Tony Horton Answers Your P90X3™ Questions! #541 12/12/2013

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Tony Horton Answers Your P90X3™ Questions!

By Roland Hand

Guess who's back? After P90X® transformed the lives of millions of users and P90X2® brought their fitness to the next level, you've probably all been scratching your heads wondering how Tony plans to follow all those hard-workin', result-gettin', 60- to 90-minute workouts.

Tony Horton

How about a series of hard-workin', result-gettin', 30-minute workouts? That's right, Tony and his team of highly trained fitness and nutrition monkeys have spent the last year developing P90X3—a program designed to help busy folks get in the best shape of their lives in just half an hour a day.

Tony sat down with us recently to discuss what's new with P90X3. Here's what he had to say.

So why should I buy P90X3 when I've already done P90X?
It's shorter. Are we done now? Can I go?

Ummm . . .
Just kidding—not about it being shorter though—because this time, it's all about efficiency. Each workout is a compact, tidy 30 minutes. That's half an episode of Breaking Bad (or two-thirds of an episode if you have it on your DVR and skip the commercials). Also, there's a ton of new material, like eccentric training. Even if you've done my entire P90X ONE on ONE® series there are going to be things you've never seen before.

P90X3 Base KitEccentric, like the nice way of saying a rich person is crazy?
No, that's not really the demographic we're shooting for. The eccentric motion is the part of an exercise where you're lengthening the muscle, like when you go down on a bicep curl. It's sometimes called the negative motion. By slowing down the tempo of that motion, more of the muscle is activated, thus creating greater growth potential.

Can you really get fit in 30 minutes? Can I get the same results as I did from P90X?
Absolutely! Do you really think I'd make a program that wouldn't work? Seriously! Just look at the test group results. Some of those folks got ripped! It doesn't take the place of P90X or P90X2, necessarily, but let's face it, time is an issue for most of us—so the goal of X3 was to get rid of that excuse. Even if you only have 30 minutes, you can still get stronger, healthier, and just plain better.

Great, but how?
There's a lot less downtime in these workouts. I'm there to help you get the job done! But that doesn't mean cutting corners. It's not like I have you do half the push-ups or shortchange your warm-up.

Shorter workouts are a trend in exercise science right now and P90X3 takes that research to a different level. It has to do with interval training and compound moves and mixing different styles of training—all of which I've been including in my programs for years, but never like this.

(Editor's note: Look for Steve Edwards' article on the science behind P90X3 in the first January issue.)

Do I need to do P90X or P90X2 before I do P90X3?
Nope. In fact, it's kind of the opposite. I think P90X3 sets you up to have a stronger foundation for both of those programs.

Tony Horton - Front KickSo, it goes P90X3, then P90X, then P90X2? Isn't that confusing?
Everyone seemed to cope with The Godfather: Part II being basically a prequel to The Godfather, so just run with it. But, really, you don't need to do them in that order, or any order. They're all different, and they all build on each other in both directions by adding different fitness elements. If you've already done P90X and P90X2, you're still going to be challenged by X3. But if you're starting from scratch, I think it's the best place to begin.

What's available in the different packages, like Base, Deluxe, and Ultimate?
Hmm, I'll find out for you, but first, I have to finish personally formulating the next flavor of Shakeology®. Then I've got to buy a few blocks of television time for the P90X3 infomercial. And then I need to head to my garage where I handcraft my Tony Horton PowerStands®. Dude, I don't know that stuff!

There's a company, maybe you've heard of it. It's called Beachbody® and they have experts on all sorts of things. I'm sure one of them knows.

Okay, okay, well how fit do you need to be?
That I can answer. With modifications we've tried to make the entry level lower than P90X and P90X2—but you still need a reasonable fitness base. This isn't for armchair quarterbacks. You should probably be fit enough to throw around the pigskin a little. If you can't do push-ups at all, or downward dog, or if you've never lifted weights before, you'd be better off starting with Power 90® to build your base fitness.

What equipment will I need?
As much as I like to play with new toys, we wanted to make this version of X as accessible as possible, so we didn't include much gear. All you really need are a few different exercise bands. But if you really want to dial it up, you might want to invest in a pull-up bar, weights, a yoga mat, and PowerStands.

If you don't want to get those things, no problem. Don't let a lack of equipment hold you back—but if I find out that you're spending that money on Big Macs, some cable sports channel package, or the latest iWhatever, you and I are going to have a serious talk.

Tony Horton - JumpHow many days a week is it?
Six, like P90X, except it's half the time. That's 3 teeny, tiny hours, people! Think about that. I read recently that the average American spends 34 hours a week watching TV—that means you can get in the best shape of your life in less time than most people spend watching commercials.

What is your favorite move in the program?
That's like asking a dad to pick his favorite kid. They're all my children! Seriously, my favorite moves change all the time. I love pull-ups . . . core moves . . . yoga. Wait! Maybe my current favorite is something from Pilates, because it's new to the lineup and it's completely changed my life. Honestly, it felt weird at first but now that it's clicked, I can't believe I went so long without doing it regularly.

Don't you need a big, weird board with a bunch of pulleys to do Pilates?
A reformer? No, you don't need that with our Pilates. You do for some forms, but we've got you covered. Like I said, P90X3 isn't about selling you a bunch of gear. It's about getting you in shape.

What's the nutrition component of P90X3 like?
It's awesome, of course. Here's a little secret—I don't follow a dedicated nutrition plan when I eat. I listen to my body. It took years of trial and error to figure out how to do this, but we figured out a way to avoid all that. It's a concept we call "Intuitive Eating"—as in eating based on your intuition. It's not as much about telling you what to eat as much as giving you the tools so that you figure out what your body needs.

So what if my intuition tells me I need Bundt cake and Quarter Pounders?
Then we'll have your copy of P90X3 delivered straight to the ICU.

Tony Horton - Warrior 2 CrescentDon't worry. There's plenty of guidance in the nutrition guide, but it's flexible in terms of your proteins, fats, and carbs, not to mention your personal tastes, beliefs, or dietary system—within a healthy context.

What if I don't like to cook?
Am I wearing an apron right now? No. I'm not a big cook either, but you don't need to be if you want to eat healthy. It'll work to your advantage if you can boil an egg or steam a little broccoli, but the plan has you covered.

Everything, from exercise to eating to using equipment, has been streamlined to limit excuses. P90X3 is a No-Excuse Zone! I want you to get into the best shape of your life and I want it to be as easy as possible.

This is truly a program designed to let you do your best and forget the rest.

Related Articles
"What's New with the P90X2 Nutrition Guide?"
"The Top 10 Questions About P90X2"
"The Next X: What's New About P90X2?"

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Want to get ripped in 30 minutes a day?
Then P90X3™ is for you! This 90-day extreme fitness program is designed to give you a whole workout in half the time.
 Shakeology®—THE HEALTHIEST MEAL OF THE DAY®—Results above are from a recent survey of nearly 3,000 daily Shakeology drinkers
Shakeology® Really Works!
The best investment you can make in life is in yourself! So drink Shakeology daily and enjoy the same amazing benefits our daily drinkers experienced. Try Shakeology and decide for yourself!
P90X App for iPhone® and Android™
The P90X App is now available on both iPhone and Android. With the P90X App, you can:
  Autoschedule your workouts
  Record your sets, reps, and weights
  Get customized progress reports
P90X3 tracking is now available on Android and coming soon for iPhone!
Consult your physician and follow all safety instructions before beginning any exercise program or using any supplement or meal replacement product.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

*Based on a survey of 2,769 Shakeology users who drank Shakeology 5 or more times per week and exercised 3 times per week.

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5 Tips for Not Getting Sick this Winter

By Zack Zeigler

As the weather gets colder, it forces us to do things like wear clothing that covers our midriffs and spend more time trapped indoors with people who have runny noses and hacking coughs. To stay out of the infirmary, we need to keep our immune systems running at optimal levels. That means never going outside with wet hair and starving a fever, right? Not exactly.

Woman with Cold while keeping hydrated

Colds are caused by viruses, not inclement weather conditions. So to stave off the sniffles so you can continue to train hard through the long winter months, you'll need to do a few key things.

1. Eat More Fiber

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, fiber intake should be between 20 and 35 grams per day. "Your immune system needs key ingredients to function properly," says Dr. Steven Masley, author of The 30-Day Heart Tune-Up. "Fiber is the most potent-packed nutrient in the human diet. Eating more fruits, veggies, beans, and nuts, as well as giving yourself a healthy oil change, using olive oil, nuts, and seafood instead of inflammatory grain oils, can help."

Lack of fiber in your diet can cause irregularity, constipation, and lethargy—not exactly the best kind of ménage a trois. Boost fiber by eating whole foods instead of processed and deep-fried foods that contain trans and oxidized fats. "Trans fat is like embalming fluid; the stuff is toxic," Dr. Masley explains. Sadly, that means passing on the chicken wings and beer-battered pigskin hooves over Super Bowl weekend.

2. Manage Your Stress

Woman in Winter outfit holding some bags in one hand and a piggy bank in the otherEmotional strains are unavoidable, and can serve a purpose if you're able to control them. "Stress gives us purpose and challenge," Dr. Masley says. "But if you don't manage stress, your cortisol goes up; and with prolonged stress you will get sick more often."

Stress fires up your sympathetic —or "fight or flight"—nervous system while suppressing your parasympathetic—or "rest and digest"—nervous system, which plays a big role in healing and immunity. In other words, when you're stressed, your body doesn't make fighting illness a priority.

Other negatives of uncontrolled stress include stomach pains, headaches, and trouble sleeping. So instead of Hulking up at your dilemmas, misfortunes, and outstanding TPS reports, explore healthier ways to calm down. Take deep breaths in through your nose and exhale out through your mouth, read for pleasure, or take a walk. Basically, if it's healthy and provides a reprieve from what's stressing you out, find a way to build it into your daily routine.

3. Consume Lean, Not Mean Protein

Foods high in protein help keep skin, hair, and nails healthy; they're also essential for packing on lean muscle. But all proteins aren't created equal when it comes to boosting immune function. "Eating 'mean' protein doesn't just mean consuming saturated fat like cheeses or fatty meats, but also proteins that are laced with chemicals, hormones, and pesticides," Dr. Masley reveals. Stick to proteins like organic and/or grass-fed meats, tofu, and legumes. These tend to be filled with more antioxidants such as vitamins E and C, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, all of which boost immunity. Then, as Dr. Masley suggests, "Add healthy fats to the mix and you're not just helping protect your heart, you're helping your immune system work better." Those include extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, avocados, nuts, and seeds.

4. Sleep Better

Woman SleepingWhether you're pulling an all-nighter at work or you're pulling an all-nighter with an attractive coworker, depriving yourself of sleep means you're cutting back on your body's ability to repair itself. This includes undermining the way your immune system fights viruses. "Our bodies do a lot of healing at night—we produce testosterone and growth hormone—so when we deprive ourselves of sleep, we're shortening that repair cycle," Dr. Masley says.

5. Monitor Your Exercise Intensity

Undertraining can lead to you owning an unsightly spare tire around your waist. But overtraining can lead to you owning decreased immune system efficiency. Essentially, you need to find that healthy medium. Some studies suggest that participating in more than 90 minutes of endurance exercise leaves an athlete more susceptible to illness for up to 72 hours after completing his or her last rep.

"Think of a U-shaped curve with immunity and exercise: No exercise and you're sick all of the time. As you get more moderate, you drop to minimal and almost never get sick. Overdo it and push yourself every day and you're fried and get sick all of the time," he says.

Related Articles
"Ask the Expert: Can I Exercise with a Cold?"
"5 Great Tricks to Ward Off a Cold"
"3 Steps to Beating Your Head Cold This Season"

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Healthy Baking Substitutions

By Zack Zeigler
Healthy Baking Substitutions Infographic


  1. Fiber: Start Roughing It!
Related Articles
"13 Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes"
"How Many Calories Are in Your Favorite Holiday Foods?"
"10 Ways to Ward Off Excess Holiday Pounds"

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Recipe: Mint Chocolate Truffles

(Makes 12 servings, 1 truffle each)

Mint Chocolate Truffles
These minty truffles have so much chocolate flavor, one is all you need! Even though they're made from good-for-you ingredients, they are still high in calories.

Total Time: 4 hrs.10 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: None


  • 5 oz. dark chocolate, 70% cocoa or higher, finely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • ½ cup lite coconut milk
  • ½ tsp. pure mint extract (or pure vanilla extract)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa


  1. Place chocolate, coconut oil, and mint extract in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.
  2. Bring coconut milk to a gentle boil in small saucepan over medium heat.
  3. Add coconut milk to chocolate mixture; whisk gently until combined.
  4. Place chocolate mixture, covered, in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. Using a melon baller or spoon, scoop out 1 Tbsp. of chocolate mixture. Roll into a ball. Roll in cocoa powder until evenly coated. Repeat until there are twelve truffles.
  6. Store in refrigerator for up to one week or in freezer for three months.

Nutritional Information: (per serving)

Calories Fat Saturated Fat Cholesterol Sodium Carbs Fiber Sugar Protein
98 7 g 4 g 0 mg 4 mg 7 g 2 g 3 g 1 g

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at

Body Beast and P90X®/P90X2® Portion Information

P90X/P90X2 Nutritional Information:
Single Snack

Body Beast Nutritional Information:
Fat Balanced Liquid
1-1/2 1

If you'd like to ask a question or comment on this newsletter article, click here to add a comment in the newsletter review section or you can email us at

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