TODAY   |  August 15, 2012

Get to know Paul Ryan’s P90X fitness regimen

When Congress is in session, GOP vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan begins his day at the Congressional gym, sweating it out to the punishing P90X workout. NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell reports and P90X creator Tony Horton demonstrates a few key moves.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> back now at 7:43. whether you're a democrat, republican, independent, there's one thing every american can agree on, it's to be healthy. vice president paul ryan talks a lot about his grueling workout routine. kelly o'donnell finds out how he does it. good morning.

>> reporter: good morning. there's one place around capitol hill that will tell you an awful lot about how paul ryan is. it's typically off limits to everyone but members of congress. i'm talking about the house gym. on most days that's where you'll find him starting at 6:00 a.m . he's doing a workout you've probably seen all over late night . call it extreme. we're not talking about his politics here. you won't actually see him sweat, but paul ryan loves to talk about his exercise.

>> pullups, push-ups, sittups, lots of cardio, karate, jump training, yoga.

>> reporter: a dedication that puts more than running in this running mate.

>> i was actually a fitness trainer . i had three jobs when i came out of college, one was a fitness trainer .

>> reporter: on his very first day next to mitt romney he beamed when talked about his workout.

>> what's your workout.

>> insanity.

>> how much can you do?

>> everything called for.

>> p90x and insanity generate sales and sweat. more than 5 million copies sold. this vice presidential candate who loves crunching numbers and his abs stands 6'2" a lean 163 pounds and claims his body fat is between just 6 and 8%. ryan even leads a p90x class for a dozen members of congress. that got the attention of the expert in the video, tony horton .

>> tony horton comes and works out with us every few months.

>> horton might be the only guy who could coax a sleeveless ryan into showing off his guns for camera. back in the land that celebrates cheese and brats, he was active with everything from soccer to skiing. this commitment to fitness is deeply rooted.

>> my dad died when i was young. he was a good and decent man.

>> reporter: ryan was a teenager when he found his 55-year-old father dead from a heart attack. like his grandfather and great grandfather who also died in their 50s, giving him an incentive, he says, to stay in shape.

>> paul ryan talked quite a bit about the loss of his father relativelyoung age. i think it influenced his entire life, in that he is someone who is quite disciplined.

>> reporter: being on the campaign trail, you know, savannah, that is not a good place to keep to an exercise and diet program. we're told he's spotted in the hotel gyms early in the morning do the the routine off his ipad.

>> i guess he's more committed than we are, hitting the doughnuts. tony horton is the creator. good morning to you. have you seen a bump in business after this?

>> we've seen a mild mp, absolutely, sure.

>> paul ryan loves to talk about this workout. has he a group on capitol hill , as kelly mentioned, they get together, do the p90 routine. you have visited with them. give us the lay of the land . what is that like?

>> it's a blast. ve been to the congressional gym six or eight times. there they are, republicans and democrats on both sides of the aisle representing our country working together doing p90 moves. it been an honor.

>> what do you think aut this program is tha attracts the guys.

>> it's cardio, resistance, yoga. the idea is to avoid plateaus and injuries andhe kind of things that keep you from sustaining fitness. they are seeing results as members of the military and celebrities and people across the country.

>> are you amazed paul ryan talks about it as much as he does.

>> we get a couple of phone calls. it's blown up. a great thing whether michelle obama with let's move campaign or paul ryan , it's nice to see more americans understand it's important.

>> how did you get him to pose for that picture showing off his guns.

>> after every workout we'll take pictures and sign autographs.

>> it's strange i'm taking pictures with them and we want to share this thing together. it's kind of fun.

>> you mentioned the first lady. she's used it as well.

>> yes. i was down in florida at disney with espn working with her and her let's move campaign a couple months back. yeah, it's really nice to see that it's out there and more americans understand it's not pills and potions that solve your problems it's regular exercise and healthy eating .

>> let's show a couple of things. the first thing is push-up to plank move.

>> i'll just watch.

>> you have the heels on.

>> standard push-ups but added yoga component. we do both sides.

>> throwing elbows move.

>> throwing elbows is this here. mma is the number one growing sport in america. the abs and core, you get down on the floor.

>> is this the row your boat.

>> row your boat. hands around. simple core move.

>> last --

>> last new post activation initiation