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Petraeus' workout

At 57, the newly minted leader of the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan still likes to start his day at sun-up with a five-mile run, blazing out each of those miles in under six minutes. Then it's straight to the weight room, where he ignores all those cushy-seated machines and heads for his torture device of choice: a single iron bar, lag-bolted eight feet overhead. A Petraeus pull-up is nothing as simple as hoisting your own body weight up and down a few dozen times. Instead, he slowly jack-knifes from the hips until his shoelaces are level with his face. After 20 of those babies, he drops to the floor for a crisp 100 or so pushups. And to recover from these self-imposed beatings, the general treats himself to a total of one meal per day and four hours of sleep. This, from a guy who a year ago was being treated for prostate cancer and survived getting shot in the chest when a soldier tripped during a live-fire drill.

Petraeus' rough-riding of his own wrinkling hide is often regarded as an indication that the general is a bit off his rocker, and the court of public opinion was quick to raise a finger and say "Aha!" after Petraeus fainted during a Senate hearing this month. Politics Daily observed that "while the 57-year-old Petraeus has been a lifelong athlete and overall high achiever, his ambitious personality may have pushed his body too far this time."


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