How to Learn Skills Faster


Huberman Lab

This episode I discuss the science and practice of learning physical skills: what it involves at a biological level, and what to focus on during skill learning at each stage to maximize learning speed and depth. I also describe what to do immediately after a training session (note: this is different than the optimal protocol for cognitive skill training) and as you progress to more advanced levels of performance. I also cover the science of skill-based visualization which does have benefits, but only if done correctly and at the correct times. I discuss auto-replay of skill learning in the brain during sleep and the value of adding in post-training ‘deliberately idle’ sessions. I cover how to immediately improve limb-range-of-motion by leveraging cerebellum function, error generation, optimal repetition numbers for learning and more. As always, scientific mechanism, peer-reviewed studies and science-based protocols are discussed.

Access the full show notes, including referenced articles, resources and more at

Thank you to our sponsors​

AG1 (Athletic Greens):


Waking Up:



(00:00:00) Introduction

(00:00:31) Sponsors: AG1, LMNT & Waking Up

(00:06:28) Skill Acquisition: Mental & Physical

(00:08:40) Clarification About Cold, Heat & Caffeine

(00:12:45) Tool: How To Quickly Eliminate the Side-Stitch ‘Cramp’ & BoostHRV Entrainment

(00:16:08) Physical Skills: Open-Loop Versus Closed-Loop

(00:18:50) Three Key Components To Any Skill

(00:21:00) Sources of Control for Movement: 1) CPGs Govern Rhythmic Learned Behavior

(00:23:30) Upper Motor Neurons for Deliberate Movement & Learning

(00:25:00) Lower Motor Neurons Control Action Execution

(00:25:26) What To Focus On While Learning

(00:27:10) The Reality of Skill Learning & the 10,000 Hours Myth

(00:28:30) Repetitions & The Super Mario Effect: Error Signals vs. Error Signals + Punishment

(00:34:00) Learning To Win, Every Time

(00:39:26) Errors Solve the Problem of What Focus On While Trying to Learn Skills

(00:43:00) Why Increasing Baseline Levels of Dopamine Prior To Learning Is Bad

(00:44:40) The Framing Effect (& Protocol Defined)

(00:46:10) A Note & Warning To Coaches

(00:48:30) What To Do Immediately After Your Physical Skill Learning Practice

(00:53:48) Leveraging Uncertainty

(00:56:59) What to Pay Attention To While Striving To Improve

(01:04:45) Protocol Synthesis Part One

(01:07:10) Super-Slow-Motion Learning Training: Only Useful After Some Proficiency Is Attained

(01:11:06) How To Move From Intermediate To Advanced Skill Execution faster: Metronomes

(01:16:44) Increasing Speed Even If It Means More Errors: Training Central Pattern Generators

(01:19:12) Integrated Learning: Leveraging Your Cerebellum (“Mini-Brain”)

(01:22:02) Protocol For Increasing Limb Range of Motion, Immediately

(01:28:30) Visualization/Mental Rehearsal: How To Do It Correctly

(01:33:50) Results From 15 Minutes Per Day, 5 Days Per Week Visualization (vs. Actual Training)

(01:35:34) Imagining Something Is Very Different Than Actually Experiencing It

(01:37:58) Cadence Training & Learning “Carryover”

(01:39:00) Ingestible Compounds That Support Skill Learning: Motivation, Repetitions, Alpha-GPC

(01:43:39) Summary & Sequencing Tools: Reps, Fails, Idle Time, Sleep, Metronome, Visualization

(01:46:20) Density Training: Comparing Ultradian- & Non-Ultradian Training Sessions

(01:49:24) Cost-Free Ways to Support Us, Sponsors & Alternate Channels, Closing Remarks

Title Card Photo Credit: Mike Blabac


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