Friday, April 30, 2010

Tony Horton Makes Politicians Weep

Tony Horton's the subject of a big write-up in the Washington Post today -- and there's a photo slideshow, too! Check it out here.

The article's a perfectly nice love letter to Tony and P90X. Even the criticisms (it ain't new! it's super-tough!) are actually praise in disguise:

Ah, yes, "muscle confusion," the cornerstone term of P90X, referring to the varying workouts that [Horton] says are necessary to combat workout plateaus.

Muscle confusion contains "absolutely nothing new in it whatsoever," says Todd Miller, an associate professor of exercise science at George Washington University, who is an expert in strength and conditioning. P90X "is very high-intensity exercises that you're doing for an hour a day. That's a lot of freaking exercise. If you do any high-enough-intensity workout and couple it with a [healthy] diet, you're probably going to get pretty much the same results."

What Horton calls "muscle confusion" exercise scientists call "periodization," and they've been calling it that for decades.

"Maybe the videos are well produced, or fun," Miller says. "But the reason the program works is ultimately because people do it." That's not a slam -- the hardest part of any exercise program is getting people to keep at it. And Horton manages to
do that, despite the fact that . . .

"It's awful," says [U.S. Senator] Richard Burr [R - NC]. "It doesn't matter how many times you do it, it still makes you cry."

Nicely done, BeachBody marketing department! After all, why pay for late-night infomercial airtime or teeny-tiny ads in the back pages of periodicals when the Washington Post offers free advertising?

(But for the Post, assigning journalists to write long-form advertisements for non-paying clients doesn't strike me as a smart business move. I know Friday's a slow news day, but isn't this just a little emblematic of why American newspapers are failing?)