How a Videogame CEO Became the Boss of the Weight Room

Adventurer: Strauss Zelnick
Escapades: 6 a.m. weightlifting, skiing the mountains of Montana, cycling through the Canadian Rockies

Plenty of tech execs flex about their fitness regimen. But few can flex like Strauss Zelnick, CEO of videogame holding company Take-Two Interactive Software, which is responsible for hit games like BioShock, Borderlands and Grand Theft Auto. The ridiculously ripped Zelnick, 66, hits the gym twice a day—Equinox is his venue of choice—and has been known to turn his business meetings into weightlifting sessions. “I think I’m singularly responsible for getting Silicon Valley into shape,” he laughed.

(Several tech executives have mentioned to me unprompted that Zelnick had roped them into workouts. When I spoke with Lightspeed Venture Partners investor Moritz Baier-Lentz earlier this year, he was fresh off a brutal Zelnick CrossFit session. “The guy’s a beast,” Baier-Lentz said.)

Zelnick isn’t shy about his status as a fitness aficionado, having written a book on fitness and longevity in 2018 and made fitness-magazine headlines for his 6 a.m. workout squad called The Program. Here, Zelnick shares his most intense workouts, his go-to gear and how he pushed his employees to stay fit during the pandemic.

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