Anthony was born in the small town of Westerly, Rhode Island. Because of his father's military service, their family had moved seven times before Anthony was ten. Each move, which took them to bases across the country from Hawaii to Connecticut, meant that Anthony had to make new friends in a hurry. Despite a speech impediment and a somewhat low attention span, he became pretty good at it, gaining confidence and a sense of humor that would serve him well in life.
While his father excelled at sports and set numerous high school athletic records, Anthony wasn't much of an athlete. In his high school physical fitness test, he barely managed fifteen push-ups, and couldn't complete a single dip. He was a decent student and had imagination and drive, but was often the last picked for physical activities. And when he did try to participate in high school football, he was more of a tackling dummy than a true team member, sitting on the bench and tracking the stats for the actual players. It was humbling and often embarrassing.
At the University of Rhode Island, Anthony took a class in weightlifting and enjoyed it, thanks in part to his coach’s sense of humor. After graduation, he moved to Hollywood with only $400 to his name. His dream was to become an actor, but a talent agent made it clear that Anthony’s body and physical health were impediments to his success. Working as a handy man, gardener, waiter, and stand-up comedian, Anthony got by, but the long hours made it difficult to spend time getting the body he wanted. Proper exercise and nutrition eluded him, but he knew that if he was going to make it in showbiz, he needed to do something.
Fit people were everywhere in Hollywood, and Anthony decided to emulate one of the most obvious: Arnold Schwarzenegger. He joined the World Gym in Venice, California, where Arnold and other famous bodybuilders worked out. Anthony took notes on their workouts and nutrition programs. He decided that their physiques were too big and bulky for his goals, and began developing a fitness routine that focused on increasing his speed, flexibility and balance. Over time, he assembled a cardiovascular and resistance training approach based on the programs of world-class tri-athletes.
Anthony’s now-fit body affected every area of his life. His mental clarity improved, and his renewed energy levels allowed him to be more productive. With new possibilities opening up, he explored activities like rock-climbing, inline skating, yoga, and Pilates. He expanded his fitness regimen to include circuit, cross, and interval training, weight and resistance training, aerobic training, advanced stretching, yoga, and kickboxing.
People around Anthony began to take notice, blown away by his physical transformation. He continued to refine techniques for maximizing his workouts, and started training co-workers and friends. This led to increasingly high-profile introductions. Hollywood studio executives sought Anthony out for his workout guidance, and after meeting musician Tom Petty, Anthony used his newly developed system to help Petty get into the best shape of his life. Soon, his rock 'n roll friends were banging on Anthony's door and demanding his expertise. Anthony realized that his passion was to bring fitness to everyone who wanted it and was willing to accept the challenge.
Anthony rapidly built a successful personal training career. His acclaimed exercise techniques appeared in Men’s Fitness Magazine and got him in front of the camera as the spokesperson for Nordic Track. Celebrities and recording artists alike sought out his unique fitness system and motivational abilities. He realized that working with public figures brought high expectations, and figured out quickly that the best approach was to try to motivate them without letting them get frustrated.
Anthony “Tony” Horton is the workout guru responsible for developing P90X, the most popular home workout in history. Succeeding where many other fitness infomercials failed, P90X earned nearly half a billion dollars in its first seven years and spawned three follow-up programs. In December 2010, Horton published his first book, Bring It!
Tony Horton’s method for motivation focuses on unbridled optimism, encouragement, and understanding. When pursuing your dreams and undertaking something new and difficult in life, Horton offers this advice: “Do not say, ‘I can’t.’ You can say, 'I don’t want to.' You can say, 'I’m not willing to put forth the effort.' But never, ‘I can’t!’ Just do your best and forget the rest!"
Until next week...