Exploring Uncommon CEO Habits: From Early Risers to Unusual Diets

In the high-stakes world of business leadership, CEOs often adopt distinctive habits to optimize their performance, health, and well-being. Their routines range from the bizarre to the inspirational, providing a fascinating glimpse into the lives of those who steer some of the world’s most influential companies.

The Early Birds

Josh York, the dynamic founder of Gymguyz, has taken the concept of an early start to new heights. York’s day begins at 3:29 a.m., a routine that includes a brisk cold-shower followed by a rigorous 90-minute workout and a three-minute plunge into an ice bath. York believes this intense regimen is the key to his extraordinary energy levels, claiming it renders him “superhuman.”

In contrast, the media and entertainment mogul helming Disney prefers a more contained approach. His mornings start in a dimly lit room where he exercises while tuning into a silent television, allowing him to weave in his own soundtrack. He regards this time as a peak period for creativity.

Nutrition and Wellness

For Mikael Berner of Edison Software, starting the day means ingesting cod liver oil, valued for its rich omega-3, vitamin A, and vitamin D content. This dietary choice underscores the importance of heart health and cellular benefits, albeit with a caution not to overindulge due to vitamin A’s potentially toxic levels at high doses.

Dietary discipline is also a priority for Meta’s chief, who maintains a substantial 4,000-calorie diet to fuel his rigorous mixed martial arts and jiu-jitsu sessions. Intermittent fasting is another strategy embraced by many top executives, leveraging restricted eating periods for potential health benefits.

Rest and Mindfulness

Robin Zeng of CATL, dubbed China’s “Battery King,” swears by the power of napping. A midday snooze at the office is part of his routine, aligning with sleep science that advocates for brief naps to boost focus and reduce fatigue.

Jack Dorsey, associated with Block and formerly with Twitter, once shared his elaborate wellness regimen that includes walking five miles, meditating for two hours daily, and limiting himself to one meal per day. Dorsey highlighted the transformative power of meditation, sharing insights from a grueling 10-day silent retreat that he found both physically and mentally demanding.

Gwyneth Paltrow, the figure behind the wellness brand Goop, champions a unique “eyes-open” meditation. This practice aims to encourage mindfulness in everyday moments, allowing for a deeper connection with oneself while fully engaging with the world around.


Steven Bartlett, notable for his insights on the “Diary of A CEO” podcast, mentions the unconventional method of evening massages to relax. Preferring treatments as late as 11 p.m., Bartlett finds this helps him to unwind after a day’s challenges.

Meanwhile, Tobias Lutke of Shopify emphasizes a balanced approach. Contrasting the common narrative of ceaseless work among tech CEOs, Lutke commits to not working past 5:30 p.m., highlighting the importance of rest and a strict adherence to a 40-hour workweek unless driven by a “burning desire” to do more.

These snippets into the lives of diverse leaders illustrate that there’s no one-size-fits-all formula for success. Whether it’s through relentless discipline, a commitment to health and wellness, or ensuring a balance between work and rest, each CEO’s habits are a personalized blueprint for navigating the complexities of leading top-performing companies.

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