The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide To Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex And Becoming Superhuman
- Ebury Press
- Publication Date:
- 03 January 2011
- Diets & Dieting
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Tim Ferriss is one of the most fascinating authors to come by in quite some time. This is the second self-improvement book of his I've read (the other, The Four-Hour Work Week, was the best book I read all of last year). Not only does he speak from personal experience, but also from experimentation and validation from others. He is wide open showing his methods, the science that backs them up, and, of course, the incredible results achieved.The Four Hour Body is about losing weight, getting in shape, gaining weight, having better sex, body building, and gaining superhuman endurance. While Ferriss has done it all, most people are not going to have need for all segments of the book, and Ferriss suggests that one takes what they need from it and not attempt to read the whole thing. For purposes of this review, I have read the whole thing, but I will be more selective when it comes to trying to implement some of the strategies outlined in the book.And strategy is the right word for what this book is about. Ferriss maintains that most people aren't aiming for elite, or professional status when it comes to athletic performance or body sculpting. What he focuses on are the smallest changes that can be done that result in the greatest gains -- in other words, 4 hours per week can achieve 80% of the results that an elite pro will spend 6-8 hours per day working on. Ferriss additionally seeks the advice of renown trainers of some of the world's finest athletes, and comes back with take-aways that are practical for anyone to try.So will his theories work in practice? There are plenty of affidavits available online that suggest yes, and some are included in the book. His dietary advice is quite strict -- 6 days per week -- the 7th day is an off-day where you're allowed to eat whatever you like and as much as you like. It doesn't count calories, but it does restrict many kinds of foods, and it specifies particular foods at certain times of the day. I need to develop a menu around this before I can really dive into it. It would be unusual for me to have a low-carb breakfast, for example.Probably the only thing I don't like is Ferriss' reliance on dietary supplements and other potentially harmful pharmaceuticals. Between this and the number of blood tests and other health screenings he has done on a regular basis, parts of this book are just simply out of the question as far as I'm concerned. It was still interesting to read about them, mind you, but I won't be partaking in such things. Among the appendices is a chapter where Ferriss discusses the often-dubious research findings sponsored by corporations or industries with a vested interest in beneficial results. He tells us how to interpret meaningless buzz words and unsubstantiated data that may not be at all significant. Just like in his book The Four Hour Work Week, Ferriss supplies information on all of the tools, reference information, and products used on his website, and the book contains references to them all. Also there, one can find additional stories from some of the trainers, coaches, and specialists consulted during the making of the book. Ferriss does a great job not only discussing what is possible, but holding your hand through the process so that you can easily practice what he preaches.Of most interest to me is his weight-loss regimen, and his methods for developing into an endurance (ultra-marathon) runner without having to put in long hours of painful runs leading up to the big event. I'll try to remember to update this review if I can stick with it and have some results to share.
This book has it all. I've been testing ways to improve fat loss, increase my running times, increase muscle size, and generally getting healthier by exercise, vitamins, nutrients, and studying.what Tim has done was placed a lot of the information I've studied over the past couple of years into one book and then multiplied it by 1000! OMG the amount of information is staggering! And it's not just an all or nothing approach, you can hand pick any area you want to focus on and he has given you what to do, the science behind it, and the test results to boot! This is one book that you'll keep handy to refer to down the road when you're ready torun that ultra marathon,or dead lift like an Olympian, etc. Amazing!
I've read the diet and nutrition sections so far. It's fairly easy to read. The information does seem to be accurate and along the forefront of todays fitness methodology. The nutritional supplement information is very intriguing and I intend to give it a try. The information could be summarized more clearly, but a second reading while taking notes made up for any deficiency. The little fitness info I've read so far, also seems valid and sensible. I intend to revise my review after I've actually tried following the diet and exercise plans for myself.
The 4-Hour Body is a trip, a hallucinegenic crusade through the outskirts of body science and the mind of Timoth Ferriss, it’s author. I came to the book via the NYT review from Dwight Garner who declared it to be on par with Klaus Kinski. After successfully losing 80 lbs and with the perspective that this was more for fun, ie laughing at the nonsense, than for actual betterment - I quickly bought the book. The next 4 paragraphs are just for the sadistic few who want the real scoop, skip to the end for the rub.The book didn’t actually come through in the way I expected. The book’s science oscillates between practical, completely uncontroversial to barely justifiable statements like saying that GSM phones will halve your sperm viability. The book actually only really shines when you read it as a way of seeing into Tim Ferriss’ head, which is sufficiently hilarious.The science while, counter-intuitive, is actually not bad. Ferriss plays it fast and loose, something science/math people will find right away as they read. But considering how far he extends himself he is pretty accurate. So for instance; he declares that the best way to gain muscle bulk is to work out for less than 30 min/session and to space these work outs, gradually, to once every 10 days or so. This seems like insanity but infact if you think about how your body responds to working out (flushing it th weak muscle away and rebuilding with digested protein) it makes sense that your muscles need that time (it doesn’t hurt that this is backd up by science as well.)At the same time he will argue that doing 40 air squats and eating a lot of fiber will make your body move food so quickly through your intestines that your body will not absorb all the fat and carbohydrates. He proves this by saying that the next day he measured his body fat and it was around .4 % lower the proceeding day, even though his calorie intake was much higher than his output. In the book he has mentioned that his body fat ultra sound machine has a margin of error much higher than .4% and he never mentions how quickly your body actually absorbs food as fat, both points that would help in arguing if his thesis was true.The highlight of the book is Tim himself. He is so archetypal of our culture: he mixes the steadfast ignorance of Tom Friedman and Sarah Palin, the masculinity of psuedo-Nietscheans and the chauvinism of the internet. Occassionally, Tim revels in it, clearly and with the talent of someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, at other points it is clear he doesn’t know how funny he is. He spends an entire chapter on a “Harajuku Moment.” Which is litterally this: him naming some academic, placing him in a foreign country, talking about his decision to lose weight, his success an email exchange and all the explanation that that takes, to say: if you want to change things, you have to really want it, in your bones. Why this takes a chapter is beyond me, why he talks about it in the globetrotting, elitist way is just hilariousness, Tom Friedman wouldn’t even do that. Read this book if you have some background in dieting and exercise, a good bullshit detector and you aren’t afraid to try something that won’t work. The book should really be enjoyed as a reflection of its author because when it is, the book isn’t simply OK - it is really a joy to read, perhaps even a phenomenal read. I think I will leave on Tim’s words here: “Use the bottom of the vagina as a fulcrum for the penis, which will act as a lever.” (Yes, this is a real quote.)
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