Meeting Yoda: An Interview with Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss Hunter

Last week, I met Yoda.

Well, not THE Yoda, but one of my personal Yodas: Tim Ferriss, New York Times bestselling author, human guinea pig, and giant nerd.  I had the opportunity to interview Tim via Skype and ask him about all sorts of nerdy awesomeness: his recently released Four Hour Chefhow to get started with cooking even if you have never actually turned your oven on, how to get over failure, Star Wars, James Bond, and more.

True statement: after reading Four Hour Workweek five years ago (cover to cover in a day and a half),  I came up with the idea for Nerd Fitness and purchased the domain the very next day.  It was a real honor for me to speak with one of my heroes and a lot of fun to find out that he’s a normal, everyday nerd just like you and me.

I tried to keep my giggling like a school girl down to a minimum, but it wasn’t easy.

The interview is 33 minutes long, so I’ve provided the video, audio, and a link to a transcription of the interview as well.  How’s THAT for service!

Tim and his team was also nice enough to give me a bunch of copies of the Four Hour Chef to give away to Nerd Fitness Rebels, so make sure you read the end of this article to learn how to win a copy.

Tim Ferriss and Nerd Fitness

Tim Ferris and Nerd Fitness interview

If you’d like to READ the interview, you can check out an entire transcription of the interview as well.

And last but not least, you can download all sorts of free content and free chapters of the book by visiting – there are also hundreds of MBs of free content on BitTorrent as well.

My thoughts on the Four Hour Chef

Tim Ferriss Four Hour Chef

Here are my thoughts on the Four Hour Chef: This book should be read by anybody that loves learning, is afraid of cooking, or is convinced a zombie apocalypse is right around the corner (not even kidding).

It might appear to be a “learn how to cook” book, but it’s actually more of a “use cooking to learn how to learn” book.  Don’t expect a regular cook book! Tim breaks down his thought process for rapid skill acquisition, including how to quickly learn languages, memorize a deck of cards, or how to shoot 3-pointers.

If that wasn’t enough, he covers in tremendous detail how to survive if you are stranded out in the wilderness and plan on finding food or eating only what you can kill (with lots of graphic photos). Hell, he even explains how to catch a pigeon with your bare hands!

This book pretty much has something for everybody.  Not all sections will appeal to all people, but I’d bet that most Rebels will be fascinated by most topics.

The massive section on cooking will probably be of particular interest for most chef-in-training Rebels – Tim provides you with all of the information on specifically what to buy if you’re going to start cooking (specific spatulas, bowls, spices, etc), a series of recipes that increase in difficulty, and a gamification system to make this concept of cooking more enjoyable for those of us that don’t spend very much time in the kitchen.

I’ve become a HUGE fan of e-books since switching to an Amazon Kindle two years ago, but I’ll tell ya – the hardcover version of the Four Hour Chef should be the one you buy.  The book is over 600 pages with hundreds and hundreds of color photos.  If you plan on following the recipes in the book, the physical book will prove invaluable so that you can use it you on your countertop.

What are you going to learn?

Tim and his team were gracious enough to give us a handful of copies of the Four Hour Chef to give out to the Nerd Fitness Rebellion, but I’m going to make you work for it.

Tim is a huge fan of finding the most efficient path to learning a new skill, whether it’s dancing, learning a new language or martial art, or learning to cook.

Today, I’d like you to answer this question:

What is one skill that you’ve always wanted to learn but haven’t started yet, and what is one specific step that you are going to take TODAY to get started?

Simply leave a comment  by Thursday, December 13th at 11:59pm EST with your answer and we’ll pick five winners at random to win a copy of the Four Hour Chef.

Thanks again to Tim for this opportunity!  Now go cook something 🙂




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243 thoughts on “Meeting Yoda: An Interview with Tim Ferriss

  1. I always wanted to learn Spanish but just never got to it. Thinking about hanging out with my Hispanic friends more and asking them for help, also Sundays seem to be Hispanic days down at our Wal-Mart, maybe just hang out down there and see if I can pick up on conversations to see if I have learned anything from my friends 😉

  2. I have always wanted to play the guitar, since i was a kid, but there has always been something more important that needs to be done. Today i’m getting me an acoustic guitar and putting some time aside to study!
    Thanks for the push!

  3. I have always wanted to design earrings . I have everything I need to get started and today I will design and make a pair of earrings from feathers right after I zumba getting my housework done.

  4. many years ago, I asked for and received a harmonica for Christmas from my wife. I made some feeble attempts to learn. So tonight I will take time to begin my mastery of the harmonica.

  5. Always wanted to get better at the piano, not just maintain what I already know. Tonight I’ll do again what I coincidentally started last night– practicing left hand only. (I was inspired after reading how Shaq spent his time practicing free throws, instead of the dunks he was already good at)

  6. I’ve been pining to be an actually barista (Pull real good shots, make pour overs well) And I’ve put in with a group of guys I know to get the equipment to teach ourselves. All towards the goal of opening an espresso bar.

    Steve I love the website, look at it almost everyday. Thanks for all the content.

  7. I’ve always wanted to learn how to better study and concentrate (I’ve got more ADD than a squirrel going nuts for nuts). I’m definitely going to get started on that from here on out!

  8. Olympic Lifts and Paleo are the two on my list right now. I have converted my own site so I can pack it with information!

  9. Be at a strong conversational or better level of spanish. Tonight I am making flashcards of the 100 most commonly used spanish words using StudyBlue (great tool).

  10. I want to know how to make repairs on my own bikes so I can do general maintenance. Today, I signed up for two bike mechanic classes to learn basic and intermediate level care for my machines.

  11. I want to learn to be a strong swimmer. I’m going to start looking for a bathing suit I feel comfortable in today (no more excuses about “I’m not skinny enough to go to the pool”, and ask my boyfriend to give me lessons as a Christmas present.

  12. I have always wanted to learn how to swim for fitness. Today, I went to the local aquatic center and hopped in the “small pool”. I did about 12 laps back and forth, took a small break and then went at it again!
    While my wild flailing wasn’t precise form and I probably looked a bit crazy, my muscles knew somethins was up. i could feel that comforting burn that comes from a work out! Next up on the list…efficency and accuracy with my swimming, so that I can move from the little pool to the real deal!

  13. I want to learn how to use Instagram and fun photo aps on my iphone. I actually paid for an online class but didn’t complete, much less start it. Luckily it is on a “forever” site. I am going to start and complete the class beginning Friday, December 21st. The last day of school. I will have time to focus and practice.

  14. I had a heart attack last week so most of the fitness stuff is no more for me, with my type of heart a elevated heart rate is not good anymore. So no more PK, Kung Fu, or Marathons.
    I have always wanted to write a program and started working on a new program yesterday. I was actually working on it while listening to the interview.

  15. I’ve always wanted to be a director/scriptwriter. Making stories has always been greatly appealing to me. I’m going to start working on ideas for and writing a script (when I’m not studying for school, of course). I also think I’ll take a film class next semester.

  16. I am not extremely musically inclined, but yet I love listening to music. I have tried to sing (but wasn’t very good) and I tried out for band but was told I couldn’t because I had a “lazy tongue” that I went to speech therapy for. Perfect timing of the article because my friend just brought over a harmonica today and I looked up a “how to play” article. He said I could practice for a few days, and I am greatly enjoying playing so maybe a good quality harmonica is on the Christmas list! WIth enough practice playing,I will be playing Auld lang syne by my birthday for the new year! (Found the tab list for anyone intrested )

  17. I’ve always wanted to learn to snowboard, so I am going to swap my skis with a single-planking friend and teach myself how to do it!

  18. I’d really like to get into parkour. And there’s an intro class on LivingSocial right now for cheap…

  19. Hey Steve, I enjoyed every second of this interview with Tim and as I just moved out to my own apartment I can definitely use the four hour chef!

    Now having read other Tim Ferriss’ books I know I’m going to learn a lot from it not only cooking so looking forward to it and thanks for the brilliant interview man.

    Really glad Tim is into Star Wars and not Star Trek although is the first time I see someone having Star Wars vs LOTR, that was interesting.

  20. I have always wanted to learn how to speak Japanese. I’m sure my fascination with Japan stems back to my gamer roots being as Japan has had such a monumental effect on the video game industry’s development & success, and therefore, many of our lives. I hope to travel there one day soon (it’s also on my list of awesome). Tonight I am going to look into purchasing Rosetta Stone or taking some local Japanese classes.

  21. I want to learn how to kayak and/or hike. There is a group of guys my kids group up with, who go all the time and I have always let my weight stand in the way of going. I am going to put an end to that. I have lost 10 lbs since started eating a Paleo lifestyle. I am going to ask all those same guys and a few girls to teach me how to kayak and/or hike successfully. Can’t wait! I would love to have a copy of this cookbook. Sounds very interesting.

  22. I’ve always wanted to go scuba diving, but never had the chance. I’m going to go look up some local scuba schools tonight!

  23. Honestly I’ve always wanted to be able to use telekinesis…yup you read that right! 🙂 So I’m going to do some research on exercises so that I can have the ability to use telekinesis today!

  24. I think my old post went off into the ether, but if this is a repeat, forgive me…

    I have always wanted to learn to surf. I took an two-day class in it a few summers ago, and it was SO fun, but I never successfully stood up. I already made the decision (thanks to this site, actually) to attend an all-women’s surf camp in Costa Rica in about a year. What I’ve been doing all evening to work on this (reading this article was actually a break) is job searching online so I can afford it, as well as intermittent Angry Birds style resistance circuits. Surfing is a full-body sport! The camp includes professional surf photography, and I want to love what I see in those photos.

  25. I’ve always wanted to find a way of dieting that didn’t lead to scam artists and recommendations to such people. Pity my search still continues eh?

  26. Word of advice on learning Japanese: Rosetta Stone works, but is incredibly expensive. I found this site early this year when I too, wanted to learn Japanese. I made really good progress, but then I graduated from university and, being Canadian, figured that knowing French would benefit me much greater than Japanese, so I switched to that. However, the site is, and while it’s not free, it is a hell of a lot cheaper than Rosetta Stone and works quite well.

  27. I have always wanted to be able to compose music. Since I was a small child, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with music. I’ve played guitar since I was 8, and there isn’t a single genre of music in which I can’t find anything I enjoy. I like listening to the greats (Beethoven’s 9th, Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, Mahler’s 5th) and trying to figure out exactly what’s going on and how everything works…I’ve even downloaded a few of the scores (I know, it’s nerdy, but that’s why I read THIS blog). I completed two years of a bachelor of music degree, but due to some personal revelations and events that occurred near the end of my second year, I fell behind and lost the drive, changing into (and completing) a computing degree. I loved the computing program, and I know it will lead me to a good career, but I’ve also always regretted not finishing out the music degree. So today, I will dig out all my old composition textbooks and start doing all the exercises I never bothered to do in school, and start reading through (and applying) more advanced concepts in other books lying around the house (my brother also was a music student, but he completed his degree).

    Unrelated note: woke up this morning and did my first legit workout, probably ever. I’ve been mostly paleo for the better part of a month now, and already I feel much better than before (when my diet consisted mainly of beer, pizza, cigarettes, and energy drinks). So I wanted to say thanks for the inspiring articles and insanely useful information, it’s all been really helpful.

  28. I’ve always wanted to play some sort of instrument that I can just jam out on, so I bought a harmonica today and am already Bob Dylaning up my apartment!

  29. I want to learn how to speak German before my Oma passes away. I have some software I purchased ages ago to help me learn. Today I am going to install it and set up a schedule so I can study a little bit every day!

  30. I want to learn to sew. I have a machine that’s about as old as I am (thanks, Grandma!) and the old, giant Reader’s Digest, Complete Guide to Sewing. Today, I shall cut up an old pillow case and see if I can make it back into a pillow case!

  31. I’d love to learn how to program websites and I’m going to go and use Ruby in order to do that.

  32. I really want to learn Spanish, and then hopefully in the future I’d like to learn German. I’ve signed up to so I’m going to start there. I’ve also downloaded the iPhone app and I’ve set daily reminders on my phone and computers so that I keep up with it.

  33. I want to learn Spanish. I’m already fluent in English, and my native language is French.

    So today I went and registered an account on, and got my first lesson done. 🙂

  34. I have been “trying” to learn Spanish for several years now. I’m going to go upload my audiobooks to my iPod right now.

  35. I would love to learn how to master my fincances. Or may be better said – learn how to be the master of my finances rather than have my finances master me. Oh, and to actually capture a Zombie. That would be cool

  36. Always wanted to learn how to manage my finances better. Will be signing up at a local church this morning for a Dave Ramsey course!

  37. I have always had a healing touch with humans and animals, but have no physiology, anatomy, or technical training. I would, no…I will be a massage therapist and am researching as we speak the schools in the Colorado area to bring what is a inborn “Force” 😉 to people who can benefit from it

  38. I have always been good with languages – that’s why I studied English, French, Spanish and Italian in school and continued learning these languages thoughout university where I also learned some Russian. However, it sometimes happens that I can remember a word in several of my “other” languages but not in the one I need it.

    This bugs me a great deal. Therefore I have decided to learn across languages now – learning a word in all my languages (this will also make it easier to identify differences between languages).

    Today I’m starting with the 400 basic vocabulary list suggested by

  39. I’ve always wanted to learn musical theory so I can sightread music, have a chance of making it into uni choir, and become a member of my college’s fantastic a cappela group. Tonight, I’m going to call my old piano teacher and organise weekly lessons so I can learn how to sightread by the end of the holidays. I can’t wait!!! 🙂

  40. I have always wanted to sky dive. I am going to set up flying time at a wind tunnel / indoor sky diving.

  41. I currently weight train with kettlebells, dumbbells, and my own body weight, but for a few years I have wanted to play with the big boys and learn to lift heavy with barbells. I am too chicken/self-conscious to go to the gym on my own and experiment. TODAY, I will contact a personal trainer I know and ask him about a possible beginner barbell seminar he mentioned a few weeks ago.

  42. Knitting. I actually used to know how, and loved it. I have since long forgotten how to do it, but continue to love that one imperfect scarf I made. Tonight I will go to michaels and get some new needles and a book!

  43. I’ve been super stressed this afternoon from Christmas shopping (why does everyone have to go at the same time as me? :-P) and would like to learn to meditate but don’t make the time. So I’m going to spend 5 minutes focussing on nothing but my breathing just before bed tonight to help me unwind. 🙂

  44. I’ve been wanting to learn how to draw clothing on figures (I can draw the faces and bodies okay but the folds and armor and accessories always come out bad!). Today I’ll look online for some tutorials!

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