When news broke Sunday that Mitt Romney had chosen his vice presidential running mate, Paul Ryan, no one expected the focus of the campaign to shift toward Ryan’s extreme fitness routine. But as with most things in politics, we should always expect the unexpected.
Ryan has been a member of Congress since 1999, and has made somewhat of a name for himself by becoming the ‘fitness buff’ of the political world. The vice presidential hopeful eagerly wakes up at 6 a.m. to meet several members of Congress in the Congressional gym where he leads them through intense P90X workouts.
P90X was created by fitness expert Tony Horton, and is no walk in the park no matter what level of fitness you’re at. The at-home workout DVDs demand extreme physical effort on behalf of the participant, sometimes requiring hundreds of push ups or pull ups in a single session.
This likely explains why Ryan, who stands at 6’2”, weighs just 163 pounds and claims his body fat is between 6 and 8 percent.
But perhaps more surprising is that Ryan loves to talk about his exercise, openly sharing about his passion for P90X and staying fit during interviews on the campaign trail. As a result, he’s become somewhat of a spokesperson for P90X workouts, which has drawn much attention from Horton himself who’s now visited the Congressional gym several times to workout with Ryan and the Congressional team.
In a recent interview with TODAY, Horton pointed out that Ryan chooses P90X to stay in shape for the same reason millions of other Americans have: It works.
“It’s a combination of cardio and resistance and plyometrics and yoga,” Horton told TODAY. “The idea is to avoid plateaus and injuries, and the things that keep you from sustaining your fitness.”
Bottom line, Horton says Ryan chooses P90X because he’s seeing results.
Despite Horton and Paul’s frequent appearances together at the Congressional gym, Horton himself was surprised that Ryan has spoken so openly about his extreme workout routine since joining the presidential campaign.
But the P90X creator and longtime fitness expert is excited about his willingness to stress the importance of exercise to the American people, saying “It’s not really pills and potions that solve your problems, it’s regular exercise and healthy eating.”
Ryan lost his father at an early age, and was just a teenager when he found his 55-year old father dead from a heart attack. This has been a trend in his family as both his grandfather and great grandfather died in their 50s due to similar conditions. This, coupled with a long-time love for sports and being active, gave Ryan incentive to stay in shape and share that passion with the people around him.
Now that Ryan’s on the campaign trail trying to rally votes for the upcoming election, he hasn’t slacked off on his workouts one bit. Rumor has it that he’s already been spotted in several hotel gyms early in the morning doing P90X routines on his iPad. Perhaps this vice presidential hopeful will give a new meaning to Let’s Move if he gets elected to office.