1. How did you get involved in P90X and end up appearing in a video working with Tony Horton?
It all started for me in 2002. Being miserably out of shape, I bought the Power 90 program from casual. From there, Slim in 6 was my next show. I ended up being selected as one of the winners of the Slim in 6 success story, and that earned me a trip to Hollywood.
My last night there, I met Tony over dinner. He had just finished running his first test group through P90X and he told me all about the program. Tony’s and mine’s personalities just clicked and we became fast friends. Not long after, P90X came along and I was among the first 100 beach body clients to go through P90X (which gave me some amazing results). From there, I attended a few of Tony’s fitness camps and our friendship continued to grow. Then in 2007 he called me and said that Beachbody wanted to include me in the P90X+ series. The rest was history.
2. P90X is really building up a cult following. Why do you think this is so?
Simply because it works. With all the crap being sold on infomercials, it’s refreshing to have products that actually deliver what they promise. Every program Beachbody launches is a winner, and they all give people the results they’re looking for. What sets P90X apart from most other programs is the intensity. It’s more challenging than anything else available, so the results are far more spectacular than anything else on the market. It takes an average person, provides them with a detailed diet guide and amazing workouts, and the end result is super fit people! Who wouldn’t want to do P90X?
3. Is it true that the P90X series that people are buying is now 6 years old and is still being sold as a gang buster? What are your thoughts on that?
P90X was released to the public in 2004. Initially, it didn’t do very well in the test market (except for those of us who were dedicated Beachbody customers and knew it was a hit). As more and more people started doing the program and got exceptional results, more and more people started buying it. Here we are in 2009, and P90X is the #1 infomercial in the country. There are professional athletes and celebrities clamoring to get their hands on it, and now they’re enjoying the results of Tony’s home training camp. I see it continuing to grow in popularity and it makes me eager to see some other shows that Tony will follow (for it). With the increasing number of people now hooked on high-intensity training, I can see more programs to “raise the bar.”
4. What was it like shooting the plus series and what is the best way to incorporate that series into the P90X routine?
It was an incredible experience filming the X+ series with Tony Horton and Traci Morrow. Once I changed my fitness and got really fit, my goal was to one day be able to be in a training video with Tony. Being a part of something that has such a positive impact on so many lives was an absolute honor. The P90X+ series comes with a detailed programming guide, so all you have to do is follow the instructions. Like the original P90X series, P90X+ offers the “autopilot” guide to success.
5. P90X is obviously a very aggressive program. Would you say it’s mainly for people who are already in good shape and want to get in good shape?
P90X is not really designed for beginners but Tony and “the kids” did a great job of providing mods, someone who is not in the best shape CAN beat it. At the end of your 90 days, you’ll look and feel like a whole new person and that’s a beautiful thing.
6. What kind of training do you do when you travel (what kind of equipment do you take with you)?
When I travel, I do P90X workouts. I always carry resistance bands with me, and I’ve worked enough in person with Tony that I can create a strength, cardio, or flexibility workout on the fly, without any equipment. I like to think outside the box, and I’m always looking for the next higher level (of intensity). Some of the best workouts I’ve ever had were when I was on the road (and with little to no equipment).
7. Your body is broken. Would you mind giving us a sample of your daily diet from start to finish for one day?
Let me start by saying that I no longer count calories and I don’t measure the amount of food I eat, so these will be rough estimates of amounts. Now this is just a one day staple, but I eat very close to the same things every day. Breakfast, for example, is always the same for me, and ALL the ingredients are mixed. When it comes to fluid intake, I drink water (1 liter per 50 pounds of body weight), green tea, and occasionally (but rarely) 1 cup of coffee.
Breakfast consists of Oatmeal (approx. 1.5 cups), Whey Protein Powder (assorted brands), 2 scoops, 48 grams of protein, Creatine Ethyl Ester powder (4 grams), Flax Seed ( 2 tablespoons)
AM snacks are fruit (apple or banana; any fruit is fine), Cliff Energy Bar, or Cascadian Farms Organic Granola Bar
Lunch would be 1 pound of vegetables (varies from day to day), 2 Morning Star Veggie Burgers
PM Snacks are Protein Shake (mixed with water/ice), 2 scoops, 48 grams of protein or Greens Plus Protein Bar, Cascadian Farms Organic Granola Bar
Dinner consists of a bag (1 lb) of spinach, 1 can of albacore tuna or salmon, 1 cup of diced tomatoes, 1 cup of black bean pico de gallo, salsa or balsamic vinegar
PM Snack is Shakeology – 2 scoops of Whey Protein Powder (48 grams of protein)
I would like to point out that the amounts above may vary slightly from day to day depending on how I feel. Over time, you’ll learn to read your body and know if you need to slightly increase or decrease your intake. On days I train double sessions (for example), my food intake is almost always higher, simply because of the additional caloric burn.
Every once in a while, if I get really hungry within that 3 hour window before bed, I’ll have an extra protein shake (always mixed with just ice and water). Since I follow a pescetarian diet (fish and vegetables) and don’t eat dairy, I also take quite a few supplements. Without being too specific, here is a summary of my supplements: P90X Multivitamins, Flax Oil Capsules, Thermogenic Fat Burners, Calcium with Vitamin D
CLA, Ginko Biloba, St. John’s Wort, Alfalfa (for joints – very affordable alternative to Glucosamine/Chondroitin)
8. What is your biggest challenge in maintaining your body?
At this point in the game, it’s pretty easy for me to maintain my body. I’m always trying to improve my strength, flexibility, and endurance, but as far as looks go, I’m right where I want to be. I don’t crave bad foods too much anymore, so I’m more or less on autopilot. I walk at 5% body fat year-round, and that’s where I feel the best.
9. Do you have a cheat day? If so, would you mind describing it to us?
I might have a cheat meal now and then but it’s been about 8 months since the last one – pizza is still my favorite splurge food but when I do have it it’s always a whole wheat thin crust, loaded with veggies and no cheese. Does that really count as a wasteful meal?
10. What do you wish people really understood about the P90X program (or perhaps understood better)?
The fact that it is a lifestyle change. Many people do their first round of P90X and tell me they got pretty good results, but didn’t really follow the diet guide. To truly get the full benefits of P90X, you MUST follow the diet guide and exercise as intensely as possible. It’s not just about looking good, it’s also about feeling good. When you exercise and eat healthy, all aspects of your life will improve.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share my perspective with you. Fitness has opened up more opportunities in my life than you would think. My whole perspective on life changed once I found health and fitness, all the way to my career, which is now a full-time fitness trainer for Team Beachbody.
11) Check off the best way for people to stay in touch with you.
The best way to get in touch with me is through my Mark Briggs Fitness blog.