Out of the Box

BeachBody Brings P90X Certification to a Gym Near You


By now, we’ve all seen the infomercials for the fitness phenomenon known as P90X and have marveled at the rigorous routines and remarkable results. But for many of us, the idea of going it alone at home and maintaining motivation seems as probable as pulling-off a one-arm pull-up. That’s why the folks at Beachbody, the brains behind the best-selling box-set of workout DVDs, have come up with a solution.

Their answer? Take what’s seen on TV and offer it at fitness facilities across the country. In order to do that, trainers need to be trained in P90X protocols, and the response by fitness professionals has been overwhelming.

“P90X Certification is for that segment of trainers that can think outside of their traditional box,” says the gregarious guru of muscle confusion, Tony Horton. “It forces people to work on their weaknesses as much as their strengths.”


From Pilates to plyometrics to pyramids, the certification encompasses numerous modalities of fitness that trainers are expected to become experienced with. It’s the same diverse approach that made the original DVD set a global phenomenon, selling over five million copies. Now, all those interested in experiencing the workouts, but under professional supervision, may soon be able to find it at their local gym.
When asked why P90X clicks with so many people, Horton attributes it to three elements. “The first is muscle confusion,” he explains. “Variety, variety, variety. It’s not just cardio, it’s not just weights, but everything. It helps avoid boredom, plateaus, and injuries. Number two, modifications. If you’re overweight and can’t do an exercise, just modify it, hit the pause button, or skip it. Nobody had done that before. People don’t want to feel inferior because they can’t do what they see on the screen.”

The third key to its success is Horton himself. “I made fitness fun,” states Horton. “Fitness was a drag. For most people, it was a hard, ‘gotta be perfect’, drill sergeant-like nightmare.”
And he speaks from his own early experiences.


“I was a C-minus student with a speech impediment that was picked last for every sport except dodgeball,” admits the man now known around the world for his physical prowess and personality. “But I met a coach in my college weight-training class that was a great guy with a great sense of humor and made me want to show up.” It’s the same approach adopted by Horton and why so many continue to tune in to him every day at home.
The path of P90X comes full-circle with certification.

“Our initial intention with P90X was to get a lot of the folks who were ‘gym rats’ out of the gym and start making real changes at home,” explains Horton. “But there are those who cannot do it by themselves. Certification gives you what you need to know to go out and disseminate the information to the ones that need a bricks-and-mortar place to go.”

The certification consists of two primary components, P90X Qualification and actual Certification. Qualification consists of a comprehensive online course where participants are expected to cover eleven chapters and exams before enrolling in the hands-on part of the process.

“The P90X Certification package includes an intensive live workshop consisting of academic and practical portions as well as two customized workouts,” explains Shannon Pappas, BeachBody’s vice president of certification. “Participants will gain in-depth knowledge on the science, structure, and foundation of the program along with proper mechanics, nutrition, supplementation, and how to apply and adapt the program to keep clients motivated.”
Just showing up, however, is not enough. “The workshop culminates in written and practical exams which must be passed in order to be considered certified,” says Pappas.
The first workshops were held last March 17-18 in Santa Monica, California, and are now being offered all over the country.

“Once I completed the Qualification process, I attended a 2-day live workshop, where Master Trainers show you how to apply the program and adapt it for one-on-one and small-group training,” explains local trainer Sue Patterson-Mcdonald. “Currently, I run a small group P90X class in Goleta. We meet 2-days per week for live instruction and the other 4 days of the program, my clients use their P90X home fitness DVDs and perform the workouts on their own time in their own home.”

But as with its namesake DVD set, P90X Certification requires commitment and action for results. “There are a lot of certifications out there that you can get online, but not P90X,” says Horton. “You have to be there, raise your hand, and answer questions—it’s like school baby. You have to show us that you know what you’re doing so that you can go out there and really help people.”

For information on upcoming dates of P90X Certification workshops and locations near you, visit: www.teambeachbody.com

Photos courtesy of Beachbody.com

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