When Mitt Romney announced his choice for Republican vice presidential nominee, Google lit up with search queries for Paul Ryan. What did people want to know? Policy? Budget? Medicare stance?

 

According to Google, the most common search term tied to Ryan in the 24 hours following the announcement was “vice president” — and the second most common was “shirtless.” In all of our deep concern and curiosity, we needed to ogle the man’s abs.

 

So what’s all the hubbub? Ryan is a devoted disciple of the ruthless body-sculpting workout known as P90X – as evidenced by his lithe 163 pounds and meager body fat level of 6 to 8 percent. (Which might explain the preponderance of baggy duds: Nothing fits the man.)

 

Marketed mainly through infomercials, P90X is the brainchild of California-based fitness fanatic Tony Horton, aka the "Master of Motivation.” The brutal home-fitness workout involves a rotating roster of 12 extreme 60– to 90-minute routines that mix strength training with cardio, karate, yoga and other exercises — guaranteed to make you "absolutely ripped in 90 days" or your money back.

 

The program was created to prevent the common gym hindrances of boredom and injuries, but also to produce “muscle confusion.” Horton’s crazy cross-training program prevents the body from adapting to the same old exercises day in and day out, which can cause the body to plateau. Mixing up the routine encourages the muscles to continue growing. And according to 3,636 reviewers who have given the DVD set 4.8 stars out of 5, it seems to be an effective program.

 

As for pecs versus politics debate, it’s clearly great advertising for the P90X people.

 

"This is a big boost for us," Horton told the politics news site, Politico, adding, "There’s been a lot of phone calls. It’s gotten downright weird in the last couple of days."

 

 

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MNN tease photo: Marc Piscotty/Getty Images