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My Bring It Book Review

February 28, 2011 –

The minute I heard about Tony’s book, it was the first thing on my Christmas list. I was so excited to receive it Christmas morning (See picture on the right!) P90x started as a “I’ll give it a try” purchase and ended up being a lifestyle change for me. And I although I did the work, Tony provided the tools. The best word I can give for P90x (other than “hard) is “honest”. It really made fun of all programs prior to this because it was marketed as being tough! They were real people doing real workouts and you could see them struggling too. And in my humble opinion, Tony comes across as a real honest person. He doesn’t tell you what you want to hear, he tells you what he believes. Moreover, the guy is 52 years old and looks like he is in his mid 30s.

If you have any of the Tony Horton’s One-on-One discs, you get some pretty good insight into the real Tony. And when you ask those around him like Traci Morrow or Mason Bendewald if he is really like that in real life, the answer is a resounding “Yes!”. So I was really interested to know the background into this crazy guy.

The book is broken up into 4 parts:

1) The Principles

2) The Routines

3) The Moves

4) The Meal Plan

Even in the written word, you can hear Tony’s voice telling some of these goofy jokes. But Tony has a serious side too and his book is really catered around describing his principles, tailoring a program, and then telling you what your workout should consist of.

Part 1 – The Principle

Tony starts with a Fitness Quotient (FQ) that helps the reader figure out not only where their level of fitness is, but what they enjoy doing. No one is going to stick to a program they don’t fundamentally enjoy. He then provides some instructions for a standard fitness test, not unlike the P90x Fit test. Finally, Tony talks about the “soft skills”. When I say this, I mean the other things that will make you successful in achieving your goals like finding mentors, doing things that scare you at first, finishing what you start, etc.

Part 2 – The Routines

Depending on your fintess level, Tony has crafted (3) routines.

1) The Beginner’s Workout

2) The Striver’s Workout

3) The Warrior’s Workout

He documents each workout in great detail and has some added motivational flare with side boxes like “Do Your Best and Forget The Rest!” It’s funny, the first time I heard these things I kind of brushed them off. Then I found myself saying things like, “Just Keep Pressing Play!” These little sayings get you through the hard times and keep you driving forward.

Part 3 – The Moves

This section of the book is a phenomenal reference guide and takes up 120 pages of the book. Each move is shown with multiple photographs and described in great detail. While I believe there is no substitute for seeing someone actually do the move, this book comes as close as possible on a printed page. He breaks the moves into 6 Categories:

1) Cardio Fat Burners

2) Upper Body Blasters

3) Firm Arms Fast

4) Lower Body Blitzers

5) Hard Core

6) Flex Appeal

Part 4 – The Meal Plan

I have had some many people ask me whether you need to follow the nutrition guide in P90x. In my opinion, this is 70% of the results and is truly the catalyst for your lifestyle change. Food affects us everyday and how and when we eat is a fundamental rhythm to our day. Changing an ingrained habit like this takes time and patience, but most importantly desire. This part of the book is really great, but can be overwhelming to many. Here is my advice. Take it one step at a time. My nutrition, like my workouts, have slowly improved over time. I would not have been able to eat as clean as I do now back on Day 1 . It wasn’t that I didn’t have the desire, I didn’t have the knowledge. Tony breaks this down into 4 Sections.

1) Part 1: The Cleanse

2) Part 2: Norish

3) Part 3: Supplement

4) 11 Laws of Health and Fitness

Now for “The Cleanse”, this is a 30-day process. This will scare most people and it scared me for most of my life.

“You want me to get away from what kind of foods?”

“Well, what am I going to eat then?”

“Well, I don’t have time for all of that!”

My best advice is to be open to this. I have turned from meat and potatoes, hot dog / pizza / burger loving American, to shopping at Whole Foods and buying organic and locally grown food. I made fun of people like me!! LOL!

Next comes what we eat. Garbage In / Garbage Out. You can’t expect a race car to perform on 87 octane fuel. Once you really start putting good nutritious food in your body, you will be amazed at how many of your ailments disappear. Tony does provide some sample meals. I strongly suggest you create your own baseline meal. Once I did that, I was able to learn to substitute little by little and it didn’t seem so overwhelming to me.

Finally, Tony talks about Supplements. This was extremely helpful to me and you will see me reference this in my upcoming Supplements Blog. If you are as confused about supplements as I was, this section alone is worth the money.

The book ends with Tony talking about his 11 Laws of Health and Fitness. I have blogged about these before. (See here.) Some real words of wisdom here that just seem to pass the common sense test for me. Read them often and as you go through your program see if you are on track. Print these out and put them on your desk!


In the appendix of the book, Tony’s personal chef Melissa Costello, puts some of his favorite recipes here. You can find her on her blog at Karma Chow. Now I took some time during my Christmas Break and tried alot of these recipes out. This section alone has been so worthwhile to me. So here are my thoughts on some of the recipes I have tried.

1) Get Up and Go Granola – Phenomenal. I really really enjoy this and am starting to make it every weekend. It takes about 10 minutes of prep and then it is a 20-30 minute cook in the oven. I add some almond milk in the morning and it tastes better than anything on the market. I do like Kashi Go Lean Crunch, but this has such a fresh flavor. And the Agave Nectar gives a great natural sweetness to it. Thumbs Up!

2) My Sticky Bar – If you make the granola, try making a few of these. Essentially you smash up a banana and mix with the granola and some crunchy almond butter. Really good, but also really messy! :)

3) “Cheesy” Popcorn – This recipe is now the staple for our family night every Friday. My kid’s love the taste and it introduced me to the world of Coconut Oil and Nutritional Yeast Flakes. Nutritional What? This one I had to get on Amazon. Here is the type I bought. This is what gives the cheesy flavor. The other great thing about making your own popcorn? Organic Yellow Popcorn in bulk is really cheap! I bought mine at Whole Foods

4) Spicy Edamame Dip – I love Edamame and this dip did not disappoint. It is about a 10 minute prep time and it does have a nice kick.

5) Garlicky Karma Hummus – Chickpeas are great for you and I have made this recipe about 3 times now. I have other people even say how much they like it. Great for a party! Use vegetables or a whole wheat pita to dig in.

6) Supreme Vegetarian Burrito – I like this so much I wrote a whole blog on it! See here. I like to make a batch of this up on the weekend and bring it to work for lunch. It’s easy to microwave and fills me up for the day


For any P90xer, this is a must purchase book. It is very inexpensive (<$16) and you can buy it through Beachbody or online. Tony said that he can’t write a sequel because he put everything he knows into this book. A definite purchase for now and later. Its reference material is timeless and it is a book that I will find myself rereading every few months.

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