The Tao of Ari’s Abs & Licht’s Deck Chairs

greek abs
Photo: Roberto Serra/Getty Images
Dylan Byers
July 22, 2022

“What is Ari’s diet!?” This is a question, offered without sarcasm or irony, that has been raised in at least half a dozen different conversations that I’ve had this week, in Los Angeles and New York, with Ari Emanuel’s fellow Hollywood executives, rival agents, various on-air talents and P.R. heavies. It’s a reference, of course, to the now-famous photos of the superagent-cum-media mogul hosing down Elon Musk aboard his yacht in Mykonos, first published by TMZ. As I quickly learned, the thesis I put forward earlier this week—that there really wasn’t all that much news for a media reporter to cover in these dog days of summer, when everyone seemed to be off in some other time zone—turned out to be utterly false: there was something the media establishment was talking about, obsessively, and it was Ari’s Adonis-like abdomen.

To the degree there was any real news value in those photos—there wasn’t—it came from simply knowing where Elon was and what he was up to on the heels of his decision to abort his highly-publicized Twitter takeover. (Alas, a Delaware court may decide in a couple months that he can’t walk away so easily.) But while the general, online public was repurposing the Tesla C.E.O.’s very pale, bulldog-like physique into a thousand memes, the industry insiders who have been on yachts with Ari, or aspire to be on yachts with Ari, or aspire to be represented by Ari—or at the very least aspire to be at the same private function as Ari—were very much focused on the 61-year-old man with washboard abs and zero ounces of body fat, and asking themselves: how does he do it?

The answer, it turns out, is a fitness regimen and diet so extreme as to be untenable to anyone but the most disciplined military professionals, top-flight athletes or corporate warriors of our time. According to four sources with knowledge of the routine, Ari wakes up everyday long before sunrise and takes an hour-long ice bath. This is followed by a session in his private sauna and deep meditation, which is in turn followed by a hard, intensive workout in his private gym—save for Mondays, when he does not work out because he fasts for 24 hours. On the other six days of the week, he fasts for roughly 18 hours, skipping breakfast, taking lunch at noon and eating dinner at six. His diet is heavily though not exclusively lectin-free vegan, and includes a highly specific, bespoke kale-chard-spinach-avocado smoothie (I have the recipe, it’s quite long). The final ingredient is a regular ingestion of bacteria-eating microworms, which he takes “for longevity,” a source said. On days when he is not flying, he works from a treadmill desk. Many people in the industry have stories of watching Ari roll calls on the treadmill desk.