Thanks to a few lucky breaks, dedication, and hard work, Lex Fridman’s podcast has become one of the most popular podcasts in the world. His unique expertise on technology, specifically artificial intelligence and robotics, is second to none.
But how did he go from an MIT science nerd to becoming now worldwide famous?
Lex Fridman’s first big break came when he was a guest on Joe Rogan’s JRE podcast in October 25th, 2018 (Episode #1188). Subsequently, Elon Musk was a guest on his podcast in April of 2019 (episode #18). The combining factors of these two events put him squarely into the public view and has led to his rising fame.
Lex Fridman Podcast
In 2018, Fridman launched his podcast, called Artificial Intelligence, and later renamed it to the Lex Fridman Podcast, saying “because that’s what people call it anyway.”
Perhaps, Fridman’s unique signature of his podcast is that he always wears a black suit, black tie, and white shirt. He jokingly refers to looking like a “Russian hitman.”
Fridman’s started his podcast primarily focusing on his passions of artificial intelligence, aliens, science, robotics, consciousness, and the universe, but has since expanded to interviewing guests of a wide-range of industries.
The amount of notable guests he has had on the podcast continues to grow but some of his most significant ones have been Joe Rogan, Elon Musk, MrBeast, Jordan Peterson, and Mark Zuckerberg.
Lex Fridman’s First Big Break – Joe Rogan Podcast
Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.Seneca
Fridman had actually been a long-time listener of Joe Rogan’s podcast before ever appearing as a guest: “I’ve been a fan of the JRE podcast since it first started 10 years ago,” Fridman said. It was not until October of 2018 that Fridman made his first appearance.
Years later, Fridman has been a frequent recurring guest on Joe Rogan’s JRE podcast, and the two have developed a strong friendship ever since. So strong, in fact, that he moved to Austin, Texas to be closer to Rogan.
“He (Joe Rogan) inspired me to be a better and especially kinder human being, so it was surreal for me to be on there a couple of times last year,”Lex Fridman
Lex Fridman Moved to Austin, Texas
When Joe Rogan moved to Austin, Texas, many of his close friends decided to come along the journey too, including Lex Fridman. Now he is firmly in the Rogan close circle of friends and he does not regret the move at all.
Lex Fridman Has High-Level Friends
In addition to Joe Rogan, Fridman has kept company with many other A-list celebrities including David Goggins, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Whitney Cummings.
Fridman has also developed a friendship with former Navy SEAL David Goggins. The relationship was sparked by a tweet by Fridman, which he jokingly regretted later, suggesting he would do a pushup or pullup for every like, comment, or retweet that his tweet got.
I will do as many push ups + pull ups next 30 days as this tweet gets likes, retweets & comments. No number is too high. Bring it. I like testing the body & mind. Starting June 10 (to give time for gradual ramp up).— Lex Fridman (@lexfridman) May 28, 2020
After tallying up 19k of those, Fridman feared he may have gotten in a little over his head. That is when he reached out to Goggins for advice, and Goggins called him out for tweaking his promise in the initial tweet. (Fridman had said he might trade some of the push-ups and pull-ups for running and air squats.)
Fortunately, Fridman completed his pushup and pullup challenge using determination and toughness, thanks to some David Goggins mentorship.
Since June 10, I did 25,840 push-ups+pull-ups & ran 312 miles. Thank you to @davidgoggins for mentoring me throughout. This was the hardest mental thing I’ve ever done. Many lessons learned. Mind hardened. Habit formed. I’ll release a video on it after I get a chance to reflect.— Lex Fridman (@lexfridman) August 4, 2020
Lex Fridman Diet & Exercise
Like his friend Joe Rogan, Fridman is obsessed with optimal performance both mentally and physically, and he noted that his diet is the key element to his productivity levels.
Fridman eats a low-carb diet that is usually combined with both keto and intermittent fasting intervals. Sometimes, he does the carnivore diet, an extreme version of keto, led by the example set by Rogan.
In Fridman’s “A Day In My Life” YouTube video, he talks about his typical diet and exercise routine, which entails working out by running 6-8 miles, followed by “nickels and dimes” bodyweight exercises.
Nickels and dimes are a type of workout coined by David Goggins, where he does 5 pull-ups and 10 push-ups, usually at the start of every minute on the minute (EMOM). Fridman likes to work out on his fast, with an empty stomach. After working out he will take a shower but with icy cold water only for the first minute.
“I love exercising fasted on an empty stomach. Focuses the mind. I can actually perform extremely well,”Lex Fridman
Fridman breaks his fast, usually lasting 14-16 hours or more, with Athletic Greens supplement mixed with water. Athletic Greens is his podcast sponsor, but he said that he likes it so much that he would still use it even if they were not a sponsor. This product is also used and loved by Joe Rogan and Andy Stumpf.
For dinner, Fridman likes to pair a quality protein like ground beef with a vegetable, his favorite being cauliflower or carrots, and spices it up for taste.
When fasting, Fridman drinks lots of water and adds salt to keep electrolytes in his body. He allows himself to have black coffee, without cream or sugar during his fast.
Lex Fridman Supplements
In Fridman’s “a day in his life” YouTube video, he listed the supplements that he takes on a regular basis.
#1: Sodium Chloride for electrolytes when he is intermittent fasting.
#4: Fish oil from Public Goods (podcast sponsor)
Lex Fridman’s Hobbies
Fridman tries to set aside 1-2 hours every day to play with his hobbies, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, playing the guitar, and reading.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (black belt)
Fridman is a big fan of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, having earned a black belt in the martial art. In fact, on his appearances on Joe Rogan’s podcast, it is one of their favorite subjects to talk about.
Here is a short speech delivered by Fridman after receiving his black belt:
Fridman has turned his passion for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu into a social activity and has rolled around with Joe Rogan, Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and George St-Pierre.
Lex Fridman Plays Guitar and Keyboard
Fridman is a big fan of music, having learned how to play several instruments. He owns an Electric Fender Strat, although sometimes changes it up with an acoustic guitar instead.
“It brings joy to my heart”, Fridman said about playing the guitar.
Unsurprisingly, Fridman is an avid reader for both study and pleasure. He reads a lot of scientific papers to constantly stay engaged in his career, but also reads literature after a long day to help wind down.
Here are three books that he highly recommended:
#1: The Plague by Albert CamusThe Plague
#2: The Giver by Lois Lowry
#3: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer
5 Things Lex Fridman Uses Everyday
#1: Athletic Greens
Fridman likes to cover all his nutritional bases with a vitamin rich supplement called Athletic Greens (available on Amazon). He also uses it break his fast when he is intermittent fasting.
#2: Eight Sleep Bed
Fridman swears by his Eight Sleep Bed, which allows him to temperature control his sleep. It comes with a smartphone app which allows users to set it to their liking.
#3: Kinesis Ergonomic Keyboard
Fridman segments his work into intense, deep 4-hour sessions, with no distractions. One of his favorite tools, although expensive, he described as being totally worth it: Kinesis’s Ergonomic Keyboard (Available on Amazon).
#4: Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew
Fridman is an avid coffee drinker in a variety of forms. For a quick and easy caffeine jolt, he is a fan of Starbucks Nitro Cold Brew, black and unsweetened (Amazon).
#5: LMNT Recharge Electrolyte Hydration Powder
Fridman makes an emphasis on getting electrolytes in his system so he can keep grinding hard for both his work and fitness. Available on Amazon, he likes to use LMNT electrolyte powder packets (30 stick pack), which mixes well with water.LMNT Keto Electrolyte Powder Packets
Lex Fridman Website, Instagram, Twitter, & more
Be sure to check out Lex Fridman on social media, YouTube, and via his website.
Lex Fridman: Website
Lex Fridman: LinkedIn
Lex Fridman: YouTube
Lex Fridman also has a very accomplished older brother named Gregory Fridman. If you want to learn more about Gregory Fridman check out my article: Who is Lex Fridman’s Brother – Plasma Wiz Greg Fridman?
Lex Fridman Quotes
“When you turn your back on the voices of those who are in pain and who are angry, you breed hate. Love is the way out, not hate.” – Lex Fridman
“I say dumb things sometimes. You do too. Let’s forgive each other.” – Lex Fridman
“Life is more fun if you keep an open mind.” – Lex Fridman
“America is an amazing country. I’m a proud immigrant and a proud American.” – Lex Fridman
“Life is short but the day is long.” – Lex Fridman
“Don’t minimize mistakes. Minimize repeat mistakes. Fail in new ways and learn.” – Lex Fridman
“Those who crave power for power’s sake will capitalize on chaos, anger, fear. Don’t give them the chance. Be kind. Be patient. Be strong.” – Lex Fridman
*Sourced from Lex Fridman’s Instagram account.
Thanks for reading!