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Tim Noakes: Hacking Fatigue, Plus More 4 Hour Body Fun

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Dr. Tim Noakes is one of the world’s foremost exercise scientists and the author of numerous books including the Lore of Running.  From the University of Cape Town exercise research center, Dr. Noakes has worked with some of the greatest athletes of all time.  His research is redefining the way we think about fatigue in sports and regular life.

A lifelong runner (71 marathons and ultra-marathons), writer, and researcher (and recently, a paleo eater), Tim Noakes has used his knowledge to hack the human mind for improved athletic performance.  Whether you’re an athlete or a cubicle dweller, you need to hear this interview.


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Click here to read the free transcript of this episode.

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What We Cover

  1. Why your ability to go faster and handle pain is controlled by the brain.
  2. The Central Governor Theory and how it relates to sports and regular life.
  3. Why bonking is all in your head.
  4. How super athletes recover between races like the Tour de France.
  5. Why you should focus on building confidence instead of training your muscles.
  6. How your brain is keeping you from reaching your full athletic potential.
  7. How to train your mind and body to resist pain.
  8. The workouts and advice you need to build an unstoppable mindset.
  9. Why you’ll never reach your fastest times without high intensity training.
  10. Real world examples and research behind the Central Governor Theory.
  11. Anticipatory thermogenesis and weight loss.
  12. The secret to Dave’s ability to eat 4500 calories a day and not get fat.
  13. Tim Ferriss’s recommendation to put ice packs on your shoulders to aid fat loss.
  14. Dr. Noakes’ new book Challenging Beliefs.
  15. How you can train your brain to overcome fatigue in all walks of life.

Links From The Show

Dr. Noakes’ Wikipedia Page

Exercise Science and Sports Medicine Research Unit At The University of Cape Town, South Africa (Where Dr. Noakes works)


Books by Dr. Noakes

Challenging Beliefs (kindle edition)

The Lore of Running

Brain Training For Runners

East African Running

Running Injuries


Books mentioned in the Q & A

The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith

Supplements & Food

Paleo Pemmican Powder Upgraded™ Whey Protein

Upgraded™ Collagen

Vitamin D

Upgraded™ Glutathione

KerryGold Grass-Fed Butter

Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Oil

Coconut Oil (Organic/Raw)

Lugol’s Iodine

Vitamin C

Alderspring Ranch Grass-Fed Meats

Listener Q & A

  1. Which is better, Paleo Pemmican or Hydrolyzed Collagen?
  2. What supplements does Dave take?
  3. Does a high fat diet cause insulin resistance (revisited)
  4. Do fats have nutrients, and why doesn’t eating fat make you fat?
  5. Can you eat grass-fed butter if you’re allergic to dairy?
  6. Can raw vegetarians eat a Bulletproof Diet?

Biohacker Report (latest studies & research)

“Why We Crave Creativity but Reject Creative Ideas”

“Bacteria in Gut Influence Brains of Mice, Soothed by Probiotic Broth”


1. Bulletproof Coaching

We’re now offering a full Bulletproof Coaching Program.  Check it out if you need to lose fat, gain muscle, or upgrade your brain.

2. Grass-Fed Meat: An Epic Series

We started a massive series that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about grass-fed meat.  Sign up for our newsletter to have every article delivered straight to your email.

3. Bonuses

Don’t forget to tweet a link to this episode and enter to win a free copy of Dr. Noakes’ new book: Challenging Beliefs.

Questions for the podcast?

Leave your questions and responses in comments section below.

You can also ask your questions via…



Listener Questions


Is it more cost effective to go for the Paleo Pemmican or the Collagen Powder?  As with the Paleo Pemmican you get the whole shebang with the collagen.  The Collagen Powder only has pure collagen.

What gave you the most benefit and is it overkill to take both?


It seems like you take a ton of different supplements.  I was wondering if you could outline exactly which ones you take and why?


What is your take on animal research that shoes being on a high fat diet is strongly linked to decreased insulin sensitivity?


If the goal is 50-60% of calories from healthy fats, that implies fats have nutrients.  Could you expand on this?  Also, what keeps fats down the gullet from becoming fat around the waistline?


1) I’ve had dairy allergies since childhood.  could I substitute extra virgin coconut oil for grass-fed butter in Bulletproof Coffee?  If not, do you have any other suggestions on replacements for dairy?

2) I’m 95-99 percent raw food vegetarian (a vegetarian for 35 years, raw foodie for 4 years).  I eat eggs occasionally, and can tolerate small amounts of raw goat milk cheese (is raw goat milk cheese evil?).  Is there a place for me in the Bulletproof Diet plan?


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  • Charles

    Interesting stuff about the Central Governor Model. Are there any actionable techniques Dr. Noakes believes helps improve the way you mentally approach certain things?(Whether it be training or things in everyday life)

    • Armistead Legge

      For training, his main focus was intensity. For a more detailed approach, I strongly urge you to read the book “RUN” by Matt Fitzgerald. There’s a link above.

      In every day life, I think it’s important to remind yourself that you’re capable of anything, and don’t let fear hold you back. For more info on that, you should ask Dave about Bulletproof Coaching.

      Thanks Charles,


  • David

    is there a way to download the podcast to iTunes? When I hit the download link it just opens it in a new window. Thanks

  • Johnny

    I love the rest of the podcasts, but this one with Tim Noakes is terrible. He contradicts himself throughout the hour over and over again. He is a boring, terrible speaker and I feel like I wasted an hour listening to it.

    Your other podcasts are great, including the next one with Emily Deans. But do yourself a favor and remove this interview with Tim Noakes, it makes the Bulletproof Exec look bad for evening hosting it.

    • Armistead Legge

      Hey Johnny,

      I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the interview. I’m curious how you thought he contradicted himself. In what ways? Thanks for the input and we’d love to hear more.


    • Louise Patterton

      I love Tim Noakes….ever since 1983. Boring…no way! I think he is one of South Africa’s best symbols!

  • Jennifer Boudreaux

    The transcript link leads to the transcript of podcast #5, not this one. #3 transcript is here

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  • blue21

    ”you need to here this interview.” hear*

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