coming in...strong.

Chances are if you are channel surfing at three in the morning (while consuming an entire bag of Cool Ranch Doritos) then you have witnessed an infomercial for the P90x fitness series starring one Mr. Tony Horton. And if you have witnessed this, congratulations – you have witnessed God.

Tony Horton, the latest (and dare I say, greatest) American fitness guru, has taken over as our lord and savior against love handles and weak pectorals. He is our messiah leading us to the land of ripped abs and triceps that can cut glass. Tony is on a mission – a spiritual mission if you will – and he has only one goal for you in mind: Total body transformation.

If you haven’t tried P90x (or any of it’s numerous variants), do so. It’s incredibly challenging – in a vomit inducing kind of way. The workouts are a combination of high repetitions with interval training, muscle confusion and cardio, all the while working each specific muscle group to fatigue. But all of that is stuff you can get from almost any exercise DVD these days. The exercise matters very little.

What matters is Tony.

Tony is in his early 50’s but is more ripped than an Abercrombie & Fitch model. He clearly practices what he preaches when it comes to clean living. But still, that is not what makes Tony special. What makes Tony special, what makes Tony so “Tony”, is his own personal brand of cheesiness (which is a delicious irony because it is doubtful he even eats cheese).

Tony loves to talk – A LOT. Besides his catchphrase “bring it” (which he says so often that you will find yourself saying it out loud to no one in particular while you are even doing the most mundane task, like laundry), Tony likes to repeat a slew of sayings, all equally glorious in their cheese. Whether it be “you’re like a pterodactyl coming in for a landing” to describe arm circles or his compliment, “you make Gumby look like the Tin Man,” to anyone he deems flexible or even his rhyming mantra, “Do your best and forget the rest,” Tony is constantly talking throughout every exercise.

Now normally, people who constantly jaw jack are annoying. Not Tony. His babble is so engaging and intoxicating that you can’t help but love him, even when he does a not so great Forest Gump impression of “I got shot in the buttocks” whenever he stretches his glutes. It’s this steady flow of cheesy goofiness that makes Tony so endearing and makes you want to follow him to the ends of the earth (luckily you will be in great shape if you choose to do so).

Because, as with all good messiahs, at his heart Tony is kind. He wants what is best for you, even if all you want is a bucket of hot wings and curly fries. So you can overlook the pain, sweat and even the goofiness that Tony brings and know that you are in safe hands.

Lead on, Tony. We shall follow.