An Ode to Paul Ryan’s Commitment to Fitness

Paul Ryan in a red cap, lifting weights.
Ahhhhhh. Photo: Gregg Segal

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan announced on Wednesday that, at long last, he would be retiring, bitch. With news that his tenure in Congress will soon be coming to an end, let us reflect back on the one thing he loves more than making life difficult for poor people: fitness.

Ryan’s exercise routine first began to make headlines in 2012, when he was Mitt Romney’s running mate in the presidential election. (It was around that same time that a depraved public found themselves desperately Googling “Paul Ryan shirtless.”) Here, a few things we learned Ryan does to stay tight.

He loves P90x.
Ryan’s love of the “extreme home fitness” program actually ended up boosting interest in it, ostensibly with those same people trying to find shirtless pics. Maybe he’ll find some time in retirement to try out the Kayla Itsines routine we’ve all half-heartedly attempted for two days every six months.

He doesn’t eat sugar, even on his birthday.
I, for one, am more aligned with Senator Tom Cotton’s nutrition philosophy (eating grocery-store birthday cake every day).

He lies about his marathon time.
In a 2012 radio interview, Ryan said that he ran a marathon 20 years prior and that his time was “under three, high twos. I had a two hour and fifty-something.” Which would be highly impressive — were it true. Runners World discovered that he actually ran it in four hours, one minute, and 25 seconds. As a person who once ran an even slower marathon and regularly reads a blog entirely devoted to catching racing cheaters, I feel extra entitled to say, shame!!!!!

He also lies about his body-fat percentage.
Ryan once bragged that he keeps his body fat “between 6 and 8 percent,” which Slate quickly debunked by pointing out that the only people with those numbers are elite athletes. Overconfidence or a rare case of reverse body dysmorphia? We may never know.

He takes hilariously stupid gym pics.
Time magazine once convinced Ryan (though they probably didn’t have to try that hard) to take a set of photos that, when you lay eyes on them, will proceed to haunt you all the way to your grave and then possibly into the great beyond. He’s wearing a backwards red baseball cap. He’s lifting arm weights. And he’s definitely going to stand a little too close while you stretch out, waiting to ask if you want to grab a smoothie together after the gym.

Paul Ryan in a gym outfit.
Photo: Gregg Segal
An Ode to Paul Ryan’s Commitment to Fitness