October 24, 2023

Doing fitness different in your 40s, 50s and 60s with Tony Horton

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Fitness legend Tony Horton shares information about how he approaches health and fitness as he's aged including training style and recovery.


Let's Say Hello

[00:02:16.170] – Allan

Hey, Ras.

[00:02:17.930] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. How are you today?

[00:02:19.790] – Allan

I'm doing all right. How are you?

[00:02:21.620] – Rachel

Good, thanks. It's beautiful and fall up here. Leaves are changing, and I just realized we're into the month of October. And I just wanted to remind all the ladies out there to make sure they schedule their mammograms. This is breast cancer awareness month, so I feel like I got to push

[00:02:38.620] – Allan

We're almost at the end of it. At least get it scheduled. Go ahead and call your doctor. Get the appointment scheduled. Do a little bit of self work because I think there's some things you ladies can do to make sure that you're taking care of your tatas.

[00:02:54.780] – Rachel

Yes. And coincidentally, what made me think of it was I had just recently had a visit with my dermatologist for my annual skin cancer check. He checks if you've ever seen me. I've got a lot of freckles moles. I got all sorts of spots. And he takes a look to make sure that they all look safe. And he was actually just schooling me on habit stacking. And one of the habits he was saying was to take your birthday whatever day you were born on. I was born on the 22nd of the month. He's like, use that day to schedule to do healthful things for yourself. Do your breast exam, do your skin self check, make your doctor's appointments. It's an easy day to remember and make it's an important day, obviously. So that was an interesting little habit.

[00:03:41.450] – Allan

Well, did he mean that by every month of every month, like, you do a self exam, you do looking at yourself over check, something over an appointment? So this is every month?

[00:03:51.340] – Rachel

Every month.

[00:03:51.930] – Allan

Usually the 27th of every month, which is just a few days from now.

[00:03:56.730] – Rachel

Yeah, that's right. Yeah. So that's a good thing to do.

[00:04:01.120] – Allan

Yeah. Good. Well, we had that huge vacation, and so you would think, okay, well, things are slowing down for Allan. Not exactly. We have a chili cook off that just happened about a week ago. Of course, we're recording this early, so that's this weekend for me right now, calling from the future. But it's this weekend anyway. Yeah. So it's a chili cook off. I'm responsible for the chili. So I've got a 13 pepper chili that I do, I'm going to do. I call it Superstition Chili. Although my team kind of went rogue on me and decided that they wanted to do Roman stuff, so they want to wear togas what it is. But we're trying to tie 13 chilies to Roman stuff now. But anyway, they're creative. They're going to be the fifth year in a row they're probably going to win the best booth thing, and I just want to win the best chili, so I'm working on that. So all that's going down this next weekend, so that's got me busy. And then I'm going to host a murder mystery dinner here at Lula's on the 11th. I'm planning that. And then, of course, my wife Tammy, she's really into Halloween.

[00:05:15.290] – Allan

So there's the Halloween thing that everybody's got together and said, okay, well, we're going to be this, and so it's like boom, boom, boom, and then that. So a lot of things going on here, but it's fun and it's interesting, and I'm just enjoying myself. And no, it's not getting cooler, and no, the leaves are not falling. I'm still walking beaches and shorts. Shirtless to get a little bit of sun.

[00:05:41.710] – Rachel


[00:05:42.180] – Allan

My birthday is on the second, so that's when I can do my little skin checks. And there you go. Good. All right, well, I've had Tony on before, and that was a really good conversation. Exciting. He's got so much energy, it's insane. But are you ready to have this conversation with Tony?

[00:05:59.720] – Rachel


[00:06:00.500] – Allan

All right, here we go.


[00:06:31.530] – Allan

Tony, welcome back to 40+ Fitness.

[00:06:34.030] – Tony

Allan, I know, it's good to be back.

[00:06:37.150] – Allan

It's crazy how time flies when you're having fun, but it's been over three years, the summer of 2020 that you were on the show

[00:06:46.930] – Tony

before the Earth got very confusing.

[00:06:49.390] – Allan

Yes, every day. But I just try to have fun and see where it takes me. But, yeah, that was episode 446. This is going to be episode 611 or 612. No, 612. I got that. 612. So, yeah, I've been working. You've been working. A lot has changed, but a lot stays the same. So I'm glad to have this opportunity to have a conversation with you today.

[00:07:12.380] – Tony

My pleasure, man. Good to be here. Good to see you again.

[00:07:14.990] – Allan

So, the last time you were on here, you mentioned something, so I have to share this with you. You'd pulled out your calendar and talked about your red X's to stay motivated. That was kind of one of the keys of and I kind of keyed into that. It's like that visual representation of consistency and how it drives your mind, particularly if you're someone who's driven by the gamification of things and just kind of seeing it versus just feeling it and knowing it. I had a client, her name was Anne, and so I kind of talked to her. We were talking about a couple of different things. One, we were talking about self love, because I think if you don't love yourself, the fitness game is really hard to stick to. And then the other thing was the consistency. She needed the consistency. So I told her about your calendar tool. Well, she put the two together and she went out and bought some heart stickers. And so every day she did her workout, she put a heart sticker on her calendar, man, and it was so cool to see her going through that. And the consistency improved, and the way she felt and the way she felt about herself improved.

[00:08:17.610] – Allan

So really cool tip. I appreciate you sharing that with me.

[00:08:20.350] – Tony

Oh, hey, man. Hey together, we help somebody get to the next level.

[00:08:24.400] – Allan


[00:08:25.730] – Allan

It is. Again, I think if we all just pay attention to the tools and things that are out there, everybody's bringing something to this game, and I'm looking for you to really bring it this time. Okay.

[00:08:39.890] – Tony

I've learned. I've learned a thing or two since we spoke last, Allan.

[00:08:43.820] – Allan


[00:08:44.660] – Tony

Fresh tidbit. We only hope. Maybe there's a good joke in here somewhere.I don't know.

[00:08:49.870] – Allan

Okay, well, one of the things I really wanted to get into this time we talked about your shingles last time, and for anyone that doesn't know, go listen to four, four, six. Tony went through about the worst thing I think you can go through with regards to it

[00:09:07.860] – Tony

visited the demons.

[00:09:09.400] – Allan

Yes. But that required you to kind of restart, because a year of not being able to beat Tony Horton for lack of a better word, you lost 25 pounds of muscle. You came back, you weren't where you were. And for a lot of us that were at a level, particularly as we get older and recovery and getting back to things is that much harder. Can you give us some ideas? If someone took a long break from training, or maybe never was training, how do they get the right mindset and really kind of get themselves moving in such a way that they could get this stuff done?

[00:09:51.310] – Tony

Well, here's what's interesting. Let's say, for example, you were committed at some point, like you were into it, and maybe you were single at the time and you had spare time and maybe who knows? Everybody's different, of course, right? One size does not fit all. And you were that person. And whatever happened, you got married, your house got flooded, you ended up with a really horrible flu. Or maybe you had got Ramsay Hunt syndrome like me, and you lose like me. Like you said, I lost 25 pounds. But for me, at that stage in my life, I'd already been doing it for three decades. You know what I mean? It was already ingrained. It's who I was. It was as important as anything else in my life. And the reasons why I was doing what I was doing then had changed from when I first started. Now, when I first started, it was all about ego and size and how much you benched and the circumference of your biceps and whatever. A lot of ego driven stuff, a lot of comparisons of me to others, you know what I mean? And that's all fine if that sustains you.

[00:10:56.450] – Tony

You got to kind of notice when life is shifting that you might have to shift your strategies, your techniques, your methods, whatever. And so when I came out of my situation and again, this applies to anybody who was into it, and then whatever happened and it was two months, three months, a year, five years, and you're getting back into it, it's important to look at your reason why. And my reason why was all ego and esthetics and comparisons to others and looking for compliments, which is not sustainable as you get older, I don't think. And for me it was about health and wellness and my mental and emotional state or much more so than my physical appearance. And far too often I meet guys who are in their fortys or fiftys. I need to get bigger. Really?

[00:11:44.600] – Tony

Are you playing hockey now? What do you want, a rugby team? Or are you going to be the oldest professional football player in the world? Why do you want to get you got three kids and a wife. Does she want you to get bigger? What do you want, dude? What's important to you because you're wanting to get bigger as an example didn't work for these last six months, a year, two five years, whatever. So maybe it should be something different. And for me, my raison detra, as the French would say, my reason for being is to be a super healthy, fit 65 year old. And what does that look like? And how am I prioritizing now? So I'm prioritizing on exercising today because it helps my creativity and my productivity and my ability to solve problems and improves my sex drive and my sleep and my range of motion and my body's ability to move quicker in situations where I wouldn't if I didn't do these things. To be a better skier, to be able to get through a ninja course on Sundays with guys half my age. You know what I mean? So it's more about performance, it's more about quality of life, it's more about better brain function and improving my emotional state as I make my way into my 60s, right?

[00:13:01.530] – Tony

So I think we spoke about this before. When you move, whether it's yoga or cardio or weights or Pilates or CrossFit or P90X or our new program Power Sync 60, you release norepinephrine dopamine serotonin and brain derived neurotropic factor BDNF that happens inside of your head, inside your temporal lobe, inside your hippocampus, inside your little tiny dentate gyrus. And you don't have to wait 30, 60, 90 days for a better look, bigger arms, more you get it today. And if you don't work out, you don't get it. You don't get it. It doesn't happen. And so the temporal lobe and the hippocampus and the dentate gyrus are not stimulated. Those chemicals are not released inside of your head. So you're just a little sadder, you're a little bit more depressed. Your ADD and your ADHD and your elemental P and whatever it is that you have overtakes, right? You don't have all that good brain chemicals to be able to counteract the doldrums of your life. And that's life altering. You know what I mean? Annex is the plan, right? You get your calendar, whatever it is, figure out what you're going to do and when you're going to do it, and you announce it to the world.

[00:14:14.230] – Tony

I got a friend right now. She's so committed. I'm in. And she's been super inconsistent because she doesn't tell the world, hello world. I am going to be working out at 08:30 A.m. every day so don't even begin to think about scheduling anything there because I've already scheduled it till now, until the day I'm dead. Tell the world my workouts are morning and night because I'm working around other people's schedules, because I want those other people in my world motivating me, inspiring me, and helping me push harder.

[00:14:48.100] – Tony

All right?

[00:14:48.490] – Tony

So if you wing it, you won't do it. If you plan it, the odds go up. And third is accountability. Who are you accountable to? If you are one of these people who get up in the middle of the four in the morning and you go down in your basement and you live in Minnesota and it's February and it's 59 degrees down there, and you do a plotty routine or a yoga or you're a superhero, we crown thee. We say, you are better than me, because I don't invite those people to my house. I ain't doing it half the time, man. I mean, I felt like, oh, Horton, he must love working out. Not really. Purpose, plan, accountability. If you got that in your life and you understand how important those are, you go from surviving like everybody else to thriving like I know you want to.

[00:15:34.170] – Allan

Yeah, I kind of break that down into the two different what I call motivational lines. So there's an extrinsic motivational line which falls along the accountability, and then there's the intrinsic, which is more about self efficacy. And the self efficacy stuff is hard. It's hard because at that point, you have to be your own boss. At that point, you have to identify yourself as being more than just a desk wonk doing your job. You've got athletic aspirations, you see yourself differently. I never want to be a spectator in my grandchildren's lives, ever. I don't care what they're doing. When I started, P 90 X was maybe the hardest, craziest thing I'd ever done in my life. Now they got tough Mudders and Spartans and all that kind of stuff going on CrossFit, and it keeps going CrossFit and all that, and I don't know what my grandchildren are going to be doing. They're not even born. Most of them aren't even born yet. So when they come along, it's like, okay, well, when they get older, I want to be the grandpa that's a participant in their lives. Correct. I don't want to be the grandpa that's watching from the rocker or sitting in the aluminum stands watching them.

[00:16:51.090] – Allan

I want to be out there playing with them.

[00:16:53.540] – Tony

Yeah. Building memories. Memories that you're going to have while you're here, and the memories they'll have for the rest of their lives. The influence that you have on them is I went to a show the other night, and P 90 X is ancient. Really? At this point. I don't know, it's been a while. And I don't get out of the house much because,

[00:17:12.250] – Allan

like, 40 years, let's be honest, Tony.

[00:17:16.490] – Tony

I went to Fargo, and I went to Jackson, and I went to Paris, and I went to Rome, and I went to London, and I'm going to Miami, and I'm going to know, like, when I'm not traveling, I'm here, you know what mean? Like, I haven't been to the grocery store in like, seven years, whatever. That's just who I am. But I go to this club, right, packed theater, and they call me on stage, which was not planned, so I had to do this MC thing. And of course, I'm up there reading these three by five cards, my glasses going like I can't. Anyway, it was fun and it was great. And then the show is over, and I would say a fourth of the audience I mean, I'm talking to Pac Theater, all come up to me and say, you changed my life, and P 90 x this and that. And I started in high school, my parents did it and then I did it. And they're like, you have no idea, man, what this did for my and I'm like, wow. And that's what you would be doing on a smaller scale for your grandkids and your grandkids friends and your grandkids kids when they have kids.

[00:18:16.270] – Tony

I mean, it trickles down, man. And it's powerful and it has a tremendous effect. You don't think, oh, you don't really think? Because I didn't really think about it, then all of a sudden I'm like signing and doing selfies and people are crying in front of me. It's like, holy smokes, wow. You forget because you're just doing your thing. And then you let other people market it and send it out to the world. And I don't know how much is getting used, but apparently quite a bit. And so you're in a field, Allan, that is so important right now for this country, you know what I mean? Because too many people are suffering needlessly. And it's up to us to come up with ways to get people off their butt and changing their lives. You know, there's two things that we control. It's whether we move and what we put in our mouth. I mean, pretty much everything else is out of our control, you know what I mean? So if you have the right strategies, the purpose, plan, accountability, whatever, and other intensity, there's other things on the list, too, and you learn that hydration and proper sleep and supplementation and mindfulness is another thing that's really key.

[00:19:24.480] – Tony

There's a lot to learn here, but once it becomes ingrained, once you get that routine down, it feels impossible to abandon it. But there are people out there who are like, I'm in, I'm out, I'm in, I'm in, I'm fit, I'm fat. You know what I mean? And it's up to us to rein them in and say, hey, man, you got this. You can get going again. Here we go.

[00:19:44.330] – Allan

So now, one of the things I noticed is, like, you kind of said the ego thing. It followed me. It wasn't something I said, okay, I'm on my 20s, and okay, I got the ego, and I want to have the arms and the chest and the thing. And it kept following me every time I get in the gym. It's like, okay, just a little tad ego.

[00:20:06.520] – Tony

And as we get older, that can get you hurt.

[00:20:09.210] – Allan

It can get you hurt. That's why I tore my rotator cuff. Exactly. I was as strong at 51 as I was ever in my life. And then I tore rotator cuffs and then I wasn't so as someone gets older. 50s, 40s, 50s, 60s, are there things that we should just say, okay, look, those are childish things, I'm going to put them away and then I'm going to focus on things that are more suitable for who I am and where I need to be. And just kind of as a preface to that, how has aging affected your training?

[00:20:43.550] – Tony

Great question. Well, aging is inevitable, so therefore change is inevitable. It just has to be. But if you still have your high school college mentality and you're in your 40s, 50s and 60s, you're going to tear your rotator cuff, you're going to blow out your knee, you're going to screw up your back, you're going to end up with sciatica. And there are ways to mitigate those things. It doesn't mean that you have to stop training hard. You just have to start training smart. A lot of people can continue to do the workouts they did then, but they're going to have to maybe back off on the reps and back off on the weight, you know what I mean? I would suggest go to more body weight gravity type exercises and get away from trying to do the bench pressing and trying to do the heavy squatting, you know what I mean? And a lot of people who are still hung up on wanting to get bigger, no, live big. Get big. Yeah, that's true. But is it still necessary? Is it still that important to you? I mean, we're getting back to my first answer, right?

[00:21:46.050] – Tony

And I'll get into how my training has changed to a degree. What people need to do is add new stuff. So the recovery mindfulness category of this lifestyle is more important than ever, more popular than ever. I have foam rollers and I use them. I have a Theragon and I use it. I have an infrared sauna and I get in there. I have an infrared mat that I lay on. I have a cold plunge, which I absolutely despise, but I do it. I have a regular pre workout, post workout regimen. Warm up, cool down. Really important, right? I have a regular yoga practice. Every Friday is an hour, 15 hours and a half session. Always trying to work on that, you know what I mean? I have separate stretch routines that I do. And most people just want to start and they want to finish, and they don't want to do any of that stuff because I don't have enough time for that stuff. I barely have enough time for my workout alone. All right? And then the other piece of the part of the recovery is what you're putting in your mouth. Certain foods, certain beverages cause inflammation.

[00:22:55.950] – Tony

And that inflammation occurs not only in your organs and in your pancreas and your liver, in your esophagus and in your digestive system, and in your stomach and everything else. That inflammation happens in your joints. It affects your tendons and your ligaments in your body. The wrong foods that sugar, salt and chemicals over and over and over again at processed food is weakening the muscles, weakening the tendons and the ligaments and your bones. Right? So everybody knows calcium is good for my bones. Well, duh. You think your ligaments and your tendons and your muscles are like my new protein powder has HMB and vitamin D, three massive doses that helps muscles actually grow without having to do much. And when you do much, it's a whole lot better. I mean, I'm 65. There she goes, you know what I mean?

[00:23:40.490] – Allan

Flexing again,

[00:23:41.910] – Tony

still vascular, still strong. But at the same time, if you want to do what you did to a certain degree, you got to add all this extra stuff. And sleep is important. Most people are sleep deprived and dehydrated and malnourished. Right. Get that in order. Like, most people aren't drinking enough water, their sleep is terrible, they're not getting enough of it.

[00:24:05.520] – Tony

This is all part of the recovery process. And then last but not least, it's really learning how to change gears. Maybe you add pilates, maybe you go hiking instead of sprinting on the track. It's really understanding that age is happening. So change is happening. Can you change with the age as you age? And a lot of people just forget that and they don't understand that, and they don't know how to do that, and they don't know who to reach out to to help them get there. And it's about form and function, too. Like today I was on a stability ball. I'm doing tricep extensions with 75s, with the 75, not 275, but 175. Right? So first of all, I got to get into onto the stability ball, and then I got to get the weight on my chest, then I got to get it extended over my face, and then I'm doing ten or twelve reps with that because I've done it so many times. I've built so much the routines for so long that I can get in there and do that, you know what I mean? And it's also the other thing too is P 90 X was successful because there were twelve workouts.

[00:25:05.590] – Tony

My new program, the Power Four, has 24 workouts. So the same adage, we called it muscle Confusion, which was just a made up word term, like it's not real, it's just a term to explain what we're doing. It's not like it's scientific already, so relax everybody. But Jack Lane had something called periodization training. We called it muscle confusion, which was working on your weaknesses as much as your strengths. Yeah, you don't like yoga, we're going to make you do it. You don't like martial arts, we're going to make you do it. You don't want to lift weights, we're going to make you do it. Right. You don't want to work on your ABS? Well, we're doing Aberbarex you've decided to do it or not. And so it was avoiding the boredom and the injuries and the plateaus that come from doing the same things over and over and over again and expecting you're going to look gorgeous and you're going to be right for me. I work on my speed, my balance, and my range of motion as much and more than the resistance, weights and cardio, right? So these three are as important as those two.

[00:26:00.180] – Tony

And when you add all five, you know what I mean, then you're going to be able to do what? I can't jump as high and I can't run as fast, but everything else is pretty much in play for me because I've added the variety, and I have all the recovery aspects of my lifestyle now.

[00:26:20.230] – Allan

Well, I do like that you said form and function, because I think that's the missing piece. When you talked about the why at the beginning, it's like I said, I want to be the grandpa that can climb on the floor and do coloring books. I want to be the grandpa that can keep up with them when they're playing soccer or whatever the thing is. I want to be able to wipe my own butt when I'm 105.

[00:26:39.560] – Tony

Um, let's hope we get to 105, and we can.

[00:26:43.010] – Allan

Right? But the whole point being is a lot of people get to a point where they're not able to take care of themselves. They lose their independence because they lost their fitness, not the other way around. It's the function of living the life that you were intended to live, the way you want to live it on your own terms. And so the things you do and you talked about it mobility, balance, speed, keeping those things up takes work. It's not just something you lose. You lose it because you're not doing it. And so it's putting those all together and saying, what does my workout need to look like? I don't need to be able to press 160 pounds over my head anymore. I never actually probably ever really did, but I tried a lot of weight.

[00:27:26.360] – Tony

Over your head, man.

[00:27:26.990] – Allan

It is, but I don't need it now. The heaviest thing I put over my head is an overhead bag. An overhead bin. You put it up in the overhead bin, it's literally that. And that bag doesn't weigh more than 25 pounds. So from a form and function perspective.

[00:27:43.010] – Tony

You'Re good to go to you're 105?

[00:27:45.080] – Allan

Yeah, I can turn that down, but looking at that okay, so I'm sitting on the couch. I got to go to the bathroom. I've got to be able to hop up. This is not a slow thing. This is a get to the bathroom thing. You get there, sit down. That's squat, leg strength. I sit down, I do my work, and now I got to be able to do the paperwork. So that's Dexterity mobility, being able to move around and do things, and then it's standing back up. So there's speed, there's mobility, there's balance, there's strength. That's all built into just a basic function of human life. We don't think about a lot when we're in our 50s and 60s, but we're sure going to think about it when we're sitting on the couch watching, I guess Jeopardy will still be on different hosts. Yeah, different hosts.

[00:28:25.830] – Tony

But we're still we miss you, Alex Trebek.

[00:28:29.690] – Allan

Yeah, but we're sitting on the couch.

[00:28:31.570] – Tony

The other thing, too, that I think is important is and people don't realize that a lot of folks, as they get older, especially if they've never had any kind of a fun activity that they've done in their life, you know what I mean? They're exercising purely to lose a certain amount of weight or have a certain amount of certain kind of appearance. But what if you started training because you really wanted to go on a bike ride on the Appian way outside of Rome? You know what I mean? Like, you really train for these activities. For me, winter comes every year and I ski at least two months, not in a row, but two months worth days, like at least 60 days a year I'm trying to get skiing. And so my mindset the other three seasons, summer, spring, and fall, I'm always training for that one season because I'm out doing something. And maybe it's as simple. Like, I know a lot of people who rode bikes and didn't think about it, and now they're in their 50s and 60s and are afraid to get on a bicycle. Like, damn, man, that's just like, go buy your plot, you know what I'm saying?

[00:29:36.680] – Tony

Like, holy smokes. So what is it about you? I tell people, get a piece of paper and get a pen and write down ten things that are physical, fun things that maybe you did as a kid or you never did. Maybe it's surfing for some of you. Maybe it's just going on hikes on a vacation. Maybe for some it's ice. It's, you know, getting on a skateboard again or getting on a know when I had Ramsey Hunt and I balanced and my balance still isn't right, it's never going to be right. That's permanent damage in these nerves in my brain, but whatever, it doesn't slow me down. But I was wigged out about getting on a bike. And then when I got out one, it was like, oh. And then I did it about five or six times, and it wasn't like I fell over sometimes when I was trying to start, like, I stopped and I was on a hill and you get on the bike and you're trying to go up the hill. That wigged me out. But I go, what's the word? I'm going to scrape my knee. I mean, who cares, you know what I mean?

[00:30:32.330] – Tony

But that's a great motivator, having something else that you want to do physically that you enjoy, that you want to share with other people, friends, families, coworkers. I don't know what it is. And sometimes maybe your purpose is that along with wanting to feel good the day you do it, there's a lot of good reasons why.

[00:30:51.970] – Allan

Anyway, now, I know you're big, and you already spoke to it a little bit today about accountability and getting accountability and having accountability. I know you have people actually come over to your house.

[00:31:06.550] – Tony

Yeah, I've built my home. I have 1 2 3 4 places I work out on my property, three outside and one inside. And so it's a playground. It's an adult playground with stuff pegboards and 20 foot rope and 17 foot rope and parallel bars and a whole dang ninja course in the backyard.

[00:31:24.250] – Allan

But this is not Tony just getting up at 05:00 in the morning and going out there and doing his little ninja course. And it's not just a little ninja course. It's actually kind of exceptional. But you're bringing in people, you're staying in it, and they're holding you accountable. You're holding them accountable. One of the things that a lot of people will poo poo a gym. They'll say, I don't want to go to the gym. I don't like the gym. But to me, that's a ready made accountability group just already there somewhere in your neighborhood.

[00:31:57.810] – Tony

Park the car, go inside.

[00:31:59.480] – Allan

You don't even have to talk to them. If you're the 05:00 workout person, which I was when I was corporate, it's the same people in the gym every morning at 05:00.

[00:32:08.460] – Tony

Yeah, man.

[00:32:09.460] – Allan

And you see them and you nod, they nod, you get and do your thing. So it's not even like I could call them friends. I don't even know their names, but I just knew they're there. They're going to be there and pushed me to

[00:32:22.250] – Tony

maybe they become friends at some point. Hey, man, what's your name again? Especially, hey, will you spot me? Sure enough, tell me your name, blah, blah, blah. And you find out you have a lot in common. It becomes your best man at your wedding.

[00:32:33.810] – Tony

Those stories happen all the time,

[00:32:35.440] – Allan

and that goes to the gym. Wrong. You're some of the five people you spend the most time with.

[00:32:41.300] – Tony


[00:32:43.090] – Allan

Some of those folks should be in fitness. Just saying.

[00:32:48.070] – Tony

Yeah, totally true, man. Totally true.

[00:32:51.340] – Allan

So I'm going to ask you this question again. I think you'll probably give me a different answer. It's been over three years. I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?

[00:33:06.330] – Tony

I kind of covered them already, you know what I mean? Curiosity maybe is something I didn't really touch on, but being open to trying new things that you feel like you've never even tried before, because I talk about it in my book, The Big Picture, there's two kinds of love there's the thing that you just love to do. If you don't like fitness, there's probably not much that you love, but you got to be open to something, right? I mean, like a lot of guys just want to lift weights, that's all they want to do. They love lifting weights, but they don't want to try anything else. Like, yoga is not my favorite thing to do, but I understand how important it is. I love yoga like the last ten minutes of yoga, I love it the first hour, that's.

[00:33:46.810] – Allan

When you're laying on your back about to take a nap.

[00:33:48.580] – Tony

Yeah, when I'm in Shavasana, right, or whatever, I'm going through those final stretches and I'm in Vinyasana. I'm pretty Vinyasa is the flow. So curiosity is great, what is it out there? And again, break out your paper and your pen and you write down maybe some things that you've heard about. And by the way, there's Peloton, there's beachbody, there's my platform, there's Tonal. I'm on Tonal now, you know what I mean? There's running clubs, there's rock climbing clubs, there's just so many things, you know what I mean? And category one is what are the activities that you could do on your own, right? Like, if you're on the road and the gym is terrible and it's raining or snowing outside and you know that you need to move today, what is your plan? You know what I mean? What are you going to do? Me, I have this thing I call the warrior workout. I do a set of push ups, I do cardio for a minute, I do 30 sets of ABS, I do 30 sets of legs, 30 reps of legs and ABS. And I go three rounds, four rounds, five rounds, six rounds, whatever I got time for.

[00:34:53.340] – Tony

And all you need is the human body, gravity and mother Earth and you're good to go. And that just means, oh, I'm open minded, I'm curious, I'm trying things and it helps me stay consistent. And then again, you touched upon it too. You are the company you keep. And a lot of people, as they get older, they stop making new friends. They just, I got my friends and I don't want to meet new people. Well then you've just put the blinders on. Wham, you know what I mean? So everything in your world gets smaller because your friends are going to eventually a not to be able to do anything anymore because they're not on the same path you're on or they're going to start dying. All right, I meet new people and I invite them over to my house all the time, I've known people ten minutes and I go, hey man, here's my email address, email me if you want to show up for a workout. I do that all the time, right? So creativity, curiosity, when it comes to how you train, constantly searching, go to the gym and don't just look at the same people for six months a year and not say anything to them.

[00:35:53.620] – Tony

Go up and say hello. You know what I mean? I mean, if you're not a weirdo, then they'll probably be cool. I have so many friends. Like, some guy with an FBI agent was walking by my house with his dog and his daughter, and he came up, and he thanked me because I helped him get fit, and I just liked him. And, hey, you know, here's my email. Call me if you want to come over. And the guy was over here five days a week until he had to move to London. And then there was another doctor. It was an eye doctor, same thing. He's just some guy who I was at a restaurant, and he came up to me and thanked me because I helped him with his career, and now he and I are pen pals and email pals, text pals. And I'm always giving him advice and whatever. If you open up your world, then that's everything. And then the other thing too, that I don't talk about much. I mean, I just say form and function. But get in front of a mirror and watch what you're doing. Look to see if what you're doing is correct.

[00:36:50.690] – Tony

Your form is everything. I've been with friends of mine, and I'm always saying, go lower. Get in your heels more. Straighten your arms. You're too hunched over. And people are just kind of arbitrary going through stuff. And as you're training, you're doing the same things over and over and over again incorrectly. I lost you.

[00:37:11.020] – Allan

No, I'm here.

[00:37:12.160] – Tony

Did you hear all that? If you keep doing things wrong all the time, well, then you're even more vulnerable to injury long term, because you get out in the world and you want to try something, and that range of motion isn't there. Your tendons and ligaments and muscles aren't prepared to do what you're about to do because you don't have that flexibility. You haven't moved very quickly. Your form has been terrible for decades. You know what I mean? And that's like, oh, man, here I am. I've been working out. I'm taking care of myself, and now you're telling me everything I'm doing. My form sucks. Well, either you address it or you don't. You know what I mean? Because if you address it and you're willing to get your arms straight or get your squat prop get a proper squat or you're landing like a ton of bricks as opposed to like a kitten, these are things that are important, especially as you get older, because you become more and more vulnerable if you're not really paying attention to those types of things.

[00:38:03.690] – Allan

Thank you, Tony. If someone wanted to learn more about you and the things that you're up to right now, where would you like for me to send them?

[00:38:10.830] – Tony

Oh, there's so many places, tonyhortonlife.com. That's the easy, simple one. You can find everything. There's a lot of tabs, my equipment, my supplements, my live events, my clothing line that we still have a few of in a warehouse.

[00:38:25.500] – Allan

And your blog. And your blog.

[00:38:27.670] – Tony

And my blog. But if you want supplements, go to mypowerlife.com mypowerlife.com and put in the code tony30, which means you save 30%. Awesome. That's really good. And then our brand new my wife and I have got a new thing called Power Nation. In Power Nation, we have lots of our own trainers, we have lots of our own programs. Like I said, the power of four. I left Beach body and everybody said, where's p 90 x four? So we made one called The Power of Four. It's kind of like, what that's all about? But it's about exercise, it's about nutrition, it's about supplementation. And most importantly, the fourth leg of that very important table is the mindfulness component, which I think a lot of people are saying, oh, wow, I didn't realize that if I do breath work and box breathing and meditation and body scan work and everything else, that it just gives me the energy to be able to keep coming back. So the power of four is there. And our brand new program, which is designed I designed it with Dr. Mindy Pells. And Dr. Mindy Pells has done years of research on why women aren't getting the results that they want, is because they're doing the wrong things on the wrong days.

[00:39:37.500] – Tony

And women have a much more complicated hormonal situation than dude. Dudes, we got testosterone and some estrogen, and women are pre pedomopausal and postmenopausal and perimenopausal. And so some women have to train based on the moon. Some of them have to train because their menstrual cycles are gone. And now we added stop options, which means in a lot of these routines, there's two stop options at the ten or 20 minutes mark, at the 40 minutes mark. So that way if you don't like, oh, it's 55 minutes routine, I'm out, I can't do it. But I gave you a stop option. All you have to do is fast forward to the cooldown, and that gets more people in the room, helps them be more consistent. And then, of course, we have our power up and power down stuff, which we used to call modifications with P 90 x. So you can intent if you want, because there's somebody here that shows you how. And if you want to back way off, there's somebody on my other shoulder that will show you how to do that. So our two test groups are getting blown away. These women are getting in the best shape of their life.

[00:40:38.250] – Tony

They're losing weight for the first time because they're doing the right workouts on the right day. So men have one schedule. Women have like three and four based on where they are in their cycle. So we're really proud of that. And you can get all that at powernationfitness.com that's powernationfitness.

[00:40:55.150] – Allan

All right, well, you can go to 40plusfitness.com/613. It's actually episode 613. I thought it was twelve, but it's 13 613. And I'll make sure to have the links there so you can find whatever you want to find for Tony. Well, Tony, again, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.

[00:41:16.390] – Tony

Allan, my pleasure, man. I love being on with you and I think we struck some gold today.

[00:41:21.840] – Allan

I think so, too. I think we're going to get a lot out of this. Thank you.

[00:41:26.120] – Tony

Thank you, brother. Bye

[00:41:28.530] – Allan


Post Show/Recap

[00:41:31.070] – Allan

Welcome back, Ras.

[00:41:32.690] – Rachel

Hey, Allan. I'll just fangirl again for a minute. Tony Horton, he's such a name in the industry and it's been really fun to watch him all these years. So it's nice to hear he's got something going on these days.

[00:41:44.850] – Allan

He has a lot of things going on. Like I said earlier in the intro when we were talking before, the man has just so much energy. He's like a nuclear power plant. It's insane. And that's cool. I think that one of the things that is really interesting is, yes, he was a big, huge name through the 90s into the 2000s with p 90 x, x two and x three, and then he had all these celebrity clients. One of his best friends was Tom Petty and things like that. So it's he's he's in the industry. He's been in the you know, a lot of times people are in the industry and then they're not and then they're not the same person. And so he's had some health issues with his shingles thing, which was he had he had one of the worst cases of it. So it was not a good deal. But at any rate, he is the healthiest, fittest, happiest version of himself. And you can't compare yourself and I think this is where I can literally say, do not under any circumstances compare yourself to someone else. Because Tony wanted to do a pull up competition against me because he sees my pull up rack behind me when we're doing the video and I'm like, not a chance in hell, Tony.

[00:43:19.470] – Allan

I said, now, if you're stuck and I happen to be walking down the side of the road, I'm the guy you want because I can push your car. That's my skill set. So I'm not going to compare myself to Tony Horton. I'll never have that amount of energy and, as he put it, have hollow bones to be able to do a whole lot of pull ups. But I know my way, I know where I'm going. I know what I want for my life. And my training is effectively geared to make me who I want to be tomorrow.

[00:43:49.850] – Rachel

Well, I think that's an important concept. I think you said in his 60s somewhere I'm my 50s. And what we can do today is a little different than what we may be able to do in our 20s and 30s. I mean, there's something to be said for decades of change and maybe training smarter instead of harder. It's an important pivot to recognize.

[00:44:15.100] – Allan

I've been very open and transparent about the fact that I wanted to get super strong in my early 50s, I blew out, you know, tore up, ripped out a rotator cuff, and I did CrossFit until I realized, okay, CrossFit is fine. But at the time, my ego would often overshoot my capacity and I would find myself hurting after a workout and trying to do another workout before I had fully recovered. And so it was just one of those things of saying, okay, CrossFit's great if you can do CrossFit. CrossFit's terrible if you don't have control of your ego or you're doing it too often and not recovering between them. And so it's just kind of finding where you are being realistic about it and then pushing. Now, the way I say pushing is those gentle nudges that kind of get you just outside your comfort zone, not the extreme. I'm going to see what Tony's up to today and then I'm going to emulate Tony's workout. It's not going to be in your best interest, right?

[00:45:24.620] – Rachel

Well, it's important. That's right. It's important to know what your capabilities are and then how far you can push that without causing any injury. Like, I like to say I'd like to live to run another know. I don't want to overdo it and really get injured and then not be able to do the things that I love. But Tony was mentioning that too. He had an ego in his maybe younger years. And now you just need to find what you love. You talk about being fit for task, if that's important to mean. You just need to figure that out for yourself. We're all quite individual.

[00:46:01.090] – Allan

Yeah. And then the other thing that I really like that Tony got into was that this is not just about doing know, this is about doing you. And you is more than fitness, it's nutrition, it's rest and recovery and all of these other things wrapped together. And the funniest thing is, I'll talk to somebody and they'll say, well, I did a long run or hike on Friday or Saturday on Saturday, and then they're hurting on Monday. And I said, okay, well, what was your Sunday like? Because just to see if it was recovery, it's like, oh, well, there was a potluck at the church. And I said, okay, so how'd the nutrition go that day? Not so great. I had some of the cobbler. It was really good. I went back for seconds and I had this and I had that. So, yeah, I completely washed out on my nutrition on Sunday. And I'm like, okay, so you're hurting on Monday. Your knees and ankles and hips are all hurting on Monday, and you think it's the run you did on Saturday.

[00:47:06.450] – Rachel


[00:47:07.930] – Allan

You ate all that inflammation food, and they got inflammation. That's where the pain is coming from. And you think you earned it, you said, well, I was moving for over an hour and a half. I did this distance, and over an hour and a half, I felt like, yeah, I can have a few little treats. And like, okay, so you burned maybe 400, 500, maybe 600 calories. Let's go on the high end. And then you go and eat 700 calories worth of cobbler.

[00:47:40.770] – Rachel

Oh, jeez.

[00:47:42.370] – Allan

It's so easy to eat it.

[00:47:43.990] – Rachel

It is.

[00:47:44.450] – Allan

It's so hard to burn it.

[00:47:45.970] – Rachel


[00:47:46.800] – Allan

But we think we deserve it.

[00:47:48.760] – Rachel


[00:47:49.300] – Allan

And then we're hurting, and we blame the wrong thing for hurting.

[00:47:52.880] – Rachel

So true.

[00:47:53.770] – Allan

So now it's like, well, I got to cut back on my mileage.

[00:47:57.210] – Rachel

Yeah, well, that's an important concept, too, as we age, especially if you're a runner. We need to do all these other things to get those adaptations that we're trying to get in the gym or running on the road like I do. So you need to have good sleep, you need to have good nutrition, you need to do the stretching and mobility work. And if you're not, or worse yet, sabotaging yourself by not doing these things, not getting enough sleep or eating maybe the wrong foods, then you're ruining your own goals. You're really hamstringing yourself at this point.

[00:48:34.950] – Allan

Well, the worst part of it to me is that you have a goal and you want to work towards the goal, but then not that you're doing something specifically to sabotage it, but that you're just not doing the right things. Fine. If you want to have a day and it's a potluck at the church and it's important for you to be there, and yes, if you don't eat the pastor's wife's cobbler, we're going to excommunicate you, or whatever, have some cobbler. That's not where the real problem comes in. Where the real problem comes in is that you don't objectify it. You don't step back and say, okay, I need to have some cobbler, but I don't need to have a four pound piece. That's what they're going to hand you. They're going to hand you that cobbler on that little paper plate, and it's going to feel like you should be doing overhead presses with this thing because it's heavy. You don't have to have that much. You can have a taste of it, enjoy it, relish it, and then move on. But we kind of turn that off. We're like, oh, well, I have to have this, and therefore, boom.

[00:49:55.670] – Allan

Okay, it's a bad day. I screwed up. I'm emotionally upset about it. Don't be. It was fine. Not that you were entitled to it, but you're a grown person. You can have that decision. But you don't do the other stuff. You're not sitting on the floor, rolling around with the kids and doing stuff like you did when you were in your thirty s and now you wonder why it's so painful and hard to get down on the floor. Just because you don't do it enough. You just don't do it enough. I can sit down on the floor and get back up. I can roll around on the floor with my dogs, I can play. I can do all those things at 57 years old. And it's not because I'm some superhero fitness guy. It's just because I actually get on the floor practically every single day. I make a point of getting down there and moving around. Is it dedicated stretching? Is it dedicated mobility work? Do I feel like I'm working out when it no? I just get up in the morning, start my coffee, sit down on the floor and hope my dog doesn't bite me in the face because he's just a little too childish.

[00:51:05.770] – Allan

He likes to nip. It's not a bite bite. Lev is just a nip nip guy. But it's just one of those things of get on the floor, roll around, move around, get the hips open as often as you can, particularly if you had a sitting job.

[00:51:20.090] – Rachel


[00:51:21.210] – Allan

And then the other thing I'm on this interview, I've been on this call. I've got two interviews today.

[00:51:26.620] – Rachel

Oh boy.

[00:51:27.260] – Allan

So I set up my workstation right now where I can just be standing up. So I'm standing up right now. I'm not sitting down. So my hips are open, my chest is open. I can have a conversation with you, and I can do that like I have a phone call or anything and just not be sitting in the chair hunched over there's times that works very well. There are times I need to be sitting down because I got to take notes, I got to be doing some work, got to do some stuff. But I pick my battles and I say, okay, I can be sitting, I can be standing, I can be on the floor. And I try to be all three at different points of the day where it makes sense. So it's not that you have to do all these extra workouts. It's just look at your day and say, what can I do to be moving in a different pattern than I would be? Because if you're sitting for eight solid hours, that's really hard to undo.

[00:52:21.760] – Rachel

That's a lot.

[00:52:22.600] – Allan

Yeah, it's really hard. And I get it. Some people, you have to be sitting at the computer. You got to be typing notes while you're on the phone or whatever's going on. You have to be at the computer. Okay, that's fine. Get up, move around, do a stretch break. It's not like you're going to do a workout, but just do five squats. Five squats. A Samson Lunge. If you don't know what that is, look it up. But just different things that are moving your body to open you up, to get your body moving in a different way so that you're not getting locked into a position. And that's the thing, he has the time. And so he does dedicated yoga, he does other dedicated workouts. Heck, sometimes he's just out there throwing hatchets at a target. Oh God. Because he's made his house his playground.

[00:53:12.330] – Rachel


[00:53:12.860] – Allan

And so it's not that you have to do that. I'm standing here in basically what was our living room of our apartment and guess what? It's a gym. I see. So it's easy for me to walk in here and just say, okay, well, I don't have time for a full workout. Okay, well, I'll just get back in real quick. I don't have time for the full thing. But I'll do a few pull downs, I'll do a few pullovers, I'll do a few rows. Takes me five minutes, put in a circuit and go. And so not that you have to have a bunch of equipment, but just have things that you do that are not sitting at your desk or sitting watching the TV, have other things that you do. And that's really kind of the lesson of all this, is that by doing, you take care of yourself.

[00:54:04.110] – Rachel

For sure. Well, I'd like you both. Well, Tony had said he wanted to be a super healthy, fit 60 year old or in his 60s. And I love that. And it means something different to everybody. And like you had said, we have watched him grow from the beach body days in, what was that, the 80s and 90s even to what he's doing today. And he's made being active and fit a daily activity for his entire life. And he is pretty darn healthy for somebody in his 60s. Super healthy.

[00:54:40.730] – Allan

Yeah, I would definitely put him in the top one percentile of people his age. There's not a lot of people that you're going to see in their mid 60s that can even hold a candle to what Tony's doing. And he had all the reasons to not. I mean, he went through that, lost 25 pounds. He could have just said, okay, done, because he's made enough money. He doesn't need it. He just enjoys being a part of this.

[00:55:06.630] – Rachel

That's it.

[00:55:07.170] – Allan

Enjoys doing it and being so that's what gives him drive. That's what makes him happiest, is when he knows he's helping other people. Me telling him the story about Anne and her stickers with the calendar, he lit up. He lit up because again, this is what he's doing. This is what he's dedicated his life to, is helping people find their health and fitness. And he has his message and his approach. I think it works very well for people in the next generation because we're fired up when someone else is fired up. And so again, the message is you do you, take care of you. No one else is going to do it for you. You've got to do you and just be cognizant.

[00:55:55.150] – Rachel

Just like you were saying, just simple movements throughout the day is enough to get you to be in a healthier, fit place each decade.

[00:56:05.630] – Allan

Each decade, each decade, all the way up to where I can wipe my own butt when I'm 105.

[00:56:10.950] – Rachel

That's right. You could be a super fit, 105 year old.

[00:56:15.100] – Allan

That is a super fit, healthy 105 year old. I can tell you it is.

[00:56:18.880] – Rachel

And that could be you.

[00:56:20.330] – Allan

It will be me. All right, well, I'll talk to you next week, then.

[00:56:24.490] – Rachel

Take care, Allan.

[00:56:25.570] – Allan

You too. Bye.

[00:56:26.560] – Rachel

Thanks. Bye bye.

Music by Dave Gerhart


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