Tony Horton is the 57-year-old fitness guru who created the P90X fitness system. As a highly sought after fitness instructor, Horton charges $5,000 per workout session and has trained celebrities like Sean Connery, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen and Usher.
Horton’s 90-day workout system, which guarantees to get trainees in the best shape of their life, brings in hundreds of millions of dollars in sales each year. P90X, or Power 90 Extreme, involves bodyweight training, cardio, plyometrics, martial arts, yoga and a nutrition plan.
We were lucky enough to talk to Horton over the phone about the most interesting parts about his lifestyle. Here are 10 facts about how one of the world’s most successful fitness gurus lives his life.
1. Horton never drinks coffee.
“I’ve never drank coffee. People are always going back and forth between ‘coffee is great,’ ‘there’s nothing wrong with coffee,’ and ‘I’m quitting coffee.’ I don’t have withdrawals when I quit cauliflower or broccoli. Or coconut water. I don’t have those same issues. If something’s so awesome that when you quit it you can’t even function for a week, what is that telling you?”
2. He sleeps a full 8 hours a night and wakes up at 7 a.m.
“My New Year’s resolution was 7-11. I try to wake up at 7 and go to bed at 11, get my 8 hours. It’s not always that way. I’ll go to bed at midnight if I get to sleep in late. I automatically wake up at 7 a.m., my eyes just open at that hour.”
3. Horton eats a full breakfast packed with protein and vegetables.
“First thing in the morning, if [my wife] is up she’ll make eggs, four or five egg whites scrambled with some onions and peppers and mushrooms and a little bit of arugula salad with basil and sliced avocado with ground pepper.”
4. What Tony Horton puts in his morning shakes:
“I’ll make a shake with blueberry, strawberry, cashews, and coconut water with flaxseed meal, chia-seed meal and protein powder. Beachbody, a company I work with, makes these boost products — one is a digestive one and one is a greens boost. I love the greens boost, it’s fantastic. I’ll put kale so it looks like I’m drinking ground up grass clippings. It’s fantastic. It depends if I put too much of one thing, or another; I never seem to get it exactly right, but it’s pretty much the same. It’s super filling, nutritious, and quick.”
5. Horton doesn’t eat protein bars.
“I don’t do bars anymore. I’m trying to stay away from manufactured food. I don’t care how fantastic it is. I would say that Quest bars are at the top of the list for healthy bars. I know the CEO of the company, they do their best.”
6. Here’s what he eats for protein instead:
“I do mixed nuts with dark chocolate chips in little plastic bag. It’s unsweetened dark chocolate with almonds and cashews and lightly salted. Bang.”
7. Horton loves yoga — here’s his favorite position:
“I’d have to say half-moon; I love half-moon. I love it because I’m pretty good at it — I can do it without putting my fingers on the ground.”
8. He’s much happier when he stays away from alcohol.
“No alcohol for me anymore. I never had a problem with it. Even when I drank it, I didn’t really want to. I just did because everyone else did. Without the alcohol I’m just happier, more productive. I don’t wake up with a headache or a flu the next morning like I used to.”
9. Even Tony Horton battles the greatest enemy to any diet: Sugar.
“The hardest thing for me was sugar. It’s been 8 months now, and I’m not completely off, but I used to have a big bowl of cereal every night. Two or three. It wasn’t like I was having sugar snacks. I was just having some puffed rice or I’d always have some ice cream or non-dairy fake ice cream. I was always eating chocolate chip cookies.”
10. Horton recommends reading books on mental and physical health.
“Mandatory reading is ‘The Big Picture’, by Tony Horton. That’s number one. John Ratey’s book ‘Spark’ is a great book on the effects of physical activity on brain function. Exercise is more so about your head and attitude and memory and cognition and your energy as it is changing the shape of your body. People exercise for various reasons. They do it because they want to look different in the future or feel better now, or they want to be able to function better as a human being or as an athlete. That’s a broad range of categories. I’m into the ‘I want to be better/feel good’ category.”