Their Own Olympics: Our Experts’ Exercise Regimens

With the Summer Games approaching, our experts offer up impressive ways they train. 

With the Games set for the end of July, Olympics fever is building up steam—even within the confines of corporate hallways and offices. And while none of our athletically inclined partners have came close to breaking any world records, they say they are in peak-training mode, many with their eyes on upcoming biking and running events.

It’s no coincidence that many consultants are athletic. “The high stakes of business, and associated pressure to perform, is similar to competitive athletics,” says supply-chain expert Seth Steinberg, senior client partner at Korn Ferry, who visits CrossFit four times per week.

We asked partners at Korn Ferry about how they exercise and why, and found that many put in upwards of five hours per week, with a strong preference for cardio over strength training. Beyond that, what their regimens have in common is a desire to keep it fresh: Whether swimming, spinning, or cycling, doing two to three different types of exercise in the course of a day is a norm. Here are their summer exercise plans:

High Impact 

“I just started doing daily eight-minute HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts—they’re as short as they could possibly be. When I go to Spain in the fall, it will be easy to maintain them without spending time looking for a gym. Feeling strong really does increase my confidence at work. I also run outside two miles most days, which clears my head and brings a different perspective from staring at a monitor.” 

-Organizational strategy expert Maria Amato, senior client partner, Washington, D.C.

Double Duty

“Exercise is super important for me. I try and exercise twice a day: In the morning (7 AM) it’s about raising my energy, and I walk the dogs for 45 minutes or swim for 30 minutes. The energy from the challenge and satisfaction of exercise carries me into and through my working day. In the evening (8 PM), it’s about raising a sweat, and I’ll indoor cycle for 45 to 90 minutes. At the weekends and on holidays, it’s about being part of a team: In 2023, I rode in a mixed group of men and women across South America. Every day someone had a challenge, but you get to that person and help them, and the next day they do the same for you.”

-Jerry Collier, solution leader of the Assessment and Succession practice, EMEA, London

Changing It Up 

“I exercise four to five days a week for 60 minutes. I need variety! Tennis, spin class, yoga, or exercising with a trainer. I do morning workouts, or else I don’t get to working out.”

-Radhika Papandreou, president of North America

Strong Mentality

“I pick one to two events per year, usually running, to have some goal on the calendar. I try to run three to four days a week, at least two miles or longer, whenever I can fit it in, ideally an early lunch around 11 or 11:30 AM, or after 3 PM, when things slow down on the East Coast. I also stretch or do a Pilates-like workout almost every day, because injuries are inevitable if you sit all day and then run. My outlook is always better after the workout: I read an NIH study that said that every marker of mental health improves after a run.”

-David Vied, global sector leader for medical devices and diagnostics, Las Vegas

Head Clearing 

“Historically, I’ve been a seven-days-a-week runner. I did a 650-day streak of exactly 3 miles each day. It provides time to think, clear my head, and problem solve. It’s huge for productivity.”

-Dan Kaplan, senior client partner in the CHRO practice, Miami

Training to Sleep

“I’m an ex-sportsman. I use a Garmin, and pay a lot of attention to my body-battery and stress profiles. As I have moved into my 40s, exercise for me is as much about ensuring quality and consistent sleep as it is about fitness: Sleep has become the superpower that enables me to train, to apply myself, and to be in a good state of cognition. Typically, I get up and stretch first thing. If I have capacity, I like to do a tempo run to give me a kick. I find that lunchtimes are the best time for me to train with resistance work, as it picks me up and really helps my focus. The evenings are about light cardio such as walking or stretching.”

-High-performance expert Andy Holmes, associate client partner, London

Beating Yourself 

“I do CrossFit, and I highly recommend it. The varied and challenging routines always keep me guessing, which I like. CrossFit workouts are intense and demand focus, and I have found that this level of concentration can act as a form of meditation. The physical exertion also triggers the release of endorphins, natural mood boosters. And while the environment presents some friendly competition, the only true contest is me vs. me—which is the same as at work!”
-Supply-chain expert Seth Steinberg, senior client partner, Miami


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