Dan John: Bulletproof Brains & Brawn – #40

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Dan John has spent his life with one foot in the world of lifting and throwing, and the other foot in academia. An All-American discus thrower, Dan has also competed at the highest levels of Olympic lifting, Highland Games and the Weight Pentathlon, an event in which he holds the American record.

Dan spends his work life blending weekly workshops and lectures with full-time writing, and is also an online religious studies instructor for Columbia College of Missouri. As a Fulbright Scholar, he toured the Middle East exploring the foundations of religious education systems. His books, on weightlifting, include Intervention, Never Let Go, Mass Made Simple and Easy Strength, written with Pavel Tsatsouline as well as From Dad, To Grad.

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What We Cover

  •   1:41 – Why are you a trainer of trainers/athletes with your high interest in religion?
  •  4:20 – The 5 questions you ask for clients to get them started on your program?
  •  7:05 – The difference between a health goal and a fitness goal
  •  9:00 – What quadrant are you in? And how it affects your mentality toward training
  • 11:50 – What do you think about older guys using hormones to reach their health/fitness goals?
  • 13:30 – Dan’s experience with BP Intermittent Fasting
  • 17:00 – Interesting thoughts on fasting and feasting
  • 19:00 – Cold thermogenesis
  • 20:40 – The mammalian part of your brain and how it is related to Dan’s training
  • 23:00 – The secret of freewill
  • 24:50 – The difference between “I don’t” and “I can’t”
  • 27:15 – What is “absolute strength”?
  • 31:20 – How putting 100% effort into your workout affects your recovery (Volume vs. Intensity)
  • 35:00 – Bio-hacking vs. track & field
  • 37:30 – The warrior spirit
  • 40:00 – The “how” and “why” of health/fitness
  • 45:20 – The 2 minimum effective doses to get strong as fast as possible
  • 49:50 – What should we be eating? (And a story about fitness experts NOT knowing what the best eating habit is)
  • 54:00 – What are the top 3 recommendations for people who want to be as powerful and resilient in all aspects of your life?

Links From The Show


Dan John’s Website

Dan John’s Q&A w/ Dave Draper

Intervention (Dan John’s book)


BP Intermittent Fasting

Bulletproof Coffee

Bulletproof Upgraded Whey (To Start Training!)


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By Dave Asprey

  • Justin Irving

    What a positive guy. Great interview.

    Also, thank you for suggesting John Sarno’s work a while back, his method has improved my life…he might make a good interview guest…

  • Having majored in Religious Studies, I particularly enjoyed this episode.

  • Laree

    That was fabulous. I’ve worked with Dan for a long time and have heard a lot of his interviews. This one is right at the top. Very nice work, guys!

    • cogrick2

      Agreed! Do you remember any of your other favorites? The only other one I can recall was when he appeared on Superhuman Radio and that was also a great interview.

  • AdamFiddler

    Didn’t expect that one, that’s awesome.

  • Sean

    “The Flood” – God killed nearly everybody.
    “The Ten Commandments” – God says “don’t kill”
    …wow “religious studies” must really strain the brain.

    • Loyd

      This was a joke, right? The word translated “kill” means “murder” and God is saying “don’t murder,” which is a very big difference. Innocent people were not to be killed. Guilty people could be put to death, and were. For example, “The Flood,” as you noted, God judged them to be evil and guilty of a variety of things. This isn’t straining your brain, right? 🙂

      I’m very sorry for the off-topic comment. From here on, can we please stick to the benefits of listening and perhaps following the health and fitness advice of people Dave interviews?

      • Sean

        People who choose to belong to a death cult will endlessly defend the lies, evasions, and double-think that protects their scared and angry childhood psyche.

    • Jesus

      Freedomain Radio: Religion – An Introduction,


  • Gabriel

    Very interesting. I have two friends that eat only a mayor meal at night. They are productive.
    Isn’t the energy one feels in the fast the result of stress? I saw a video that shows that fast or hypoglycemic states releases stress neurotransmitters.
    I also read fast makes you move which is what once would do in primitive times to find food.
    I feel irritable if I do not eat.
    Is it really healthy eat once a day?
    I know three is a diet called the Warrior diet like this.

  • Gabriel

    I liked the part on choices and how they tax your mind and willpower.

  • Mia Harlen

    This was my favourite podcast so far – I wasn’t familiar with the guy at all, and he’s totally one of those people one could just talk and talk and talk to. Loved the story about the rabbis and the prayers. Hope he’s on again!

  • Friedrich Nietzsche

    All revolutions start in the kitchen. – Friedrich Nietzsche

    Papa Dave says: “You eat what is on your plate or you eat nothing!”

    Anna thinks: “Why can’t I have some fruits, gulp…”

    Dictatorship starts in the kitchen too, it is so difficult to let children have what they like.

    But god created you in his image, so be happy to eat what he likes.

    It seems that religions come straight out of the kitchen too.

  • Dave S.

    Dave, I recently convinced my family to eat Bulletproof. They’re all in except for my older brother. He is interested in trying it but he is at a big disadvantage since he is an entrepreneur like yourself who travels frequently. Is there anyway you could explain your regimen for staying Bulletproof on the road?

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  • wendy

    dan should explore ashtanga yoga (instead of bikram)

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