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Rishi Sunak’s morning routine: 6am Peloton, Britney Spears and a pain au chocolat

The morning routines of successful people have always been a source of curiosity. Jennifer Aniston wakes up at 4:30am, Oprah Winfrey meditates for 20 minutes, while Mark Zuckerberg gets dressed in a grey t-shirt every day to avoid “decision fatigue”.

Rishi Sunak, the UK’s third prime minister in less than two months, has his own idiosyncratic morning routine. It includes an early rise, a gruelling Peloton workout to the sound of Britney Spears, followed by either no breakfast at all or one that is unlikely to keep hunger locked up until lunch.

As the former chancellor officially took office following a meeting with King Charles III on Tuesday (25 October), there was much speculation about his familial life, expansive property portfolio, and whether he will make 10 Downing Street his primary residence.

As for his daily routine, the prime minister said he always starts his mornings with some exercise. In an appearance on the Twenty Minute VS podcast last year, Mr Sunak revealed his preferred time to wake up in the morning is 6am.

He said he is a “huge fan” of Peloton workouts, namely those led by Cody Rigsby, one of the stationary bike’s most popular instructors.

Rigsby, a former athlete, encourages participants to imagine themselves as pop star Britney Spears whilst cycling.

“I’m a huge Cody Rigsby fan. He has been my long-term favourite, which means you do have to listen to a lot of Britney,” Sunak said, adding: “But you know, no bad thing in trying to get you motivated, I guess.”

“I hope you’ve got your wigs on, your costumes on, you’re Britney shirts on. I’m gonna be imagining myself wearing multiple Britney wigs today, you can do the same,” Rigsby tells watchers during one Britney-themed video.

First launched in 2012, Peloton sells a range of treadmills and stationary bikes which come complete with 22-inch flatscreen TVs and on-demand workouts hosted by one of Peloton’s instructors. The equipment is considered top of the range, with bikes starting at £1,750.

When he is not taking part in a Peloton class, Sunak opts for a run on the treadmill or a high-intensity interval training session at his local leisure centre.

Once finished with his daily exercise, Sunak said he either does intermittent fasting and skips breakfast altogether, or eats Greek yoghurt and blueberries.

Intermittent fasting is an eating pattern that restricts the numbers of hours in a day during which a person can eat.

One study, published by researchers at Harvard Medical School in 2020, found that intermittent fasting may enhance the body’s defences against oxidative stress, and increase disease resistance.

As the podcast’s host, venture capitalist Harry Stebbings, points out, the routine is enough to make listeners feel “terrible” about their own morning, but Sunak admitted his eating habits get less conventionally healthy throughout the day.

“And then I have a second breakfast mid-morning which is either Gail’s cinnamon bun or a pain au chocolat, or a chocolate chip muffin, so I have one chocolatey, sugary pastry at some point,” he said.

While his schedule keeps him busy throughout the week, Sunak, the father of two girls, said his family sits down together for breakfast every weekend.

“On the weekend we have a full cooked breakfast on Saturdays, and then on Sundays we alternate between pancakes or waffles,” he said.