YouTuber and bodybuilder Zac Perna has tried following the fitness routines and diet plans of some of the fittest and strongest people in the world, from former Navy SEAL David Goggins to Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps. In his most recent video, Perna takes on a slightly different kind of challenge: adhering to the daily routine of Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk.
As Perna explains in the intro, Musk subscribes to an extreme version of the Pomodoro technique, which suggests breaking down workloads into intervals of 25 minuts. In Musk’s case, he does everything throughout his day in intervals of just five minutes.
Although as Perna’s brother and business partner Joel points out, as the head of a giant tech company, with all of the resources and staff at his disposal, it’s probably pretty easy for Musk to measure his own daily calendar in terms of five-minute slots because any task requiring a longer period of time than that can simply be delegated to a member of his workforce.
Perna starts the day on a fast, as Musk is known to skip breakfast, and doesn’t eat until his pre-workout meal at 1 p.m. And it turns out, Musk even applies the five-minute rule to eating. “Thankfully, I’ve been known to just swallow food whole, so I think I’ve got challenge in the bag to be honest,” says Perna. “Five minutes for one meal? I think I can actually do it in less.”
Once he has prepared his lunch—salmon with egg fried rice and vegetables—Perna sits down and sets a five-minute timer… and is able to clean his plate with 2:42 left on the clock. Although he wouldn’t recommend anyone do this as a part of their own daily routine. “Your digestive system won’t thank you for it,” he says. “In fact, it’s pretty horrible, you should savor your food and chew it.”
Musk has said in the past that he tries to get to the gym whenever he can, and while there he’ll either do a resistance workout with weights or cardio on the treadmill. For Perna, that means programming each exercise in his chest training session into five-minute-long “Elon sets.”
“I can’t feel my chest any more,” he says at the end of the workout.
Then finally, after a dinner of American barbecue (one of Musk’s go-to meal choices), Perna jokes that all he has left to do to follow the billionaire’s routine is send some emails at 1 a.m.
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