Physical Training, Dating Strategies, and Stories from the Early Days (#257)

In this episode, I answer the most upvoted questions from subscribers to 5-Bullet Friday, the free newsletter I send out every week. 

In this Q&A, I answer your most popular questions, including:

  • Physical training
  • Interview prep
  • The art of networking
  • Education reform
  • Dream guests on the show
  • And much more.

Want to ask me your own questions? Just subscribe to 5-Bullet Friday, which — every Friday — sends five bullet points of cool things I’ve found that week, including apps, books, gadgets, albums, articles, new hacks or tricks, and — of course — all sorts of weird stuff I dig up around the world. It’s free, it’s always going to be free, and you can check it out here:


You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#257: Physical Training, Dating Strategies, and Stories from the Early Days

Want to hear another Q&A episode? — Listen to this episode where I discuss the Myer’s-Briggs personality test, diet mistakes, immortality, and much, much more (stream below or right-click here to download):

#250: Myers-Briggs, Diet Mistakes, and Immortality

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This podcast is also brought to you by Four SigmaticI reached out to these Finnish entrepreneurs after a very talented acrobat introduced me to one of their products, which blew my mind (in the best way possible). It is mushroom coffee featuring chaga. It tastes like coffee, but there are only 40 milligrams of caffeine, so it has less than half of what you would find in a regular cup of coffee. I do not get any jitters, acid reflux, or any type of stomach burn. It put me on fire for an entire day, and I only had half of the packet.

People are always asking me what I use for cognitive enhancement, and right now this is the answer. You can try it right now by going to and using the code Tim to get 20 percent off your first order. If you are in the experimental mindset, I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • As I approach 40, how do I see my training changing? [06:40]
  • What’s my process for interview preparation? How do I ensure the end result is rewarding for my listeners? [15:46]
  • Is networking my greatest superpower? How did I get connected with so many fascinating people? [23:17]
  • In my 2008 TED Talk, I mentioned working on educational reform. What discoveries and developments have been made since then? [26:10]
  • Effective lessons aren’t always easy lessons. [30:05]
  • Where’s the line between stubbornly pursuing an idea that isn’t working, and the patience and persistence needed to actually make it work? [33:32]
  • Five dream guests I’d love to have on the show. [34:30]
  • I channel my inner Cal Fussman and share an untold story from my BrainQUICKEN days about getting attention at a trade show without a big budget. [36:12]
  • Is Joe Rogan slated to be a future podcast guest? [44:28]
  • Do I still follow the practice of screen-free Saturdays? [45:43]
  • Current dating strategies? [47:22]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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37 Replies to “Physical Training, Dating Strategies, and Stories from the Early Days (#257)”


    Have you noticed these things for your posts?:

    1. using that stream link kinda sucks (hard to rewind with such a small player)

    2. on mobile/desktop wordpress reader the embedded player doesn’t work

    3. the embedded player works best on your direct website and it’s way easier to rewind (lisbyn just seems to suck in general)

    4. I go the extra mile to listen because i love your posts, but it’d be awesome if i can listen right from wordpress reader somehow (soundcloud player maybe?)

    Thank Tim!

  2. Great show! I loved it loved it loved it.

    One of my favorite bits was what he shared about how he weeds out clients: if they seem to have little regard for others/high influence- possibly to harm other people/to be more powerful. This really lit me up as it is been something I’ve been exploring the edges of wrt certain practices but hadn’t heard someone talk about so directly. It’s also making me pause wrt how I chose my clients.

    You shared that you enjoy facilitated mediations, so I’d thought i’d shoot one your way if you’re interested- let me know. It’s from a course I led awhile ago using gravity as a reference point for exploring direct experience. 15 minutes.


  3. My hearing must be off – I think I just heard you suggest that men invite women on a first date with a group of friends?! What human would appreciate the scenario where they’re already nervous and now need to impress you PLUS your five friends on a first date? haha FYI from a woman’s perspective – the coffee suggestion was far more reasonable

    1. Your hearing is not off, but Tim didn’t say enough about the context. Not a date, but invite her to join a party with friends, that’s already scheduled. And he means inviting more than one girl to this social event, surprisingly. AND even more surprisingly it does work. There is actual proof to that strategy working in his TV show “The Tim Ferriss Experiment”, check out the episode on dating specifically. I think there is a free version of that program on iTunes.

  4. Dude, if she’s not attached or gay and you haven’t asked out Amelia Boone yet, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. You mention her at least once per episode and she lives near you.So here’s what your dating strategy should be:1 call her 2 ask her out.

    1. The discussion of androgyny and the sliding scale spectrum was my fave. I’m 60 and argued over androgyny concepts in early relationships quite often.

      Also — Four Sigmatic offerings for non coffee lovers… talk on their teas next round.

  5. Love listening to you and am a great admirer of your interesting mind. I know of a brilliant, eclectic, young, female, polymath, dynamic entrepreneur, now an executive in a global company near you, that perhaps one day you would like to ask for an interview. If so contact me, and I’ll tell you more. Despite your age differences, I think you would greatly enjoy each other’s minds.

  6. Just for my work in capital raising, I noted your points on preparing for interviews, in particular your two notebook pages. And the mantra: “don’t be lazy”.

    And…the GNC trade show story. Brilliant, and the early insights always a privilege.

    – I love these fan-question episodes, though I always miss the prompt to throw a question in somehow!

    Thanks Tim.

  7. Hi Tim,

    as an interested subscriber I got the following questions for you:

    How do you actually generate income?

    How much do you re-invest in biz development?

    Do you donate funds to your causes?

    Thanks very much in advance for your answers.

    Cheers, Fran

  8. Hi Tim,

    I actually noted down when I liked a quote. Here they are:

    “There is no way to happiness — happiness is the way.” — Thich Nhat Hanh.

    “If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.” – Marcus Aurelius

    “Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu

    “The factory of the future will have only two employees, a man and a dog. The man will be there to feed the dog. The dog will be there to keep the man from touching the equipment.” – Warren G. Bennis, University of Southern California professor of business administration; adviser to Ronald Reagan and John F. Kennedy

    “It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.”

    “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.”

    – Louis L’Amour

  9. Please pass this suggestion on to Herr Doctor Professor Ferriss;

    On a few of the Podcasts Tim mentions an avoidance of mathematical courses in his formal education. The attached amazon link for the book Design of Industrial Experiments by Schmidt and Launsby may be useful in shaping Tim’s personal experimentation. The authors use a keep it simple statistical approach so the concepts are well explained. I think just chapter 2 would provide an adequate overview of the book.

    If one can adequately address liability issues, it would be very beneficial to apply the experimental design matrices in the book to things like the application of the ketogenic diet across a larger sample size of people as a possible Lyme’s disease intervention. link for the book:

    [Moderator: link removed.]

  10. I just relistened to your original interview with Charles Poliquin this weekend and then went into this one, and there’s a question that needs clarifying: kettlebell swings are at odds between Pavel & Charles.

    Now I suspect Charles’ issue with swings are the way it’s done in many Crossfit boxes, whereas Pavel’s style is more akin with proper deadlift procedures. Either case, I would like some clarification about these concerns (maybe a future video on that one). Probably also a good opportunity to go over your kettlebell routine compared to S&S or the continuous routines you introduced to us in the 4HB. The lower weight of 24kg was a surprise as well.

  11. Hi Tim. After 5 years in business (I had my 5 year Anniversary yesterday) as a Professional Organizer I know I’ve found my purpose. Your book 4 Hour Work Week has been on my list for a long time. After telling a fan of yours that I’m close to at breakfast yesterday while celebrating my anniversary I shared with him that I’m ready to take the next step, something I vowed I’d never do when I 1st launched, and switch from service to information product. I’m sure it’s not surprising to you that he brought up 4 Hour Work Week. I hadn’t connected that you were the author til then. He sent me a link to listen for free via Audible & I’ve quickly digested a lot of the book. Much of how I coach my clients on time management is what you recommend, this explains why so many people told me I’d like your book. I already (and have been for 2 years) check & respond to client emails, voicemails, texts & Facebook messages once per week, a change I was terrified to make but has actually gained clients & eliminated stress while increasing profit margin. Turns out that’s what you recommend. So long story short, I’ve been doing a lot of your practices without knowing that’s what you recommend. About 50 minutes into your audio version of 4 Hour Work Week yesterday I shutdown one of my sideline businesses that had about $2,500 in cash & $2,300 more in debt on a 0% loan wrapped up in inventory. Within an hour of that decision I had a distributor ready to buy that inventory from me tomorrow which will free up that cash & eliminate the loan. When I heard your words “You have to be good at making decisions for yourself and others” it stopped me in my tracks. I am, that’s what I do. I coach people on how to make decisions faster and better. That sideline business was stressful, I hate carrying inventory and it didn’t reflect the brand of my main passion & business well at all. I shut it down. Decision made.

    I know you know & are familiar with Marie Kondo. Her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up gets me a lot of business as most Americans that truly struggle with clutter (which is rooted in the inability to make decisions) can’t actually get through her process on their own so they then call me. I’m like a personal trainer for homes. I’m known to take people from a paralyzed, stuck position with their home & life & take them through it, in the end hearing things like “This has changed my life” to “This is more than just organizing” to “I’ve never gotten rid of this much in my life.” My process and coaching works. I declared myself an expert 5 years ago (something else I just did based on intuition not knowing that’s what you recommend) after losing my job, leaving the home I had built, the property it sat on and my boyfriend of 10 & 1/2 years within two weeks time and have since become an expert with the portfolio of testimonials, before & after photos and client base to prove it. I love my work. I have grit and determination. I work hard. But 5 years later I’m further in debt and have no savings as at the same time I’ve been navigating some tremendous difficulties in my personal life that have been a drain on resources, energy and my business. I’m ready to stop the exhaustion and move into the next arena. I’m rounding the bend and am not accepting anything less than success, as you know, failure is not an option.

    I’m commenting here today because you’re my first potential superstar mentor that I’m reaching out to in my 1st comfort challenge, per your recommendation…publicly too. Do I get an extra gold star for that? I can’t call you & email isn’t recommended. You suggest I comment here or on Twitter. I chose to comment here because I haven’t hoped on the Twitter bandwagon to eliminate yet another social media distraction.

    My question for you is: If I know physically organizing with my clients in their homes is truly what helps pull people out of depression, paralyzing anxiety, grief, helps them learn how to make decisions faster & better, not the books on organizing that they often donate when I show up & they learn my process, how do I rectify that I can’t sustain being service oriented to fulfill my dreams even though I know information products don’t help the way physical organizing does? I feel conflicted although I know I can coach via information product successfully, it just won’t help those struggling the most. Or will it? I’m on the brink of a shift and need some advice on how to rectify this in my heart. Can I really help more people by making this shift or is it just a means to help myself more? I know I could be reaching more people on a bigger platform but I love the physical act of organizing, connecting with my clients and sharing in their journey. How do I get over this mental hurdle I’m creating and take the leap? What’s the single best way to make sure my information product isn’t just more clutter but meaningful and life changing the way physically working with my clients is? Many thanks. Your work has come to me at the perfect time. I look forward to your response and advice, thank you in advance! Marie’s work is also great inspiration, perhaps you can connect me to her as well? Worth a shot!

  12. Hi Tim,

    Great post! Really enjoyed it. A question I’ve found with my peer group and online that you might find interesting to elaborate on is: What are the pros and cons of building a business around a person “for example:Tim Ferris” or building one without a face on it “for example:Duolingo”. And which one suits you(the listener). Thanks for all your work!

  13. Tim!

    Thank you so much for posting this. Because of your podcast a couple years ago I stopped squatting super heavy and swallowed my pride. I went back to 135 and now am squatting deeper than I thought I ever would.

    I am also a former wrestler, at Penn State, I bought gymnastic bodies but have yet to actually complete it.

    Interesting outlook on education!

    I appreciate your help,

    Clay Steadman

  14. Tim – This is the first I’ve heard of QuestBridge, and so happy to hear you are an advisor! I’m a Tech Recruiter (software engineering field) for companies like Uber and Amazon (small world, since you’ve also worked with Uber and sent out Amazon’s Leadership Principles in one of your Five Bullet Fridays). Tell me, how can I get involved with QuestBridge? I’d love to volunteer and help in any way I can. Brilliant, brilliant platform!

  15. Local flavor favor… Curious if there’s a spot in San Francisco you would recommend for learning handstands, backflips and other gymnastics type moves. If not a place, any technique tips?

    I’ve set some goals that are coming up here around both physical and mental fitness – any help smoothing out the learning curve is appreciated.

    Muchas gracias por leerlo

  16. Oi! I’m on page 111 of the new huge massive compendium you have published and I feel it is absolutely necessary to say that you have either lived the lives of too many people….or have outsourced a billion experiences to many little writing minions/Morlocks deep below the earth who live to produce your material. Either way, your level of detail is both soul crushing and inspiring….you’re calculating the levels of psychedelics, macro/micro nutrients, insulin, blood sugar in your blood daily while I’m like….hmmmm, one bag of chips or two? Seriously? Tim, you’re too good, impossibly good….

  17. Tim, on the question of how to build confidence, I would highly recommend mastering something…anything…in order to build confidence. I understand the need to expose yourself to tough situations but that is exactly what mastering a skill requires. Whether it is piano, foosball, pinball, tae kwon do, etc., really doesn’t matter. Just pick something and become really good at it…master it. Then you will always know that, whether you start from the beginning, you have the ability to finish on top.

  18. What would your advice for NEETs be for everything from dating to job searching as well as how to reintroduce themselves into the world. Also I must recommend “Wentworth” to you it’s on Netflix it cut me open emotionally and I would say it is a must see.

  19. I’m not sure if you ever heard of Ian King (physical preparation coach), but this is an incerdibly fascinating and wise man and definetly one of the greatest of all time in his field. I would personally die for an interiew of yours with him! It may not be easy to get him to accept however.

  20. Tim,

    Thanks for answering my question about interview prep. I posted it a few months ago and forgot about it. It was a nice surprise.

    I liked what you said about networking – “an inch wide but a mile deep”. A bit what your friend Josh Waitzkin would say – depth beats breadth every time.

    Thanks again Tim.


  21. Hey Tim,

    Great episode as always, but my question/suggestion isn’t totally related. I just listened to Dom D’Agastino on Joe Rogan, and of course I’ve listened to his episodes on your podcast as well. I’ve tried to get into ketosis a few times and I find it so hard to sustain. Do you think you could do an episode that digs deep into how to successfully get into and stay in ketosis. A distillation of what you’ve learn from your own experience, coupled with what you have learned from Dom and Dr. Patrick would be awesome! Also, if something like that already exists and I’m missing it could you point me in the right direction? You’re awesome, keep doing what you’re doing!


    Bryan Myer

  22. Was driving home from the first day of school, listening to the Aug 6 podcast. Greatly inspired by the section on educational reform – especially your grasp on the pitfalls of change and the powers hindering improvement. As a part of the only high school in Ferguson, MO, my fiance and I have witnessed the roadblocks you mentioned in the podcast first hand. Creativity, introspection, high standards and love have helped us guide kids who middle school teachers said we should give up on to their “shocking” high school graduation. Thank you for even considering the topic of educational reform. Would love to aid in any way possible, however large or small.

  23. Tim – Love your work and it has inspired me many times over. Would love to see if you could get an interview with Theo Epstein and his strategies, routines, and rituals for success.



  24. I would love to see written transcripts rather than podcasts. I can read so much faster than people can talk that listening-to me-is the slowest way to get info.

  25. Tim – always enjoy your podcast. In a day and age where time is so precious, you never waste mine. I particularly loved your recent ‘deconstruction’ of your own interview techniques. Was insightful to hear the depth of work involved to really construct these amazing interview experiences for your listeners.

  26. Tim, I’d love to get involved with you on the education project. I have 17 years of classroom experience and have also worked on curriculum design. Let’s talk.

  27. Hello Tim. Great show. You mentioned that you occasionally do Exercises from Pilates, but you prefaced it by saying “god forbid.” Just curious: what is your take on the usefulness of Pilates?

  28. Hello Tim ,

    Long time listener, blah blah etc..

    my question is concerning your education reformation. Have you looked at the MTSS/ RTI component in your calculations for changing/ updating education?



    ( I’m not an educator nor do I play one on the internet, but my wife is. )

  29. Loved these types of episodes! If you ever do another Q&A episode, I would love to hear your thoughts on Japanese influence on American Business and Operations, specifically the influence of the Toyota Production System and the pros/cons of using it in alternative settings. (Thinking healthcare?)

  30. Hi tim

    I am trying to get healthier and cut down on my high carbohydrate and sugar intake but I am having a hard time getting through 10 days of eating less than 30 carbs a day. My body is going through sugar withdrawal and is craving sugar and carbohydrates like there’s no tomorrow. I end up cheating and not being able to get through 10 consecutive days with less than 30 carbs a day.

    I was hoping for a suggestion of a product I could take to help reduce (or satisfy) the sugar cravings without having to actually consume too many carbohydrates. Do you know of a product out there that would help?

  31. Fast forward to today, October 2020, how would you recommend people build their networks when it is all online?
    As a startup company I’ve relied heavily on building my network via events, and building relationships and introductions to investors in the same way.
    I’ve swapped this to online events now, however there is a lack of authenticity that comes from trying to reach out to contacts or cold connections when doing so online.
    Do you have suggestions on how to build and nurture meaninful relationships and contacts during taking into consideration the period we are in?