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Five Most Fit CEOs and Their Routines

Five Most Fit CEOs and Their Routines

Editor's note: This piece is a collaboration between Luke Jacobi and Jeff Song.

In an effort to find the five most fit and successful CEOs, Benzinga scoured the web for the workout routines of different CEOs and how fitness keeps them focused both in their personal and professional lives. Here is our final result and ranking.

  • #5 Mark Holowesko

    After running Templeton Investments, Mark Holowesko started his own fund, Holowesko Partners. He currently serves as CEO, Chief Investment Officer and Director of this fund and is an avid triathlon competitor.

    How he trains:
    80 mile bike rides
    4000 meter swims

    How he competes:
    1996 Olympics
    triathlons (112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run, and 2.4 mile swim)

    According to Forbes, Holowesko regularly wakes at 3:00 AM to work a 70 to 80 mile bike ride into his day, and utilizes his lunch break to swim laps. Holowesko often cites the importance of discipline, one of the primary drivers of his exercise.

    Currently, he competes in triathlons and has finished two which feature a 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run, and 2.4 mile swim. On top of his success in the world of triathlons, Holowesko represented the Bahamas in the 1996 Olympics for sailing.

    Not only does Mark pursue these activities personally, but has been a long time donor to cycling and triathlon organizations so others can enjoy the sports.

    Bike Reviews
    Bahamas Investor

  • #4 Richard Branson

    As the founder of Virgin Group, serial entrepreneur Richard Branson is responsible for more than four hundred companies. Despite his busy schedule, Branson claims he cannot go a day without exercise.

    What a Workout May Look Like:

    • Squat: 5 sets of 3-8 reps

    • Leg Curl: 4 sets of 5-10 reps

    • Calf raise: 5 sets of 6-12 reps

    • Dumbbell Bench: 3 sets of 12-15 reps

    • Barbell Rows: 3 sets of 12-15 reps

    • Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 12-15 reps

    • Skull Crushers: 3 sets of 12-15 reps

    Richard Branson has stated on several occasions that he needs to exercise every day, and has described working out as a cure for a lack of energy, health, hangover and focus. Richard Branson engages in a wide range of physical activity including swimming around his island, Bikram Yoga, rock climbing, running and weightlifting.

    Live Your Legend

  • #3 Craig Esrael

    CEO of First South Financial Craig Esreal was not always the successful and physically man he is today.
    During an interview, Esreal revealed that he was actually severely overweight during his childhood and early adulthood. This motivated Esrael to start an aggressive exercise and nutrition program consisting of weight lifting, running and dieting.

    How he stays in shape:

    • 4 mile run at 4 am

    • 5 sets of push ups

    • 5 sets of sit ups

    • Staying active and on the move throughout the day

    He maintained his commitment to fitness during college, even while working multiple jobs. When he became CEO of First South Financial in 1983 at just 24 years of age, he remained committed to fitness as a way of keeping focused and made the company what it is today.

    Esrael wakes up at 4 am everyday to run and finishes of his morning routine with push-ups and sit-ups and makes sure to stay physically active throughout the day, opting to walk up a flight of stairs instead of taking an elevator.

    Jewish Scene Magazine

  • #2 Michael Corbat

    Before Corbat became the CEO of Citigroup, he was assigned to divest $573 billion of Citi’s assets in 2009.

    Wanting to stay physically sharp while facing such a demanding task, Corbat started a strict workout regime known by many in the fitness community as the “Spartacus Workout”, which entails a series of 10 exercises to be done for 60 seconds each.

    How he trains:
    Sample Spartacus Workout:
    1. Body weight squats
    2. Mountain climbers
    3. Dumbbell snatches
    4. Push ups
    5. Burpees
    6. Dumbbell rows
    7. Dumbbell lunges
    8. Standing high jumps
    9. Sit ups
    10. Dumbbell shoulder press

    Beyond the shadow of a doubt, Corbat has been extensively applying his mindset and intensity from keeping in shape in his personal life to his work life by cutting excess layers of fat from Citigroup and improving the company’s bottom line. Citigroup’s revenue of $20.8 billion in Q1 2013 was 3% greater than that of the same period the prior year.

    Business Insider

  • #1 T. Boone Pickens

    As described in an article written on his LinkedIn, T. Boone Pickens describes exercise as boosting brain power, fighting Alzheimer’s, improving self confidence and fighting fatigue. Showing his commitment to fitness, he built a gym at his office building and made it available to all employees.

    What A Workout May Look Like:

    • 20 minutes on the treadmill at a ten percent incline

    • 15 pound Sit Ups: 3 sets of 20 reps

    • Chest Press: 4 sets of 8-12 until failure

    • Arms: dips and curls with 35 pound dumbbells

    • Back: pull up variations

    • Squats: 65 pound squats for 20-25 reps

    Known for his career as a corporate raider, philanthropist and strong supporter of natural gas, T. Boone Pickens is currently the Founder, Chairman and CEO of BP Capital.

    At 84 years old, T. Boone Pickens is in better shape than most Americans. He starts his workouts at 6:30 am and continues with cardio and weightlifting. Showing his knowledge of muscle building, T. Boone Pickens concludes his piece on LinkedIn by quoting Arnold Schwarzenegger.



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