2012-08-21

Workouts Of The Rich And Famous

Another interesting article in the Wall Street Journal caught my attention today: "Bakery CEO Does Not Live on Bread Alone." This is part of a WSJ feature I did not know existed until today, called "What's Your Workout." What a great idea.

The article provides some personal insight into the workout habits of the Chief Executive Officer of Panera Bread Company.

This article is interesting, first of all, because it discusses the CEO very little, and his company even less. It is not written like a PR stunt, and the reader is not invited to warm up to anything in particular about either Panera or Ron Shaich, the company's CEO.

Instead, the article focuses on exercise, which is the "second of all" as to why this article is interesting.

I am always interested in knowing how other people work out, what makes them do it, what makes them tick, and what kinds of exercises they find interesting. In this case, Shaich is a man who snacks a lot, avoids exercise whenever possible, and doesn't particularly enjoy the process of keeping in shape. But he does it because, like many of us, he wants to live a life of quality.

So let's take a look at how rich people who can afford home-visits from personal trainers stay in shape. For $12,000 per year in training session costs, plus another $25,000 in a one-time home gym investment (and whatever it costs to maintain two swimming pools), Shaich gets in-home physical training from a former Ukrainian olympic track and field coach. Not bad.

The workouts consist of "intense cardiovascular exercise," followed by "hurdles of varying heights," "abdominal exercises," and "strength training or weights."

Shaich's coach has made the unconventional choice of starting with cardio and finishing with weights. This leads me to believe that the "intense cardiovascular exercise" probably functions as more of a warm-up than a cardio workout. Shaich probably doesn't realize that the cardio sessions are not that intense.

"Hurdles of varying heights" probably implies some plyometric exercise, which I have incorporated into my own workouts for the past two years now, and which are absolutely exploding in fitness popularity. Plyo is in, maaaan... I suspect the plyometric workout pieces probably serve as the bulk of Shaich's cardio during his personal training sessions.

The workout ends with abdominal exercises and strength training. While I am not really sure why Shaich's trainer has elected to end the workout this way, we can see that the total hour-long workout incorporates three important aspects of training: strength, endurance, and "power." On the off days, Shaich jogs if he feels like it.

I'd like to point out that Shaich's cost for this is between $750 and $1000 per month, which is nearly four times more expensive than what you can get at your average gym chain for membership-plus-personal-training-services. Sometimes the very wealthy spend their money wisely; sometimes, they do not.

I would like to have read more details about Shaich's specific hurdle and weight exercises, but alas.