The exercise program led by fitness guru Tony Horton, P90X, has taken Washington by storm. From Aaron Schock to Paul Ryan to Jeff Flake to Kevin McCarthy, politicians swear by the intense DVD workout.
Horton swung into Washington last week to both serve as grand marshal of the National Press Club’s Beat the Deadline 5K race and to drum up support for the GO Campaign, a nonprofit supporting struggling children in developing countries.
POLITICO caught up with Horton to talk not only about the impact his exercise regimen has had on Washington but also to get a tailor-made workout designed for the Capitol Hill lifestyle.
“It all started with Heath Shuler and Paul Ryan,” said Horton. “They’d go into the congressional gym, and they were doing P90X while everybody else was sitting on the elliptical or treadmill or working with a trainer. … For most folks, all you need is a pull-up bar and a floor and a couple of dumbbells or bands. … There’s so much pressure in this town, so it’s a form of release other than a couple of cocktails at lunch.”
Horton wouldn’t weigh in on which political client is the most in shape, but he gave some hints.
“I gotta say, Sen. [John] Thune is tough. Aaron Schock is strong. Paul Ryan is another one. Kevin McCarthy, he’s not ripped necessarily, but he works really hard. … He looks good in a suit, and he feels better.”
But Horton’s most proud about his DVDs being in use at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
“I’m fairly sure that Mrs. Obama uses P90X periodically,” said Horton. “I was speaking with Capricia Marshall. She’s the chief of protocol at the White House, so she gave me a little inside scoop. And the president, I believe, owns P90X Plus. I don’t know if he’s using it. I hope so. Mr. President, I hope that you would get on board with your wife and use P90X.”
With all these friends around town, it’s only a matter of time before Horton gets asked to make a switch from physical fitness to political office.
“I don’t know; I could,” Horton said of a future run. “Maybe in about 15 years. I love what I do.”