He ran a sub-20-minute 5K, earned a gold medal for Brazilian jujitsu, and completed an intensive CrossFit strength circuit in honor of a Navy SEAL. 

For Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, the key to an optimal exercise regimen is simple: variety. 

It seems to be working; the New York Times wrote that he looks “completely shredded,” and it’s thanks to new exercises he implemented within the last couple of years.   

Zuckerberg once told podcast host Joe Rogan that he likes to find exercise he enjoys. It has helped him stay consistent. 

“What’s a thing that’s both super engaging physically, but also intellectually, where you can’t afford to focus on something else?” he asked.  

“After an hour or two of working out or rolling or wrestling with friends or training with different folks, now I’m ready to go solve whatever problem at work for the day,” he told Rogan. He said he stopped running as frequently to incorporate strength and self-defense exercises into his day.

Zuckerberg’s weekly workouts 

During the pandemic, the tech tycoon began training in Brazilian jujitsu, a type of martial art. He also practices MMA fighting. 

“Right now, I’ve focused most of my workouts on fighting,” he told Lex Fridman in a podcast earlier this summer. 

He said he practices fighting three or four times a week. On his off days, he does a mix of cardio, strength, and mobility training. He usually does something every day unless he’s too tired, in which case he will go on a walk. 

“I have a very hard time just sitting,” he told Fridman, adding that getting outside helps him stay focused.  

In May, he earned a gold and silver medal at the Brazilian jujitsu competition in Redwood City, Calif. 

Casey Johnston, a strength training expert, told the NYT Brazilian jujitsu and similar sports draw in wealthy tech men due to their rigor and reward. 

“It’s like being on a playground with a bully but in this new framework,” she told the NYT. “It’s not quite choreographed but the stakes and the rules are unambiguous.”

And more, Zuckerberg was challenged to fight Elon Musk earlier this summer—because who doesn’t want to see two of the world’s wealthiest men and tech powerhouses beat each other up? The two would literally battle it out in a cage, and Zuckerberg even had a fighting cage assembled in his backyard to prepare. However, time is dwindling and Zuckerberg is getting restless. 

“If Elon ever gets serious about a real date and official event, he knows how to reach me. Otherwise, time to move on,” Zuckerberg posted Sunday on Threads. “I’m going to focus on competing with people who take the sport seriously.”

Running to strength training to water sports 

Zuckerberg goes through periods of enjoyment with different types of fitness, including water sports like surfing, Sam Lessin, former Facebook vice president and Zuckerberg’s pal, told the NYT. He calls him the “great physical instigator.” 

The CEO often posts on Facebook and Instagram (both owned by his empire Meta) when he crushes an exercise. He completed a 5K in under 20 minutes—running an average mile of six minutes and 16 seconds. 

On Memorial Day, Zuckerberg participated in the annual Murph Challenge to honor the Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy who was killed in Afghanistan. 

“I try to do the Murph challenge with the girls every Memorial Day as a tradition to honor those who defended us,” he  wrote on Instagram. His daughters also participated in a modified version.

Zuckerberg completed the challenge in under 40 minutes, a pretty impressive feat considering the requirements: a one-mile run, 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, and another mile run. Not to mention, you have to be wearing a 20-pound vest. 

The Zuckerberg diet

Contrary to what you may think for an exercise guru, Zuckerberg doesn’t stray from a hefty McDonald’s order. He recently shared his order online: “20 nuggets, a quarter pounder, large fries, Oreo McFlurry, apple pie, and maybe some side cheeseburgers for later?”

He responded to a comment on Threads critiquing his high-calorie diet, explaining how the fighting requires replenishment.

“Not cutting weight so I need ~4000 calories a day to offset all the activity. And it’s so delicious…,” he wrote.

He joins a host of wealthy founders and CEOs choosing intensive exercise routines—and getting buff as a result (hello, Jeff Bezos). After all, it seems that succeeding in business is not enough if these billionaires can’t push their physical abilities to the max—i.e., bring on the fight.

“Being physical is very important to me,” Zuckerberg told Fridman. 

Zuckerberg and his fighting trainer did not return our request to comment in time on his current exercise routine.

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