The Perfect Posterior: Kettlebell Swings and Cheap Alternatives

Tracy: 100+ lbs. lost with 2–3 sessions per week.

In The 4-Hour Body, I profiled Tracy R., a mother of two who lost more than 100 pounds.

The secret wasn’t marathon aerobics sessions, nor was it severe caloric restriction. It was the Russian kettlebell swing, twice a week for an average of 15–20 minutes. Her peak session length was 35 minutes.

This post will explain how to perform the two-handed kettlebell swing, and it will offer a cheap $10 alternative.

Beyond fat loss, this movement will help build a superhuman posterior chain, which includes all the muscles from the base of your skull to your Achilles tendons. For maximum strength and sex appeal in minimal time, the posterior chain is where you should focus. From “violent hips” for power sports, to the perfect ass for aesthetics, I suggest one starting point:

The Swing

Reps and Sets – Less is More

Long before I met Tracy, I met “The Kiwi” in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

In early 2006, he happened to be taking a private Spanish lesson in the same café where I was finishing the manuscript for The 4-Hour Workweek, and we quickly became close friends. He had competed in elite-level rugby in New Zealand but was equally proud, I soon learned, of applying his BSE in exercise physiology to perfecting the female posterior.

He told me the story over a bottle of Catena Malbec. His obsession started when he saw a professional samba dancer in Brazil balance tequila shots on top of each butt cheek in a dance club. Lamenting the lack of similar scenes in his own country, he set off on a mission to isolate the best exercises for creating buttocks worthy of tequila shots.

By 2000 he had refined his approach to a science. In four weeks, he took his then-girlfriend, an ethnic Chinese with a surfboardlike profile, to being voted one of the top-10 sexiest girls out of 39,000 students at the University of Auckland. Total time: four weeks. Other female students constantly asked her how she’d lifted her glutes so high up her hamstrings.

If The Kiwi could have answered for her, he would have said, “Add reps and weights to the swings.”

In 2005, my interest in kettlebells reinvigorated, I returned to the United States from Argentina and purchased one 53-pound kettlebell. I did nothing more than one set of 75 swings one hour after a light, protein-rich breakfast, twice a week on Mondays and Fridays. In the beginning, I couldn’t complete 75 consecutive repetitions, so I did multiple sets with 60 seconds between until I totaled 75. Total swing time for the entire week was 10–20 minutes.

I wasn’t trying to balance tequila shots on my butt cheeks. I wanted clear six-pack abs. In six weeks, I was at my lowest bodyfat percentage since 1999, and l’d reached my goal. I’ve since worked up to 50+ reps with the 106-lb. “beast” (video), which has directly transferred to 100-lb.+ gains in the deadlift.

The king of exercises—the two-handed kettlebell swing—is all you need for dramatic changes.

Here are a few guidelines:

• Stand with your feet 6–12 inches outside of shoulder width on either side, each foot pointed outward about 30 degrees. If toes pointed straight ahead were 12:00 on a clock face, your left foot would point at 10:00 or 11:00, and your right would point at 1:00 or 2:00.

• Keep your shoulders pulled back (retracted) and down to avoid rounding your back.

• The lowering movement (backswing) is a sitting-back-on-a-chair movement, not a squatting- down movement.

• Do not let your shoulders go in front of your knees at any point.

• Imagine pinching a penny between your butt cheeks when you pop your hips forward. This should be a forceful pop, and it should be impossible to contract your ass more. If your dog’s head gets in the way, it should be lights out for Fido.

75 total reps, 2-3 times a week, is the recipe.

Simple works.


Odds and Ends: An Appeal

George Bush 691 vs. The 4-Hour Body 427 –

Since the book came out, I’ve fantasized about having more Amazon reviews than George Bush. Now, it’s actually possible! The ask: If you’ve enjoyed The 4-Hour Body, could you pretty please take 30 seconds to leave a short Amazon review here?

I’ll toast some wine and do a thank-you video this weekend if I crush The Decider. Thanks in advance — it’s been an exciting few weeks, and this would really be the icing on the cake.

Much more to come soon…

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 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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928 Replies to “The Perfect Posterior: Kettlebell Swings and Cheap Alternatives”

  1. Tim –

    Where on your sites (4HWW, 4HB) can one find the bonus content outlined in the 4HB book? I checked the message boards, can’t locate it.



  2. I just need someone to answer me a quick question. I’m doing the slow carb diet and so far is doing good. Not great but, it’s been holidays so i think i’ve cheated more than i should. Anyways, my morning first meal. The one with at least 20 grams of protein. Can it be a protein shake? If so, which one would be the best? I tried a whey protein powder first of strawberry that i bought at walmart, and now i switched to isopure dutch chocolate. I just wanna now, if drinking the shake with flavors would it make the diet to work more slowly or not. If the flavors are the problem, i saw a brand called NOW that has isolate protein without any flavor. And if the flavors are not a problem, i’m thinking of switching isopure to dymatize, basically because is way cheaper. You get 70 portions of a 5 pounds of dymatize for like 40 bucks against like 21 portions of 3.8 pounds of isopure for 39 dollars. Thanks and i hope someone can help me with this question.

  3. Hey dude I just wanted to ask you about the PAGG stack. I purchased most of the individual ingredients but the Green tea extract and Allicin you suggested (the Life extensions and Vitamin shoppe brand) recommend only one pill a day.

    Any side effects from taking too much? since if i follow your pagg stack i will be taking a dose 4 times bigger than recommended on the label of these supplements.

    1. Hi Serge,

      I’d definitely suggest starting with one pill to assess tolerance. If you stuck to one per day — green tea in AM, garlic before bed — you’ll still see an effect.



      1. Thanks man. I see I wasn’t the only one concerned about PAGG dosage. Besides the allicin and green teas one a day suggestion, the ALA I bought from GNC recommends you take it twice a day instead of four. But I’m guessing you’ve used all the brands specified in in your recommendation 4 times a day and didn’t die:-) So that’s good!

  4. I’m just hanging around in Burlingame helping where I can. Call me or email me or whatever…I’m here to help.

    Just in from Utah…watched my daughter throw in her first college meet. It’s hard to believe that that I was doing the same thing a mere 35 years ago!!!

  5. Just in case anybody in Mexico is looking to buy a Kettlebell, I just bought mine in Wal-Mart for less than 33 dollars ($400 pesos).

    I’m really looking forward in doing the exercise and as a heads up to anyone who doesn’t have access to trainers just do a search in YouTube and youll find plenty of advice.

    Thanks Tim!

  6. Hi Tim! Im a short track speed skater from Poland – participated in Vancouver 2010 Games. While training in Calgary I came across your books. I find them useful and will add some things to my training plan. I’m really interested in the chapter “effortless superhuman”. Dont want to gain much muscle but need the strength. I need some explanation on the weights with Barry Ross’s strength training. How often should I add weight and how to check my strength gain? Becuase probably my 1RM will change with time so the percentage will also change. What gets measured gets managed.

    Serdeczne Pozdrowienia z Polski 🙂

  7. Hey Tim! Loving the book so far. Any chance of ‘accompany-ment’ videos for the training chapters on improving vertical leap, ect? : )

    Thanks, Tabby

  8. Hey Tim,

    Been following you for awhile and appreciate all you have taught me. I have been combining some 4 hour body stuff with a nutritional cleansing program and am having incredible results. It seems like you have tried everything, have you ever done a full body cleanse? I have never seen such a dramatic change in my body composition as it really targets fat and promotes lean muscle. Combined with the slow carb diet I feel like I am in beast mode 🙂 Anyways, I don’t know if you read these, but if you have any interest about trying one out I would love to give you a program free of charge and see what kind of results we could get you. Philosophically it seems to align with what you believe in. I would be happy to chat about it and fill you in if you like.

    All The Best,


  9. Dude, I read your book and I have to say, for $15, it is an amazing deal!

    I don’t have much weight to lose (5’7” and 120lb) but I want more defined muscles.

    I have been doing the KB, cat vomit, flying dogs, hip flexors, planks and the two-legged glutes for 5 days now and I already see more definiton. Before, I used run about 30+ min, 5-6 days a week and there was no visible result! Nobody at the gym ever told me about these exercises!

    So, thank you!!!

    Quick questions, if you have the time:

    1. Is shreded coconut allowed on the slow-carb diet? (it is lower in carbs than say, beans)

    2. I have read the book (most the chapters, since some are of no interest to me as a woman-add 100+ to my lifts?/!!) but somehow I missed the password that gives access to the extra writings! Can you at least tell us the chapter # where it is hidden?

    3. You say a woman should start with a 20lb KB. Dude, that is too much to start with for a woman. I started with a 8lb. one and still using it. And yes, I go to the gym regularly. Tim, woman # the Hulk 😉

    Again, thank you & a fabulous 2011!

    1. Thanks for the comment, Dana! To your q’s:

      1. A little coconut is totally fine, but I wouldn’t eat it as an entree

      2. These are coming soon — promise.

      3. Hahaha… definitely depends on the woman. Use what works! I’ve just found that women have stronger hips than they think and tend to use weights that are too light.

      Good luck!


      1. I was on 15 lbs for a while and felt confident to move up to 20lbs, and it would increase my risk of injury , i felt, in my lower back. SO I went back to the 15lbs, any suggestions how to get to that next step safely?

    2. I weight 108lbs and my only workout is walking my two large dogs a few times a week. A 20lb KB definitely seems reasonable to me. I was sore at first but that’s how I knew it was working!

    3. Really? 20lbs I think is a fine starting weight for women, especially considering Tim says that we shouldn’t be able to do more than 30 reps on our first try. I did my first kettlebell swings with 20lbs as Tim suggested and easily made it to 50 reps, I found it far too light. Moving up to 30lbs tomorrow, but my feeling is 45lbs will be about right. I feel fit and healthy, but I rarely lift weights.

  10. An chance we can get links or a more detailed time frame on the 4HB extra chapters? I hate to be “that guy” but it seems like it would be pretty easy to post the chapters (similar to this chapter/section of the book), especially compared the time it probably took to craft the “Thank You” post with pictures.

    I loved the book and I apologize if I come off a bit unappreciative, but the wording in the book indicated they were going to be available and so far all we’ve seen are “coming soon” replies buried amongst 100’s of cooments..with another reply in this comment section indicating some where posted but offering no info as to where they are.

    All in all, great book but lack luster informational follow thru on the extras

  11. Tim,

    there will always be ppl like mr. Yang.

    Whenever I read critisism like that, I take off my shirt, look in the mirror, and go “buhahahah!”. Lost almost 20 pounds in a month, added muscle, and feel great.

    Mirrors dont lie!

    “don’t let the bastards grind you down” – U2

  12. Once had a boyfriend who gave me 15 min orgasms. Twice. I stopped him after that. I was so energized, wired, that I couldn’t sleep or relax. Second time, stayed awake until 3 am. Does the 4 Hr Body address this? Is there a way to achieve them w/out the wiring? Thanks.

  13. Hey, Tim. Happy new year!

    Finally back on Long Island, started to read 4HB and distribute extra copies to friends.

    Unfortunately, I did read multiple chapters at once. Part out of curiosity (I couldn’t recommend something I didn’t read). Part because the book kind of forces you to. One chapter refers to exercises, concepts or supplements in other chapters constantly, so there is not much choice if one wants to be thorough. Like you said, it gets a bit confusing reading multiple chapters at once. For instance, carbs are allowed in “adding muscle”(Neil’s Diet) but not for “subtracting fat”. Going to read again to clarify.

    Had to laugh when I kept reading the word “poo” in one chapter over and over again. Yay, Good Times. 🙂

    I hear you are starting an online community based on 4HB. Have to say, It’s about time. The larger the time gap between the book launch and the community site launch, the more steam you are most likely to lose. Hope it launches soon. it’s going to be awesome.

    In the early chapters, you mentioned your parents participating in your weight loss program. I’m wondering if they would mind sharing more of their experiences. I, too, have loved ones who can benefit from the 4HB concepts. Unfortunately, they are culturally bound to traditional carb-rich diets. (Lots of Grains) So, I must find ways to augment the 4HB concepts to accommodated them as much as possible. If anyone has any ideas which could be helpful, please let me know.

    As for myself, it’s spinach and beans all the way, baby!

  14. Hey Tim,

    Love the book. Using “what gets measured gets managed” on the body is brilliant!

    I got Whey protein and consume it in the morning. It is awful in water though. Is it alright to mix it into 250g of full-fat curd or 30% heavy cream? You mention to eat fat in the morning in another part of the book, to blunt insulin response throughout the day.

    Or do curd and cream raise insulin? I imagine curd does more than cream, but I’d love your data on this.

    Also: Does it matter which type of protein to use? Whey seems to absorb quickly, Casein slowly over several hours. Which one is more useful in the morning?

    – Bleicke

  15. Part of 4HB a bit confusing is how do you combine different goals….lose fat but pack on muscle, etc.

    I want to add a little “lead to my pencil” while getting shredded and losing as much fat as possible.

    Can I eat the 8 (4X4) Brazilian Nuts per day and have the almond butter on celery sticks at THE SAME TIME?

    Will it slow or stop my (super slow) progress thus far?


  16. Hey! I am doing The Slow Carbs Diet and even if I know that regular potatoes are forbidden, I was wondering if Yams(sweet potatoes) are? And if so, Do they count as slow carbs(like legumes) or a vegetable?

    P.S Your book is Great!.

  17. This is a long ass question, my sincere apologies!

    I’m so frustrated, putting drama aside, let’s look at the facts.

    I deeply respect you!

    Agh, the hell with it, to me, you are,

    one of the wonders of the world!

    I’m on the SC diet, day 22 of 30,

    to say I’m short of results to show, will be, an understatement.

    If numbers tell as the whole story, than I’m 2 kg down,

    and same jeans size!!!

    I’m doing the diet by the book, word by word,

    A l’a Jesus, was a bigger sinner.

    Common mistakes? I do none of them!

    Well, that’s not entirely true,

    I don’t eat 80 grams protein a day,

    I eat 50-55 tops-14 grams of which, are 2 HB eggs,

    as I roll out of bad, yackk!

    I’m a 63 kg woman with 23% BF and sporty,

    looking to be 57/8 kg with 18/19% BF and muscular.

    I don’t do number 2 as much as I use to,

    despite drinking ridicules amounts of water,

    at least 2 liters a day of Mate,

    0.5 liter Athletic Greens and taking 600 mg magnesium.

    My facial skin is not as radiant as I hoped it will be,

    and I’m not a happier camper as a result of dramatically increasing my protein intake.

    I ran them basic blood test as you suggested,

    and I’m as healthy as one can be.

    I made a huge game out of it,

    and lots of eyes are on me, some of them (a lot),

    are WISHING to prove me (the diet) wrong.


    1. What to do, please advice.

    On a different note,

    2. my knees are inflamed

    (years of samba, not using the body correctly),

    what can I do instead of the KB swings?

    3. How much fish oil should I take for that same issue

    (no krill oil here)?

    4. Can I eat chia seeds as protein or is it a grain

    (I can’t find the answer)?

    Thanks so much for your time.


    1. Did Tim get back to you about this? I am the same weight/BF percentage and am a little disappointed with my results too. I’m starting to up the amount of protein. Hope that helps.

  18. This looks like a good exercise for martial arts… I practice judo and aikido (competitive aikido, not the big skirts type)… will try it out and see if I can throw more big guys!

  19. @Mary22yrs

    I know im not Timothy Ferris lol, but I have been on a paleo/primal diet for about a year or so. Its very similar to the slow carb diet but yams and sweet potatoes (which aren’t the same thing, two separate potatoes in fact), are alright to eat and much healthier and better for you then any other potato out there.

    They taste good when fried in butter, cinnamon and a bit of sugar/honey as well 😉

    1. Re. Sweet potatoes and/or yams – I’m really hoping for a definitive answer on this. Are they really allowed on the slow carb diet? Seems too good to be true, so I’ll skip them for now…

  20. It looks incredible!! I love the fact that you experienced all this stuff on yourself.

    The difficult is to convince other people. When I discover something great that works well on me and I try to share the benefits, no one listen to me. People are so lazy and love comfort. How do you do ?


  21. Hey Tim,

    I am training for a half-marathon, but got started on your “Rapid Fat Loss” chapters. I am a bit confused because I continued to read your “Running Faster” chapter and it suggest eliminating beans? Can I do the “Rapid Fat Loss” training while still running an endurance race, like a marathon?

  22. So, isolate protein in the morning for my first meal. Should it be unflavored or it doesn’t matter if i use chocolate, vanilla, etc?

  23. Tim,

    Two weeks into “slow carb”, and I’m down 4.5 lbs and more importantly just over a 1/2″ off the waist without the hunger pains I went through on Warrior Diet a few years ago. So thanks for 4 HB!

    On the Kettlebell Swings — It’s seems that doing 75 reps is rather excessive, and flies in the face of the low rep, multiple sets that you in other times advocate.

    Would you please be kind enought to clarify…


    John R.

  24. @Ross –

    Good comments on the Body Pod.

    How long did it take you get an accurate measure with the Body Pod?

    Other than a bit of a middle tire, I don’t have any body fat speak of, so I figured just measuring my waist size would be good enough.

    Still think a Body Pod is worth the effort/expense in my case.


    John R

    1. Hey John

      Ha, not sure if you’re referring to me(!) but I did get BodPod done and am glad I did. I also only have a bit of a middle tire (skinny arms and legs, nice littele pot belly…attractive eh!) so am in the same position as you.

      For me, I really want to get accurate measurements because I KNOW losing fat and gaining muscle is hard to track without accurate body composition measurements.

      Inches and the mirror are your best bets without accurate body fat %’s because throughout your journey the scales will just be confusing and potentially unmotivating.

      I would do it – but again, if you’re happy to give it 8 weeks or so and keep an eye on the mirror while measureing your actual muscles with a tape measure that could be enough for you – I just wanted to do it 100% spot on!

      My BodPod session was about 45mins including a chat with the fella, but time in the Pod is around 4 minutes. It cost me $100 Aussie, but I think it’s cheaper in the USA.



      1. @Ross – Hey Ross — Thanks for the detailed and thoughtful response regarding the “Pod”. Thanks! John R

  25. Hi Tim,

    I live in the UK and have already received the audio version of the book and await my paper copy (on order).

    I have done my best to extract the info from the audio version and set myself up on the diet (just completed first week) and occams protocol exercise regime.I have ordered a range of tablets as prescribed and will commence using them once received.

    I found the diet pretty easy to stick to,once organised,though i seem to be eating a lot! That said i am not binging on rubbish like i used to in the evenings.I cannot believe how much i ache from such a small amount of exercise,hopefully this means i am making progress.

    Could i ask, when you say for example that ‘kettlebells are optional’,does this mean instead of the Leg exercises or as well as them?

    It is too early to say if it is working and i have not weighed myself (I know I am around 14stone 10lbs and know i should be around 11stone 10 lbs) or checked bodyfat accuratley (around 31.5 according to Gym machine).My main focus is to shift inches from my hips/waist to my chest,biceps or Legs.Based on my measurements this has started ok,biceps,hips & thighs seem to have shown very slight positive moves and waist and chest has remained static (measured day after 1st cheat day).



  26. Love the book and have started the slow carb diet. I’m 43 years old, have two young kids and the best time of the day for me to exercise is at 6.30am. I typically get up at 5.45am, have a coffee (black) and a spoon full of natural peanut butter or almond butter, then work out from 6.30am-7.30am. Post work out, I have a shake – 1 scoop each of Isonatural whey powder, Fibresmart & NuGreens Berry Blast with water. Am I breaking your rule of eating within 30 minutes of waking up? Any suggestions?

  27. Question:

    Which is the best way to quantify slow carb?

    * Glycemic index

    * Carb counting

    * Glycemic load

    I found all this info and more on pretty much any food at



  28. I have been doing kettle bells for the past 3 weeks, seems to be helping a lot! I wasn’t even sore the first day out snowboarding this year. Also, here are two exercises I would highly recommend to any snowboarders:

    1) Use one of those Bosu balls (half ball thing) upside down. Then stand on the platform, and hold a squat position for 30 seconds, stand up, wait 30 seconds, then repeat until you can’t do it in good form anymore. Note that this is VERY tiring and I wouldn’t recommend it unless you have good balance. It will fire your stabilizer muscles like crazy, giving you excellent control over your board!

    2) Jump squats. Do an air squat, but rather than just going up at a normal cadence, explode up, while turning 180 degrees. Repeat until you can’t do them in good form. This will greatly improve your ability to control rotation in the air. For advanced boarders, try 360 jump squats.

    Note, do not do these exercises on the same day, or on consecutive days!

  29. started the lose 20 pounds in 30 days diet, having trouble in between meals. can i eat banannas? is there a general list of items i can go by ? love your book but it could be more dtailed for us old folks. any ideas or hints please get back to me or re-direct me to other sites thank you and god bless steve

  30. Hey man, awesome book! Just starting the diet with a bunch of friends and we had one question about the alcohol intake. I know you do the 2 5 ozs glasses of dry wine a night. We were wondering if it would be ok to do mixed drinks or light beer instead of the wine. The mixed drink would be 1.5 ounces of vodka and soda water. The light beer would be a bud, coors, or miller lite. Looking forward to hearing from you.



    1. Was wondering how long on average comments wait in moderation? I am running right around 7 days now. Thanks for everything, love the book!

    2. Vodka and soda water is OK, but I’d add a TON of lime juice if you can. If not, it will still work. Light beer is a no-go.

  31. I’ve read the “fat loss”- parts of the book (amazing book by the way!) and I’m on my 1st week of the slow-carb diet.

    I was just wondering whether I should stick to it or immediately advance to the “the last mile”-part, cause I’m already on around 140 pounds and 13% fat and I am aiming towards 9 or 8 % fat?

    On the “the last mile”-part it says that I should stop eating beans and concentrate on eating every 3 hours etc.

    I still didn’t understand whether I continue to binge once every week or not, if I decide to change my diet to the “last mile” one?

    Thank you,


  32. @Lee

    There is also the Insulin Index. It measures not only the glycemic load, but how much insulin is actually produced in reaction to the food. On this, protein scores significantly higher than on the GI. But does that mean protein is bad?

    I’m interested in high-fat, low-sugar dairy products like cream or curd. Are they inhibiting fat loss due to the high insulin reaction of dairy? Or are they fine, especially heavy cream with its 30% of fat, which could blunt insulin response.

    – Bleicke

  33. I’m almost down to a little stubborn fat on my thighs and lower abs. Will “The Last Mile” chapter help me burn stubborn fat, especially if I pair it with the cold treatment and kettlebell swings and snatches? I don’t know if stubborn/residual fat “burns” the same as regular body fat.

  34. Hey Tim,

    I’m a fairly athletic guy…I was a frequent gym member up until getting the book (it cut me back to three times a week as suggested). I’m 6’2” about 235.

    I’ve started the Slow Carb Diet and the Perfect Posterior training regimin. I just had my second cheat day. After reading some of the comments, I think I may be doing something wrong on the cheat day but other than that, I think I’m following everything else to the letter. It’s so simple, I’m not sure how I could screw it up.

    The problem is, I haven’t really lost any weight. I was down to 229 one day last week but today, I’m back at 235.

    I’m drinking the water. I’m eating on schedule. I don’t get it.

    It’s pretty frustrating though because I love to eat and I’d rather just go back to working out more often and eating what I want if I’m just going to maintain at 235.

    Any thoughts?

  35. Tim,

    My boyfriend is a big fan and has had a lot of success with the slow-carb diet. I’m almost through the 4HB and have just started the diet and am excited to see the results. I will definitely be investing in a kettlebell soon.

    Quick question: On your blog you mentioned that you could eat carbs within 30 minutes after a rigorous workout. Is this still acceptable? The breakfast seems to be my biggest hurdle and I usually workout in the morning.

    Also, is Edamame an acceptable snack? Let me know your thoughts.


  36. Tim and Crew,

    I’ve hit a weight loss plateau (according to my digital scale, I haven’t bought fat calipers yet, gonna step on one of those scales that gives bmi, weight, fat index, bone density etc etc this coming weekend).

    I started December 12th (before the book was released) and started the slow-carb diet, then added PAGG, then bought a 20lb kettlebell. I weighed 241lbs and I’m down to 230lbs. I weighed 225 at my lowest. I’m 6′ tall.

    I started the testosterone protocols, and doing a refined version of the Kiwi workout 3 times a week. My weight went up to 230 and has floated around there.

    I also ran out of Green Tea extract so that hasn’t been in my stack for about 1 week. Just bought some more.



    1. Dumbbell squat press x 10 (20lb kettlebell)

    2. 1 arm 1 Leg Dumbbell throw x 10 (20lb kettlebell)

    3. Walking lunges with a sprinter’s knee

    4. Two handed kettlebell swings x 75 (20lb kettlebell)


    1. Two handed kettlebell swings x 75 (20lb kettlebell)

    2. Kettlebell towel lifts (20lb kettlebell) x25

    3. Kettlebell clean x 10

    4. One handed Kettlebell balance (20lb kettlebell)


    1. RDL

    2. Plank for Abs

    3. Glute raises

    4. Flying Dog

    5. Two handed kettlebell swings x 75 (20lb kettlebell)

    So starting today I am laying off the testosterone protocols. Trying to scientifically figure out if I’m building muscle or if it has something to do with the testosterone protocols or not.

    Are the Testosterone protocols bad during periods where we’re trying to lose weight? Maybe it’s lack of green tea? Should I scale down my workouts and just do KBell swings with a 53lbs KBell?

  37. great book; love your style. I did leave a comment on Amazon so you could beat Bush-Bush? Really? Now Mark Twain would be more like it …So, I’m a menopausal woman trying your ideas out, curious with a similar personality; for the ole gals- wine makes hot flashes worse, damnit, green tea is great but afternoon makes the insominia worse too. One observation about the KB for lower back sufferers; suck in your gut like your life depended on it. Myo situps are killer and I can’t really do them very well (fall over)-maybe my boobs are just too damn heavy- keep writing, you are hilarious!

  38. I travel for work A LOT (3 weeks of 4) and eating according to the Slow Carb is hard so my question is Protein supplements.

    Are they OK with the Slow Carb and if so should I avoid the ones like Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey that has Sucralose (but cheaper) in favor of something Like AllMax Iso Natural which has not sweeteners at all (more expensive)?

    You say 16Oz of diet soda is OK so I would assume that 3 servings a day of the Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey should also fall into that category?

    Thanks Tim!

  39. Hey Tim,

    FYI about Barnes & Noble – I pre-ordered your new book in Sept ’10 via the link from your blog but I still have not received it. Although I live in Canada, B&N should be able to get it to me in time. I contacted their online customer support and they said there are still experiencing holiday back log.

    Thanks for the inspiration!


  40. I am in the UK and ordered my 4HB from the US because I couldn’t wait until February when it is released over here.

    First week is almost down – so far so good and I enjoyed my DGW day immensely – The Maltesers got a hammering.

    Trying to juggle everything in my head as a complete newbie has been tough as well as sourcing things in the UK that don’t have the US equivalents. A 4HB dedicated website would be fantastic.

    Meanwhile – if there are any UK people on here I have started a blog outlining where I got my supplements from, how to sort out the icepack issue and plenty more.

    I like to do this kind of thing on a budget balanced with quality, so I do a lot of supplier research.

    The blog is also mainly to motivate myself and stress test the book. I will be doing Occam’s in about 2 weeks. It would also be great to the insights from other UK readers and anyone else from around the world.

    I also travel a lot for my work so I will talk about coping strategies in hotels etc.

    Have fun,


  41. G’Day Tim,

    Thanks for the awesome info in the 4HB – I also loved the 4HWW.

    Quick question – I started 4HB last week and lost 3.5kgs in 5 days- I was loving it and felt great. Then I had my binge day on Saturday (which did involve a few pints of beer….) then I was back to my old weight on Monday…

    Have stuck to the plan and have lost 0.7kgs since ysterday but am a bit frustrated.

    Any thoughts?

  42. Tim,

    Thanks so much for the videos! By following the book, I was only able to do the KB Swing with 20# 16 times because I was using my shoulders and upper body strength too much. As soon as I finished watching the video, I was able to do 25, rest 30 sec, and do another 25! So much better now!

    Quick question for whoever might know. What in the Supplements, diet, etc could be causing constipation. I’m drinking plenty of water and tea. I think it might be one of the supplements because it was going fine until i started them. I’m using the AGG 3xday, Cal-Mag 1xday, and CQ only on cheat days. I don’t have the P of the PAGG yet.

    1. Congrats! For your issue, make sure you’re getting enough magnesium, potassium, and calcium. The increased protein is a natural diuretic. See “Slow-Carb II” chapter for details.

      Good luck!


  43. Hey Tim,

    Really happy I read about the swings (and PAGG, although I can’t get Policosanol in Panama anywhere) … they are perfect for getting a non-exercise oriented latina girlfriend into shape. One question I have for you about the whole 4HB program though… Have you ever thought about creating a set of simple MS Office tools/templates to help your users track and measure their progress and keep their experiments organized? I do this for marketing pros and consultants and it really helps them to stick to their processes and form great habits. I know in 4HWW there were some downloads for “dreamlines”, but for some of the more technical exercise protocols that change over time, it might be really useful.

    Just a thought.


    Jesse Hopps

  44. Tim, you talk about SpectraCell in the book, do you know if there is anything similar or any way to get a SpectraCell blood micronutrient test in Australia?

    1. I’d really like to know the answer to that too. I’m going to ask my GP and also my excellent naturopath and see if they can help. When I find out, I’ll respond to you.

  45. It’s been a fun read, Tim. Thanks.

    Items 1 & 2 are happy exclamations. Item 3: I seek feedback.


    I’ve been a low-carb dieter before. Low-carb as in no legumes. I missed them. Happy to add them to my diet. Thrilled to discover that a dish we made for a holiday party last month — Cooks Illustrated’s Simple Beef Chili with Kidney Beans is a perfect slow-carb meal. So I made a batch last night to eat last night and for some meals this week. (Link to recipe: Also, recipe is in Mar/April 2003 issue; also in their The Best Recipe cookbook. Re: link: Their biz model is paid subscription/no advertising; you can do 14-day free trial to get the recipe).

    So far, have taken off some pounds gained over the holidays. Yay.


    I didn’t go for the big chocolaty sugared stuff (ate so much at Christmas, done w/ that for now, kthxbai), but made another Cooks Illustrated favorite: High Roast Chicken (butterflied chicken cooked on broiler tray: below area has thin-sliced potatoes that soak up chicken drippings. Did it with some yams and potatoes. Yum.). Plus fruit. Plus killa flakey buttery crackers to go w/ cheese and wine. And carrot cake. Imma calling it my diet sabbath; it’s the day to eat the fave foods.


    What muscle groups, specifically, are used to do them?

    Plus, I seek any advice/comments re: kettlebells and bad backs.

    My situation: I’ve had lower back problems from the long hours spent sitting in front of the computer. Managed by yoga, walking, lowered expectations, and cardio salsa dance (great for the joi de vivre, too). Saw chiropractor late Dec, briefly mentioned Kettlebell swings; she said I need to strengthen my abs in front and my side, and not so much the back. Granted, I might’ve inaccurately described them (I said they were for the back, this was word of mouth, no book in front of me to illustrate).

    My plan is to strengthen front/side core by:

    — standard yoga (2-3x/week)

    — side-bridges (woosier side plank modification, balanced on knee and forearm, ’stead of feet+forearm)

    — front planks.

    Goal: increase time, graduate from woosy-mod side bridges to side planks.


    –cat vomit

    –Glute activation raises

    –flying dogs.

    I may have to wait a while till next chiropractor appointment late Feb (not gonna try them w/o seeing Chiropractor), but here’s hoping by end of Feb I’ll be sufficiently strong that I get go-ahead to do kettlebells. (Happily, they have them at my gym.)



    1. I had bad back too. In my case, it was due to low tone core muscles. I think those exercises will help. However, I would go easy on the KB first. Any whole body strength machine will help the core muscles over time – it comes quickly. For example, doing some squats / smith machine / leg press. Finally, something that has been stunningly effective in reducing the pain for me is stretching the back a 2-3 times a week, especially the thoracic spine stretch (×289.jpg).

      If your pain is debilitating, what has worked for me is a few sessions of 1-on-1 Pilates (on the machines, not on the ground). This will strengthen your core *and* alleviate the pain, after which you can move to KB, etc. It’s not a long term option for most people given price.

      Tim has specific exercises in the book about back pain. I’m sure they work fine too.

      1. Joss–

        Thanks for responding. And. Yes. those twists. Love them. I do them, and agree that they help. Learned of their importance from a trigger point therapist based in Pittsburgh (studied trigger point therapy under JFK’s doctor). In fact, after I post these comment replies, I’ll go do a round of them right now.

        After a crazed autumn w fewer trips to gym (for yoga, dance), I’m working up my strength and endurance and will prolly start attending a Pilates class. Yeah, it’s on the floor, but still. Have also talked to fellow gym attendee/instructor+trainer about working on core strength.

    2. 1. Kettlebell-swings are famous for fixing typical sitting-related back problems. Just give them a go. Deadlifts are also quite popular for fixing bad backs in physical therapy.

      You should be a bit careful, though, you have less margin for error than people with a healthy back.

      Be sure to start by just deadlifting the kettlebell and gradually easing into swings.

      Reminders on form: bend at the hips not the waist, shoulders down and back, spine neutral, abs and core tight, never look down

      2. Your chiropractor may be completely wrong on strengthening your abs rather than your back. That has little to do with your pelvic tilt. In order to fix that, you need to loosen up your hip-flexors. Tim’s book offers three options here, two stretches (one in the abs-chapther, the other in ultraendurance) plus the “supine groin progressive” in “reversing (permanent) injuries”.

      1. Alexander–

        Thanks for the advice on the slow way to ease into KB. And very true about less margin for error. (don’t I know it, don’t I know it!)

        It’s the only back I have, I’m just north of 50 and have been sitting too much since computer entered my life lo these 20 years ago. Gotta make progress slowly. Am totally content with that; managing this has definitely put me in the yoga “no pain, no pain” camp and “Showing up and doing modified/woosier poses/exercises is So! Totally! Okay! I’m in this for the long haul, want to live another 40 or 50 years.”

        Also: I sit in a Swopper Chair (backless, set on a spring): — Chair’s cost is equivalent to one major chiropractic incident. And since getting 2 years ago, I’ve avoided *major* chiropractic incidents.

        re: Chiropractor and hip flexors vs. front/side ab strength: Don’t think it’s either/or but both+and. I’ve been more mindful of hip flexors (was more mindful of giving them more stretchy love in Monday’s yoga class when doing Low Lunge [Anjaneyasana] & Warrior 1). Tight psoas: Chiro and I have been there, done that. But She Who Treats Me In Person has more say-so than you do, naturally. 🙂

    3. Susan,

      I have/had a severely messed up back (car accident/TOS) for a decade….

      I’d been doing yoga for 3 years and it definitely helped some.

      BUT the supine progressive groin stretch from 4HB has had an amazing effect so far. I didn’t buy the Egoscue apparatus yet but am doing it on chairs and whatnot with considerable positive results.

      My back wants to express its deepest gratitude to Tim Ferriss!

      1. Glad to get an additional recommendation of that. Will look at it again more closely. I looked at the time involved and thought, “well….” But just now it occurred to me that if it takes a goodly long time, well, I can just put that there ice pack (thanks, Harris Ranch!) under my neck and do two things at once.

    4. I am no expert but have had a slipped disc in same lower back position twice in two years resulting in trapped schiatic nerves and lengthy periods of treatment(and pain). still get twinges but do a number of exercises to keep the area mobile etc.

      Anyway,I have tried the KB a few times (just two sets of 25 using the lightest weight) to see how it felt and can report no ill effects with back ( only a little stiffness down back of legs etc.)

      Not sure if this useful,but I know trying them increased my confidence and i hope to gradually increse the number and then weights.I feel controlled use can only help my core ,which in turn will help with back issues.

      1. Kevin–

        Thanks for your report and your strategy. Slow, light, ease in gently seems to be the ticket.

  46. Tim–or very intelligent followers–one very blunt question: is there an exercise like this for the breasts?

    Being a naturally well-endowed girl, and somewhat vain, I’m already saving up for the future fighting-gravity boob lift…but the way you described the high glutes from this exercise gave me hope. Is there a workout that performs miracles in perkiness? Please, please say yes.

    1. Ahem, being a very intelligent person, I would just like to volunteer to assist you in any way that I can. Just saying…

      “Oh hi honey,,,, just replying to someone who needs some PT advice. What are you doing home so early?”

      Later tater.

  47. Tim, any word on when a Japanese translation will be available? After seeing my bubbling enthusiasm for your book I have lots of training colleagues eager to read it here.

    Thanks! 😀

  48. Totally love kettle bells. Can’t afford them yet so made one for myself from an empty cat litter jug filled with sand 🙂

    Only been on the slow carb wagon for two weeks and have lost six pounds and three inches off my waist BUT running has become a nightmare for me. I bonk, literally my legs just quit after about 20 minutes. So I’m worried about how I’m going to train this season. Should I be eating some sort of carb (not white but like sweet potato or winter squash) with dinner or something? Or will my body adjust to this lack of glycogen? I’m then so weak after a run that even a slow carb meal doesn’t really get me back to feeling normal. Not sure what I’m doing wrong. My calories per day is averaging 1300 which i know is really low but I’m stuffing myself on beans and vegies and protein and I’m NEVER hungry. Advice? What can I have within 30 minutes of a hard workout like a long run or speed work?

    1. Heather, Hi! I helped Tim in the new book and believe I can help you out a bit…

      You need to look at this new way of eating as you would with anything else. Although it is making you look really good and feel really good right now there is still a transition phase into is. This same thing will apply to footwear in running. If you decided to go from a heavy, large heeled, motion controlled monster into a sleek, low profile, light weight racing flat it would look and feel really good at first, but you would need to transition into it as the demand put on the foot would out weigh what it is your calves, achilles tendon and foot could handle for more than just a little bit. You wouldnt want to go run a marathon right away in the racing flat… at least until you were strong / adapted enough to it. Make sense?

      So with the diet, you need to give it time and allow your body to adjust to learning how to burn fat at a higher rate (because removing high GI carbs to low GI Carbs is an adjustment). Especially when training (running, lifting, etc) or racing. Your body WILL adjust it just takes time. I remember like it was yesterday (I started eating Paleo principles 2006) when I was bonking during short 10 min workouts and thinking WTF is this??? You may want to have some coconut water, or some form of readily available carb replacement that you know you like and can absorb. It is not a crutch, just an aide in allowing your body to progress to a higher level of burning fat. In a month or so you should see major changes, to where you will not need carb replacements stuff until much later in the game. In fact, I’ve experienced (and there are several others out there too) not needing carbs for several hours into training and still having the ability to go very hard. Your body learns to incinerate fat, especially when working out. BUT it is an adjustment and you need to educate yourself on the process. I suggest reading The Paleo Diet for Athletes, by Cordain, and The Paleo Solution, by Robb Wolf as they are both highly informational.

      Hope this helps.

      1. Great response. I used to be a CFer and stopped when I started into IM training, but now I’m gladly back and doing CFE. It has been a transition, but the energy is coming back for me during longer training sessions. Thankfully it’s the off season and there is still plenty of time to adapt.

        Question?…. a buddy of mine has been eating paelo for years and has sipped olive oil on long orientiering competitions instead of gatorade/gels/etc. He says he has to take less to get in the calories and his body uses the olive oil just fine. Do you have any experience with supplementing with natural options like this? Any resources you can point me towards where I may be able to find more on stuff like this?

        In the Paleo Diet for Athletes, Freil and Cordain say (and I believe Robb Wolfe says the same), that you can do paelo 99% of the time and use gels/gatorade/etc. on race day, but I want to avoid that if possible. One because I want to avoid taking that crap, and two because I’m sure my body would not react well when it’s not used to it on a regular basis.

      2. BMack –

        I totally back this up. I tried for Ironman’s and RAAM (Race Across America) on a diet based on about 60% (healthy) fats using the paleo/primal (marks daily apple) principles. Aside from significant increase in athletic performance, cholesterol remained quite stable (150 total, .88 hdl/ldl ratio), and with a few tweaks, got me to just the right body fat % during training, and even lower for racing.

      3. I have been on a no to slow carb diet for years and have seen no decrease in performance – as long as you eat well. I have found that a handful of mixed nuts – almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts – before a run or work-out makes all the difference. Also one or two tea spoons of peanutbutter will help.

      4. Thanks so much for the response! I will definitely give it at least another six weeks. I won’t get too far behind since I’m not training for anything yet. SF Marathon isn’t till July 🙂 big question though is can I eat fruit or yogurt after a long run or strength training session or is it best to just add another small slow carb meal? I do love coconut water but haven’t tried it on a run. With all those electrolytes it should be pretty effective, thanks for the suggestion! My goal is 25 pound total loss by June and I’m already down six so it should be doable. Just don’t want to derail progress. Finally, I’m switching my cheat day to Fridays since Saturday is long run day. That might make a difference. Although I still don’t eat breads and pasta on cheat days, makes me feel awful.

    2. I would second Charles Poliquin on post-workout carbs, though. If you’re not under 10% bodyfat and not training for endurance, you can avoid high-glycemic carbs post-workout.


      1. Tim,

        Verify something for me if you don’t mind. I just did the Kettlebell swing for the first time this past Monday, and I believe I did it correctly (followed the video as best I could) — my lower back is on EFFING FIRE. It’s not a tweak or an injury, it’s that long forgotten feeling of tearing my muscles and having them slowly rebuild themselves. Here’s my question:

        I did P90X for a bit (couldn’t stick with it) after the work-outs I would take L-Glutamine amino acids to help with the rebuild — it genuinely seemed to help. I want to use them again but wanted to know if you suggest doing so? I’ve been very strictly sticking to the book and I do not want to throw any wrenches into the machine.


        Tanner Campbell

      2. In the beginning kettlebell swings can lead to soreness in all kinds of places, they use a lot of muscle groups. Whichever one is the weakest will be sore, so it is possible that the spinal erectors in your lower back were just very out of shape compared to your glutes. Later on you should feel soreness only in your glutes.

        But you’ve probably been lifting with your back rather than just your glutes (and hamstrings).

        Your spine should stay neutral, your lower back arched the entire time, core tight, shoulders down and back, look straight ahead, never look down.

        The beginning video demonstrates what your lower back should do:

        Flexibility is much less of an issue with swings, though.

      3. @Tanner,

        I’d suggest taking a step back and concentrating on form a bit with lighter weight or none at all until you burn it in a little bit. Having someone else take a look at the video and verify that your position is correct is invaluable as I found that my perception of what I was doing was a little bit off in the beginning.

        I took a few KB lessons to get up to speed and the foundation work was practicing the swing without the bell to get the movements right. I don’t think you should be feeling the ‘burn’ in your lower back but instead in your thighs, glutes and maybe calves a bit if you mess with foot position (some schools of thought have you put your feet straight on rather than pointed a bit outward as described in 4HB). My guess is that you are lifting with your back and not your legs… bending your back instead of at your waist. Be careful as the momentum created can be nasty and injurious if you aren’t using correct form.

      4. Sorry Tim, I’m confused — is that supposed to be a reply to my comment?

        It comes right afterward, but doesn’t address anything I asked about …

        At any rate, it’d still be wicked helpful to know the starting numbers and diet of your six week swing program.

        Thanks again!

  49. Tim, first of all, Thank you. I love the book and take it with me everywhere. It is such a great resource. It seems like there are few questions about the proper dosage for the PAGG stack in this forum. In one of the post, one commenter asked about the green tea supplement recommended in the book and you suggested that the person follow the recommended dosage for that particular brand. Is there an inference that you can use the higher recommended dose from the book with other brands? I want to buy my vitamins in the next week or so. I am assuming your experimenters in the book used the dosages and brands you recommended. If they did, how did the fair with the higher dosages overall?


  50. Tim,

    I’m starting 4HB in the AM. I’m Type 1 DM. Any caveats? I will be checking my blood sugar more often, and I will switch from 6 months between blood work to 3 months. I am looking for thoughts, not actual advice (I don’t want to get you into trouble!).

    Thanks for the books!

    BTW, I’m a bioengineer by training, and I am intrigued by your research. Can’t wait to see the results!

    1. Hi Alden,

      Can’t give you much advice, but as a fellow type-1 diabetic I did try one thing from the book: short excercise right before eating. So far, it seems that my insulin needs for same-content meals is about half to two thirds.

      I’ll be carefully and gradually trying to move to a more slow-carb diet, but I’m taking this very slowly. Messing up the insulin set-up can have a big adverse effect on fat-loss…

      1. I’m Type-1 as well and I find the same thing. Exercise cuts my insulin needs in half immediately following. All it takes for me is a moderate run for 20 minutes. Weight lifting doesn’t have nearly as much of an effect.

      2. As a Type 1 also, I’ve found that moving to slow carb is a beautiful release. I took my pump off this morning because I was around 78 and didn’t wear it all day while eating my carb free meals. I put it back on when I hit about 110 (having not had the pump on, I was getting no basal insulin either.) All day without the pump and I stayed between 80 and 110. I’ll keep pricking my fingers and being cautiously optimistic, but so far my insulin needs are in the basement.

        Love the book!

  51. Hi Tim,

    Great book. I’m pursuing G2F now. A couple of questions:

    1. Are carbs ok? For diet you say to follow the slow-carb diet, but Neil’s diet included “high carb” with potatoes. Also in light of GOMAD, I guess dairy is ok as well on G2F?

    2. Is cardio ok? I know you mention that it’s not necessary, but I do triathlons (just for fun, not competitive). Will running / biking / swimming a few miles a week make it impossible?


    1. Hello Mike,

      I am a triathlete as well and have adapted to the strength and diet recommendations from Tim using CrossfitEndurance ( Take a look at the ultra-endurance chapter of 4HB and you will find Brian MacKenzie and Crossfit Endurance. The workouts are published online and you get both strength and cardio. Just be prepared for a serious butt kicking.

      Thanks Tim for the 4HB. I am spending quite a bit less time now working out and I am really happy about adding strength training to my routine. I have a race in the spring and I am excited to see how the new training program pans out. Is that a new PR that I smell?

      Bryan Hall



    I wanted to alert you to an observation:

    > 4HB came out.

    > My father & I have been following the diet, including eating beans 3X day. > The methane levels in our area have increased.

    > Birds are falling dead out of the sky.


    😉 Love the diet…it’s a ‘blast’!

    1. Beans and flatulence..

      I went to my naturopath with the same problem. Turns out that sometimes the body needs to be eased into eating loads of beans and lentils. We found 2 types of beans worked for me, so I am only eating those ones now (and will do for a few months).. no problems! As my gut flora changes I will begin to incorporate other beans and lentils little bit by little bit.

      I’ve been told that infants in india are also sloooowly eased onto lentils, not rushed into it. Can anyone back this?

      1. Hi Amanda ~ Cannot confirm about the children from India, but a few tips about beans. If you are cooking or soaking, add kombu (dried seaweed, it can be found in health markets or even reg markets, just ask) when soaking/cooking. It helps breakdown the beans for easier digestion. Eden Organics actually sells their canned beans with kombu added to the process.

        Aduki or sprouted mung beans (not sure where Tim is on mung beans) are both quite alkaline and easy to digest.

        Best of luck ~Angela

  53. Very nice videotutorial!

    I started with the low carb to go under 90kg and 10% Bodyfat (115kg and 28,7% now) and want to start with exercises now.

    But i have no clue what to have for breakfast – without sugar, wheat, grain and dairy products?

    Greetings from germany, Outis

  54. Tim,

    I was really excited to get your signed book and the gifts!

    Question – if you have to pick five lifts that would be the best benefit to BJJ what would they be?

    I have been training in both and looking at modifications to traditional lifts to better apply leverage to grappling movements.

    Any feedback would rock.



  55. Hey Tim,

    In the section sex machine, you say to take fermented cod liver oil, vitamin d, and vitamin rich butter. I did not buy the blue ice pills, but instead bought the individual ingredients. Now I train at downtown Sacramento’s ultimate fighter gym and I am no newbie to the strange ways bodybuilders, lifters, and fighters use to achieve goals. As far as the cod liver and vitamin D I have pills, but should I just beast mode the butter and eat it straight ? Also what’s the times I should take the butter and is that in conduction with the cod liver ?

    1. BJ, if you can take them straight.. go for it. The fclo (fermented cod liver oil) is verrrrry strong.. next time I’m buying capsules!!! I sometimes take the fclo straight up quickly followed by a hot drink of tea with virgin conconut oil and lemon and celtic sea salt – or just a hot drink with some oil in it (they say to “chase the fat with fat so it doesn’t burn the back of your throat”) I have the raspberry flavoured high-vitamin butter oil from Green Pastures and I either take it straight up or add to steamed veges or other food.

      Apparently they should be taken in close proximity to each other (the butter oil and the fclo) as they are synergistic (omega 3, vit D, fat soluble vitamins etc working together).

  56. Tim,

    I don’t understand what you mean by: “The lowering movement (backswing) is a sitting-back-on-a-chair movement, not a squatting- down movement.”.

    I’d love to get some clarification from someone here.

    Cheers & thanks,

    Joss Delage

      1. OK, I’ve looked at my swings on a Flip cam, and I definitely had bad form. I was squatting – keeping my torso straight instead of folding at the hips. That’s much easier to see in the mirror than the shins. Also, I found that I had a tendency to loose my balance backward because when I was keeping my torso straight my center of mass was shifting too far behind me. Thanks for the pointers all!

    1. I think what is meant is not to let your knees go past your toes. The motion should be the same as if you were to sit down in a chair.

  57. 4HB typo (page 114): …”and almost 17.9st (11.3kg) at the time.”

    By the way, I’m female and I drink loads of water and hate peanut butter. Why the many anecdotal generalisations in 4HB?

  58. Hi Tim,

    You can ignore my lengthy post above-I just wanted toask, when you say for example that ‘kettlebells are optional’,does this mean instead of the Leg exercises or as well as them? (The rest is me babbling on-sorry).

  59. Hey Tim –

    I’m reading and loving 4HB – congrats on the success you’ve already encountered, and here’s so much, much more!

    That said, I’m struggling. I’ve been sticking to the diet exactly – my first week I lost 7 lbs (woohoo)! After my first cheat Saturday, I put on 2.5lbs (fine, to be expected). It then took me the entire next week to take those 2.5lbs back off – I was back to my pre-cheat weight the day before my second cheat Saturday. After my 2nd cheat day, I put on 4 lbs, it’s now 48 hrs after, and I am down 2 lbs, with 2 lbs still up. I’m worried I won’t hit my pre-cheat weight until the day before my 3rd cheat Saturday, which would mean I haven’t had a real loss in two weeks.

    I haven’t cheated at all during the week, I get plenty of H20, drink my athletic greens daily, etc. — my inches aren’t really changing either — what on earth am I doing wrong? Too many legumes maybe?

    I’m trying not to get too frustrated, because this diet seems sustainable for me, but I can’t spend all week fixing one cheat day – and that’s certainly not how it’s prescribed in 4HB.




    1. I’ve had the same sort of problems with the cheat day – any weight I put on on cheat day (typically 2-4 lbs) takes either all week or never to come off.

      I wonder if the issue is that unless you’ve already got a reasonably fit physique, a whole day of cheating (with a huge caloric bomb) is simply too much for a slower or obese metabolism to churn through in a day. Maybe a single cheat meal makes more sense until your system seems to be up to speed.

      1. Rocco,

        I’m a big guy. Probably close to 290, like you, though I haven’t weighed myself in a long time. On my first cheat day, I gained an embarassing amount of inches. On my second cheat day, I gained one.

        Something I learned about the cheat days: Take the “Damage Control” chapter very seriously. Eat whatever you want, but not necessarily with abandon.

        Personally, I woke up and ate my normal protien breakfast, and then a couple of hours later a drank a small can of grapefruit juice, and then loads of chee-tos and goldfish crackers and peanut-butter Snickers (I just discovered those last ones). Right along those lines. But I drank a tall glass of yerba mate tea with it, did squats beforehand, and did wall presses ninety minutes later. So I ate like a crazy college kid, but I did everything with intention.

        I got so junked out on junk food, all day, that I didn’t ever want to look at it again (except for Oreos, which still looked good) but, when I measured the next day, as I said, my TI had gone up by one.

        As I said, I’m a big guy, and I have the same slow metabolism that you’re talking about, but these suggestions worked for me.

        Also, the importance of eating slowly, something I’ve never done (as stated in The Glucose Switch) is vastly understated. I wasn’t getting much progress at all until I began to slow down my eating.

        You’re not crippled by your chemistry, you just have to pay a lot more attention than the athletic types out there.

    2. I’m with you! I really like this and it seems sustainable for me, but I have been going strong for 3 weeks with less than a pound lost. Not sure what I’m doing wrong or if it’s just my stubborn bod. I also had no weight loss with 3 weeks of Alli just before switching to the 4HB. So in effect I have been plateaued for months!

      1. CIreena and Rocco,

        One counterintuitive question to ask yourselves is — are you eating enough at each meal during the week? Because if you are not, then your metabolism can down-regulate.


      2. Hi Shawn,

        I’m assuming I’m eating enough. I am eating around 30g Protein, about 3/4-1 cup Beans, and about 1 cup or more of Veggies. My plate is full!

        I’m also doing the Postier exercises 3x a week, taking PAGG, CQ, Calcium-Magnesium. Seriously, very minimal changes and no weight loss for almost 7 weeks, 4 of which have been on the SCD, and the other 3 I was taking Alli.

      3. Cereena,

        It may still be too early to say, but I’m wondering if the Alli is contributing to the slow results. I realize that you are not taking it now, but the lingering effects on your system, perhaps? I’m not too familiar with the product. Has your lean muscle mass possibly increased? (which can create confusion when you are focussing primarily on weight). How many times a day do you eat? Any artificial sugars?


  60. Tim, 4HB changed my life. I lost 17 lbs in 2 weeks. 2 FREAKING WEEKS. My mom and dad are getting into it too, and NONE of us have any complaints about the slow-carb diet; there’s so much you can do with the food you suggest, it’s crazy.

    I wrote an article about 4HB in my blog. I hope you don’t mind I excerpted entire sidebars in my post; if it’s an issue, let me know and I’ll take it down right away.

    Anyway, I have a kettlebell question. Someone asked what’s a good weight to start at if you’re a 35YO man standing 6′, you answered 45lbs. Does this hold for a 22YO man, 6’3″, with a slight problem with the left knee? I think I have weak knees in general due to lifelong fatness.

    Also, I have to admit I’m a Starbucks fan. Believe it or not, this is the only problem I have regarding sticking to the slow carb diet. If I switch to soy milk in all my drinks, and tell them to lay off the cream, will the overpriced coffee there then become acceptable, or what else do I have to do – aside from switching coffee shops altogether – to get a drink around here? 🙂

    Thanks so much, Tim.

    – JP “17 lbs in 2 weeks” Esteban

    1. From my understanding, dairy and soy are both bad news…

      Dairy, apart from things mentioned in 4HB, also contains blood and puss (as a side effect of the bovine growth hormone most of the dairy farms are injecting their cows with). Google it – quite nasty. I’ve also heard pasteurization kills the live enzymes we need to process the calcium and other goodies that dairy would otherwise provide us with. As much of a cheese junkie as I was, I gave up dairy all together, even on my cheat day.

      I’ve read in a few places that soy also adversely affects testosterone production and can increase estrogen production in males – fact check me on that, but I know Tim has mentioned to stay away from dairy and soy in other posts related to weight loss if memory serves.

      1. Don’t forget the suggestion of GOMAD, plenty of dairy in that. Its just that its for gaining mass. I only consume organic dairy. But I consume a lot of it. I buy raw milk directly from the farmer. I usually buy yogurt that is organic but pastuerized. I feel the cultured nature of the yogurt improves on the pastuerized product, since its adding life back. Ideally I would start making my own keifer again form the raw milk. I love blending in raw organic eggs with the milk. Tim has a great recipe in 4HB for such smoothie. His recipe was almost identical to mine, except i add some fruit. I have almost no fat concern.

  61. Hello Tim!

    I love the book, but I keep finding I have some questions I want to run past you or other 4HB users.

    Should I post them here? Or is there a better thread to use?

    Will you be opening up a forum similar to what you did for the 4 hour work week?

  62. Hey everyone I had a couple of quick questions pertaining to the diet of 4hb

    1 – does it matter if you use lean meats as opposed to say 80/20 meat? I only ask this because most of the time 80/20 is the tastier cheaper option.

    2 – Are Tofurky products an alternative to meat products? I know Tim mentioned that soy based proteins are to be avoided due to high estrogen, but does this mean I cant use them at all? would they have any adverse effects on losing weight or bodyfat?

    3 – I am a 6’4″ 235 lbs male with about 17.6 % bodyfat, my target bodyfat goal is less than 10% and ideally i would like to be around the 205-210 range . As far as calorie intake is concerned, ]what should my target be, or does it even matter? Can I really eat as much as I want? I know Tim clearly states this is a non factor in the diet, but I am highly skeptical about this mainly because of my perhaps mislead exposure to all these “rules” that seem to emphasize the importance of calorie intake.

    Any help with these questions would be greatly appreciated!



  63. Also I forgot to ask 2 more questions

    Is quinoa okay? If so how much is too much? before I started this 4hb plan it was pretty much a staple in my diet as I would eat it with every meal.

    Marinara sauce? Or any cooking sauces like this (sofrito or chili sauce for example) for that matter Can i use this to add some much needed flavor to my stale stir fry?

    Thanks again

  64. Hi Tim,

    Just had a quick question regarding endurance; I want to increase my vo2 max and was wondering which test you think is most accurate to use if you don’t have the professional apparatus with mask etc….? I have tried a few including the standard ones preprogrammed on gym machines but they seem inconsistent.



  65. Hola Tim!

    Love kettlebell!!! Will this help reduce/tame the hips? I have the common latina figure, “curvitas aqui y alla”, it’s not that cute when you’re 5’1. I am currently swinging 30lbs/3 sets/30 reps/twice a week…among other exercises, including cardio 30mins/5 days. Following your nutrition guides and have noticed a difference. I haven’t dropped that much weight, but have noticed inches lost and definition.


  66. Hola Tim!

    Love kettlebell!!! Will this help reduce/tame the hips? I have the common latina figure, “curvitas aqui y alla”, it’s not that cute when you’re 5’1. I am currently swinging 30lbs/3 sets/30 reps/twice a week…among other exercises, including cardio 30mins/5 days. Following your nutrition guides and have noticed a difference. I haven’t dropped that much weight, but have noticed inches lost and definition.


  67. I have a couple basic questions for anyone to clarify:

    1) Should target reps for the kettlebell swing be based on 1/kg body weight, would that be beneficial.

    2) Does the about of protein required at breakfast scale with body weight. I am currently 273 lbs (down a few already) or 124 kg. (ie: 30% of my daily required intake would be between 50 and 100 g depending on which literature you read).

    3) Any other supplementation nutrients/supplements I should pay more attention to given my larger size.

    I estimate my BF to be around 30% if that affects anything.

    1. Poor Tim is swamped I imagine – that’s a nice problem to have!

      Nick, I’ve posted before but am in a similar boat. I’ve got a long way to cut but don’t want to do exercise that’s going to interfere with the fat loss. So do I consume the large amounts of protein someone my size technically should eat (by the numbers), can I do kettlebells as a workout, etc?

      I will say this – I’ve been chowing down on all the supplements in the book and not seen any appreciable change yet, but I’m still not sure what the tweaks are i need to make to get it going. Eliminate 100% of dairy? Eliminate late night eating? Reduce cheat window? I’ll guess I’ll be experimenting.

      1. I would think that based on TR’s example, the kettlebell swing is exactly what we shoud be looking for to bust the gut Rocco.

        I should say I’m only worried about jumping into a new excercise routine based on my (fairly recent) history of shoulder and or hip issues (I’m just shy of 27). Between that and a general interest in being indestructible, I’m doing pre hab first, but hoping to go full into KB swings within three weeks.

        My fitness history:

        14 years old, farm kid, fat, strong like ox, 250 lbs (weight was stable from 13 – 18), lived on mama’s home cooking (high protein, high carb, lots of potatoes). (built 14 miles of bison fence by hand, and could lift 12′ lengths of telephone pole off the trailer and plant them in the hole in the ground)

        18 years old, construction worker (basements, 80 hours/week), 240lbs (-15lbs/2months), smallest pants i’d owned since turning 13, strong like ox, starving student diet and beer. (My starving student diet included a lot of fresh grass fed bison or wild meat from my parents ranch).

        20 years old, college football tryouts (3 months of 6:00am MWF workouts before university), 255 lbs (-30lbs/3months), weak chest, difficulty building arm and chest strength (surprise didn’t make the team, due to lack of endurance though, managed to compensate in the trenches with back and leg strength), starving student diet minus the beer and i walked 3 miles to school and back in generally -20°C to -10°C (yes I am from Canada) during those 3 months of training)

        23 years old, summer student (at a uranium mine ~ erie green glow ~), followed work out that had injured my shoulder the year before, pretty much G2F but 3days on 1 day off rotation (work had 7 day on, 7 days off rotation, never worked out on days off work), 295lbs (no weight change over 4 months, dropped back into wearing the pants i bought when i was 18 though), diet was sort of slow carb with a little more carbs and a cheat week. by doing very girly weights for a very long time i rehabbed or compensated (i don’t know which) for my shoulder injury and built up to chest and shoulder strength where i could shoulder press my girlfriend and her sister

        – two months later 275lbs and up 2 pants sizes, didn’t work out at the uni gym

        26 years old, broke backpacker (New Zealand, Christchurch, pre-earthquake), 259lbs, back to smallest pants size, diet was like slow carb with less protein and a little bit of carbs. walked about 8km on the beach everyday, froze my ass off in bed everynight cuz kiwi’s don’t know how to build a house for winter, felt weaker, can remember feeling like i drank a flat of redbull after having one whole wheat bun (first carb in a week)

        To now, almost 27, 273lbs, back to desk jockey/ field engineer (environmental for the moment), train bjj and muay thai irregularly. occasionally destroy my body doing field work, wrestling too hard, getting in way over my head snowboarding (read 20′ cliff first ride in a year), etc.

        I know this could look like yo-yo dieting, but mostly it was yo-yo sports.

        So I am challenging myself to lose the fat, get strength commensurate to my weight class, find and fix my injuries and stay that way. Along with that I hope to get a muse going that would allow me to leave my job and I would love to do it all before the end of June. I am going to the Yukon for two weeks, and I would love to be done working and maybe extend the stay and check out Alaska too.

        Note: I’ve assumed for some time that the core and leg strength I had that never seemed to leave (until 1 complete year of inactivity following shoulder injury and falling out with hockey team when I was 22) to the farm work (compound, whole body movements) and probably literal tons of bison and wild meat. The more literature I’ve seen and some of the stuff in Tim’s book strengthen’s my view on this.

        Thank’s Tim for this book, its a fantastic reference. And a big thanks to everybody for sharing their stories, plans and journeys thus far.

        What I learned while backpacking:

        the opportunities that we perceive before us are vastly outnumbered by those opportunities which are present and yet obscured by our own illusions about ourselves and who and what and where we are

    2. Nick, you dont need to ‘scale’ your protein as your weight moves, if your 30% your about 100 lbs of fat and 200 LBM. I doubt that, highly, your probably more like 135lbs fat and 165lbm. Seriously. If your eating just whole foods, just eat. Three or four times a day, include protein in every meal, and fat/veggies, dont gorge yourself on beans or lentils, drink alot of water. Drink 0, NONE, NO calories. And yes, stop eating dairy. You will drop bodyfat very quickly guaranteed.

      1. God I hope you realize how broad your generalization of that math was.

        But note, average human skeleton account for approximately 20% of the mass of the human. Even if you figure 200lbs is reasonably in shape for someone who is 6’3″ (if u think a man this tall should be lighter than that ur nuts). Thats 40lbs of bone and associated marrow. The estimate of 30% bf was based on the photos in Tim’s book. That would put it at 82 lbs of fat, leaving 153 lbs for muscle, less than your estimate even.

        If you still don’t believe that someone can be 6’3″ and over 270lbs and not be less than 45% body fat (your suggested weight distribution) just come on over to a BJJ or muay thai sparring session.

        And I’m pretty sure I didn’t ask anything about dairy.

        Sorry to anyone else for the rant, but that post was ridiculous.

  68. I have couple of questions:

    1) When in slow-carb diet do I take PAGG every day or just on every cheat day (= 1 day/week)?

    2) When in “last mile”-part you suggest changing the diet to eating every 3 hours and not eating any beans etc. anymore, do I still continue to have 1 cheat day every week or not?

    3) I’m 140 pounds ~12% bodyfat (male) and I just started the diet (this week). Should I continue with the normal slow-carb diet or advance to the one mentioned in “last mile”-part?



    PS: The book is amazing!

  69. I’m having some issues after my diet. Namely the cheat day.

    I put on 4 pounds and 3 days later, I still have the additional 4 pounds just sitting there.

    My diet is the same exact thing every day

    Breakfast: Eggwhites/Salsa/Spinach

    Lunch: Burrito Bowl from Chipoltle: Double Chicken, Black Beans, Pinto Beans, Tomatoes

    Dinner: Either another Burrito bowl…or a Chicken Breast

    Pre Cheat day I was 147, now I am at 151 and it’s not looking like it’s coming off. I was dieting fof 4 months prior to this using a different method (Calorie counting) and it took me forever to get to 147, with it just to be undone with a single day.I don’t understand what I’m doing wrong. The book says not to freak out, and I understand that. But it also says this weight will magically go away during the following week and its just remaining on me.

    I can provide more information if anyone needs, but I keep re-reading the slow carb chapters and it says that it’s normal for the weight to come off in 3 to 4 days. I just don’t understand how I can reasonably lose 4 pounds in 4 days…and then lose additional weight on top of that to be lighter than I was.

    My measurements are all the same as well, and I am not exercising (at the moment) so it’s not a muscle mass issue.

    1. Stick with it- I had the same problem following my binge day and then with the next four days I was back to my ‘pre-binge’ weight minus another 0.5 kgs. I am stimating I’ll have lost a total of 5.5kgs by the end of week two. And I’m also planning to to overdo it on this weeks binge and see if that helps the ‘recovery time’.

      Good luck!

  70. In the book I thought you mentioned to try and do the swings in a straight shot. Do you think it would be better to do 3 sets of 25 or just 75 reps? Also, what’s a good indication to increase weight instead of reps?

  71. Tim,

    I’ve managed a few websites with Vbulletin and have since switched to Xenforo. It is WAY easier to manage and looks a thousand times better. Also costs less and comes from a few people that split off from Vbulletin.

    Best Wishes.

  72. Hey Tim (or anyone else):

    Thoughts on american (overhead) swing vs russian (eye/shoulder level) swing? Saw the video, know that the t-bar hack is only for russian, but i’m using a pood KB.

    1. Charmaine,

      It isn’t really an “American” versus “Russian” thing. Crossfitters started doing swings above their head to try to make the swing harder. For safety purposes most certified Kettlebell instructors outside of Crossfit do not recommend that technique.

      If you want to make the exercise harder just increase the weight of the ‘bell, or do a longer set, or do it one armed, or do a high pull at the top, or do a snatch instead.

      1. M-S thanks! I actually used the term ‘american’ because I googled overhead KB swings and saw it referenced as such in a CF Journal article. I’ve been calling it the “Crossfit” KB swing otherwise. Now I see it really is specific to them…

        I’m going to go against the grain at my box and resume shoulder-height swings and just increase weight. Thanks again for the insight.

  73. Tim,


    are you familiar with a situation where a young (approx 30) woman’s metabolism can seem to just shut off. this happened to my girlfriend who spent most of 2010 caring for a sick elder. i imagine the stress, sleepless nights, poor nutrition and who knows what else, led to 45+ lbs weight gain, thinning hair, etc. She spent months seeking help from doctors, nutritionists, dieticians ….. ALL of whose advice had little effect on her.

    i took matters into my own hands and got her started on 4HB and after two weeks, she reported 7lbs lost so far. She asked me to get her started on kettlebells as well, which i’ve been using for years. While this shows really good progress, are you familiar with ways to naturally “switch back on” her metabolism, re-establish normal thyroid function and anything else perhaps not mentioned in the book that get back to her normal weight of 104 lbs ??

    best of luck on the book and future successes

    1. Hi Dav,

      Sounds like cortisol-induced problems to me, but thyroid could be in the mix, especially if she has had children.

      If she follows the diet (including binge day for thyroid preservation) and hits the KB swings, I expect she’ll continue her progress. Keep us posted!



    2. Please ask your friend to google “adrenal fatigue.” Sounds classic…also read Dr. James Wilson’s website info and/or book regarding the subject. Good Luck!

  74. cool that means if i do this dont have to quit eating…thank god because that’s what I blog about…. well, not eating but food, OBTW love your boiled egg trick………..

  75. Hey Tim,

    I started on the Slow-Carb diet a week ago and am considering going back to where I started to preserve my health. The day after I started, I got what seems to be a very low-grade cold that’s now lasted a week. I also feel bloated and constipated even though I’m eating tons of salad with my meat and beans.

    Even though I can feel a physical difference, I sure don’t want to feel sick. And yes, I’ve upped my water intake to about 1/2 gallon a day, often more.



    1. Hi Eric,

      That’s very odd, indeed. I don’t think the diet is related to the cold, as the onset was too fast. That said, feel free to go back to your normal diet and then try the SCD after you’ve recovered. I’d also suggest ensuring the supplementation (magnesium, potassium, etc.) in “Slow-Carb II.”

      Good luck,


      1. Correlation event – I felt really good yesterday, having gone to a Therapeutic Touch seminar and getting a bunch of good energy sent my way.

        However, last night before bed, I drank a large glass of Athletic Greens.

        Woke up this morning with a headache. Causation? Don’t know. But I’m going back to the beginning and just trying the Slow-Carb breakfast and add one thing at a time to figure it out.

        Thanks for the supplementation idea. I have been taking a Centrum Silver (I’m 50 y/o) multivitamin daily for quite some time, and they’re fresh. Any recommended vitamin brand?

        Thanks for the book. Despite my issues, I love it, and look forward to getting back to losing fat more quickly as well as the other things!



    2. I too got sick shortly after starting the diet and dropping weight but at the risk of sounding all new agey, remember we store more than just fat in our fat. I teach yoga and have seen all kinds of emotional and physical things happen to folks when they start breaking down fat and getting into places like the hips and shoulders with deep opening sessions. I think my short lived cold was hibernating in some fat I was riding myself of. Just a theory.

      1. Heather, I was just coming to search around on this. Every time I start to push past my current body fat %, I start to break out and I get spotting. Last time I got serious about losing fat and had some success, I got my period multiple times a month and my face was a disaster area. I finally gave up because my hormones were just all over the place and I”m usually like a clock.

        For the record, I’ve got plenty BF to spare so it’s not like I was dropping into danger zones. At the time, I was at 25%, but once I gave up on that misery I ended up bouncing up to 28% and now I’m starting again. I’m wondering if all the processed crap I ate in my youth is being released into my body and it’s messing with my hormones.

        Anyway, good luck to you and thanks for posting this. I guess better to get this crap out, eh?

      2. Hi Elizabeth,

        I’d see a doc and get some blood tests done to look at your hormone/endocrine profile, just to check it out.

      3. Me too, Heather. Just getting sick today (day 9 of Slow Carb). Of course, it is winter and could be blamed on a number of factors, but I am definitely losing fat and that part feels great — this fever does not. Think I just have a cold, but I do know that our fat will store toxins.

      4. Ladies and gents, I don’t think the diet’s too blame here. I think it’s flu season. I also got sick over the last three weeks, but I’ve been following this diet for 6+ years.

      5. Hi, I had dealt with some issues of getting sick after beginning the diet and after some research I think I have figured out the problem and this could be going on with you and Eric as well. I also have possible solutions to aid in the process.

        Now as part of the diet, you have to cut the dairy because of the bad insulin response it has that leads to your body storing fats. Now one property of milk is the probiotic bacteria that play a role in your immune system as those “good” bacteria will kill the invading germs that actually will get you sick. With the sudden drop in good bacteria some of us will become more vulnerable to sickness and this of course… sucks for lack of a better term.

        Tim does make reference to various ways we can still get probiotic bacteria in our body through certain fermented foods, main thing being sauerkraut. Problem for me is that I personally have a strong disdain for most of these fermented foods and I certainly couldn’t stay with the eating fork fulls of kraut every morning. More power to those who can, but it’s just not for me. A friend recommended that I consider taking acidophilus to get a strong dose of the probiotic bacteria in the body. After doing my research I plan on starting it. Also for one noteworthy person who attests to it, UFC commentator Joe Rogan heavily advocates using it and has mentioned that since he started he hasn’t been sick in a couple of years. Might be worth considering. And Tim if anything I have said is way off then please feel free to put me in my place. I’m just running off of what I have gathered over time. Hope this helps!

    3. I think if you search on Dr. Eades site (Tim, I’ll let you put the link in if you want as I assume you’re using Akismet…) you might find that others new to lower carb eating experience some flu-like feelings… Also, as mentioned in 4HB, headaches can be caused by not eating enough. And, doesn’t Robb Wolf mention that some legumes can cause similar health effects as Gluten…? Suggest reading “How to keep feces out of your bloodstream” on this blog.

      Given what I’ve read from Dr. Eades and much experimenting with low carb, feeling crappy plus headaches plus new to slow carb sounds like low potasium and not enough food to me…

  76. Hi Tim – I pre-ordered your book from Amazon and have been working through it with great intrigue, wondering “will this really work for me?”. I have set my first goal of 20 pounds, although I’ve got more than twice that much available to shed off my 5’6″ frame. I have just started the diet portion today, starting with total weight and body measures. I have high hopes but would love answers and/or advice re: what has plagued me before with low-carb diets. What the heck to I pack for lunch when I a) am out for 4-6 hours on a backcountry ski day, b) same problem with an all-day 12+ mile hike, or c) {most difficult} a muti-day backpacking trip?

    Last year my husband and I clocked about 28 straight days of backpacking with our longest haul between food caches of 10 days. In 2006 we logged 1000 total trail miles in the year – my goal for the year in which I turned 50.

    Our typical trail diet consists of – – –

    Breakfast: hot oatmeal or granola type bars

    Lunch: bread product (bagel, tortilla,) and cheese

    Dinner: freeze dried dinner

    Snacks: 2 types of trail mix, one salty chinese cracker-sesame stick-peanut type and one sweet raisin-almond-m&m’s. These are doled out daily and eaten with lunch or dinner or in-between as needed.

    I always lose weight on these hikes and feel great, but I’m also always left with at least 20 pounds more I need to drop. Then I slowly add it back on. Recovering from a knee problem and surgery for it, I am now back up to my all-time heaviest. I haven’t seen my normal weight in over 20 years.

    Sorry for the length of this. Fitting low-carb eating into our lifestyle has been a problem. I have been wondering if I should just do our usual backpack diet as described above and then focus on a low-carb diet when we’re off-trail?

    Lastly, can you give me your opinion or point me to a resource where I can check out my husband’s opinion that a) “one must have carbs for the activities we engage in” and b) “protein doesn’t break down well at elevation”. Thanks for the book and your guinea pig self!

  77. Have you ever found a place/brand that sells bacon without sugar (corn syrup, etc)?

    I love bacon, but for some reason stores only seem to carry bacon full of sugar – even Whole Foods.

  78. i have several comments, but one specific question.

    – first, love your books. 4HWW and 4HB

    -second, kettlebell swings are seriously amazing and i’m loving this post to inspire different workouts

    – however, the real reason and my biggest question that i need a response from Tim Ferris – the body man – [bc i feel he’ll really be able to tell me] is can you actually get rid of cellulite? Jillian Michaels says no. but laser and skin clinics say yes. i really want to believe there is a way and i can in fact develope a super model ass. please tell me the secret if there is one. and if answer is no, i’m going to really have to develope some self esteem and confidence self talk to just deal with it.


    1. Yes. See my note on “cellulite” in the book, but at low bodyfat, the visual effect will disappear. Keep on the diet and KBs!


    2. I had a serious cellulite issue with my derrière up until about 4 years ago. At which point I dove into the details of how the body burns fat, stores fat, etc., and learned the coolest piece of information in the world (and Tim mentions this in the book) – it’s just fat. Reduce fat, reduce size of fat cells, and, better yet, reduce fat memory cells – green tea is a real help in this area – and there you have it! Your beautiful tush that once was lost – under a pile of fat, nothing more, nothing less – is now found. Today, I have no cellulite to speak of.

    3. Hi Km,

      Just a case study for you. I had cellulite and have had for years. For the past 3 weeks, I have cut out all white processed foods, caffeine, sat fat, taken the suggested supplements and increased the good fats. Plus the kettleball swings etc. I would estimate that my cellulite has decreased by about 50% during this time such that if I wear short-ish shorts there is no cellulite anymore. I hope that if I continue on this regime then losing more % body fat and keeping up with healthy eating and lots of water = basically no cellulite!!

      So keep up the great work and regime and I’m sure you’ll notice a difference. 🙂

  79. I have a question about the slow carb diet. Do you need to use the PAGG Tim talked about in the book everyday of the diet, or just on the cheat days? Also in the damage control chapter, the air squats etc. are they just used on the cheat day as well? Thanks for all your help

    1. Hi Rob,

      Even though Tim uses air squats in conjunction with cheat days, I don’t believe that that they are exclusive to cheat days.

      I was introduced to air squats just under a year ago when I tried a free cross-fit course where we were going to do a “light” routine which almost made me throw-up…but man I remember those air squats burning my thighs and glutes to hell.

      Air squats are amazing and try to do them every other morning. They are very efficient at developing both core strength and stability.

  80. Hey everyone I had a couple of quick questions pertaining to the diet of 4hb

    1 – does it matter if you use lean meats as opposed to say 80/20 meat? I only ask this because most of the time 80/20 is the tastier cheaper option.

    2 – Are Tofurky products an alternative to meat products? I know Tim mentioned that soy based proteins are to be avoided due to high estrogen, but does this mean I cant use them at all? would they have any adverse effects on losing weight or bodyfat?

    3 – I am a 6’4? 235 lbs male with about 17.6 % bodyfat, my target bodyfat goal is less than 10% and ideally i would like to be around the 205-210 range . As far as calorie intake is concerned, ]what should my target be, or does it even matter? Can I really eat as much as I want? I know Tim clearly states this is a non factor in the diet, but I am highly skeptical about this mainly because of my perhaps mislead exposure to all these “rules” that seem to emphasize the importance of calorie intake.

    4 – Is quinoa okay? If so how much is too much? Before I started 4HB it was pretty much a staple in my diet as I would consume it with every meal.

    5. How do you feel about using marinara sauce to add to my stir fry concoctions? What about other veggie based cooking sauces like sofrito sauce or chili sauce/powder mix?

    Any help with these questions would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Nima,

      1- Animal fats are awesome. Eat up.

      2- Don’t eat tofu.

      3- Try the diet as Tim described for 30 days and see what it does for you. You are over thinking it without putting it to the test. Just do it.

      4- No grains- No wheat, corn, rice, or quinoa. Also avoid sugar as much as you can (which is almost impossible if you eat any packaged foods)

      5- Add what you want as long as it doesn’t have any grains or sugars in it. Most marinara sauce will be loaded with sugar or HFCS. You can find some great salsa at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods. I mix that in with my eggs.

  81. im in week 2 of TFHB — and ive lost 5 lbs so far. i bought the athletic greens today, but wasn’t clear — does tim drink them every day when he is doing the slow carb diet or just on binge days? my concern is that AG may contain fructose.

    if anyone knows the answer to this i’d be much obliged! thanks!

  82. Hey Tim,

    I am a swimmer who is looking to gain mass muscle.

    I swim for about 1000 ft, in long-lenght series, which are usually not the best way to gain mass, but that´s how my training needs to focus in order to be coherent with the legs I compete.

    I have been lifting weights everyday as well at night.( I swim in the mornings)

    Do you think that´s the best way to combine both activities in order to gain mass?

  83. I second Nima’s question about quinoa. I love the stuff and somebody told me it is a slow carb…..but is that still too much carb for the the 4HB?

  84. Have any Aussies received their 4HB book yet?

    I pre-ordered to get a signed copy. It was shipped on 14/12/2010. I haven’t received it yet. I’m wondering if I should worry yet or if other Aussies are in the same boat waiting for the international delivery?

    I keep hearing that others have finished reading it and are making great progress. It’s killing me! It’s my turn already! 🙂



    1. I’m in Australia (Perth) and got the book via Kindle. But I’ve had stuff shipped from Amazon before and people have sent me stuff as well – it can take quite long to get here – about 3-4 weeks. Hope this helps.

  85. Tim,

    I’ve been doing the SCD since 12/21. So far, the results have been very good: down from 187.4 lbs. to 179 lbs. with a similar reduction in total inches. I’m also able to do 80 consecutive KB swings at 53lbs; so overall, I’m pleased with my progress.

    The only issue I haven’t been able to solve is the consistent bloating. I saw you recommended Beano, so I am going to try that.

    However, I was wondering: Have you experimented with any probiotic or digestive enzyme supplements, specifically those containing protease or lipase?

    If so, is there a specific product that you would recommend?

    Thanks for the help.

  86. Hi Tim,

    I’m loving the book. If I had to give constructive feedback, I’d say it’s very informative, but not necessarily the most instructive as the structure seems a bit fragmented. I reckon if you made a step by step guide for weight loss and diet, it’d be a huge seller, ie ‘4 Hour Body Workout Guide’.

    Now, my question about diet. In your book you tell not to use dairy, yet some of ‘test subjects’ use sour cream and even you’re saying here in your blog that lactose is the problem.

    – Lactose free dairy products are widely available here in UK/Europe. What’s your take on those?

    – What about products that are mostly dairy fat, like sour cream and cheeses?

    Here’s a low fat / low carb version of buffalo wings:

    – 1lb chicken breast strips

    – 1 cup chicken broth

    – Worchestershire sauce

    – 1 bottle of Frank’s Hot Sauce

    – fry the chicken strips on a pan ’till golden brown

    – add broth, tsp of Worchestershire sauce and Frank’s hot sauce

    – simmer on low heat ’till the sauce is thick and gooey and the chicken is almost like glazed with reddish sauce

    High protein, only 5% fat and under 5% carbs.

  87. Loving the book Tim – currently reading it as per your suggested method (ie: picking and choosing chapters). Have started the slow carb diet and will report back with results later.

    Really enjoyed the ‘Elusive Bodyfat’ chapter, it cleared a lot of things up for me. Who’s Julee from the bodyfat example pics? She’s cute!

  88. Hi Tim:

    I’ve been reading your “4-hour Body” book and have a couple of questions on the slow-carb diet.

    1. You say to cut out dairy and I’m a milk drinker. What is your take on the “pure almond” by Silk as a milk substitute??

    2. Cutting out sugars. What about 100% pure honey??? And you do not mention the newest sugar substitutes of Trivia an Stivia –should these be eliminated too??

    I’m sure I will have more questions by the time I finish the book, but for now as I get ready to try the slow-carb diet, the answers for the above questions will help me to start with.

    Thanks for you time

    C Espo

  89. Hey Tim,

    This is totally off topic but something I thought your community would like to know about.

    After reading 4HWW I cut news out of my life (love that) but here in Australia there is one story that can’t be ignored.

    If you haven’t heard, check out the 8m high “inland tsunami” that hit yesterday. The images are incredible. Entire towns have been submerged by as much as 20m.

    After weeks of torrential rain in Queensland, this inland tsunami is making its way from the centre of QLD to the coast and into NSW. The entire Brisbane CBD has been powered down in readiness for the peak tomorrow which will see the whole CBD under water and 20,000 + homes flooded.

    The cost will be in excess of $10B and so many will have no homes (or towns) to go home to. This is a bigger hit to our GDP that Hurricane Katrina was to the US.

    Don’t want to bring a downer to the blog but if there is any way your reach can be used to help it would be quite amazing!

    Loving 4 Hour Body by the way. The Active Release Technique is doing my rotator cuff wonders and Functional Movement Screen highlighted some major imbalances. Well on my way to getting rid of those niggling pains that stop me from reaching peak physical state!



  90. Hi Tim, I dropped a review on amazon tonight even though you’ve already crushed the “Decider.”

    I enjoyed the book, and I am working swings into my exercise regimen. I have tried the 5/5 cadence in the past, although I have set aside training to failure for a while in favor of more a “kind” approach to training my body.

    Still, the book gave me a lot of ideas to try. I dug out the jug of Cissus I had in my cupboards from a tendon injury that it helped me heal a few months ago and have been taking the larger doses you experimented with for about a week now.

    I also refined my cheat day protocol based on your ideas, and I already see an improvement there. (I was being lazy and not exercising on cheat day, even though I *knew* it made a huge difference. I just didn’t realize I could accomplish the partitioning effect with so little intensity.)

    Keep on rockin,


  91. Hey Tim, (Or anyone else out in cyberspace who could help!)

    I have an unique problem being saddled with a T7 spinal abscess on 9/11/08. Yep, my legs went down faster than the WTC. Being told I would never walk again,(snort!) I carefully chose a recovery center in Arizona. After 4 months in the hottest summer recorded in Phoenix (09) I came home walking 3/10’s of a mile, standing an hour and driving with hand controls and about 75lbs thinner than 9/08. Since then I had a bad fall, blowing out my strongest right leg, waiting 5 months for leg braces and fighting depression and suicide ideation(and weight gain). With family & friends help, I began rehab at 4 hrs a day, 5 days a week during the summer of 2010. Starting in late August, my gains slowly drifted away along with loss of my upper body strength-hands and arms numb, no longer able to stand or walk. It took from Sept 17th to Nov 30th to see a neurologist (Fresno California is greatly under served) She admitted me the next day and by Dec 3rd I had a new Titanium cage and disc at C-6,7. At least 4 Doc’s came by to tell me how close I had been to Quadraplegia.

    A bit windy, so if you’re still here How can I modify your exercise techniques when I am not able to stand without help. Walking is probably weeks (months?) away, as I work on gaining muscle and losing fat. I’d love to revisit Arizona, but the money supply has dwindled over the last 2 1/2 yrs of moving towards my goal of walking either unassisted or with a single cane. (was using a walker at my peak of recovery in 09)

    God Bless You, Tim Ferriss! Before being laid off by UCSF, I was an Intensive Care Researcher. My hat is off to you and your wonderful brain!

  92. Are these foods allowed:???

    1. corn or popcorn

    2. corn tortillas

    3. pita bread

    Also I thought the whole point of the book and the MED concept was to do the least effort with max results. Then why recommend 4xday dosing of PAGG only to later say that taking it once a day would work. Doesn’t that defeat the entire theory of MED?

    Also….cottage cheese is ok…but no other cheeses? And once in the book it says no no to almond milk and then later says almond milk ok?

    I have to admit I’m confused.

  93. Also….the chapter says how to lose 20 lbs without exercise. Has anyone actually done this? This blog seems to focus on exercise.

    I’m afraid I will not be able to do the KB. I have severe back issues (herniated discs, facet degeneration, muscle imbalances etc.) Can I really lose the weight with no exercises?

  94. Tim, I’m going to make a suggestion. I’ve been tracking my TI every day, and am getting a good idea of what’s necessary for me to achieve rapid fat-loss. In future editions of your book, I think you ought to include Damage Control and The Glucose Switch to the fat-loss “chunk” reccommended in the first chapter. It will up the word count, but, maybe just for some of us, these chapters include some things that are necessary for success, such as eating more slowly, or the entirety of Damage Control.

    Thanks for turning fat-loss into something that seems entirely within my reach. You’re changing lives.