)

Khashayar said...


I have already told you how I feel about you transforming both my body and mind and giving me a whole new perspective on fitness and nutrition through P90X. After all these heart-felt sentiments from other folks here, there's not much left for me to say except a big "Thank You." In fact, every single time I finish a P90X work-out, I say thank you Tony for bringing this into my life.

It might also be interesting for you to know that I introduced P90X to my sister who lives in Iran and she is also now such a big fan of yours and P90x workouts.

All the best,

Khashayar in Toronto, Canada.

Rob Pugh said...

What an inspiring interview. You kick all sorts of ass. Much thanks!

Anonymous said...

"I was the quintessential 98 pound weakling with a speech impediment"
(emphasis mine)

Holy smokes!

See, everyone else is focusing on the first part. You definitely go the second part beat, hands down.

Anyway, I really hadn't realized you weren't aiming p90x at the general public. Yeah, it was for someone who'd at least lifted a weight before, but still... it seemed to invite people to work through and around their limits and encouraged everyone that it might be hard now, but it will get easier.

And fwiw, (and re: a comment from a few posts back) I restarted p90x from scratch, now with everything, no skipping. Ouch. Serves me right for never doing plyo. LOL!

CT Olson said...

Tony - what a great interview and continued inspiration you provide to us all! I've done two rounds of P90x, and can't wait to incorporate more of your routines into my exercise regime. Thanks for being you - my personal health and fitness have never been better thanks in large part to your commitment to turn yourself from 98 pound weakling into an elite in the fitness world!

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