A taste of things to come… (Photo: Blackbox Cases)
I’m excited to present the full table of contents from The 4-Hour Body, as well as the first chapter. Enjoy! …
Table of Contents
Thinner, Bigger, Faster, Stronger? How to Use This Book
Fundamentals – First and Foremost
The Minimum Effective Dose: From Microwaves to Fat-loss
Rules That Change the Rules: Everything Popular Is Wrong
Ground Zero-Getting Started and Swaraj
The Harajuku Moment: The Decision to Become a Complete Human
Elusive Bodyfat: Where Are You Really?
From Photos to Fear: Making Failure Impossible
Subtracting Fat: Basics
The Slow- Carb Diet I: How to Lose 20 Pounds in 30 Days Without Exercise
The Slow-Carb Diet II: The Finer Points and Common Questions
Damage Control: Preventing Fat Gain When You Binge
The Four Horsemen of Fat-Loss
Subtracting Fat: Advanced
Ice Age: Mastering Temperature to Manipulate Weight
The Glucose Switch: Beautiful Number 100
The Last Mile: Losing the Final 5-10 Pounds
Building the Perfect Posterior (or Losing 100+ Pounds)
Six-Minute Abs: Two Exercises That Actually Work
From Geek to Freak: How to Gain 34 Pounds in 28 Days
Occam’s Protocol I: A Minimalist Approach to Mass
Occam’s Protocol II: The Finer Points
The 15-Minute Female Orgasm-Part Un
The 15-Minute Female Orgasm-Part Deux
Sex Machine I: Adventures in Tripling Testosterone
Happy Endings and Doubling Sperm Count
Engineering the Perfect Night’s Sleep
Becoming Uberman: Sleeping Less with Polyphasic Sleep
Reversing “Permanent” Injuries
How to Pay for a Beach Vacation with One Hospital Visit
Pre-Hab: Injury-Proofing the Body
Running Faster and Farther
Hacking the NFL Combine I: Preliminaries—Jumping Higher
Hacking the NFL Combine II: Running Faster
Ultraendurance I: Going from 5K to 50K in 12 Weeks—Phase I
Ultraendurance II: Going from 5K to 50K in 12 Weeks—Phase II
Effortless Superhuman: Breaking World Records with Barry Ross
Eating the Elephant: How to Add 100 Pounds to Your Bench Press
From Swimming to Swinging
How I Learned to Swim Effortlessly in 10 Days
The Architecture of Babe Ruth
How to Hold Your Breath Longer Than Houdini
On Longer and Better Life
Living Forever: Vaccines, Bleeding, and Other Fun
Closing Thoughts: The Trojan Horse
Appendices and Extras
Helpful Measurements and Conversions
Getting Tested—From Nutrients to Muscle Fibers
Muscles of the Body
The Value of Self-Experimentation
Spotting Bad Science 101: How Not to Trick Yourself
Spotting Bad Science 102: So You Have a Pill . . .
The Slow-Carb Diet—194 People
Sex Machine II: Details and Dangers
The Meatless Machine I: Reasons to Try a Plant-Based Diet for Two Weeks
The Meatless Machine II: A 28-Day Experiment
Spot Reduction Revisited: Removing Stubborn Thigh Fat
Becoming Brad Pitt: Uses and Abuses of DNA
The China Study: A Well-Intentioned Critique
Heavy Metal: Your Personal Toxin Map
The Top 10 Reasons Why BMI Is Bogus
Hyperclocking and Related Mischief: How to Increase Strength 10% in One Workout
Creativity on Demand: The Promises and Dangers of Smart Drugs
An Alternative to Dieting: The Bodyfat Set Point and Tricking the Hypothalamus
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THINNER, BIGGER, FASTER, STRONGER?
How to Use This Book
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIFORNIA, 10 P.M., FRIDAY
Shoreline Amphitheater was rocking. More than 20,000 people had turned out at northern California’s largest music venue to hear Nine Inch Nails, loud and in charge, on what was expected to be their last tour.
Backstage, there was more unusual entertainment.
“Dude, I go into the stall to take care of business, and I look over and see the top of Tim’s head popping above the divider. He was doing f*cking air squats in the men’s room in complete silence.”
Glenn, a videographer and friend, burst out laughing as he reenacted my technique. To be honest, he needed to get his thighs closer to parallel.
“Forty air squats, to be exact,” I offered.
Kevin Rose, founder of Digg, one of the top-500 most popular websites in the world, joined in the laughter and raised a beer to toast the incident. I, on the other hand, was eager to move on to the main event.
In the next 45 minutes, I consumed almost two full-size barbecue chicken pizzas and three handfuls of mixed nuts, for a cumulative total of about 4,400 calories. It was my fourth meal of the day, breakfast having consisted of two glasses of grapefruit juice, a large cup of coffee with cinnamon, two chocolate croissants, and two bear claws.
The more interesting portion of the story started well after Trent Reznor left the stage.
Roughly 72 hours later, I tested my bodyfat percentage with an ultrasound analyzer designed by a physicist out of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Charting the progress on my latest experiment, I’d dropped from 11.9% to 10.2% bodyfat, a 14% reduction of the total fat on my body, in 14 days.
How? Timed doses of garlic, sugar cane, and tea extracts, among other things.
The process wasn’t punishing. It wasn’t hard. Tiny changes were all it took. Tiny changes that, while small in isolation, produced enormous changes when used in combination.
Want to extend the fat-burning half-life of caffeine? Naringenin, a useful little molecule in grapefruit juice, does just the trick.
Need to increase insulin sensitivity before bingeing once per week? Just add some cinnamon to your pastries on Saturday morning, and you can get the job done.
Want to blunt your blood glucose for 60 minutes while you eat a high-carb meal guilt-free? There are a half-dozen options.
But 2% bodyfat in two weeks? How can that be possible if many general practitioners claim that it’s impossible to lose more than two pounds of fat per week? Here’s the sad truth: most of the one-size-fits-all rules, this being one example, haven’t been field-tested for exceptions.
You can’t change your muscle fiber type? Sure you can. Genetics be damned.
Calories in and calories out? It’s incomplete at best. I’ve lost fat while grossly overfeeding. Cheesecake be praised.
The list goes on and on.
It’s obvious that the rules require some rewriting.
That’s what this book is for.
Diary of a Madman
The spring of 2007 was an exciting time for me.
My first book, after being turned down by 26 out of 27 publishers, had just hit the New York Times bestseller list and seemed headed for #1 on the business list, where it landed several months later. No one was more dumbfounded than me.
One particularly beautiful morning in San Jose, I had my first major media phone interview with Clive Thompson of Wired magazine. During our pre-interview small chat, I apologized if I sounded buzzed. I was. I had just finished a 10-minute workout following a double espresso on an empty stomach. It was a new experiment that would take me to single-digit body-fat with two such sessions per week.
Clive wanted to talk to me about e-mail and websites like Twitter. Before we got started, and as a segue from the workout comment, I joked that the major fears of modern man could be boiled down to two things: too much e-mail and getting fat. Clive laughed and agreed. Then we moved on.
The interview went well, but it was this offhand joke that stuck with me. I retold it to dozens of people over the subsequent month, and the response was always the same: agreement and nodding.
This book, it seemed, had to be written.
The wider world thinks I’m obsessed with time management, but they haven’t seen the other—much more legitimate, much more ridiculous—obsession.
I’ve recorded almost every workout I’ve done since age 18. I’ve had more than 1,000 blood tests1 performed since 2004, sometimes as often as every two weeks, tracking everything from complete lipid panels, insulin, and hemoglobin A1c, to IGF-1 and free testosterone. I’ve had stem cell growth factors imported from Israel to reverse “permanent” injuries, and I’ve flown to rural tea farmers in China to discuss Pu-Erh tea’s effects on fat-loss. All said and done, I’ve spent more than $250,000 on testing and tweaking over the last decade.
Just as some people have avant-garde furniture or artwork to decorate their homes, I have pulse oximeters, ultrasound machines, and medical devices for measuring everything from galvanic skin response to REM sleep.
The kitchen and bathroom look like an ER.
If you think that’s craziness, you’re right. Fortunately, you don’t need to be a guinea pig to benefit from one.
Hundreds of men and women have tested the techniques in The 4-Hour Body (4HB) over the last two years, and I’ve tracked and graphed hundreds of their results (194 people in this book). Many have lost more than 20 pounds of fat in the first month of experimentation, and for the vast majority, it’s the first time they’ve ever been able to do so.
Why do 4HB approaches work where others fail?
Because the changes are either small or simple, and often both. There is zero room for misunderstanding, and visible results compel you to continue. If results are fast and measurable,2 self-discipline isn’t needed.
I can give you every popular diet in four lines. Ready?
– Eat more greens.
– Eat less saturated fat.
– Exercise more and burn more calories.
– Eat more omega-3 fatty acids.
We won’t be covering any of this. Not because it doesn’t work—it does . . . up to a point. But it’s not the type of advice that will make friends greet you with “What the #$%& have you been doing?!”, whether in the dressing room or on the playing field.
That requires an altogether different approach.
The Unintentional Dark Horse
Let’s be clear: I’m neither a doctor nor a PhD. I am a meticulous data cruncher with access to many of the world’s best athletes and scientists.
This puts me in a rather unusual position.
I’m able to pull from disciplines and subcultures that rarely touch one another, and I’m able to test hypotheses using the kind of self-experimentation mainstream practitioners can’t condone (though their help behind the scenes is critical). By challenging basic assumptions, it’s possible to stumble upon simple and unusual solutions to long-standing problems.
Overfat? Try timed protein and pre-meal lemon juice.
Undermuscled? Try ginger and sauerkraut.
Can’t sleep? Try upping your saturated fat or using cold exposure.
This book includes the findings of more than 100 PhDs, NASA scientists, medical doctors, Olympic athletes, professional sports trainers (from the NFL to MLB), world-record holders, Super Bowl rehabilitation specialists, and even former Eastern Bloc coaches. You’ll meet some of the most incredible specimens, including before- and- after transformations, you’ve ever seen.
I don’t have a publish-or-perish academic career to preserve, and this is a good thing. As one MD from a well-known Ivy League university said to me over lunch:
We’re trained for 20 years to be risk-averse. I’d like to do the experimentation, but I’d risk everything I’ve built over two decades of schooling and training by doing so. I’d need an immunity necklace. The university would never tolerate it.
He then added: “You can be the dark horse.”
It’s a strange label, but he was right. Not just because I have no prestige to lose. I’m also a former industry insider.
From 2001 to 2009, I was CEO of a sports nutrition company with distribution in more than a dozen countries, and while we followed the rules, it became clear that many others didn’t. It wasn’t the most profitable option. I have witnessed blatant lies on nutritional fact panels, marketing executives budgeting for FTC fines in anticipation of lawsuits, and much worse from some of the best-known brands in the business.3 I understand how and where consumers are deceived. The darker tricks of the trade in supplements and sports nutrition—clouding results of “clinical trials” and creative labeling as just two examples—are nearly the same as in biotech and Big Pharma.
I will teach you to spot bad science, and therefore bad advice and bad products.4
Late one evening in the fall of 2009, I sat eating cassoulet and duck legs with Dr. Lee Wolfer in the clouds of fog known as San Francisco. The wine was flowing, and I told her of my fantasies to return to a Berkeley or Stanford and pursue a doctorate in the biological sciences. I was briefly a neuroscience major at Princeton University and dreamed of a PhD at the end of my name. Lee is regularly published in peer-reviewed journals and has been trained at some of the finest programs in the world, including the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) (MD), Berkeley (MS), Harvard Medical School (residency), the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (fellowship), and Spinal Diagnostics in Daly City, California (fellowship).
She just smiled and raised a glass of wine before responding:
“You—Tim Ferriss—can do more outside the system than inside it.”
A Laboratory of One
“Many of these theories have been killed off only when some decisive experiment exposed their incorrectness . . . thus the yeoman work in any science . . . is done by the experimentalist, who must keep the theoreticians honest.”
—Michio Kaku (Hyperspace), theoretical physicist and co-creator of string field theory
Most breakthroughs in performance (and appearance) enhancement start with animals and go through the following adoption curve:
Racehorses –> AIDS patients (because of muscle wasting) and bodybuilders –> elite athletes –> rich people –> the rest of us
The last jump from the rich to the general public can take 10–20 years, if it happens at all. It often doesn’t.
I’m not suggesting that you start injecting yourself with odd substances never before tested on humans. I am suggesting, however, that government agencies (the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Food and Drug Administration) are at least 10 years behind current research, and at least 20 years behind compelling evidence in the field.
More than a decade ago, a close friend named Paul was in a car accident and suffered brain damage that lowered his testosterone production. Even with supplemental testosterone treatments (creams, gels, short-acting injectables) and after visiting scores of top endocrinologists, he still suffered from the symptoms of low testosterone. Everything changed— literally overnight—once he switched to testosterone enanthate, a variation seldom seen in the medical profession in the United States. Who made the suggestion? An advanced bodybuilder who knew his biochemistry. It shouldn’t have made a difference, yet it did.
Do doctors normally take advantage of the 50+ years of experience that professional bodybuilders have testing, even synthesizing, esters of testosterone? No. Most doctors view bodybuilders as cavalier amateurs, and bodybuilders view doctors as too risk-averse to do anything innovative.
This separation of the expertise means both sides suffer suboptimal results.
Handing your medical care over to the biggest man-gorilla in your gym is a bad idea, but it’s important to look for discoveries outside of the usual suspects. Those closest to a problem are often the least capable of seeing it with fresh eyes.
Despite the incredible progress in some areas of medicine in the last 100 years, a 60-year-old in 2009 can expect to live an average of only 6 years longer than a 60-year-old in 1900.
Me? I plan on living to 120 while eating the best rib-eye cuts I can find.
More on that later.
Suffice to say: for uncommon solutions, you have to look in uncommon places.
The Future’s Already Here
In our current world, even if proper trials are funded for obesity studies as just one example, it might take 10–20 years for the results. Are you prepared to wait?
I hope not.
“Kaiser can’t talk to UCSF, who can’t talk to Blue Shield. You are the arbiter of your health information.” Those are the words of a leading surgeon at UCSF, who encouraged me to take my papers with me before hospital records claimed them as their property.
Now the good news: with a little help, it’s never been easier to collect a few data points (at little cost), track them (without training), and make small changes that produce incredible results.
Type 2 diabetics going off of medication 48 hours after starting a dietary intervention? Wheelchair-bound seniors walking again after 14 weeks of training? This is not science fiction. It’s being done today. As William Gibson, who coined the term “cyberspace,” has said:
“The future is already here—it is just unevenly distributed.”
The 80/20 Principle: From Wall Street to the Human Machine
This book is designed to give you the most important 2.5% of the tools you need for body recomposition and increased performance. Some short history can explain this odd 2.5%.
Vilfredo Pareto was a controversial economist-cum-sociologist who lived from 1848 to 1923. His seminal work, Cours d’économie politique, included a then little explored “law” of income distribution that would later bear his name: “Pareto’s Law,” or “the Pareto Distribution.” It is more popularly known as “the 80/20 Principle.”
Pareto demonstrated a grossly uneven but predictable distribution of wealth in society—80 percent of the wealth and income is produced and possessed by 20 percent of the population. He also showed that this 80/20 principle could be found almost everywhere, not just in economics. Eighty percent of Pareto’s garden peas were produced by 20% of the pea-pods he had planted, for example.
In practice, the 80/20 principle is often much more disproportionate.
To be perceived as fluent in conversational Spanish, for example, you need an active vocabulary of approximately 2,500 high-frequency words. This will allow you to comprehend more than 95% of all conversation. To get to 98% comprehension would require at least five years of practice instead of five months. Doing the math, 2,500 words is a mere 2.5% of the estimated 100,000 words in the Spanish language.
- 2.5% of the total subject matter provides 95% of the desired results.
- This same 2.5% provides just 3% less benefit than putting in 12 times as much effort.
This incredibly valuable 2.5% is the key, the Archimedes lever, for those who want the best results in the least time. The trick is finding that 2.5%.5
This book is not intended as a comprehensive treatise on all things related to the human body. My goal is to share what I have found to be the 2.5% that delivers 95% of the results in rapid body redesign and performance enhancement. If you are already at 5% bodyfat or bench-pressing 400 pounds, you are in the top 1% of humans and now in the world of incremental gains. This book is for the other 99% who can experience near-unbelievable gains in short periods of time.
How to Use This Book—Five Rules
It is important that you follow five rules with this book. Ignore them at your peril.
RULE #1. THINK OF THIS BOOK AS A BUFFET.
Do not read this book from start to finish.
Most people won’t need more than 150 pages to reinvent themselves. Browse the table of contents, pick the chapters that are most relevant, and discard the rest . . . for now. Pick one appearance goal and one performance goal to start.
The only mandatory sections are “Fundamentals” and “Ground Zero.” Here are some popular goals, along with the corresponding chapters to read in the order listed:
– All chapters in “Fundamentals”
– All chapters in “Ground Zero”
– “The Slow-Carb Diet I and II”
– “Building the Perfect Posterior”
– Total page count: 98
RAPID MUSCLE GAIN
– All chapters in “Fundamentals”
– All chapters in “Ground Zero”
– “From Geek to Freak”
– “Occam’s Protocol I and II”
– Total page count: 97
RAPID STRENGTH GAIN
– All chapters in “Fundamentals”
– All chapters in “Ground Zero”
– “Effortless Superhuman” (pure strength, little mass gain)
– “Pre-Hab: Injury-Proofing the Body”
– Total page count: 92
RAPID SENSE OF TOTAL WELL-BEING
– All chapters in “Fundamentals”
– All chapters in “Ground Zero”
– All chapters in “Improving Sex”
– All chapters in “Perfecting Sleep”
– “Reversing ‘Permanent’ Injuries”
– Total page count: 143
Once you’ve selected the bare minimum to get started, get started.
Then, once you’ve committed to a plan of action, dip back into the book at your leisure and explore. Immediately practical advice is contained in every chapter, so don’t discount something based on the title. Even if you are a meat-eater (as I am), for example, you will benefit from “The Meatless Machine.”
Just don’t read it all at once.
RULE #2. SKIP THE SCIENCE IF IT’S TOO DENSE.
You do not need to be a scientist to read this book.
For the geeks and the curious, however, I’ve included a lot of cool details. These details can often enhance your results but are not required reading. Such sections are boxed and labeled “Geek’s Advantage” with a “GA” symbol.
Even if you’ve been intimidated by science in the past, I encourage you to browse some of these GA sections—at least a few will offer some fun “holy sh*t!” moments and improve results 10% or so.
If you ever feel overwhelmed, though, skip them, as they’re not mandatory for the results you’re after.
RULE #3. PLEASE BE SKEPTICAL.
Don’t assume something is true because I say it is.
As the legendary Timothy Noakes PhD, author or co-author of more than 400 published research papers, is fond of saying: “Fifty percent of what we know is wrong. The problem is that we do not know which 50% it is.” Everything in this book works, but I have surely gotten some of the mechanisms completely wrong. In other words, I believe the how-to is 100% reliable, but some of the why-to will end up on the chopping block as we learn more.
RULE #4. DON’T USE SKEPTICISM AS AN EXCUSE FOR INACTION.
As the good Dr. Noakes also said to me about one Olympic training regimen: “This [approach] could be totally wrong, but it’s a hypothesis worth disproving.”
It’s important to look for hypotheses worth disproving.
Science starts with educated (read: wild-ass) guesses. Then it’s all trial and error. Sometimes you predict correctly from the outset. More often, you make mistakes and stumble across unexpected findings, which lead to new questions. If you want to sit on the sidelines and play full-time skeptic, suspending action until a scientific consensus is reached, that’s your choice. Just realize that science is, alas, often as political as a dinner party with die-hard Democrats and Republicans. Consensus comes late at best.
Don’t use skepticism as a thinly veiled excuse for inaction or remaining in your comfort zone. Be skeptical, but for the right reason: because you’re looking for the most promising option to test in real life.
Be proactively skeptical, not defensively skeptical.
Let me know if you make a cool discovery or prove me wrong. This book will evolve through your feedback and help.
RULE #5. ENJOY IT.
I’ve included a lot of odd experiences and screwups just for simple entertainment value. All fact and no play makes Jack a dull boy.
Much of the content is intended to be read as the diary of a madman. Enjoy it. More than anything, I’d like to impart the joy of exploration and discovery. Remember: this isn’t a homework assignment. Take it at your own pace.
The Billionaire Productivity Secret and the Experimental Lifestyle
“How do you become more productive?”
Richard Branson leaned back and thought for a second. The tropical sounds of his private oasis, Necker Island, murmured in the background. Twenty people sat around him at rapt attention, wondering what a billionaire’s answer would be to one of the big questions—perhaps the biggest question—of business. The group had been assembled by marketing impresario Joe Polish to brainstorm growth options for Richard’s philanthropic Virgin Unite. It was one of his many new ambitious projects. Virgin Group already had more than 300 companies, more than 50,000 employees, and $25 billion per year in revenue. In other words, Branson had personally built an empire larger than the GDP of some developing countries.
Then he broke the silence:
He was serious and elaborated: working out gave him at least four additional hours of productive time every day.
The cool breeze punctuated his answer like an exclamation point.
4HB is intended to be much more than a book.
I view 4HB as a manifesto, a call to arms for a new mental model of living: the experimental lifestyle. It’s up to you—not your doctor, not the newspaper—to learn what you best respond to. The benefits go far beyond the physical.
If you understand politics well enough to vote for a president, or if you have ever filed taxes, you can learn the few most important scientific rules for redesigning your body. These rules will become your friends, 100% reliable and trusted.
This changes everything.
It is my sincere hope, if you’ve suffered from dissatisfaction with your body, or confusion regarding diet and exercise, that your life will be divided into before-4HB and after-4HB. It can help you do what most people would consider superhuman, whether losing 100 pounds of fat or holding your breath for five minutes. It all works.
There is no high priesthood—there is cause and effect.
Welcome to the director’s chair.
Alles mit Maß und Ziel,
San Francisco, California
June 10, 2010
- Multiple tests are often performed from single blood draws of 10–12 vials. Back to Text
- Not just noticeable. Back to Text
- There are, of course, some outstanding companies with solid R&D and uncompromising ethics, but they are few and far between. Back to Text
- I have absolutely no financial interest in any of the supplements I recommend in this book. If you purchase any supplement from a link in this book, an affiliate commission is sent directly to the nonprofit DonorsChoose.org, which helps public schools in the United States. Back to Text
- Philosopher Nassim N. Taleb noted an important difference between language and biology that I’d like to underscore: the former is largely known and the latter is largely unknown. Thus, our 2.5% is not 2.5% of a perfect finite body of knowledge, but the most empirically valuable 2.5% of what we know now. Back to Text
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616 Replies to “The 4-Hour Body – Sample Chapter and Full Table of Contents”
Cheat day insulin spiking foods: sugar in 2 coffees, bottle of coke, lemons in water, grapefruit juice, pizza and chocolate dessert thing from trader joe’s. nothing crazy but it’s congruent with the book’s recommendation to eat tasty regiment breaking foods. I’ll eat a bit more pizza tonight to complete this cheat.
I expect a jump in weight tomorrow.
To anyone else out there, please post your results, either daily, weekly or final so the onlookers can hold it up against the book’s stated results.
Day 21 of 31: Weigh in: 195.6
That was surprisingly low for a post cheat day weigh in, especially considering I ate like a pig.
Tomorrow begins the last full week for my self-experiment. I will continue beyond day 31 of course but the goal remains: How close can I get to my 20 lb goal?
Next post will be my measurement for TI.
End of 3rd week measurement for TI:
246.25 total inches. This is down from the start measurement of 249. Not thrilling results of course but here are the main changes in measurement, despite overall loss of inches:
Waist around navel: smaller
Waist around largest part (ass): smaller
Both thighs: larger
Calves: same or slightly smaller
Upper arms: exact same
Shoulders: potentially .5 inch smaller or the exact same
Reconstitution has begun in earnest.
I will post TI measurements next Sunday evening.
Day 22 of 31 Weigh in?? 195.2
Trending in the correct direction. There’s some heavy lifting to get down to 10 lbs lost.
Still need about .29 lbs lost each day to get to the calculated estimated on day 31 of 8.5 lbs lost.
You might get more feedback posting in forums related to the 4HB, like this one:
There’s also an active group on facebook and a topic on the myfitnesspal.com site.
Sigh….thanks Christine! You are correct. I just jumped on that forum and it seems far more appropriate for what I am posting. Oh well. Better to learn these things later than never, right.
Nonetheless, nice work partner, I appreciate it!
Day 23 of 31: Weigh in: 196.2
Not sure why I bounced but it’s a full lb over yesterday’s weigh in. No worries….
I just measured the cals I am getting from my meals and they are tiny guys. I eat massive platefuls of food and I am full when I get done. The operative question thus becomes, at what deficit range do you undo your hard work to lose fat?
Also, I wish I knew what muscle I was adding. Doing body squats and push-ups before and after each meal is building muscle fast. My legs are literally larger in the things and my pecs are getting harder each day. Also, and about 3x/week, I do dumbbell presses for my shoulders, I use them for normal curls and an additional shoulder exercise. Each day I run about 1.25 miles and sometimes I do this 2x/day. Also 3x/week, I do one leg step ups on the picnic table bench. Additionally, I work my back muscles with an improvised standing row at the playground (think wall push up but in reverse).
I purchased a pull-up bar and will start doing negative chin-ups and pull-ups until I can comfortably do 10 regular reps of each. The abs are also on the list. I used to do literally thousands when I was younger so it will be nice to get reacquainted with them again. I will also do the abdominal moves mentioned in 4HB.
If I continue to do exactly what I am doing and when I arrive at a weight of 180, I will be one scary athlete in terms of strength, speed and endurance.
Day 24 of 31:
Weigh in?? 196.4
Slightly higher than yesterday.
See last weigh-in results back to the 16th of March:
It’s hard to figure out where I’ll end up with these types of swings. I am ok with it however. It’s part of the process. I’ll lose my 20 lbs one way or another. If the trend keeps inching back up then there’s a problem. So far so good.
Day 25 of 31: 196.00 lbs. Start weight was 200.8
Day 26 of 31
Weigh in this morning: 193.6
5pm: 194 flat. I will record the higher of the two to make this as conservative as I can.
Original weight on Feb 28th was 200.8
I am slowly getting there. My goal was 20 lbs in 31 days but if I grab 10 that will still be a great accomplishment, especially considering the muscle I am packing on.
Day 27 of 31:
Start weight on Feb 28: 200.8
Today March 26: 193.6
Today is cheat day. I feel like total hell and am tired. It has to be from the sugary bullshit I ate today along with the good proteins. Ugh.
It’s all part of the regimen.
No vitamins tomorrow all day and I will take new measurements tomorrow. I can guess I am loosing size in some areas and gaining in others i.e. quads.
Sunday, March 27th (Day 28)
Weigh in this morning post cheat day: 193.6
Start weight: 200.8 on Feb 28th.
Total inches over 5 measurements:
Total Inches 249 248.5 248.5 246.25 246.25
It sure would be nice to have something more than a tailor’s tape to gauge these measurements.
Day 29 of 31:
Original weight 2/28/11: 200.8
I bounced up into the high 196s from the 193.6 mark and I settled back down again. I can not figure out the swings. I am eating the same foods all of the time.
My eye is on the day ahead of me and not today or yesterday.
Day 30 of 31
Original weigh in Feb 28th: 200.8
Day 30: 193 flat. New low.
I suppose I may see a new low tomorrow but it is what it is. I will wait until tomorrow afternoon to post my 31 day results and final measurements. People are noticing the change in appearance however. It’s the icing on the multi-layered cake I suppose 🙂
Great book….I’m almost done reading the chapters I need to get started and I’m having my DEXA body comp today! Quick question about the food…bell peppers (Green/Red/Yellow/Orange)? Allowed or no? I love them in omeletes in the mornings, but I think technically they’re considered fruit…
Kelly, I can weight in here and give you my 2 cents as a person who has been keeping tabs on nutrition and exercise for a long time.
Whether a veggie or fruit, the key thing is to know who the food will affect your blood glucose levels.
Tim talks about “slow carbs” and what he means by that is how quickly they’re absorbed into your blood. The slower the better because of the way sugar in the blood impacts insuling levels and insulin affects fat gain/loss.
Something called the “glycemic index” measures the blood glucose uptake. Green/yellow/red peppers has a GI of 40, about the middle of the range, which is fine. Eat them.
Thank you, Joe! I appreciate your reply… I’m on week 2 & keeping the peppers in my omeletes! Another question I had was about protein shakes in the mornings instead of cooking (sometimes I just need a quick breakfast)…any recommendations? I think the book suggested at least 30g protein, but any ideas of good shakes/brands? Sadly, I was a nutrition major in undergrad & just finished medical school, but they don’t teach us about these important things 🙂
Stick with real foods. There are many ancillary benefits to them that drinks to not have. Also, if you are crunched for time, batch your cooking into a few times a week.
For example, you can make omelet batches and store them in air tight containers in the fridge and simply spoon out what you need each day.
I cook enough chicken 1-2 times per week to feed an army so I get the protein I need during the week. It always looks like too much food but if 30 grams of protein is the goal, you need at least 3 eggs, a can of beans/lentils and a cup of spinach to hit the mark or you need 1 large chicken breast, beans/lentils and some veggies with protein in them.
Remember to employ Ferriss’ 30 grams within 30 minutes of waking. Slam the water when you wake. Take the vitamins and supplements and then chow down.
I hope you crush this regimen and get to where you want to go.
Start weight on Feb 28th was 200.8 lbs. Today’s weight: 193 flat.
I aimed for a 20 lb loss in 31 days. Was the book even 50% correct? No. Was the book even 40% correct? Just about right. I lost 7.8 lbs out of the desired 20 lbs.
Did I adhere to the regimen perfectly? Yes.
Did I employ a cheat day each week per the book? Yes.
Did I use the recommended dosage of vitamins and supplements? Yes.
Did I employ ice baths and ice packs? I used ice packs occasionally and only used one hellish ice bath as the book only called for those techniques to lose that grueling last 10 lbs
Did I do exercises before and after meals i.e. air squats and push-ups? 98% of the time.
What went wrong? I suppose my body needed some time during the 1st week to even get into the swing of things. I did experience a lot of weight swing throughout the process. However, and despite the rather large jerks up and down, the end result was very good.
I feel great. I added a bunch of muscle. My energy is through the roof. My heart rate is better than when I started. I sleep better. Allergy season barely effected me. I do not tank during the day or yawn after meals. When I do eat, the food is piled high, I leave the table stuffed and I am hungry by the next meal.
7.8 lbs in a month is successful if you ask me.
April’s goal is to lose 12 and then May’s goal is to lose an additional 5 so I end up at 175, down from the original 200.8.
Total inches lost (used a neck, waist at naval, waist at widest part, both upper arms, both forearms, both calves, both thighs and my shoulder width):
249, 248.5, 248.5, 246.25, 246.25, 247.75
Why the fluctuation in inches? 1) measuring yourself with a tailor’s tape is a pain in the ass. 2) I dropped fat but I added muscle in my thighs, gluts, calves and biceps.
Good luck everyone and I will post my results at the end of April.
Outliers: This thought kept coming back to me during my 31 day pursuit. The book specifically addresses this concept but it’s not a real convincing portrayal of data. Clearly the book uses some data for the eye, but I am pretty close to sure that for publishing reasons, the outliers were selected for better results.
I am not saying this to judge Ferriss or the book. It’s merely an observation.
After all, I love the book and my own results! I just hope folks do not become disappointed when they do not reel off 20 lbs in a month, that’s all.
I was not going to jump back onto the board until the end of April but I just received my exam results back from a life insurance re-rating to secure lower premiums.
I was re-rated from a lousy smoker rating (and i do not even smoke) to a preferred rating (one of the best).
they asked for urine and blood and those metrics came back very impressive.
the only thing that was elevated was a liver enzyme (most likely because of a fatty liver) and this will go down with my weight and fat as i progress.
the coolest thing was that i, who was raised on chowing meat for a living in the midwest, am arguably 30 lbs overweight, and am and have been working a stressful job for almost a decade (mortgage banking!), popped a super low cholesterol level of 162.
so for folks who think that this slow carb diet will blow out their blood and cholesterol readings, think again!
by the way…the weight continues to drip off.
Kelly, and everybody else trying to figure out the protein thing:
It ain’t easy! At least not for me, as I have an additional issue in that I’m a meek carnivore and quickly get sick of eggs.
Additionally, I strive for a healthy, sustainable diet… and I don’t think pounding meat protein is either.
So, what to do?
I mix it up. Sometimes eggs, chicken a bit, beans in much of it, and protein supplementation. Why protein is often heralded as a great source, but I’ve also read some damning stuff about how it’s made, the whey isolate thing. Nonetheless, I use a bit of it, made by ProHealth, called “ImmunePlex”
http://wp.me/pA04z-3S and also liberally use hemp protein powder.
The hemp protein powder feels the best in the morning because I also drink a lot of freshly juiced vegetable juice in the morning and it doesn’t mix in the gut very well with a diary-sourced product like whey.
But the bottom line is that, for me, getting 30 grams in 30 minutes consistently is a challenge.
Hi Tim found the book very interesting. I am 62 and lost 4 lbs in one week. Very new for me. Into my second week and hoping for the same. My question is in regard to grapefruit juice. I take a statin for cholesterol every evening which dictates no grapefruit juice. Do you have any data or suggestions? Thanks
Your chapter on the female orgasm has been life changing for me. Not that I couldn’t orgasm, I could. I’m not sure if this is exactly how you put it but, “The clitoris will be taken, dead or alive” made me shriek with laughter and then sink into a kind of sad resignation.
My adored husband and I set to with the “experiment” (he has science background so he responded brilliantly to the instructions) which resulted in the wildest sex we’ve ever had and I have gone from wondering if maybe I had frittered away my libido on housework to thinking about sex, all day, every day.
This has been a gift of immeasurable value and I thank you.
Thank you so much for this wonderful comment. It completely made my day. Enjoy the after-effects of the simple 15-minute “experiment”! It just gets better… 🙂
All the best,
I didn’t know it had a whole chapter on orgasms!!! Lol. Tim I have your book in my ‘to read’ pile. It might just have jumped up the queue ;-p Sounds far more exciting than the Think and Grow Rich I’m reading atm hehe 🙂
Speaking of Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill recommends transmuting sexual energy, and many people (reuniting.info, etc) also recommend not having orgasms as often because it causes couples to slowly become irritated and bored with each other. There’s a biological explanation behind this thinking.
What’s your opinion on this?
Tim, I just finished competing in the figure division of the Texas Shredder (May 7). I started following your PAGG regime in January and in early April added Super Cissus. Other than this, I maintained my normal supplement regime – multi, fish oil, Vit D, acidophilus (sp?). I am taking my week break from the PAGG supplements and am off Super Cissus until another time when I may need it. In the past few days after stopping these supplements I’ve started to develop headaches. Its not the green tea or caffeine withdrawal as I drink about 3 cups of coffee a day. Of course, my diet is not as harsh as the week before the competition (last week) but I am pretty religious to staying Paleo so outside of introducing limited salt back into the diet and a few more carbs, not much has changed on this front. The one most drastic change is my break from the gym for a week. So, my question: Is it possible that the PAGG or Cissus supps have a withdrawal effect? Also, how often would you suggest adding Cissus into your diet per year? I’m traveling throughout Asia this summer and won’t be able to control my diet as much as I’d like so I was thinking of reintroducing it into my diet again for a total of about 6 weeks this summer.
I also experienced headaches after stopping Cissus twice. So I don’t know what that is about but they were pretty bad migraine headaches so I am not sure what I am going to do with my supply.
Cissus is a Natural Anti-Inflamatory.
When I first started doing 4HB and Cissus I noticed a decrease in my soreness (also started doing physio therapy about the same time). When I ran out of cissus, I noticed some of the soreness resumed. (Originally though it was b/c of the physio).
That’s funny that I stumbled upon this. I just stopped PAGG for about 4 days now, and I am getting persistent headaches since 2 days ago. Im still taking Cissus however. Today I took the Alpha Lipoic Acid, and am still having a headache. I don’t know if that helps any.
I think it is great that the Cissus is a natural anti-Inflamatory and makes me wish I could still use it. But the migraines were too intense and I am a bit gun-shy to try it again. Do you think it really could be a cause for my migraines?
I’m glad to know its not only me, but thankful I didn’t suffer an extreme migraine.
Do you really think its because its an anti-inflammatory? If so, do you know what specifically in Cissus has this property? I’d like to do some research. I’ve taken prescription anti-inflammatory drugs before (granted not for a month+ as I did with Cissus) and have not experienced this. How often do you use Cissus? Any thoughts on the frequency of use?
Hey, you fellas having migraines because of Cissus… if it’s an anti-inflammatory that you need, try taking turmeric. It’s probably not as powerful as Cissus, but it might help.
For something more powerful, go to prohealth.com and search for “Zyflamend”. There will be more information about it there. Think you can get turmeric there as well, but it’s in most health food stores.
On the Cissus being a natural anti-inflamatory, I just noticed an uptick in my soreness when I ran out. (The only local place that had Cissus ran out after I bought it (seemed to be the same time I saw the book in the local English Language Bookstore), also they charge €50 for it, so stopped taking it). B/c of the increased soreness, I started looking it up in google and found references to the anti-imflamatory property. (Also found references to it being parts of an Indian Food).
The first product I took was called “Osteobolin C”, the instructions said take it with Breakfast and Lunch, so took it then. (THe main ingredient is CIssus, with a large dose of Vitamin-C added)
Cissus is also good for joint and tendon pain, not sure if it is b/c of the anti-inflamtory property or some other aspect. I know a lot of stuff was happening (and is still going on) with my back. So noticing the uptick in soreness on my back (with the elimination of Cissus), and finding the information on its anti-inflamatory properties, I just put 2 and 2 together. (It could be it was also helping to promote the movement/healing of the joints as well).
I have a few bottles of the Cissus that I cannot use due to the migraines it gives me. want to trade something for them? Where are you? I will be in Europe in June traveling around. you can email if you are interested. Hate for the cissus to go to waste because I am tempted to just trash them.
let me know
I’ve just got your book a few days ago off Amazon which is kind of pity since I live in Poland and I really looked forward to finding it in bookshops but to my disappointment it is currently not avaiable.
Yesterday I kickstarted my first day of your diet and actually I did it also to prove my girlfriend wrong after she said that you’re full of sh*t !
Hey, but I have a lot of faith in you (and me!).
My wife just gave birth to our son two months ago and would like to lose her belly. Is it ok for her to go on your slow-carb diet? She’s breast feeding our child and is worried that she won’t produce enough milk and nutrients for the baby. I’ve actually been on your diet for 6 weeks and went from 187 to 169lbs, so she definitely wants to join. Please help.
Slow carb should be just fine for both mom and baby. No worries about the milk quality or amount. Baby will get what it needs from your wife unless her diet is extremely deficient and she’s dehydrated. Think of it like baby takes first, whatever is left goes to mom. That’s how babies in third world countries manage to thrive despite their mom’s crap diets.
If she keeps up the breastfeeding, that on its own may be a big help. For me, weight was just dropping off around the 4 months mark in particular when baby had a growth spurt. The longer she does it, the more it will help both, so give her lots of support.
I would urge anyone to take care when adopting the kettlebell swings detailed in the book and make sure that you have an instructor there to ensure good form.
I tried 25 in December 2010 and still suffer from a trapped nerve which has left one of the fingers on my right hand frozen and with a rotator cuff injury that requires further physiotherapy.
Anyone who doubts the efficacy of the slow carb diet should take note of Novak Djokovic the tennis player ranked No 2 in the world. His recent surge of form he puts down to eliminating gluten from his diet. No bread, no pasta, no cereal. Gluten is a complex protein which sometimes gets absorbed in to the gut and triggers an immune response from your body.
On a disappointing note, the chapter on increasing testosterone didn’t work for me. I’m a 56 year old male.
I’m in my second week of 4HB and I am feeling good so far. No problems leaving out carbohydrates. I’ve been on a slow-carb-diet (metabolic balance, German system) for the last 5 years and lost 25 kg. But I have another 25 kgs to go. I started with CrossFit 8 months ago and with that kind of sports, the portions of Metabolic Balance were too little (125 gr meat, 130 gr. veggies, some fruits and some whole wheat bread. I’ve had a checkup at a sports clinic, where I have been told, that my body kept everything he got in order to maintain basic body functions, because I ate only about half of the calories of my basic metabolic rate….
Now I am eating like a “pig” (sorry, no offense to those cute animals) for what I am concerned, because I doubled and tripled my portions (leaving out bread and fruit of course), taking the supplements, as far as they’re available in Switzerland and doing CrossFit 3-4 times a week (I did more before 4HB)… Now I am wondering, if I’m on the right track concerning the portions or if I should eat even more…? Today I checked my calories intake (I am not counting, I was just curious) and for today it still would be underneath my basic metabolic rate (resting)….. I know, it’s not about calorie-counting….and I am feeling great, sleep well, but still haven’t lost really a lot of weight… my weight is jumping down and up….
Has anybody got an idea? I’d appreciate your comments on this. I want to stick to it and I certainly will not give up that easily. I just want to know, if I am on the right track.
Thanks to you all for your feedback
I’m from the country Romania and I saw Dr. Oz show where you were invited. I want to buy your book “The 4 Hour Body. ” How could I do that?
Thank you very much.
I’ve been trying to do some research on BodyQuick from your Geek to Freak chapter and have been able to find very little …. OK understatement there. All i found was the website that sells this stuff. And except for it being a neural accelerator the website doesn’t say anything about what this stuff actually is. I’am very hesitant to go with this as i cant even find it an Amazon (looks kinda shady) can you give me some info on what this stuff is? Is there perhaps something that i can take instead of this?
I think your findings are amazing and I appreciate the time you have put into this project. I want to be another successful candidate of your method, so my questions are: Is it necessary to take the vitamins and supplements with the diet? Do I need to do the exercises along with the SCD in order for this to be effective?
First and foremost, I really enjoyed the book The 4-Hour Body, and I commend you for your experimental lifestyle that benefits so many others. Well i was wondering, in regards to the slow-carb diet, can it be modified in order to gain mass? For example increase carb intake solely after resistance exercise? Thank you!
Just a quick update for all aiming to employ this kick-ass book’s tid bits. I read the book in December ’10. I did not really jump into the regimen until about February ’11. Today is September 11th 2011 and I have lost 35 lbs (210 down to 175). I probably did the pre/post meal pushups and body weight squats 50% of the time at BEST and stuck to the diet/regimen about an honest 80% of the time due to life, cheat days, parties etc.
Take notice: his advice is money! My old clothes are not at goodwill stores. My suits look like clown-ware. My body composition is looking awesome now. I am never tired. There’s only about 5-7 or 10 lbs at most to lose still and then I will start to integrate his abs work and kettle workouts along with my runs, hikes, biking, swimming and general rough housing to get into the best shape of my life.
I am 35 yrs old and about 5ft 8in on a great day. Go get it everyone.
Sorry to be long-winded but I promised myself I’d chime in when I got near my goal. Using a Feb-Sept timeframe, that’s about 5 lbs lost each month. My god, what a breeze it’s been. Adios conventional “wisdom.”
Question about the grapefruit juice. How much to drink before each meal, and should it be unsweetened? Is there a certain brand you prefer?
Excited to start the book!
Question about the grapefruit juice. How much to drink before each meal, and should it be unsweetened? Is there a certain brand you prefer?
Excited to start the book!
what about eating corn tortillas, wheatgerm, porken beans, bake beans, Choffy, cous cous, hemp chia, or Quinoa.? Can I eat this stuff on the slow carb diet.
Can I drink cocnut water or cocanut milk.
Seeking advice on correcting “irreversible injuries”:
I was born with less nerves in one leg. My right calf/foot is significantly smaller than the left; size 12 vs. 9.5. The muscles didn’t develop as much and it has made training (sustained running, leg weight-lifting, even sustained walking) very difficult. Anyone ever heard of a similar issue and have any suggestions for corrective actions? After 27 years and visits to over 15 Dr.’s – I haven’t been able to crack this one. Thanks in advance.
Lately, I did not give a great deal of consideration to leaving feedback on blog page posts and also have placed comments even much less.
I have a simple question as it relates to diet/nutrition experimentation; What blood type do you have? (A, B, AB, O)
Also…I read the 4HrWorkWeek and I am still reading 4HrBody and want to thank you for sharing such invaluable knowledge and experience!
My dad has MS and I’m wondering, after reading the bit about the body builder knowing more about testosterone than the doctor, if you know of anything that could be applicable to a condition like MS. There are several long term studies that neurologists tend to ignore that indicate that diet is a big factor in symptom development. Is there anything out there you know of that aids in myelin creation? Thanks
i’m day 7 into slowcarb and occam’s protocol, and while i should note that my diet wasn’t too far off from the slow carb before starting this, and i was already in pretty good shape, i have to say i’m very impressed. at day 5 (and after drinking LOTS of milk) i saw some friends and they immediately commented on what i had been trying to accomplish for 5 months now: more mass. they were shocked as the last time they saw me i was a noticeable 5 pounds lighter (yes, 5 pounds in 5 days), which was only 2 weeks ago. i literally feel like i have been inflated, and it’s pretty weird, but awesome. i absolutely love lifting to failure, and after only one set i feel like i just bench pressed a house.
one concern though: will my stomach get super flat while doing occam’s protocol (A and B workout, plus kettlebells and both 6 minute ab exercises, exactly as instructed – schedule too)? my goal is to gain mass in my upper body, but flatten my stomach and have a very tight 6 pack. i already have a six pack, although it isn’t super flat and defined, which it has been in the past, and i worry that the excessive milk intake will limit flatness (for lack of a better word). please weigh in (pun intended) when you have a chance.
thanks so much for this book (and using yourself as a test subject). i appreciate your challenge to the status quo and calling out doctors who just publish to save face rather than tell us what we really need to hear.
ps – also loved 4hww. very inspiring
I read the part about the grapefruit juice with coffee on Saturday. Is it okay to have coffee and grapefruit juice everyday?
Sounds like a must-read Tim, I’m going to check it out for sure!
Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an incredibly long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear.
Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.
Regardless, just wanted to say excellent blog!