Becoming an Online Fitness Rockstar with Director and Producer of P90X, Mason Bendewald

P90X is undeniably a household brand. Who among us hasn’t spent hours sweating with the best trainers in the world right at home in our own living rooms?

Here’s the secret of P90X success: When we can get a little more fit while being entertained, well…why not?

That’s Entertainment!

P90X, Daily Burn, iFit, NordicTrack, Fight Camp, Tonal, and Beach Body are just a few of the fitness brands Mason Bendewald has his fingerprints on. After graduating from the High School of Performing Arts in NYC (actor and dancer) and the Art Institute of Philadelphia, Mason saw incredible value and demand for online coaching in the fitness world.

While his specialty is coaching trainers to become on-camera fitness stars, he has also developed innovative programs that have shattered sales records beginning with the home fitness sensation P90X.

“I came from an acting and dancing background, but wanted to become a director,” says Mason. “I got very lucky and stumbled into doing P90X.”

Watch the interview here:


*For Mason, being fit is a byproduct of having fun while working out.

*Playing games like racquetball, pickle ball, or tennis is a great way to be entertained while developing strength and agility.

*The P90X team has from the beginning had an “entertainment 1st” approach.

“The biggest compliment I could ever get would be for people to watch P90X videos and be entertained.”

Online Vs. Gym

*Humans crave community interaction, which is crucial to mental health.

*Most brick and mortar gyms see the value of having both a physical and online presence in order to survive financially.

*Influencers have a different set of goals as opposed to trainers, who provide long-term strategies for a holistic approach to health.

*There is great value in taking advantage of the energy of a group training session, which uses music, lighting, and camera presence to inspire online users.

Training to be Trainers

“The typical trainer that hasn’t had any online training will walk in front of a camera and say, “What’s up everybody!” or “Hey guys, how’s it going?” Mason believes there’s a better way to connect with an audience who may or may not be excited to start another workout.

*Most people are alone at home watching the workout video, and often feel alienated when trainers assume a group audience is participating.

*A one-on-one approach to teaching fitness skills works best, and Mason teaches his trainers how to cultivate this feeling of individual worth.

*Trainers must find their own unique style of teaching, not using the common lingo of mainstream trainers.

Go Watch a Cooking Show

Mason believes that some of the best media teachers are cooking show personalities (think: Rachel Ray, Ree Drummond, Guy Fieri, Emeril, and Bobby Flay…we all know and love them!)

What makes these food experts fun to watch?

“They’re telling stories, whether it’s about history of food, or their family traditions. There’s always information that’s entertaining.” (19:00)

*Building an online following always goes back to making each individual feel heard.

*Emphasizing our common struggles and desires encourages unity, even though we are not in the same room.

“You create community through shared values and experiences.”

The (Im)perfect Trainer

When the average online watcher/worker-outer sees a fit, handsome, or beautiful young trainer on his or her screen, it can be a little intimidating. How long did it take that person to look like that? and… Where did they start from? Is there any hope for me?

*Self-confidence is a delicate thing. Trainers can encourage hope in their communities by sharing their own journeys and struggles, and how they overcame their challenges.

*Mason recommends TechnoGym, FightCamp, Tonal, Box Union, and AppleFit for the best interactive workout experiences.

*They’re not in your room, but they make you feel like it doesn’t matter what level you’re at.

*The best trainers often use affirming dialogue rather than challenging, pushy phrases like, “no pain no gain.”

Mason agrees that fitness only happens through consistency, and that only happens if people are entertained and feel connected to the trainer.

Value in Vulnerability

Mason has often asked his trainers-in-training to open up about a moment in their lives where everything fell apart…a challenge in their past that they haven’t shared with many people.

“That’s where the breakthrough comes, and the reason I ask that is because if they can share that story, then it’s really easy to share the simple ones.”

*Most trainers try to mimic other successful ones. This creates an environment of “clone influencers” who have little to offer to their audiences.

*Using personal experiences exposing your vulnerability and failure can be just as effective as sharing your triumphs.

*Capitalizing on their own stories allows trainers to differentiate themselves from all the rest.

Carving out Your Space

“Today, short workouts with a lot of competition online, the only way to differentiate without spending tons and tons of money is bringing your own story. The biggest mistake is saying, ‘I want to try and reach everybody.’ No, you want to find your niche.”

*With the millions of people who now work out online every day, Mason encourages his trainers to find a small, dedicated group of followers who connect with their personality.

*People want to find a trainer they could hang out with, not someone who intimidates them with their abilities.

“The only way to find your audience is to be super clear who you are,” says Mason.

Great advice for anyone….any time.

Download this episode here