For better or worse, coverage of newly designated Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan includes his fitness choices. Everyone from The Daily Beast to Politico has devoted space to Ryan’s enthusiasm for the fitness workout regimen, P90X. And, according to a series of articles in Politico last year, Ryan has encouraged colleagues to get in on the interval training system, a 90-day series that relies on a strategy called “muscle confusion” to tone muscle and encourage fat loss.
"Nothing against rock hard abs,” joked Rachel Maddow in a segment devoted to news organizations' enthusiasm for covering the Congressional P90x fad. “I plan to get those after I learn Spanish. But 10 articles [on P90X in Congress] from the premier Beltway news source?”
Ryan is hardly the only politician to go public with his fitness preferences. President Barack Obama and the First Lady regularly mention their morning training sessions and pick up basketball games. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush were often seen jogging, in what is hardly a modern phenomenon: Theodore Roosevelt trained with a Jiu Jitsu master during his presidency and Gerald Ford -- who turned down offers to play professional football in the NFL after graduating from University of Michigan, where he was an All-American college player -- was known for his skiing, swimming, golf and tennis playing while president.
Still, if Ryan’s bid were successful, he may be the first VP to claim devotion to TV fitness. Often thought of as the provenance of busy working parents in suburban living rooms, P90X and other programs like it, have devoted followings, even among those with the resources for personal trainers and home gymnasiums.
So what other boldface names love P90X? Read on.
The singer has long been a fitness devotee, and used to consider herself primarily a runner. But since having son Wyatt, she looked for something less time consuming and now swears by P90X, according to this red carpet interview.
The Baltimore Ravens linebacker added P90X to his off-season training several years ago, and credits it for helping him continue to play, even at an age (37) when many athletes begin to retire. "I just incorporated it in a lot of different places in my workouts, and it's given me the challenge that I needed," Lewis <a href="http://www.nfl.com/probowl/story/09000d5d80e955a0/article/gonzalez-lewis-know-how-to-hang-10-as-in-trips-to-hawaii" target="_hplink">told NFL.com in 2009</a>.
Erin Andrews, ESPN sportscaster and former <em>Dancing with the Stars</em> competitor got into P90X while on the road with her ESPN crew, <a href="http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-body/news/dwts-erin-andrews-im-losing-my-butt-and-boobs-2010214" target="_hplink">she told <em>US Weekly</em></a>, adding that the program caused her to shed so many pounds that she switched to full-calorie soda in an attempt to retain weight. (NB: Healthy Living does not endorse soda as a weight maintenance strategy!)
The Democrat congressman from North Carolina and former Washington Redskins pro was the first to join Ryan in the Congressional gym for P90X workouts while their colleagues used the machines, <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/29/AR2010042901982.html" target="_hplink">according to a 2010 feature in the <em>Washington Post</em></a>. He has since said that the program has helped him slim down and prevent injuries from other sports and activities.
Faced with the prospect of appearing shirtless on-screen, the <em>Two and a Half Men</em> actor decided to ramp up his fitness efforts, including P90X in his routine, <a href="http://www.fitsugar.com/Ashton-Kutcher-Knocks-Out-Stuntman-Hits-Rob-Riggle-While-Filming-Killers-8552139" target="_hplink">according to FitSugar</a>.
Hall of Famer and former Dallas Cowboy star Emmitt Smith is another pro athlete who's also a devotee of the fitness program, albeit in retirement. "I just started to get into P90X," <a href="http://bleacherreport.com/articles/422361-dallas-cowboys-news-emmitt-smith-hall-of-fame-induction" target="_hplink">he told journalists during a press conference two years ago. </a>
The singer Pink's on-the-road routine is not for the faint of heart -- and it was inspired by her brother and his wife, who are both in the Air Force, <a href="http://www.fitsugar.com/Photos-Quotes-From-Pink-Womens-Health-6681900" target="_hplink">according to an article in Women's Health</a>: <blockquote>I went [to visit them and she's doing P90X]. I couldn't keep up with her -- and she'd just had her first baby four weeks ago. I was like, This is bullshit! I will perfect this thing! So usually, I wake up and do an hour of cardio, then an hour of P90X or yoga, then a half-hour of warm-up [during show rehearsal]. I do that six days a week.</blockquote>