From Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs. of Muscle in 4 Weeks

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After holding off for nearly two years, I’m posting this because too many people have asked for it. The lasses should read it, too, as the same principles can be applied to bodyfat loss.

I weighed 152 lbs. for four years of high school, and after training in tango in Buenos Aires in 2005, that had withered to 146 lbs. Upon returning to the US, I performed an exhaustive analysis of muscular hypertrophy (growth) research and exercise protocols, ignoring what was popular to examine the hard science. The end result? I gained 34 lbs. of muscle, while losing 3 lbs. of fat, in 28 days.

Before and after measurements, including underwater hydrostatic weighings, were taken by Dr. Peggy Plato at the Human Performance Laboratory at the San Jose State University, and I had blood tests taken on September 30 and October 20. Though this ridiculous experiment might seem unhealthy, I also dropped my total cholesterol count from 222 to 147 without the use of statins. No joke.

Here are a few comparative shots. Oh, and I forgot to mention, all of this was done with two 30-minute workouts per week, for a total of 4 HOURS of gym time:

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How did I do it?

First, some select stats on the 4-week change (9/21-10/23):

Bodyfat %- 16.72 to 12.23

Suit Size- 40 short to 44 regular (measured at Brooks Brothers at Santana Row in San Jose by a professional tailor)

Neck- 15.8″ to 18″

Chest- 37.5″ to 43″

Shoulders- 43″ to 52″

Thigh- 21.5″ to 25.5″

Calf- 13.5″ to 14.9″

Upper Arm- 12″ to 14.6

Forearm- 10.8″ to 12″

Waist- 29.5″ to 33.1″

Hips (Ass at widest)- 34″ to 38.23″

Here are the six basic principles that made it happen:

1. Follow Arthur Jones’ general recommendations for one-set-to-failure from the little-known Colorado Experiment, but with lower frequency (maximum of twice per week) and with at least 3 minutes between exercises.

2. Perform every repetition with a 5/5 cadence (5 seconds up, 5 seconds down) to eliminate momentum and ensure constant load.

3. Focus on no more than 4-7 multi-joint exercises (leg press, trap bar deadlift, overhead press, Yates bent row, dips, incline machine benchpress, etc.) and exercise your entire body each workout to elicit a maximal hormonal (testosterone, growth hormone + IGF-1) response.

4. Eat enormous quantities of protein (much like my current fat-loss diet) with low-glycemic index carbohydrates like quinoa, but drop calories by 50% one day per week to prevent protein uptake downregulation.

5. Exercise less frequently as you increase strength and size, as your recovery abilities can only increase 20-30%, while you can often increase fat-free muscle tissue up to 100% before reaching a genetic set-point.

6. Record every workout in detail, including date, time of day, order of exercises, reps, and weight. Remember that this is an experiment, and you need to control the variables to accurately assess progress and make adjustments.

For the ladies not interested in becoming the Hulk, if you follow a “slow-carb” diet and reduce rest periods to 30 seconds between exercises, this exact workout protocol can help you lose 10-20 pounds of fat in the same 28-day time span.

Once again, questioning assumptions leads to the conclusion: less is more. Detox from TV twice a week and put in your 4 hours a month!

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If you enjoyed this post, check out my latest book, The 4-Hour Body, #1 New York Times and #1 Amazon bestseller. You will learn: How to lose 20 pounds in 30 days (without exercise), how to triple your testosterone, techniques for producing 15-minute female orgasms, and more.

You can also pick up the Expanded and Updated 4-Hour Workweek, which includes more than 50 new case studies of luxury lifestyle design, business building, reducing hours 80%+, and world travel.

Related and Recommended Posts:

Tim Ferriss interviewed by Derek Sivers

Tim Ferriss articles on Huffington Post

Tim Ferriss interview – common questions on lifestyle design and productivity

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 700 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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1,391 Replies to “From Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs. of Muscle in 4 Weeks”

  1. have already been reading ur site for 3 days. absolutely love your posts. btw i am doing study about this topic. do you know other great blogs or perhaps forums in which I might find out more? many thanks.

  2. Nice Post And Good Workout to build muscles!

    The larget muscle building mistake you can make is doing routines from muscle magazines. Most of those guys don’t train naturally, are genetically gifted and never started training that way. Doing their routines won’t make you build muscle fast.

  3. Your story is an inspiration to all who want a great physique, especially myself. I have ordered your book from Amazon and am looking forward to using your program.

  4. Tim, quick question:

    I believe you 100% that this routine works. I’ve done similar things in the past and it is EFFECTIVE.

    But I have a hard time sticking to it because, even though I only spend 30 min in the gym twice a week, those 30 min leave me EXHAUSTED. I’ve done squat days where I end up sleeping for 12 to 14 hours the next day, plus I’m hungry for protein and I spend a lot more time eating or thinking about food. It’s hardly compatible with a normal life if I’m knocked out like that one day out of the week.

    Have you experienced this? What should I do?

  5. The photos should have been standardized better, however even if they’re shot at different distances if you scale them in photoshop to match the distance from the clavicles to the knees you’ll get it pretty close (head and feet can be off a bit depending on the angle of the lense).

    I wrote about Tim’s transformation and similar ones at http://baye.com/four-hours/ and included a version of Tim’s first before/after set which has been scaled to match the height. Even when scaled to match the transformation is obvious and impressive.

    For anyone planning to do something similar I recommend the following:

    Find a blank wall that is well lit or light it so the light is coming from the front and not directly overhead. If you have a professional set up, use a light gray background and set the lights at 45 degree angles off the subject and about 8 ft high so the shadows are cast down and behind the subject rather than directly behind.

    Stand at least a few feet away from the wall or backdrop so the shadows are further away and not as hard.

    Measure the distance, mark it on the floor and record it. The mark is for consistent positioning between poses (front, back, side, etc.) the record is for consistent positioning between shoots.

    Do the same for the camera. Ideally you should be shooting from a distance of about 20 feet or more from the subject, NOT close up using a wide angle lense. Record both the distance from the subject and the height of the camera (at the lense) and any settings used, and use the exact same settings at both shoots.

    Mark an 8″ square on the floor where you will stand. Place your feet just outside this space. Consistent foot spacing makes it easier to compare changes in thigh diameter because it affects the space between the thighs.

    For fat loss comparisons the hands should be placed directly ON TOP of the head (not behind) with fingers interlaced. This is better than having the arms at the sides because it makes the waist/midsection the focal point.

    If the arms are held out to the sides differences in the shoulder angle affect the space between the arms and sides which affects how people perceive changes in waist size.

    For muscle size comparisons I recommend the following poses:

    front and rear double biceps

    front and rear lat spread

    side chest

    side tricep

    ab and thigh

    most muscular or “crab” pose

    If you don’t know how to do these correctly (judging from photos of non-bodybuilders on the net, most people don’t) do a search for them online along with the words “posing tips”.

    Wear as little as you’re comfortable having the whole world seeing you in. If you are light skinned wear dark, solid colors. If you are dark skinned wear lighter, solid colors.

    Wear the exact same cut and style during before and afters. If you are doing fat loss comparison and lose a huge amount of weight either buy the exact same item in your new size, otherwise wear the old ones even if they’re loose and use safety pins to bring in the waist. The cut of the clothing affects perception of body shape.

    If you’re doing a muscle gain comparison, wear posing trunks, track shorts, or sweat pants cut high enough to show the thighs.

    After the first shoot put the clothing away somewhere safe and save it for the after shoot.

    Make or print copies of your before photos and hang them in your home gym or keep a set in a binder in your car to look at before you go into the gym to work out. Hang them on your refrigerator. Wherever you might need a reminder to stay disciplined with your eating (and eating a LOT of food requires as much discipline as restricting intake) or to push yourself harder in your workouts.

    If you are a personal trainer or fitness consultant of any type these photos are invaluable for marketing. My biggest regret is that I did not photograph more clients earlier and one of my biggest frustrations now is that many clients don’t want to be photographed at first (they regret not having before photographs when they look awesome though). Comparison photography will say more about your ability to produce results than anything you could say to a potential customer. One good set of before/after photos is worth 100 testimonials.

    1. Wow Drew, great advice! We’re designers/photographers and well, we did EXACTLY that. 2 studio lights at 45* overhead angles, standing a few feet away from a white wall, black tape marks on the floor, hideously short jorts, and a 50mm lens (camera spot also marked with tape) and all photos taken first thing in the morning on an empty stomach:

      Tim Ferriss Poses (90 days before and after)

      http://foxhoundstudio.com/blog/fitness-lifestyle/lean-to-mean-90-days-vid-pics/

      8 mandatory bodybuilding poses (120 days before and after):

      http://foxhoundstudio.com/blog/fitness-lifestyle/lean-to-mean-finale-a-summers-worth-of-packing-on-muscle-and-tearing-off-fat-from-bony-to-beastly/

      1. Great work, guys! Beautiful blog, too. Nice and clean. I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me soon… 🙂

        All the best,

        Tim

        P.S. Drew, thanks for the outstanding tips. It makes a world of difference to get the lighting right.

  6. Hey Tim, Look up Wiliam Kraemer (#1 rearscher in the world) and Boyd Epley (Hall of Fame Strength coach). Look up “The Metabolic Circuit”. Originated 1968 -1978 and was called the seceret weapon in sports. Amazing results, Incredible stories and you would love to look at the research. I’m a strength coach and every year I watch boys become men in 4 weeks, it is unreal. Contact me if you want direct info. Its wild…

    Thomas Newman

  7. These are really impressive results. Were you able to reproduce these results for anyone else?

    Also, I read above that you did 8-12 repetitions per set. Which exercises specifically did you do for your workouts?

  8. Surprised I haven’t seen this question really – what if we aren’t into the Creatine/Caffeine from the NO explode? What are the alternatives?

  9. Hey Tim,

    I gained 12 pounds of muscle in one month, and my partner gained 20 pounds, from our baseline of 149 and 152 pounds.

    I’ve gained another 8 pounds of muscle in the second month. This was all done while being in class 9am-5pm, and studying for one of the most important exams of my life (USMLE Step 1)

    I can only imagine my potential when I have the month off after my exam, and going 100% with my diet/nutrition and training.

    Also, did i mention I only worked out 3 hours a week, and only 3 exercises per session.

    Can’t wait for your new book to come out,

    Keep it up,

    Rick

  10. Hey Tim!

    I am participating in the Body-4-Life Challenge and just stumbled over your advice, impressive! I will try to incorporate this into my workout.

    Do you have any book recommendations that could provide me with some background information on High Intensity Training and especially Nutrition?

    Thanks!

    Dennis

      1. That one is already preordered *g*

        Some other books for more in-depth view of nutrition and workout would be great! 🙂

  11. Tim,

    I hit this page again in the wake of all the hype of your upcoming book. I have pre-ordered it and hope there is some serious detail in how to accomplish this. I exercise regularly, 4-5x/week, including lots of crossfit although not much what I would consider hypertrophy. I’d much rather follow your program and put on lots of muscle and drop lots of fat in a month or two, rather than 6-7 months of lots of boring gym time (which is why I do crossfit since it’s actually pretty fun).

    Anyway I’m hoping I can dive in once the book arrives (great holiday break reading!). I follow mostly a primal/paleo diet but I will soon start adding brown rice protein powder from Sunwarrior for additional protein.

    I want to believe that this is all doable but if it were, it would fly in the face of decades of traditional Schwarzeneggerian body-building thought. I also am suspicious that this is all sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, not myofibrillar hypertrophy, but again I am very interested in trying this out (and it’s only a month so who what’s to lose?).

    Looking forward to the book!

  12. 4HWW great job Tim! Just a quick question on the new one coming out. Will you have anything in there in regards to jumping? Why do I ask? I’m 5’7 and always wanted to dunk a basketball and just never did it when I had the chance. I was fit and strong, but just never pushed myself. I’m 31 now and really want to do it now because it’s now or never. Let me know if you will have anything in your new book about hops… thanks!

    Steve

  13. Tim,

    I believe your story and have pre ordered the new book. But I have a question.

    I am a runner and a swimmer and I believe training should focus on well roundedness. Which is why I now follow a crossfit endurance type programming, which I believe you’re familiar with. (I noticed Brian MacKenzie in the ad video.)

    Is it possible to follow this type of strength regimen and maintain sports conditioning? Is there room for met-con or is this programming too demanding on your system for extra work?

  14. One principle that is critically important here that you only mention in the comments, is that you increased the weight every workout by 5-10%, and if you couldn’t make that increase, you would change movements (basically reset the weight for that muscle group). This is such a key aspect of hypertrophy and the fact that you did this makes me more of a believer that this actually may have happened. I think some weight is probably glycogen and water (which would show up as lean mass), but regardless it’s still an impressive gain and follows the actual principles of hypertrophy.

    Tim, you should add a little blip in the actually article about constantly increasing the weight, since this is so crucial. Great stuff man.

    1. @Berzinator: I can´t find the comment your referring to about increasing the weight. What date is it posted on?

      Second: I do not totally understand what you mean by” basically reset the weight for that muscle group” explain please.

      thx

  15. @kent ortmeyer

    “Just one set, one weight. No drop sets required. I will generally only swap main exercises when progress begins to slow substantially, less than 5-10% weight added per workout, depending on exercise and caloric intake.”

    on May 18th, 2009

    Basically once you hit your maximum strength output for an exercise and begin to plateau, it’s a good idea to “reset the weight” or “back-pedal” which basically means drop the weight down to 75% of your top weight and build it back up, adding weight at every workout. Constantly adding weight is what adds muscle, and it has to do more with the conditioning of the muscle rather than your maximal strength output. Dropping the weight allows your muscles to decondition to the top weight you’ve been using so that as you build back up, it signals a growth stimulus. Otherwise you can be grinding out reps day in day out for months with no change, all because you can’t cause a growth stimulus even at your maximal strength output (ie. your muscles are so conditioned to that load that no stimulus occurs even at max strength). By swapping exercises, Tim had to start at a lighter weight while still hitting the same muscle groups, so it acted just like a reset or back-pedal and allowed him to add weight at every workout and therefore continue making progress.

    Hope that makes sense.

  16. whats your secret… anadrol. jk . this is decent never seen anything like it maybe ill try it out move up a weight class hahaha

  17. It is too bad that most people still don’t have the sense to look past the nonsense written in most bodybuilding magazines to find the truth, and the truth is that HIT is the best training method there is for gaining muscle. If you want to learn other types of movements, especially dangerous ones, try Crossfit or Plyometrics. These programs are sure to injure you sooner or later. The research has been done, not just by AJ, a man I new personally, but by many others. The most current and best book on the market to explain the research and reasoning behind HIT is “Body by Science” by Dr. Doug McGuff and John Little. All the information you need is there along with all the current research on aerobics, and why they are a waste of time. I have no doubt that you are telling the truth as I was able to put 60 pounds of muscle on a friend of mine using workouts I designed with Arthur and Mike Mentzer in mind. He never trained more that one hour per week on a two day routine. Everyone thought he was on steroids! Many people will read your story and not believe it because they have become so brainwashed by the bodybuilding industry to believe you need all kinds of supplements and steroids to make those kinds of gains. Keep up the good work.

  18. I love the way Tim set this up as a lead to his new book. Nice marketing. having tried steroids in my bodybuildings days I never gained 34 lbs of muscle in 28 days. Perhaps I wasn’t using the right ones. Personally I don’t see how anyone using any method can gain 34 lbs of pure muscle doing this kind of training. Gaining 34 lbs of body weight sure but 34 lbs of pure muscle now way.

    None of my bodybuilding pals using steroids got these kinds of gains either. Really do you think bodybuilders would be in the gym working out as they do if there was a way to gain that kind of muscle in just 4 hours a week?

    These guys put their body through a lot of shit and I am not aware of any of them making these gains.

    Great marketing.

    1. Have the book, very disappointed in the geek to freak chapter, no diet details are listed, and then in the following chapters, he describes how to gain mass, but gives a completely different routine than the one he used to gain “34 lbs of mass” no calorie count, carb count, protein count, meal breakdown was given, no scientific data, blood test results, or anything else. In fact, there is more info on how it was done, posted on the intro to this post, than there is in the book. I was hoping, for some more detail, a lot more, more detail on what was going on with the body while these gains were being made, what was eaten, when was it eaten, and what effect did it have on hormone level, but there really is very little information written. Other chapters in this book that are non related to weight training are very detailed and well written, but i bought this book, mainly due to this blog, and the picture results, and after reading it, i am no more closer to making my own “geek to freak” transformation than I was before I read it.

      1. Hi Andy,

        The “Occam’s Protocol” chapters are the most refined approach I can recommend. Those two chapters WILL allow you to replicate your own G2F experiment, though 34 pounds is definitely an outlier. But 10-20 lbs. in a month? Entirely doable.

        Good luck!

        Tim

  19. I’m going to start my geek to freak, starting Tuesday. I read 4hrbody, but here is my question after looking up Dave Palumbo and watching him on daily motion video. Should I use Fiber pills? I can see the benefit and disadvantage.

  20. Great transformation and thanks for posting. I am also into working out…I’m bulking now and trying to gain some size. Nutrition is key though to any fitness goal.

    1. I read that chapter as well, just curious why the routine that was a full body (and to quote the book also full body raises test levels) and yielded the best results (34 lbs) is not the routine that should be used/recommended. And if it is not the best, why. It is just not explained.

  21. The pics were true to my knowledge..thanks for the step by step guidance..will need to follow you..had to add this to my Google reader!!

  22. Hi Tim,

    I’ve just started reading your new book the Four Hour Body. It’s a great read.

    I came across your advice to drink 1.5 litres of water first thing in the morning in order to get a more accurate Body Fat percentage reading when using bio-electrical impedence (BEI).

    What struck me was that it sounded like 1.5 litres of water in one go could be a dangerous amount of water to drink in one sitting.

    I’ve since then tried to search online in vain to find out what is a safe amount of water to drink in one go, and if drinking 1.5 litres at once is safe or not. The reason I thought that drinking 1.5 litres in one go might be dangerous is because the advice that one normally gets for how much water to drink in one day is also around 1.5-2.5 litres.

    I would be greatful if you could clarify this issue for me and anybody else who might have doubts about experimenting with this particular advice you gave in the book!

    Kind Regards,

    Ali Zaidi

    1. Hi Ali,

      Thanks. You should drink the water over at least 20-30 minutes, if not longer, so it should be OK. That said, speak with your doctor if you have any concerns or conditions.

      Best,

      Tim

      1. Hi Tim,

        Thanks for the response Tim. I’ve spoken to my Dr – it seemed she wasn’t sure how much water was too much in one sitting either. Instead of the 1.5 litres I’ve been drinking 1 litre of cold water when I wake up about 20 mins before getting on the scale. Do you think that would be enough to get the desired result? I’m still alive and kicking, so 1 litre has obviously not been lethal for me!

        I have been a previous commenter on your blog above under the name Ali (linked to bollywood chat) when I experimented with the slow carb diet. After reading your fat loss chapters I tried experimenting with the slow carb diet once again – and unfortunately I found that eating as much as I liked of the legumes, vegetables and protein (chicken breast/fish) led to fat gain once again. As I’m currently competing with about 40 friends and family to burn fat over 120 days I’ve made quick adjustments to find something that seems to work for me. I’ve eliminated the the legumes and nuts completely. I eat just lean protein with vegetables and have decreased the size of my meals, but increased the number of meals throughout the day. I basically eat when I get hungry, but don’t eat too much in one go. I’m finding this technique is giving me positive fat loss results.

        Is it possible I am one of the few people for whom the slow carb diet just doesn’t work?

        Best Regards,

        Ali Zaidi

      1. To claim you have gained 34lbs of muscle in 4 weeks is a flat out lie.

        In optimal conditions (Diet, Rest, Workout) you will only gain 0.5lbs of muscle a week, if you are a complete newbie to working out maybe 1lb a week MAX.

        And just to top it off you claim it was with 2 x 30 minute workouts a week! and you lost fat! This is just scandalous..

        You couldn’t even do that using HGH or AAS.

        If you are going to lie at least make it believable, you may as well make an informercial saying you did this in only 3 minutes a day.

        Sourcing bodybuilding.com? every person looking at this should go to the forums there and link them to this and see what they say. You will soon find out how ridiculous this statement is.

  23. Hey everyone, I just started up a geek to freak challenge of my own, will be spending 3 months on the protocol and seeing where I can take it. I started a blog to keep track of meals, measurements, and before/after photos.

    Here’s the blog with the Before photos, I’ll be posting weekly “After” photos on saturday mornings prior to beginning binge days (ala slow carb diet).

    http://shane4hb.wordpress.com/

    Feel free to contact me (and look at what I’m eating) via twitter at @shane4hb

    -Shane

  24. Hey Tim! I’ve been following your blog for about a year and just finished reading 4HB today. I’ve been a gym slut for the past 5 years and am ready to make some serious gains following your Geek-to-Freak program. The only worry I have at the moment is being able to eat enough calories and protein each day especially being a vegeterian (although I do eat fish). Do you have any food recommendations for people like myself? Also, do you think it’s more important to hit a daily protein goal or calorie goal? Thanks Tim! I live in San Francisco too, maybe we’ll run into each other one day.

  25. Ah these are the results you posted in your new book! Awesome job! And thanks for sharing your muscle building secrets with us (as well as your fat loss secrets)!

  26. Hey,

    Im wondering about trying this program. I read it off the 4 hour body book. It states for workout A, just do barbell military press and yates bent row. Then for workout B, bench and squat. Same protocol, 1 rep to failure 5/5 cadence. But looking here im seeing a different routine. So which is that you use?

  27. Absolutely incredible progress. Shows the value of keeping a detailed log and how it makes even small changes recordable and measurable.

    Something I’ll be needing to do in 2011 for sure… have the working out part down, just need to add in the recording 🙂

    Congrats on the new book hitting #1!

    Adrian

  28. Thanks Tim,

    I’m a hard gainer, been stuck at 145lbs / 9% body fat.

    After reading your book I started the occam’s protocol routine .

    at day 7 I was 156lbs and 10% body fat.

    But now at Day 9 I’m 159lbs and 13% eating the same diet and same supplements. Is this normal for body fat to jump in the 2nd week?

  29. http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_mmBw3uzPnJI/S_5HXcpLekI/AAAAAAABShE/w5JW8u_2j4g/s1600/Haters_Gonna_Hate_23.jpg

    haters gonna hate. I’m working on a masters in exercise physiology and I’ve never seen anything like this, but there’s a hell of a lot I haven’t seen. Keep pushing the envelope and blowing minds man. I think you might be interested in taking a look in some of the stuff Martin Berkhan’s got going on at his blog. Another against the grain kind of guy with amazing results to back up his methods: http://www.leangains.com/

  30. Loving 4HB. In fact, got Dexa scan, blood work, fitness test, hired trainer (and made him read the book) and am going to follow the 28 day program as absolutely accurate as possible with full before and after…

    I am trying to get the exact supplement routine going. If I have one complaint of the book is it lacks some clarity in the exact routine. Page 186 has a supplement list but then you find more things in Occam’s protocol.

    Also if you go to bodybuilding.com and look at the 4HB stack: http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/exclusive-combos/the-4-hour-body-stack.html it doesn’t match page 156 either.

    I have emailed bodybuilding.com suggesting they match their product bundle to be exactly what Tim did.

    In the meantime is there a more concrete, exact list of the supplements?

  31. Hi Tim,

    I am a little confused about the weight gaining diet from your book. It is the same as the weight loss one, except eat as much as you possibly can and add low glycemic carbs, right (like pasta?)? Do we still get the 1 day where we can eat whatever we possibly want? My girlfriend and I are trying this at the same time (me to add muscle, her to lose fat) and neither of us can really figure out how exactly I’m supposed to eat.

    1. Tim, you’re supposed to add starches such as brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat macaroni (and most likely steel-cut oats which will take more than 10 minutes to cook.)

      You also need to drop calories by 50% one day a week (it’s a reverse cheat day.) No junk food on this day!

  32. Tim,

    Can’t say I gained 34 pounds but I did put on more weight then I ever have in a month, so something’s working. Do you have any more ideas for sample meals, because Holy Crap I got sick of eating macaroni/salmon/beans and rice/beans/chicken all day every day!

  33. Hi Tim,

    The 4 Hour Body book is awesome. Its being put into practice by me as we speak. And as a side note, the 4 Hour Work Week principles are being implemented by my business partner and I for our two businesses. Progress updates will follow in a few months.

    Anyway, I think there might be a mistake in the 4 hour body book about this Geek to Freak Routine. On page 187, you mention that one of your exercises was Reverse Thick Bar Curl. The page also has a link to the exercise, http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/geek-to-freak/.

    Pg. 211-212 then goes into detail about the Reverse Drag Curl.

    The video from the link shows a guy doing a reverse curl in a Circular Motion. But pages 211-212 show you raising the bar straight up (and you say “The drag curl, in contrast, raises the bar straight up rather than a circular motion.”)

    Unless the thick bar curl exercise on pg 187 is different than the barbell exercise you reference in 211-212, I think that video reference is wrong and just showing a regular reverse curl but not a “drag curl.”

    If I am wrong and these are entirely two different exercises, then this message is programed to self destruct before it reaches you so that you wont waste your time reading it!

    Cheers,

    Devin

  34. This is nonsense. Arnold Schwarzenegger said that he managed to gain 25lbs once in a a period of a year whilst he was serving in the military and that this was the largest yearly gain he ever managed. Sorry, I don’t wish to be rude but to gain 34lbs of lean muscle mass in 4 weeks is simply science fiction!

  35. Hi Tim (and everyone else that can help),

    I am half the way done with my 28 days Occam’s protocol thing and I think I am failing. I am following everything the book says, but I can’t gain weight. I also checked my growth hormone levels and testosterone and they all seem normal. So I guess that I am failing at eating… I am trying to eat as much as possible following a slow-carb diet with quinoa and eggs for snacks but that doesn’t seem to be enough. I am doing the shake too and my calorie intake per day is around 2500-2700. I am 150 lb and 5’8”.

    Now, the doctor told me I am at a good weight for my size, so I did a BodPod. The results show 20% body fat… I obviously need to get leaner…

    One thing that confuses me about the book is that in that chapter, you (Tim) first mention your diet (similar to slow carb) but then you mention Neil’s diet which is completely the opposite and includes rice and potatoes… I don’t understand that… I am similar to Neil in terms of my appetite I guess, but I’ve been eating like it’s my job and nothing seems to happen.

    I would appreciate anybody’s advice/comments/stories.

    Thanks

    1. Hey Santiago,

      Its crazy what Tim got done; eating something like 6000+ calories clean. You’ll gain both fat and muscle as its very very hard to just gain fat without maddening diet. What I mean by that is strict car cycling (like Tim suggest) and very scientific tracking. Not all bodies are going to react the same. However, keeping that in mind, here are some tips and general things.

      Okay, muscle is like like 600 according to Tom Venuto. Remember muscle mis 3/4’s water, and 4Cals per dry mass compared to 9. Some guys say 1600 cal; or you’d need something like 200-300 calories over your maintenance level to gain a pound of muscle a week in a prefect world. Make sure you teach your body that. 😉

      You know you need to eat clean, lots of protien, good fats and carbs! potatos are good carbs, but don’t eat a lot of them. I think a 30% protien, 50% carb and 20% fat (per calorie) is a good place to start.

      Also, just go by your body fat % and weigh yourself just once a week. Same time and place. It becomes more consistent.

      Forget about alcohol. Don’t do it (tough one) and drink LOTS of water.

      Also, its easier to gain muscle after getting lean, and its easier to lose only fat if you’re over fat. So at 20% bodyfat, you might want to drop to 12-15% (whatever your target is) and then start on gaining Lean body mass.

      Remember, it might be 4 hours of work in the gym, but eating right is 24×7.

      Also, look up the 5×5 post. I’ve been doing this to gain. Nothing like Tim mind you, but I’m at 166-8 lbs (plus 8lbs in the last 2 months) and only 5’7. I didn’t take measurements, but my shirts are tighter up top. Also, I started with a weak 140 lbs squat. I’m doing 295 or so now. Killer core work out with the squats. I can’t bench much (only 165) but I’m working…

      Good luck. Be your own best friend and start a food journal. It will help because you can actually look at what you did. Lots of people think they’re doing everything in the book, but really?

      Final thought; wrap your workout with the biggest meals, it fuel to build muscle pre and post workout.

  36. “Really do you think bodybuilders would be in the gym working out as they do if there was a way to gain that kind of muscle in just 4 hours a week?”

    Yes I can well believe it, based on having spent the last 30 years training and working in gyms, nothing would surprise me about the critical thinking abilities of the average body-builder.

    As to the remark about Schwarzenegger only gaining 25lbs in one year while in the army, I think most people in that situation would probably lose weight, to gain 25lbs after having already trained very seriously for 3 years and while being already extreamly well developed, and training with a very inefficient hight volume approach speaks volumes about Arnold’s genetics…he succeeded in spite of his training approach rather then because of it.

  37. I’ve been doing “Occam’s protocol” from the book for 2 weeks and have noticed quite a bit of fat gain. I’m eating about 3,000 calories/ day which is more than usual for me and performing the “A” and “B” workouts as described in the book.

    I’ve gained a full inch on my stomach so far and my jeans are tighter (not in a good way).

    Not sure whether to continue as I definitely don’t want to gain a lot of fat.

    Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.

    Gary

  38. great job on the site. It looks good. I’m sure you would agree that visual examples are a lot more effective than just words. It is also a motivator to people that visit your blog, because once they see the results that you had in just 4 weeks, I would be convinced that more people would want to look the same and be healthier.

  39. Hi Tim,

    Can you explain what “protein uptake downregulation” is. I saw it as a concern in one of the steps?

    I ‘ve started a Facebook Group to discuss results, and would love some people to come on and discuss certain exercises they do and discuss the food they have while undergoing training…Perhaps also talk about how you started to incorporate exercise (at what point of the diet)…

    Add some before, during and after pictures…

    Link to the group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_103604729716668&notif_t=group_r2j

    Thanks

    Vanessa

  40. Can anyone post their own results… with their actual before after measurements and photos if you have them for the geek-2-freak 28 or two month challenges? There has to be some more validity to this program than a bunch of mostly meaningless high-fives and ramblings! Come-on folks! Move your a$$es and step away from the PC and get moving. Bring on the real testimonials!!!

    1. KGB: I plan on doing a good (as in complete and detailed) Geek-to-Freak log to eventually post after I lose some BF first (and get some advice from Tim on that).

      Tim: Just bought your “The 4-Hour Body” book and it is outstanding! I’ll try to make it short and sweet here.

      Some background:

      – 46 y/o, Male, about 18-20% BF according to Tanita and Omron Athlete Mode. I justify Athlete Mode in both b/c I’m 5’6″, 180 lbs. with a bench of 385, deadlift of 495 and fairly vascular 16 3/4″ arms, so I’m not the typical user, and the normal mode has to be reading high for me; either I have a seriously messed up electrolyte imbalance or I’m packing some super-dense visceral fat. That said I’m nowhere near having 6-pack abs either. I plan to get Bod Pod done very soon but for now I think 20% is a decent number to use.

      – Been lifting for years. 3 years ago, I discovered HIT and have been using it about 20% of the time. It’s the *only* way I’ve made any progress over these last 3 years dabbling with different training strategies.

      My concern:

      I’m in sort of a catch-22 situation here. I’m done with my 4th week of 5 on another (supervised) diet plan and have dropped about 12 lbs. thus far while actually gaining a little strength on an HIT program I started at the same time. Through this all I’ve done 6 days on, 1 day off doing at least 1 hr. of hard cardio per day, and am starting to get some over-training symptoms. I think I may be at a tipping point where if I lose any more weight it will be mostly muscle, but of course w/o that muscle I will have an even harder time dropping fat.

      My question:

      Should I finish the 5 week plan and go immediately into your Slow Carb diet to bring my BF% down further? Or should I proceed into “Geek-to-Freak” next to try and pack on some quality weight to make fat burning easier?

      Thanks.

      1. Update: Had the DEXA done and was at 20% BF and 19% with Bod Pod so 20% was a good guess. Omron hand-held is very consistent and very close at around 20% for me, so in-between DEXA scans that will do for tracking things.

        I also have my answer regarding whether to lose the BF first or do the “Geek to Freak” after reading some more posts on this blog.. I’ll concentrate on getting BF down to 15% and then G-to-F from there.

  41. Hi Tim,

    Posted this in the wrong place earlier…

    Very interested by your book and just ordered it…I’ve started the fat loss diet and am on day 4 – feeling good.

    In regards to gaining 34lbs of muscle in 28 days – there are some “skeptics” that have said you manipulated fluid and glycogen etc… but just wondering your thoughts… do you think that since your natural weight is considerably more than the weight you were when you started that this had an effect on how quickly you gained the weight?

    I have played soccer at semi pro level, coach soccer professionally and live in the Bay Area. Friends that workout at the gym regularly are for the most part disbelievers.

  42. Has anyone tried, or does anyone have input based on experience or science on how to focus these muscle gains? I don’t need bigger legs at all. Stronger would be great but my wife could literally make a skirt out of each one of my pant legs already.

    I am also fairly underdeveloped from the waist up and would love to add some lean muscle mass everywhere back, chest, arms.

    1. If you work muscles, they get bigger/stronger. If you don’t, they don’t.

      So if you simply don’t do any leg exercises, they won’t grow. So no squats, deadlifts, leg presses etc.

      focus on upper body stuff.

      And be aware that even if doing say rows, your legs will get *some* work anyway but they won’t grow the way you would expect from focusing on lower body exercises.

      I’m wondering how you got massive legs but nothing else; cyclists often have that happen. Stop riding the bike if you want to let the legs shrink, but overall, make sure you’re not missing out on exercise that you enjoy and is good for you 🙂

  43. Tim, in your book you mention the list of supplements on page186…did you take these every day or just on your workouts days as you stated 2 x 30 minutes workouts 2 days a week. 4 hours gym time. if you didn’t take these every day which of the supplements did you take on a non-workout day?

  44. Hi I love your book the four hour body. i think it is about time for a book like this.

    I am about to start your geek to freak routine, and the biggest question i have is about the supplements. So after the 28 day cycle am i gonna loose my gains after i come down off of this massive supplement intake?

    I will not stop going to the gym or stop taking the protein and some of the others supplements but when you stop taking some of the supplements is there a great deal of gain lost or what?

  45. this is an outright lie. it is physically impossible to gain that much muscle in such a short time even with steroids. the most any natural person can hope to gain is 5-15 pounds a year.

    1. HAHAHAHAHAHA

      @tommyK. I feel sorry for u, dude. I myself have put on more than 8 kilos(15-16pound) in 3 months using thise tecnics(body fat kept at 8-9%. Measured by proo´s). where as before i spend 18-20 months to get 4-5kg up. The deference? more food-less gymtime( 2 times 30-40 min a week using the methods here). And I did´nt even eat that much!

      I sted, why don¨t u just try it for 2-3 months? less work- more eating= FUN TIMES!!!

      Best of luck to to you and everybody else out there :o)

  46. Tommy K,

    It is not unusual for beginners to gain 5 to 15 pounds of muscle in their first few months if they are training and eating properly, and twice that or more over the course of their first year. Drug free, even.

    With steroids and other growth drugs you can double those numbers, depending on the types and amounts.

    The rate of gains tapers off over time, but even someone who has been working out a long time may suddenly start gaining rapidly if they have been making common mistakes with their training and correct them (the biggest three being workout out too long, too often, and not hard enough).

    I think people have very low expectations because most of what is recommended to the public is relatively inefficient for typical, drug-free trainees, but I know for a fact your numbers are wrong.

    I’ve been training people since 1993 using similar methods to what Tim uses, and while I have never had anyone gain quite as much as Tim in a single month, gains like these over a period of 6 months to a year are not unusual (double the numbers you stated) and I’ve had quite a few one-on-one and phone clients gain between 5 and 15 pounds in their first one to three months of training.

  47. Hello Tim. I am stunned to find this post as you say things that saw me gain almost 40 pounds of lean mass in 10 months and even my friends wha saw me during this period didn’t belive me when I was telling them what I was doing to be getting that mass! I am excited to have found your blog and am willing to explore it more! Also very good comment from Drew Baye here. I am so glad to find somebody who is telling what I know and learn even more.

    Thank you, getting to see more here now!

  48. Definitely not 34 pounds gained… You aren’t even flexing in the before photos. Plus in the after shots you got a tan and shaved your hair. Also, the camera is closer in the after shots in the first pic. I’ll bet we would have seen the same cuts in the before pics but it was too far away and the light was in a different position. You are such a fake… So tell us why did you use the Doctors name in your book and she hasn’t even given you permission to do so? She didn’t even know you used her name…. Scammer…

  49. Hello Tim (or anyone else),

    Could you tell me if is is necessary to follow the Slow Carb Diet for this system to work? Or can I just eat anything I want. And then I mean things like cheese, peanut butter, put on bread.

    Thanks,

    Leon

    1. This is a program.

      If you don’t do what Tim says, then you’re making up your own program and the results will probably be different to what Tim’s program would give you. So if you do your own thing and it doesn’t work out, don’t blame Tim.

  50. Hello again,

    I was also wondering if the ‘Geek to Freak’ experiment and ‘Occam’s Protocol’ have the same effect on muscular gain.

    Because when following ‘Occam’s Protocol’, you only perform 2 exercises per day(+the additional).

    However when you are following ‘Geek to Freak’ you perform 10 exercises per day.

  51. the supplimnent regimen layed out on page 186…is that only on workout days or all the days of the week?

  52. wow that’s seriously impressive tim..I spent like 6 months to bulk up and get the gains I wanted. maybe u can try to aim for more defined muscle cuts. good luck!

  53. Not all workouts/diets work for everyone, I guess there is one type for you, and one for me. I`ve found out what works for me,and I can bulk up really quick, I`m talking about a few weeks turn around,but my brother gains nothing on my routine and visa versa. Everyone is different and what works for him will not work for them.Diet is just the same I can eat as much junk food as I want and I`ll burn it all off,yet my brother to his disgust, it goes straight to his 6pack and he has to bust his balls to remove it.So anyone can workout and look good this summer,bulk up ,BUT you have to find what works for you body type.

    My body type is

    Ectomorph and I can whack the weight on with the best of them but I lose it so quick if i stop training.

    My brother is Mesomorph and i can keep up with him un till we stop training then his body stays and mine, well mine just dissapears.

    You all know your bodies good points and bad and what affects it,all you have to do is find what simulates it(NO DRUGS)and work with it.

  54. Even with steroids, a personal trainer, a personal chef, and a flawless routine, this is about double what someone could achieve.

    You realize that 34 lbs in 4 weeks is roughly 1.2 pounds gained PER DAY?

    Someone making awesome gains during their prime will gain no more than 0.5 lbs of muscle per WEEK (and some fat).

    Stop misleading people and admit this was over a year of training. Maybe slightly under with steroids.

    And the fact you claim to have lost 3 lbs of fat during that same period… Just… no.

  55. Tim,

    You’ve hacked the human body…

    …Excepted the problem of hair turning gray !

    Some people are turning white at 40, others stays dark brown at 60.

    I think it could be your next challenge…

    I’m 50 and gray, I’m OK to be your guinea pig.

    My brown hair: the return. I’m ready.

  56. I did the workout. Im a professional athlete, minor league baseball player. Hardest weight training I have ever done. 4 year College baseball 4 Pro baseball. I threw up doing iso dumbell press. I have gained 17 pounds after 5 workouts. Dont try it unless you want to reach your mental Threshold

    and question your manhood, becuase you will. Then if you make past that you will get jacked. Sweet book.-BA

  57. I am following the advice given in the chapter “Geek to Freak.” While trying to gain 34 lbs in a month, do I still take off one day a week to eat whatever I want? It seems like while trying to gain all this weight, I should still to protein only. What are your thoughts?

    Thank you

    Greg

  58. “Oh, and I forgot to mention, all of this was done with two 30-minute workouts per week, for a total of 4 HOURS of gym time:”

    Calling bullshit here. I simply do not believe this AT ALL. I think he is LYING.

  59. hey im just wondering if u can really gain that fast that easy why isnt this on the cover of magazines like muscle and fitness u would think all the pro bodybuilders would do this if its really that good

  60. Question – I’m trying this experiment out and the first day taking the supplements listed in the book left me feeling nauseous that morning. I’ve read where Slo-Niacin can have that effect. Any words of wisdom on overcoming that feeling? I don’t mind pushing through it for 4 weeks, but if there is a way to avoid it, I’d like to know.

    Thanks!

    Mark P

  61. I’ve got a question related to Mark’s above. In the 4HB you mention your supplement regimen, does the “Morning” imply before or after breakfast?

  62. Something strange happened to me… I usually watch my weight but eat whatever I want, I don`t exactly diet, I just keep track…I measure nearly 1.60 mts and weight 43.0 – 43.5 kilos. I started being more active and playing the drums nearly everyday and I don`t see myself fatter but I weight more, could that be muscle gain?? thanks!!

  63. Any chance you have ever run or will run a before and after posterior building contest for ladies given your superior- posterior workout? Pictures are worth a thousand well…you know…. I would like to see the results of many different women who apply your workout to improve their posteriors.

  64. proteins helps you to increase your muscles, fats become muscles by your training thats all it helps to get muscles in 1 month like others without proteins get same result in 3 months = ))

  65. Hi! Can anyone tell me why Tim thinks that the China study- linking animals protein to cancer- was flawed? any guesses? thanks.

  66. Of course Mr. Ferries manipulated here. He didn’t gain 34 pounds of muscle he REGAINED 34 pounds of muscle by starving himself up to this experiment just like Casey Viator did in the original Colorado experiment. By adding some tanning and photoshop + different posture it all looks very dramatic.

  67. I have recently purchased your book with the interest in seeing what i could do to reach my full potential. I am in the military and am aspiring to attempt special forces selection in approx 11 months from now. i am in pretty good shape and have reached a sort of ‘plateaux’ (whether mental or physical who knows). i dont know if you have done any research into the complicated and multi-faceted world of military fitness requirements, but i was wondering if there are articles out there that you would recommend i look into, or if there are certain strains of work outs that i should be interested in (ie: crossfit-esq workouts vice lifting and running). i really dont know if this is the venue for such questions, but i was enthrawlled with your book and your views on maximizing ones potential that i thought i would give this a chance. If i hear from you or your assisstance, great… if not, thanks for a good read anyways.

  68. My guess is the detractors are skeptical because they have failed to achieve comparable results with their training, and are assuming since they couldn’t do it, neither could someone else.

    “Because your own strength is unequal to the task, do not assume that it is beyond the powers of man; but if anything is within the powers and province of man, believe that it is within your own compass also.”

    – Marcus Aurelius

    I am training someone now using the same principles who put in 6.5 pounds of muscle in the first three weeks (measured using a BodPod). Total training time in those three weeks was less than two hours (less than 20 min per workout, two workouts per week). Will be repeating the BodPod test in another 3 weeks (6 total) and will post again then. Not quite 34 pounds, but more than what some uninformed posters are claiming is possible.

    1. I’m with you.

      Let’s say that you gain 5 pounds in a month. Most people tell you that is impossible.

      I see and hear these crazy routines that tell people that they will put on 10 pounds this year if only they will eat 7,000 calories a meal and do 300 sets per body part, 3 times a week.

      This idea of working out hard and long doesn’t make sense to me. Our bodies can only take so much. You really do have to choose.

  69. Will eating this 6x a day help me gain muscle and lose fat?!?!?

    1 cup of oatmeal

    2 scoops protein (50g of protein)

    1 Banana

    1 1/2 Unsweetened Almond Milk

    All mixed in a blender!!!

  70. I know that there are some naysayers when it comes to this plan, but I have definitely seen this plan or something similar work.

    My personal experience has been that I have been using a program that uses a low number of sets and high intensity for most of my adult life, mainly following along with the ideas pushed forward by Mike Mentzer, whom Tim refers to as someone that he gained knowledge from in sculpting his work out in the 4 Hour Body book.

    At my most muscular and fit, I was 205 at about 8% body fat and I was doing workouts that consisted of 2-4 exercises, maybe 3 times a week.

    But, more relevant to the discussion on this board, I was diagnosed with thyroid disease, which caused me to balloon up to about 250 pounds and really made it almost impossible for me to maintain any kind of workout and strength building routine that I could count on getting results from.

    Since January I have gotten my thyroid under control and have the ability to workout with an intensity and in a manner that allows me to get and measure results. When I began testing and training again, with a focus on regaining muscle, losing fat, and returning to some semblance of being in shape, I was at approximately 244 pounds with 36% body fat. That comes out to about 156 pounds of muscle and 88 pounds of fat. (Its pretty disgusting too…if you ask me.)

    I haven’t been super consistent in lifting weights because I don’t have the desire to gain a ton of muscle mass right now, because I have been running a lot and the muscle can interfere with performance at longer distances, but what I have done with about 12-15 weight sessions in 6 months is gone from 156 pounds of muscle to 171 pounds of muscle. Plus, in this time, my body fat percentage has declined from 36% to less than 23%.

    So definitely put me in the camp advocating for high intensity workouts with lots of rest. While not everyone is going to gain 34 pounds of muscle in 4 weeks, I do believe that you can easily gain 10 or more.

  71. Wow that really is impressive! It’s great to finally see pictures of the man behind the words (I’ve read 4HWW and working through 4HB now!)

    The slow carb diet is producing great results for me so far!

    Many thanks,

    James S

  72. Tim,

    Can resistance bands be used instead of free weights or a machine? I’ve used these in the past (not for geek to freak) and actually ended up overworking my muscles over a period of several weeks. Yeah, I used them too much but I did get a tremendous workout with them.

    Also, T.O. uses them and he’s in great shape.

    Thanks in advance for the response.

  73. 34 pounds of pure lean muscle in 4 weeks is a large stretch naturally. If you look at muscular physiology books you will find out what is possible. Like mentioned before great transformation but it hard to believe it happened in 4 weeks.

  74. My husband and I are new to the 4HB program and have been doing it for a couple of weeks. We are also taking the PAGG. My questions are why is it important to take one day per week off of the supplements? Also – why is it CRITICAL to take one week off every two months? I don’t have a problem with it – I just like the science behind the instructions. Anyone have any ideas?

    Thanks

  75. Two more questions….. after just starting the 4HB program. I see it is ok to drink red wine (and anything goes on binge days) does anyone know if a small vodka is ok on non-binge days? It would seem less sugar etc. than wine.

    Also – I see protien bars are ok in the gaining muscle and weight sections but would the low sugar/no sugar and high protien varieties be ok? My husband is finding it difficult to do brown bag lunches without them – although he is losing with them. He is trying to lose weight and add muscle. Sometimes I just use as a meal replacement or a 1/2 of one for a snack. Any ideas?

    Thanks

  76. I wish I could post pictures here, 4 hour work week really changed my body.

    Thanks you tim for all the good advice.

    Br Markus

  77. Great info Tim,

    Short, intense and infrequent workouts build muscle mass far better than long-drawn out training sessions that deplete the CNS and leave you feeling like you’ve been ran over by a truck.

    I haven’t read your book yet but I’m planning on it soon.

    -Adi Crnalic

  78. Well, after reading some (not all!) of the comments, this page is getting some mixed pre-sale reviews! Now, I studied kinesiology and am well read AND experienced in the muscle building arena. 34lbs of PURE muscle in 4 weeks will never happen. There is such a thing as ‘Beginners-Build’ where people who have never lifted heavy before start lifting and suddenly their frame changes dramatically. But these dramatic changes are perhaps 15-22lbs at the most. Without the help of AAS you CANNOT (I’m talking about the laws of physiology here) gain more than 1.2lbs of muscle per week – so let me do the math for you… 1.2 x 4 (four weeks) = 4.8 lbs – that’s the most you can gain in a month. Perhaps he was juicing, after all he never mentions NOT using AAS… either way, fair play on the gains, but you will never see them in that short amount of time. I’m not saying it’s a bad product, it may be well written and have some great tips in there, but the results he is advertising are false for a 4 week period.

  79. This is bullshit im not one to talk trash but facts are facts a pro athlete would know you can only gain 1 pound of mucle a week that makes it 4 pounds of mucle a month.And thats if your on a strict regiment of dietary and high intensity planning.And if you workout every freekin day there is no way this guy gained this much in 1 month bahaha what a joke

  80. Hi Tim,

    I got your great books both the 4 hour work week, and 4 hour body, and one tip i took is the 30 grams of protein in 30 mins of waking, and i always took whey protein powder, 1 problem i face is, after 1 or 2 hour of the protein shake, my stomach start to feel uncomfortable and it’s annoying, i think is too much acid production, but im not sure, i like to ask how to solve this. thks..

  81. THE RESULTS ARE IN !

    I have just completed Occam’s protocol and gained 11 pounds in 28 days. I am (was a “skinny hard-gainer”) until I tried this diet/workout. I did it step by step, followed it to a tee, measured keeping as many variables constant as I could and got great results. Thank You Tim!

    Don’t doubt or hate Tim & the people that have actually completed the protocol until you have done it yourself.

    That will mean you will understand and nod your head in agreement as you will know what it felt like to feel like throwing up for the first week as your stomach gets used to the huge amount of food your jamming in it, your vision goes blurry for about 20 seconds after you have pushed and shook like a leaf to complete failure during your workouts. and my favourite – Measurement day (every Sunday@noon) when you got to see that your body significantly changed after only 7 days.

    Drawbacks: meal preparation is a bitch, eating all the time is a bitch, gaining a little fat sucks (but I don’t see how I could have avoided this as I was drinking at least 1 litre of milk a day) and trying to explain to narrow minded people that the typical 3 sets of 10 x 5 exercises, 4 days a week is not the only way to get results.

    Good luck everyone!

    James McD

  82. Hi Tim,

    I hope this is the correct place to pose my question its about the Occam protocol from the 4HB. So its been 3 weeks into it and so far I have had all the gains in the lifting aspect (5kg added each time (10kg additions in leg press)) and in some cases even aded a rep or two on top of that. My bodyweight has changed maybe 3 pounds. I am getting bulkier, but I doubt I am loosing so much fat with the amount of food i ingest (or does CQ really make the difference so obviously?). I am using all the “if you can afford it” supplements.

    Maybe I will hit a wall tommorow who knows (with the increases that is). But if you have any suggestions I would highly appreciate it.

    Sincerely, Buyseech

    1. buyseech,

      If you are genuinely lifting more weight each time, staying in good form and in the target rep range, then you must be gaining muscle, no doubt about it.

      It is definitely possible to gain muscle while losing fat so some of the muscle gain could be masked by fat loss so your overall weight hasn’t changed as much as expected for the increases in strength. Tim mentions this in the book.

      It’s a great programme, very similar to something I paid a personal trainer a couple of thousand bucks to devise for me 5 years ago but Tim’s is better, less gym time for faster results.