Below are all the “Tools and Tricks” resources from The 4-Hour Body.
Click on any chapter below to go directly to related resources, or just scroll down two pages to see all the goodies.
FUNDAMENTALS—FIRST AND FOREMOST
GROUND ZERO—GETTING STARTED AND SWARAJ
RUNNING FASTER AND FARTHER
FROM SWIMMING TO SWINGING
ON LONGER AND BETTER LIFE
APPENDICES AND EXTRAS
Seeking Wisdom: From Darwin to Munger (www.fourhourbody.com/wisdom) This is one of the best books on mental models, how to use them, and how not to make a fool of yourself. I was introduced to this manual for critical thinking by Derek Sivers, who sold his company CD Baby for $22 million.
Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger (http://www.poorcharliesalmanack.com/) This book contains most of the talks and lectures of Charlie Munger, the vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway. It has sold nearly 50,000 copies without any advertising or bookstore placement.
Munger’s Worldly Wisdom (www.fourhourbody.com/munger) This transcribed speech, given by Charlie Munger at USC Business School, discusses the 80–90 important mental models that cover 90% of the decisions he makes.
“Practical Pessimism: Stoicism as Productivity System,” Google Ignite (www.fourhourbody.com/stoicism) This is a five-minute presentation I gave in 2009 on my personal Harajuku Moment. This video will show you how to inoculate your fears while leveraging them to accomplish what you want.
Clive Thompson, “Are Your Friends Making You Fat?” New York Times, September 10, 2009 (www.fourhourbody.com/friends) Reaching your physical goals is a product, in part, of sheer proximity to people who exhibit what you’re targeting. This article explains the importance, and implications, of choosing your peer group.
OrbiTape One-handed Tape Measure (www.fourhourbody.com/orbitape) Measure any body part with military precision using this tape measure, the armed services’ choice for physical examinations.
Finding DEXA. DEXA must be administered by licensed medical staff and so eliminates most gyms and health clubs. First, Google your city, plus “DEXA body fat.” If that fails, search “DEXA,” “osteoporosis testing,” or “bone density testing” for your zip code or city. Add “facility” if the search returns too many results. I spent $49 on the test in Redwood City, California, at the Body Composition Center (www.bodycompositioncenter.com).
BodPod Locators (www.lifemeasurement.com/clients/locator) The BodPod is used to test athletes at the NFL Combine for fat and fat-free mass, as well as respiratory volume. Use this site to find BodPod assessment centers, which are located in almost all 50 states.
BodyMetrix (www.fourhourbody.com/bodymetrix) The hand-held BodyMetrix device uses ultrasound to measure body composition down to the millimeter. For those with the means, it is an outstanding option and my default choice.
Escali Bio-impedance Scale (www.fourhourbody.com/escalibio) Escali’s bio-impedance scale measures weight and percentage of bodyfat for up to 10 users.
Slim Guide Skinfold Calipers (www.fourhourbody.com/slimguide) These are the most widely used calipers in the world. They’re low-cost, but accurate enough for professional use. Be sure to include at least one leg measurement in all calculations.
Cosmetic Fat vs. Evil Fat—How to Measure Visceral Fat (www.fourhourbody.com/evil) Ever wonder how some people, especially older men, can have beer bellies that seem as tight as a drum? Distended abdomens that seem like muscle if you poke them? The answer is unpleasant: rather than fat under the skin, it’s fat around internal organs that presses the abdominal wall out. One weakness of calipers and ultrasound is that they can only directly measure subcutaneous fat (under the skin) and not what’s called visceral fat (around the organs). This article, authored by Michael Eades MD and Mary Dan Eades MD, explains a low-tech method for estimating the latter, which is particularly important for those over 25% bodyfat or of middle-age and older.
Grossly Dramatic and Realistic Fat Replicas (www.fourhourbody.com/fatreplica) These are disgusting but effective motivators. I keep a one-pound fat replica in the drawer of my refrigerator. The five-pound replica is the most effective visual aid I’ve ever seen for getting otherwise resistant people to lose fat. One biotech CEO I know goes so far as to carry one in his briefcase to show people who might benefit. If you want to thank yourself, be thanked, or perhaps be punched in the face, order one of these.
Services for Posting “Before” (and “After”) Pictures
– Posterous (www.posterous.com)
– Evernote (www.evernote.com)
– Flickr (www.flickr.com)
PBworks Personal Wiki Pages (www.fourhourbody.com/pbworks) Ramit Sethi set up a free PBworks page (a simple wiki page like those found on Wikipedia) and invited all his bettors to be notified when he updated his weight. He also used his PBworks page to talk a ridiculous amount of trash.
Habit Forge (www.habitforge.com) Habit Forge is an e-mail check-in tool for instilling new habits into your daily routine. Decide on the habit you want to form, and Habit Forge will e-mail you for 21 days straight. If you don’t follow through, the e-mail cycle will start all over again.
stickK (www.stickk.com) stickK was founded on the principle that creating incentives and assigning accountability are the two most important keys to achieving a goal. Cofounder Dean Karlan, an economics professor at Yale, came up with the idea of opening an online “Commitment Store,” which eventually became stickK. If you don’t fulfill your commitment with stickK, it automatically tells your friends and opens you up to endless mockery and derision.
BodySpace (www.bodybuilding.com/superhuman) or DailyBurn (www.dailyburn.com/superhuman) Need to find someone to keep you accountable? To encourage or harass you when needed? Join more than 600,000 members on BodySpace, or 500,000 on DailyBurn, who are tracking the results of their diet and exercise regimens. The URLs above will link you to 4HB communities on these sites.
The Three-Minute Slow-Carb Breakfast (www.fourhourbody.com/breakfast) Breakfast is a hassle. In this video, I’ll show you how to make a high-protein slow-carb breakfast in three minutes that is perfect for fat-loss and starting the day at a sprint.
Still Tasty (www.stilltasty.com) Not sure if it’s safe to eat those eggs or those Thai leftovers? Tired of calling your mom to ask? This site allows you to search the shelf life of thousands of cooked and uncooked foods.
Food Porn Daily (www.foodporndaily.com) Need some inspiration for your cheat day? Food Porn Daily provides a delicious and artery-blocking cornucopia of bad (but tasty) eating. Save it for Saturday.
Gout: The Missing Chapter (www.fourhourbody.com/gout) Concerned about protein intake and gout? Read this missing chapter from Good Calories, Bad Calories, graciously provided by stunning science writer Gary Taubes. It might change your mind.
Twelve Hours of Bingeing in Photos (www.fourhourbody.com/binge) See the binge from this chapter as I captured it in real time and posted the photos on Flickr. It will give you an appreciation for the quantity.
Super Cissus Rx (www.fourhourbody.com/cq) This is the brand of CQ I used during the experimentation.
Athletic Greens (www.athleticgreens.com) This is my all-in-one greens insurance policy. It contains 76 ingredients, including inulin for improving bacterial balance.
Escali Cesto Portable Nutritional Scale (www.fourhourbody.com/cesto) This is the one-pound scale I carried around in my man-purse to measure the weight and nutritional composition of my meals. The Escali Cesto display shows calories, sodium, protein, fat, carbohydrates, cholesterol, and fiber for almost 1,000 different types of food. May the force be with you, fellow OCDers.
Nutrition Data (www.nutritiondata.com) Want to find out how many calories are in your favorite splurge meal or family recipe? Just use the “Analyze Recipe” Nutrition Management Tool on this site to calculate the nutritional value of the dish. You can also save your recipes and share them with others. I use this site often, including for the calculations in this chapter.
Thera-Bands (www.fourhourbody.com/thera) I started doing standing chest pulls with Thera-Bands (primarily gray), which are popular among physical therapists for rehab exercises. Once I got up to 75 reps per set without fatigue, I upgraded to the mini-bands below.
Mini-bands (www.fourhourbody.com/minibands) I now use these for standing band pulls. Made famous by Louie Simmons of the Westside Barbell gym, these bands are often used by power lifters to add resistance to deadlifts, bench presses, and squats in the upper ranges of motion. On a related note, think age is an excuse? Tell Louie. He squatted 920 pounds at age 50.
I currently use the following products. I have no financial interest in any of them:
- Vitamin Shoppe—Allicin 6000 Garlic, 650 mg, 100 caplets (www.fourhourbody.com/garlic)
- Mega Green Tea Extract (decaffeinated), 725 mg, 100 capsules (www.fourhourbody.com/greentea)
- Vitamin Shoppe—Alpha-Lipoic Acid, 300 mg, 60 capsules (www.fourhourbody.com/ala)
- Nature’s Life—Policosanol, 60 tablets (www.fourhourbody.com/policosanol)
ColPaC Gel Wrap (www.fourhourbody.com/colpac) These pliable wraps, used in physical therapy clinics, can be cooled quickly and applied to any body part, including the back of the neck, for BAT activation.
“How to Make a Real Ice Pack for $0.30” (www.fourhourbody.com/diy-ice) If you prefer the frugal approach, this article will show you how to quickly and easily make your own reusable ice packs at a fraction of the cost of store-bought packs.
TED Talks: Lewis Pugh Swims the North Pole (www.fourhourbody.com/pugh) Lewis Pugh is known as the human polar bear. Why? He swam across the icy waters of the North Pole in a Speedo and regularly swims in freezing cold water. Watch this TED speech for astonishing footage and blunt commentary on super-cold swims.
Ray Cronise Cold Experiments (www.raycronise.com) Explore Ray’s experiments in cold exposure to find additional options for accelerating fat-loss. If he can keep NASA shuttles from incinerating, he can help you lose heat.
DexCom Seven Plus (www.dexcom.com) The DexCom Seven Plus is the continuous glucose monitor I used and abused. It is an implant that gives you the approximate data of 288 fingertip blood samples per day. I found it invaluable, even as a non-diabetic.
WaveSense Jazz Glucometer (www.fourhourbody.com/jazz) This is, by orders of magnitude, the best glucometer I found. It’s small, simple to use, and incredibly consistent, as it accounts and corrects for environmental factors. For those who don’t want an implant but want an actionable glimpse of how they respond to foods, this is a great option.
Glucose Buddy (www.fourhourbody.com/app-glucose) Glucose Buddy is a free iPhone app for diabetics that allows you to manually enter and track glucose numbers, carbohydrate consumption, insulin dosages, and activities.
Juliet Mae Fine Spices & Herbs (www.julietmae.com) This is where you can buy Juliet Mae’s delicious cinnamon. I used her sampler for all testing, which includes Cassia, Ceylon, and Saigon cinnamon.
MiR 50-Lb. Short Adjustable Weighted Vest (www.fourhourbody.com/vest) The best weighted vests in the business. This is what I almost wore through airport security. If you want a rifle butt in the head at customs, it’s the perfect choice.
RXMuscle with John Romano and Dave Palumbo (www.rxmuscle.com) If you have drug questions, don’t ask me. I’m neither a doctor nor an expert. John Romano and Dave Palumbo, on the other hand, have been on the inside of professional bodybuilding and physique enhancement for decades. Both have seen the best and the worst outcomes in athletic chemical warfare. RXMuscle is where you can ask professionals your questions related to AAS and other performance-enhancing drugs (PED).
Bigger, Stronger, Faster DVD (www.fourhourbody.com/bigger) From the producers of Bowling for Columbine and Fahrenheit 9/11, this outstanding documentary explores steroid use in the biggest, strongest, fastest country in the world: America. The cast of characters ranges from Carl Lewis and MDs to Louis Simmons of Westside Barbell. It has an astounding 96% positive rating on RottenTomatoes.com.
Medibolics (www.medibolics.com) This site, published by Michael Mooney, provides a wealth of information on the medical use of anabolic steroids, growth hormone, and unorthodox supplementation for the prevention of lean-tissue loss in persons with muscle-wasting diseases, including HIV.
Anabolics, 9th ed. (www.fourhourbody.com/anabolics) This 800-page book is the #1 bestselling anabolic reference guide worldwide. It features: reviews of nearly 200 pharmaceutical compounds, detailed explanations of the real risks of anabolics, prevention and harm reduction strategies, steroid cycling and stacking sections to take the guesswork out of cycle construction, and approximately 3,000 color photographs of legitimate, counterfeit, and underground drug products.
Kettlebells (www.fourhourbody.com/kettlebells) Most men should start with a 20-kg (44 lb) or 24-kg (53 lb) kettlebell and most women should start with a 16-kg (35 lb) or 20-kg (44 lb) kettlebell. I suggest using a T-handle (see page 172) to determine your 20-rep swing weight before spending too much.
BOSU Balance Trainer (www.fourhourbody.com/bosu) The BOSU looks like half of a Swiss ball with a flat plastic base attached to the underside. I use it for myotatic crunches and the torture twists featured in “Effortless Superhuman.”
GoFit Stability Ball (www.fourhourbody.com/stability) If preferred to the BOSU, this 55-cm “stability” ball (usually referred to as a “Swiss” ball) can be used. It’s less than half the cost of a BOSU, but I found such balls hard to store in the home and less versatile.
Crazy Hitchhiker from There’s Something About Mary (www.fourhourbody.com/hitchhiker) The classic scene that inspired the title of this chapter. “It’s Brie time, baby!”
The Concise Book of Muscles by Chris Jarmey (www.fourhourbody.com/muscles) World-class strength coach Charles Poliquin introduced me to this outstanding book. It is the best anatomy book for nonmedical students that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve looked at them all. Get it.
“Strength Training Methods and the Work of Arthur Jones,” D. Smith, S. Bruce-Low, and J. E. Ponline, Journal of Exercise Physiology (www.fourhourbody.com/comparison) This research review compares single-set and multiple-set strength gains. The authors incorporate 112 sources to answer the question: are multiple sets really better than single sets? For muscular growth, it’s hard to beat the economy of single sets. For pure strength with little weight gain (see “Effortless Superhuman”), different approaches are more effective.
“Cartman and Weight Gain 4000” (www.fourhourbody.com/cartman) Inspirational weight-gain video from our friends at South Park. Good pre-dinner motivation for overfeeding.
Arthur Jones Collection (www.fourhourbody.com/jones) This site, compiled by Brian Johnston, is a collection of the writing and photographs of the legendary Arthur Jones, including the original Nautilus Bulletins, “The Future of Exercise,” and unpublished works.
Free Printable Calendar (www.freeprintablecalendar.net) Use this free custom calendar maker to schedule your workouts and rest spacing for each month.
YouBar Custom Protein Bars (www.fourhourbody.com/youbar) Custom design your own protein bars with YouBar, which allows you to choose protein type and dozens of add-ons like cashew butter, chia seeds, goji berries, and much more. Anyone can have their own branded (you choose the label type) protein-on-the-go for a minimum of 12 bars. For my preferred mix, search for the “Training 33” bar.
Parkinson’s Law by Cyril Northcote Parkinson (www.fourhourbody.com/parkinsons) This is the seminal book on Parkinson’s Law, written by Parkinson himself. Everyone you meet will want to tell you how to train and eat. Read this hysterical book to cultivate your selective ignorance of these “bike shed” discussions, which will derail more than help.
Buckwheat Hull Pillows (www.fourhourbody.com/buckwheat) Bucky manufactures comfy pillows filled with natural buckwheat hulls. Buckwheat hulls are lightweight, durable, and fit the contours of your body without getting flattened like normal pillows. The hulls are hypo-allergenic and allow constant air circulation through the pillow, keeping you cool. Perfect for better sleep and better sex.
Liberator Bedroom Adventure Gear (www.liberator.com) Spice up your bedroom with all the Liberator sex gear you can afford. The website is explicit, and I want to hire their photographer (or maybe it’s just the female models?). If nothing else, the “wedge” is a must-purchase item (www.fourhourbody.com/wedge). Enough said.
Beautiful Agony (www.beautifulagony.com) Beautiful Agony is a bizarre but oddly hypnotic experiment. The site features videos that users submit of their “O” faces. It may be the most erotic thing you’ve ever seen, yet the only nudity it contains is from the neck up. Perhaps it’s just me, but I wish they had a “Would you like to see men or women?” landing page.
SexWise with Nina Hartley (www.sexwise.me) This is where Nina explores and explains it all. Based on the belief that most sexual “problems” are conflicts between true sexual nature and what you’ve been taught to believe is acceptable, nothing adult, legal, and consensual is taboo on this site.
Tallulah Sulis (www.tallulahsulis.com) Tallulah is a female ejaculation expert. She was the first to introduce me to the missile coordinates that form the basis for the next chapter.
I Love Female Orgasm: An Extraordinary Orgasm Guide (www.fourhourbody.com/loveorgasm) This book, given to Giselle by a female friend, was so good that she suggested I make it my default recommended reading. It uses levity and humor to explain how to have an orgasm during intercourse (and why most women don’t), detailed advice on how to have your first orgasm, and advice for better oral sex, among other things. Anecdotes from real-world couples create an experimental eagerness around topics that might otherwise be intimidating. It’s a great book.
The Illustrated Guide to Extended Massive Orgasm by Steve and Vera Bodansky (www.fourhourbody.com/doingmethod) This is a comprehensive illustrated how-to manual for the Doing Method, which I used for my first successful test-drive of the basic upper-quadrant technique discussed in this chapter. This book also describes the female technique for use on men.
OneTaste (http://onetaste.us) OneTaste was founded by Nicole Daedone to give women a place to learn about sex and orgasm from other women. In addition to events and classes at the New York City and San Francisco locations, private coaching is available in person and by phone.
San Francisco Sex Information (http://sfsi.org/) Have a question about any aspect of sex? Confidentially and anonymously contact SFSI, which provides free and nonjudgmental information about sex and reproductive health. The telephone hotline is available in the United States (or from anywhere if you use Skype), and the “Ask Us” e-mail service is available to English and Spanish speakers.
TED Talks: Mary Roach: Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Orgasm (www.fourhourbody.com/roach) Sexual physiology has been studied for centuries, behind the closed doors of laboratories, brothels, Alfred Kinsey’s attic, and, more recently, MRI centers, pig farms, and sex-toy R&D labs. Mary Roach spent two years wheedling and conniving her way behind those doors to bring you the answers to the questions Dr. Ruth never asked. In this popular TED presentation, she delves into obscure scientific research to make 10 surprising claims about sexual climax, ranging from the bizarre to the hilarious.
Violet Blue’s Website (www.tinynibbles.com) Violet Blue is a sex-positive pundit and educator whose audiences range from medical doctors to the viewers of the Oprah Winfrey Show. She is also regarded as the foremost expert in the field of sex and technology. If you want to improve your time between the sheets, her site offers dozens of articles as jumping off points.
VIOLET’S RECOMMENDED READING
- Got a Minute? 60-Second Erotica by Alison Tyler and Thomas Roche (www.fourhourbody.com/60second)
Best Women’s Erotica 2009 by Violet Blue (www.fourhourbody.com/erotica)
When the Earth Moves: Women and Orgasm by Mikaya Heart (www.fourhourbody.com/earth)
VIOLET’S RECOMMENDED TOOLS
BabeLand (www.babeland.com) Babeland was originally opened in response to the lack of women-friendly sex shops in Seattle. Now it is a one-stop nationwide shop for women who want to explore their sexuality.
- Bullet vibes (www.fourhourbody.com/bullet)
- Smoothie (www.fourhourbody.com/smoothie)
- Jimmy Jane Little Chroma (www.fourhourbody.com/chroma)
LELO Luna Balls System (www.fourhourbody.com/luna) LELO Luna Balls are the answer to the “how do you prevent your ‘hoo-ha’ from loosening?” question. Used for five minutes, three times a week, to strengthen the PC muscle, they are also the answer to the question “how do you make your hoo-ha tighter?” Normal Pilates exercises can be used for a complementary effect. Squeeze hard and prosper. Trust me, these are worth the investment.
The Kegelmaster (www.kegelmaster.com) Though Luna Balls have the most enthusiastic rave reviews, The Kegelmaster is a popular vaginal barbell and a less expensive alternative. Oddly enough, there is an endorsement from Teri Hatcher on the homepage. Meow.
SpectraCell Laboratories (www.fourhourbody.com/spectra) SpectraCell is the micronutrient testing lab allegedly used by Lance Armstrong. I uncovered my selenium deficiency through SpectraCell and used Brazil nuts, among other things, to correct it. To find local SpectraCell clinicians, go to: www.fourhourbody.com/spectra. More on this in “Sex Machine II.”
Blue Ice™ Butter Oil/Fermented Cod Liver Oil Blend (www.fourhourbody.com/butterblend) This is the cod/butter combination I used. Blue Ice™ is from a small manufacturer and production is limited.
Carlson Super 1000mg Cod Liver Oil (www.fourhourworkweek.com/cod) A decent substitute if the above is sold-out, but consume at the same time as the below.
Vitamin-Rich Butter Fat: Kerrygold Irish butter (www.kerrygold.com/usa/locator.php) This site helps you find local stores where you can buy Kerrygold Irish butter. If you’d prefer to order online, check www.foodireland.com and click “Deli Counter” at the top of the screen.
ZRT At-Home Vitamin D Test Kits (http://www.zrtlab.com/patients/vitamin-d) If you spend a lot of your time indoors, there’s a good chance that you are deficient in vitamin D. Don’t just guess what amount of vitamin D you need, as overdosing will produce side effects.
Spectracell is a more reliable blood-based test, but ZRT’s saliva mail-in kit can give you an inexpensive estimate of your vitamin D levels. Once you’ve established your baseline, you can use sunlight, supplementation, and UV-B lamps to increase levels, following eight weeks of which you can perform an “after” test to track changes.
– NOW Liquid Vitamin D3, 2 fl oz (www.fourhourbody.com/vitamin-d)
– Sperti Ultraviolet Systems (www.sperti.com)
The KBD D/UV-F fluorescent lamp was developed in 2010 for individuals who can’t tolerate direct sunlight exposure or oral Vitamin D supplements.
InCase Sports Armband Pro (www.fourhourbody.com/armband) This is the neoprene armband I used for holding my cell phone. Though designed for the iPod Touch, it’s large enough to hold BlackBerries, iPhones, and most other pocket microwaves.
Pong Case for iPhone (www.fourhourbody.com/pong) This is the only case that’s been tested in FCC-certified laboratories and proven to reduce your iPhone’s radiation to a third of what it would be without the case, all while maintaining signal strength. If you have to keep your cell phone in your pocket, this will help minimize the damage, but I still suggest “off” around the twins.
The Disappearing Male, CBC Documentary (www.fourhourbody.com/disappearing) This no-cost download of The Disappearing Male is about one of the most important, and least publicized, issues facing the human species: the toxic threat to the male reproductive system. Frightening and required viewing.
Sperm Bank Directories
Find a bank or storage facility in your area using the below websites, or use Google to search for “sperm storage or bank or donor” in combination with your city and state names.
Fertility Clinic Directories
– Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (www.sart.org/find_frm.html, site compatible with BlackBerries and iPhones)
– “Local Doctors, Physicians, and Surgeons Directory” (www.healthgrades.com/local-doctors-directory)
– Fertility Journey, “Fertility Clinic Locator” (www.fourhourbody.com/fertility)
– Find a Fertility Clinic (www.findafertilityclinic.com)
“Semen Analysis,” WebMD (www.fourhourbody.com/semen-analysis) Further reading on the process of semen analysis (e.g., what medications and conditions can affect your semen).
F.lux (http://stereopsis.com/flux) It’s possible that your computer screen is what’s keeping you awake. F.lux is a free computer application that dims your computer screen when the sun sets. In the morning, it makes the screen return to its default sunlight-like settings.
California Poppy Extract (www.fourhourbody.com/poppy) This extract from the California poppy acts as a mild sedative, and I found it to increase my percentage of deep-wave sleep.
The Zeo Personal Sleep Coach (www.fourhourbody.com/zeo) Brad Feld’s favorite sleep device. The Zeo uses a headband that measures electrical patterns generated in the brain and can wake you at a point of elevated brain activity. It was the only recording device that offered usable data and that consistently reduced grogginess.
Philips goLITE (www.fourhourbody.com/golite) This light is most responsible for my sub–10 minute sleep times after decades of futile effort. I’ll usually set it to the side of my laptop for 15 minutes a day. Battery life is long, it’s portable enough to take in a carry-on bag, and it can also replace your morning coffee if you give yourself 2–3 days to adapt.
NightWave (www.fourhourbody.com/nightwave) My friend Michael found that the NightWave (a slow-pulsing light the size of a cigarette pack) was a permanent fix to his sleeping problems. I travel with the NightWave and use it is a supplement to the goLITE.
Air-O-Swiss Travel Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier (www.fourhourbody.com/humidifier) This device is my favorite pairing with the goLITE. It improves both time to sleep and depth of sleep, not to mention skin and sinus health.
Sleep Cycle iPhone Application (www.lexwarelabs.com/sleepcycle) The Sleep Cycle alarm clock analyzes your sleep patterns and uses the iPhone’s in-built accelerometer to wake you when you are in the lightest sleep phase. This has been the #1 paid app ($0.99) in many countries, including Germany, Japan, and Russia.
“Lucid Dreaming: A Beginner’s Guide” (www.fourhourbody.com/lucid) Lucid dreaming, as clinically demonstrated by Stephen LaBerge of Stanford University, refers to becoming conscious during REM and affecting dream content. To facilitate lucid dreaming, I have used huperzine-A to increase REM percentage. Lucid dreaming can help you accelerate skill acquisition, improve sports performance, and reactivate “forgotten” languages. This article is a concise step-by-step how-to guide for beginners.
Dustin Curtis (http://blog.dustincurtis.com) The blog of the author of this chapter, interface designer, start-up design advisor, and amateur neuroscientist Dustin Curtis.
Steve Pavlina’s Sleep Logs (www.fourhourbody.com/pavlina) Steve Pavlina’s trial of polyphasic sleep is what introduced me to Uberman. These are the most detailed polyphasic sleep logs you’ll find anywhere on the web.
Uberman Schedule Success Stories (www.poly-phasers.com, www.fourhourbody.com/kuro5hin) Kuro5hin is what introduced Matt Mullenweg, lead developer of the popular blogging software WordPress, to the Uberman schedule, which he used for one year. He recounts the experience: “It was probably the most productive year of my life. The first three to four weeks you’re a zombie, but once you settle into the schedule, you don’t even need an alarm to wake up after the naps. I probably wrote the majority of my code contributions for WordPress.org during that time. Then, I got a girlfriend. That was the end of Uberman, and the beginning of a significantly less productive— but more romantic—phase. It’s nice to be able to spend a normal night with someone instead of just sleeping 20 minutes.”
Try Polyphasic (http://forums.trypolyphasic.com) This forum covers common questions, and practical suggestions, from people around the world who are attempting polyphasic sleep.
“How the Everyman Sleep Schedule Was Born” (www.fourhourbody.com/everyman) Read about how the Uberman has been modified to make it more flexible with people’s schedules.
“Polyphasic Sleep: Facts and Myths” (www.supermemo.com/articles/polyphasic.htm) This article compares polyphasic sleep to regular monophasic sleep, biphasic sleep, and the concept of “free-running” sleep.
HOW TO KEEP ON SCHEDULE
Kuku Klok (www.kukuklok.com) Once loaded, this online alarm clock will work even if your Internet connection goes down.
Clocky Moving Alarm Clock (www.fourhourbody.com/clocky) This patented alarm clock jumps three feet from your nightstand and runs away while beeping to get you up. You can only snooze once.
Wakerupper (www.wakerupper.com) Wakerupper is an online phone reminder tool. Schedule reminder calls to ring to your cell phone at specific times.
This chapter will encourage a slew of con artists to become self-proclaimed experts. Though you might miss some good practitioners, I suggest focusing on those who were treating patients before “The 4-Hour Body” was first published (in December 2010).
Vibram Five Finger and Terra Plana Shoes (www.fourhourbody.com/vibram, www.fourhourbody.com/terra) These are the two brands of shoes I used to eliminate low-back pain. The Vibram Five Fingers are ideal but look like gecko feet. The Terra Plana Vivo Barefoot shoes, on the other hand, can double as dress shoes without anyone noticing that the soles are practically nonexistent.
Healthytoes Toe Stretchers (www.fourhourbody.com/toe-stretch) These toe stretchers are like soft brass knuckles for your toes. They help restore natural toe spread and relieve pain from overlapping toes and toe drift. Start with five minutes each evening.
Active Release Technique (ART) Practitioner Database (www.activerelease.com) Use this site to find local ART specialists.
Finding a Prolotherapy Practitioner
Here are the three organizations recommended by those I trust in the field:
- Hackett-Hemwall Foundation (HHF) (www.hacketthemwall.org)
- American Academy of Orthopedic Medicine (AAOM) (www.aaomed.org)
- American College of Osteopathic Sclerotherapeutic Pain Management (the old term for “prolotherapy”) (www.acopms.com)
ChiroMAT (www.chiromat.com) Founder of the AMIT technique, Craig Buhler (aka “Dr. Two Fingers”) has helped elite-level athletes from the NBA, NFL, and PGA to maximize their performance.
Muscle Activation Technique (MAT) Specialists (http://www.muscleactivation.com/find-a-specialist/mat-master-level-specialists/) If you can’t get to Utah to see Dr. Craig Buhler, use this site to find a MAT practitioner in your area. Though there is some contention between groups about the best technique, this organization provides the widest certification and is thus most accessible.
Southern California Orthopedic Institute (www.scoi.com) Dr. Stephen Snyder at SCOI has developed many new techniques and technologies for arthroscopic shoulder surgery. Referred to me by friend and fellow patient Scot Mendelson, who bench-presses more than 1,000 pounds.
Video of My Reconstructive Shoulder Surgery with Dr. Snyder (www.fourhourbody.com/surgery) The pre-surgery shoulder dislocation while I’m sedated is disgusting. Fun watching if you enjoy YouTube videos of folks face-planting off of Swiss balls, etc.
Biopuncture: Common Questions and Answers (www.chiromedicalgroup.com/biopuncture)
Overview of Biotensegrity (www.fourhourbody.com/biotensegrity) This explains the fascinating functions of fascia. Steven Levin, an orthopedic surgeon, explains how the principles of tensegrity seen in R. Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes apply in the human body, with bones acting as the compressive elements and the soft tissues as the tension elements. If you are at all geek-inclined, read “The Importance of Soft Tissues for Structural Support of the Body.” It’s outstanding.
Egoscue (www.egoscue.com) Egoscue is a postural therapy program with 24 clinic locations worldwide. The program is designed to treat musculoskeletal pain without drugs, surgery, or manipulation. It was instrumental in reducing and eliminating my back pain.
Atlas of Human Anatomy by Frank H. Netter (www.fourhourbody.com/netter) This is THE most beautiful and (mostly) comprehensive anatomy book I’ve ever encountered. It was suggested to me by multiple doctors, including Dr. Lee Wolfer, who described this book thusly: “Netter is single-handedly responsible for the anatomical knowledge of the majority of doctors out there. He just missed the fascia and complexity of ligaments.” I also own the flashcards based on the book, which are designed for medical students.
Patients Beyond Borders by Josef Woodman (www.fourhourbody.com/woodman) The most comprehensive print guide to medical tourism. This 400+-page book contains 40 of the top medical travel destinations, lists hundreds of hospitals around the world, and has an index that matches your medical condition to the best clinics.
International Medical Travel Journal Medical Tourism Guide (www.imtjonline.com/resources/patient-guide) The IMTJ’s 10-step guide to medical tourism is a useful starting framework for those considering a fun but productive trip abroad. The plethora of options can be daunting, and this checklist will minimize the paradox of choice.
Bumrungrad Hospital (www.bumrungrad.com) This world-class hospital in Thailand has been featured in the “Top 10 World’s Medical Travel Destinations” (Newsweek) and is one of the “Top 4 Medical Tourism Pioneers” (Wall Street Journal). The pictures on their website will probably make your own US hospital look like a third-world hovel.
Med Retreat (www.medretreat.com) Med Retreat can walk you through the decision-making process and help you find the best international clinic for your needs. Popular destinations include Argentina, Costa Rica, and Turkey.
MedTrava (www.medtrava.com) Similar to Med Retreat and based in Austin, Texas, MedTrava can introduce you to hand-picked facilities around the world and save you up to 70% on common procedures.
Find a Functional Movement Screen (FMS) Expert (www.fourhourbody.com/fms) The FMS is Gray Cook’s primary tool for identifying imbalances. Use this site to find local FMS experts who can run you through the complete assessment. Scores of 14 or fewer total points—the “danger zone”—correspond to 35% higher injury rates. My first FMS score was 17 and computed by Eric D’Agati at the One Human Performance Center in New Jersey, which is the FMS home of the Giants NFL team.
FMS Self-Screen (www.fourhourbody.com/fms-self) Eager to test yourself without a pro? Use this stripped-down version as a starting point.
Turkish Get-Up (www.fourhourbody.com/tgu) Zach Even-Esh demonstrates the Turkish get-up. Take note of his timing in this sequence. It’s not one continuous motion, but rather a specific set of movements with brief pauses. The slower you can do this, the better your technique is. Do not rush.
Cross-Body One-Arm Single-Leg Deadlift (www.fourhourbody.com/1SDL) This video demonstrates the proper execution of the 1SDL.
Squat (www.fourhourbody.com/squat) This is an outstanding tutorial on how to correct the lower back rounding common at the bottom of the squat.
Kayaking Dry Bags A kayaking dry bag is designed to keep water out. It can also be used to hold water in, and it’s a great way to travel and still do your TGU. I use the SealLine Baja Dry Bag 30, which holds up to 30 liters. One liter = 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds). Thirty liters gives you up to 66 pounds.
Metolius Nylon Daisy Chain for the C&L (www.fourhourbody.com/chain)
Black Diamond HotWire Carabiner for the C&L (www.fourhourbody.com/carabiner) Extremely lightweight carabiner rated “Best in Gear” by Rock and Ice magazine.
Probotics Just Jump Mat (www.fourhourbody.com/jump-mat) This portable mat measures vertical jump based on air time. It’s used by Rich Tuten, the Denver Broncos’ strength and conditioning coach, during their annual tryouts and can fit under a bed.
Mastering the Combine Tests, DVD (www.fourhourbody.com/combine-dvd) DeFranco dissects every aspect of the NFL Combine tests in this DVD, including the 20-yard shuttle, the three-cone drill, the bench-press test, and the broad jump.
McTarnahan’s Absorbent Blue Lotion (http://store.allvet.org/abblloga.html) Pain and stiffness relief for horses . . . and elite athletes. Makes Ben-Gay seem like water.
Videos of Mutants:
- Adrian Wilson Jumping 66 Inches (www.fourhourbody.com/wilson): Watch the Arizona Cardinals’ safety jump over the 5’6″ mark.
- Keith Eloi Jumps into a Flatbed Truck (www.fourhourbody.com/flatbed): No run-up, no expression of effort, and he’s in goddamn slippers.
- Keith Eloi Jumping Out of a Swimming Pool Backward (www.fourhourbody.com/pool-eloi)
DeFranco Training on Video (www.fourhourbody.com/defranco) These are the actual videos I took during our training day, in which DeFranco covers some of the more important dynamic warm-ups and stretches, in addition to sprint stance setup.
40-yard dash: Average Joe vs. Pro Athlete (http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/80939938/) This is a clip of Rich Eisen, one of ESPN’s newscasters and “every man” representative, running the 40-yard dash against professional athletes in the NFL Combine. It’s hard to appreciate how fast NFL players are until you watch this.
Parisi Speed School (www.parisischool.com) Founded by Division I All-American javelin thrower Bill Parisi, this school has trained hundreds of professional athletes in increasing their speed. The Parisi NFL Combine program has produced more than 120 successful NFL draftees.
Sorinex Poor Man’s Glute-Ham Raise (http://store.sorinex.com/P2-Poor-Man-s-Glute-Ham-p/pmgh-2.htm) I first learned of this (relatively) inexpensive GHR machine from Parkour athletes. It’s a fraction of the cost of alternatives, small enough to be wheeled into a closet, and perfect for DeFranco’s favorite exercise for hamstring development.
CrossFit Endurance (www.crossfitendurance.com) Brian MacKenzie’s homebase and house of pain, replete with workouts and forums. If you don’t want to suffer or celebrate alone, there is a full listing of nationwide teams that train and compete together.
“The Marathon Monks of Mount Hiei” (http://der.org/films/marathon-monks.html) Check out this documentary about the incredible Hiei monks from Japan, and their path to enlightenment. The DVD shows their death-defying fasts, their vegetarian training diet, their handmade straw running shoes, and more. You can visit the following link for an 11-minute preview: www.fourhourbody .com/monks.
ENDURANCE WORKOUT TOOLS
- Gmap Pedometer (www.gmap-pedometer.com) As nice as fancy gadgets can be for tracking your runs or bike routes, a Google Maps hack gives you the same data with no added equipment. Gmap Pedometer lets you superimpose your route over Google’s map data, generating the distance traveled. The site lets you save your favorite routes and share them with friends.
- Keson RR112 Roadrunner 1 Measuring Wheel (www.fourhourbody.com/roadrunner) This lightweight wheel is primarily used by real estate agents appraising houses, but you can use it to quickly measure short distances for sprints, whether around the block or on the track.
- Seiko DM50L Metronome (www.fourhourbody.com/metronome) Brian suggests training your step per minute tempo with the help of this metronome. I found it easiest to use 90 beats per minute for one leg.
- Casio High-Speed Exilim EX-FC100 (www.fourhourbody.com/exilim) Brian uses this camera to videotape all his trainees at 30 frames per second. As he says, “you can learn more in one hour of video analysis than you can in a year of self-correction without video.” Casio claims it can record slow-motion videos at up to 1,000 frames per second.
Pose Method of Running by Dr. Nicholas Romanov (www.fourhourbody.com/pose-method) This book teaches running as a skill with its own theory, concepts, and exercises. Just mind the ankles.
CrossFit Exercises (www.fourhourbody.com/crossfit) Instructional videos of almost every single CrossFit exercise and routine.
GENr8 Vitargo S2 (www.fourhourbody.com/genr8) This is the carbohydrate supplement that Brian uses to rapidly replenish glycogen. He can consume up to 1,100 calories an hour of Vitargo. Don’t try that with Gatorade.
Trail Runner (www.trailrunnermag.com) The only magazine dedicated to off-road running, written by trail runners who have races and runs from 5K to 200-plus miles. Trail Runner’s annual race directory features 1,100 trail races worldwide.
Born to Run (www.fourhourbody.com/borntorun) This book, authored by Christopher McDougall, introduces most readers to the incredible Tarahumara Indians, a tribe of superathletes hidden in the mountainous deserts of Mexico, and details a once-in-a-lifetime foot race pitting them against US ultrarunning legends like Scott Jurek. It’s a wonderful read that made a non-runner—me—finally get off my ass and on the grass 3 times a week barefoot.
Running Barefoot: Training Tips (www.fourhourbody.com/harvard-barefoot) Harvard’s Running Barefoot project is one of the key drivers of the barefoot movement. This article provides basic forefoot striking and training tips for those who are just getting started.
ULTRAENDURANCE SHOES FOR TRAIL RUNNING
Inov-8 X-Talon 212 (www.fourhourbody.com/talon212) Of all the shoes Brian recommended, these are my favorite.
Inov-8 F-Lite 230 (Amazon)
Inov-8 is a small manufacturer and will likely run out of stock, but there are other mainstream options: for trail running, get a low-profile shoe like the La Sportiva Crosslite; for asphalt, use “racing flats” like the New Balance 205.
ULTRAENDURANCE SHOES FOR ASPHALT AND HARD SURFACES
Inov-8 F-Lite 220 (http://www.inov-8.com/new/global/Product-View-FLite-220.html?L=26)
Inov-8 F-Lite 230 (www.fourhourbody.com/f-lite230) These shoes appear above and are multi-purpose.
Over-unders Dynamic Warm-Up (www.fourhourbody.com/over-under) This is a demo of the hip mobility movements using a single bar. Focus on the side hurdle (0:30) and under-the-hurdle side squat (1:30), which, when alternated, constitute the over-unders Barry recommends as a dynamic warm up.
Underground Secrets to Faster Running by Barry Ross (www.fourhourbody.com/underground) Allyson Felix used this strength training system right before she ran the fastest 200 meters in the world back in 2003.
“High-Speed Running Performance: A New Approach to Assessment and Prediction” by Matthew W. Bundle, Reed W. Hoyt, and Peter G. Weyand (www.fourhourbody.com/hsrp) This is the original study from Rice University that developed the ASR speed algorithm. In Barry Ross’s words, “What they found was the Holy Grail to faster running speed.”
ASRspeed (www.fourhourbody.com/asr) The actual sprinting program that Barry Ross discussed in this chapter. Any athlete who plays a sport requiring sudden bursts of forward speed (sprints, basketball, baseball, football, soccer, etc.) can benefit tremendously by using this program. It will largely eliminate the need for hill runs, sled towing, parachutes, and all the other tricks and toys people use to get faster.
“How to Add 100 Pounds to Your Squat in 13 Weeks with the Smolov Cycle” (http://stronglifts.com/how-to-add-100-pounds-to-your-squat-smolov/) The Smolov Cycle is a Russian strength training routine designed by Master of Sports S. Y. Smolov. This cycle, though complex and very brutal, can easily add 60–100 pounds to your squat. You can also download an Excel spreadsheet that’s designed to help you keep track of your progress during the Smolov program (www.fourhourbody.com/smolov-excel).
Fat Gripz (www.fourhourbody.com/fatgripz) Thick-bar training increases grip strength fast. The problem is that thick bars cost $200 or more. The solution is Fat Gripz, each the size of a Red Bull can (easy for travel), which slide onto normal bars in ten seconds. Take a week after every four weeks of heavy training to use Fat Gripz with lighter weights (I do stiff-legged deadlifts). Trust me, it will be harder than you think.
The Bench Press Interviews (www.fourhourbody.com/bench) What separates the 1x bodyweight bencher from the 2x? The 2x bencher from the 3x? If you could add one thing to most training programs, what would it be? I asked all of the above questions and more of some of the best in the power business, including Dave Tate, Jason Ferruggia, and Mike Robertson. Unfortunately, due to space constraints, we couldn’t include them in the book, but you can find them here.
The Purposeful Primitive by Marty Gallagher (www.fourhourbody.com/primitive) Perhaps the single best book on bodybuilding, powerlifting, and fat-loss that I’ve read in the last five years. This diverse tour of elite physique enhancement covers training, diet, and otherworldly anecdotes from a wide cast of characters, including Dorian Yates, Ed Coan, and Kirk Karwoski.
Powerlifting USA Magazine (www.powerliftingusa.com) If you want to get serious about the sport of powerlifting—where bench, squat, and deadlift maxes are totalled in competition—Powerlifting USA is the oldest and most trusted source for training and gym recommendations. If you have any delusions of strength grandeur, find an upcoming meet in “coming events” and observe world-class powerlifters live. Stop puffing out your chest before you walk in.
Total Immersion: Freestyle Made Easy, DVD (www.fourhourbody.com/immersion) This DVD was the reason I was able to completely overcome my fear of swimming, and actually learn to love it. In the span of less than 10 days, I went from a 2-length (2×20 yards/18.39 meters) maximum to swimming more than 40 lengths per workout in sets of 2 and 4.
Aqua Sphere Kaiman Goggles (www.fourhourbody.com/kaiman) These leak-proof goggles were the last pair standing after I tested everything under the sun. I have three pairs and swim with nothing else, whether indoor or in open water. My favorites have orange-tinted lenses.
Total Immersion Swimming Freestyle Demo by Shinji Takeuchi (www.fourhourbody.com/shinji) If you want to see how effortlessly and tirelessly someone can swim, look no further than this video demo.
Swimmers Guide (www.swimmersguide.com) Find all the public swimming facilities in your area, or in 167 countries. Never leave home without your goggles.
Impact Bag Drill in Motion (www.fourhourbody.com/impact) This is the actual training video of the Impact bag drill Jaime and I did together. The progress is clearly visible from start to finish, and Jaime’s coaching is audible.
Jaime Cevallos Business Case (www.fourhourbody.com/cevallos) How did Jaime go from making $7 an hour to coaching MLB MVPs? He used The 4-Hour Workweek as a step-by-step manual. This blog post explains how he got access to the majors and landed in major media, including ESPN: The Magazine, among others.
The MP30 Training Bat (www.theswingmechanic.com) Increasingly common in the majors, the MP30 Training Bat trains hitters to swing using the ideal Slot position to generate more power.
Sports Radar Gun (www.fourhourbody.com/radar) This radar gun will measure everything, whether pitches, swings, or cars.
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis (www.fourhourbody.com/moneyball) In Moneyball, master storyteller Michael Lewis describes how the Oakland Athletics achieved an astonishing winning record in 2002, despite the lowest player payroll of any major league baseball team. A’s general manager Billy Beane believed that objective science could beat subjective scouts. He hired PhDs in statistics to help him acquire undervalued players based on neglected numbers, like ground-outs for pitchers. Even if you hate baseball, you will love this book.
David Blaine’s TEDMED Talk (www.fourhourbody.com/blaine) This is a recording of David’s emotionally charged and fascinating TED presentation on magic and his preparation for a record-breaking 17+ minutes underwater.
Think these techniques can be taken lightly, practiced on your own in water? Think again and don’t commit suicide. Watch 10:40 in the above video and then watch it again: that’s what near-death looks like. Then watch it a third time. It will give you a healthy respect for what a mistake can cost you: your life. Do not attempt any of this in water (even if it’s just your face in water). If you pass out, drowning in a few inches is the same as drowning in the deep end of a pool.
Performance Freediving: The Official School of Kirk Krack (www.fourhourbody.com/krack) Kirk Krack is the professional freediving trainer who prepared David Blaine for his record. Kirk has worked with eight current world-record holders. His beginner course (which is held over two and a half days) includes personalized instruction from world-record holders and a one-to-four instructor/student ratio. As captain of Team Canada for the Canadian Association of Freediving and Apnea, he has successfully coached and managed the women’s team to two first-place finishes at the last two world championships, and his experience in technical diving has helped him achieve depths of 152 meters (500 feet).
Manual of Freediving: Underwater on a Single Breath by Umberto Pelizzari and Stefano Tovaglieri (www.fourhourbody.com/freediving) This is the freediver’s bible. It’s a comprehensive manual on how to hold your breath, dive deeper, and swim underwater longer. The book includes illustrations of underwater exercises, finning techniques, and selected yoga postures to enhance lung capacity.
PowerLung Sport (www.fourhourbody.com/powerlung) This hand-held air-restricting device improves breathing endurance and is popular among not only swimmers but also long-distance runners, high-altitude climbers, singers, and even asthmatics. It’s great for travel, and for training around injuries.
Static Apnea Training Tables (www.fourhourbody.com/apnea) Customizable tables used by aspiring freedivers to safely practice apnea when out of the water.
The Lung Vacuuming Technique (www.ftrain.com/lungvacuuming.html) This 20-second lung reboot is used by opera singers to regulate breathing. Useful for both sports training and minimizing stage fright.
Donating Blood If you have high iron levels (as I did after adding orange juice to my diet), an easy and karmically positive way to lower those levels is by donating blood. Any of the following sites can help you find a local center, schedule an appointment, and save lives.
- American Red Cross (www.redcrossblood.org/make-donation)
- Bonfils Blood Center (www.fourhourbody.com/bonfils)
- National Blood Service (For people in England and Wales: www.blood.co.uk)
Alcor (www.alcor.org) Perhaps you’d like to store your body in ice-free cryosuspension at the first sign of terminal illness, just in case technology catches up? There’s nowhere better than Alcor in Scottsdale, Arizona, where gems such as Ted Williams’s head are allegedly stored.
Transcend: Nine Steps to Living Well Forever by Ray Kurzweil (www.fourhourbody.com/transcend) Kurzweil, called the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison” by Inc. magazine, proposes that those interested in “radical life extension” should make it their immediate goal to live through the next 20 or so years, in order to see advances like DNA reprogramming and submicroscopic, cell-repairing robots. This book outlines the nine key areas for extending your life.
Protein-Cycling Diet by Dr. Ron Mignery (http://proteincyclingdiet.wordpress.com/article/protein-cycling-diet-2s3nmvrwklbxs-1/) According to this book, available for free at this link, a single day per week of restricting protein to no more than 5% of maintenance calories can produce effects similar to extended caloric restriction.
Methuselah Foundation (www.mfoundation.org) The Methuselah Foundation is a nonprofit medical charity dedicated to extending healthy human life. The foundation also offers the NewOrgan Network for those in need of replacement organs, making it easier to reach out to friends and family for support.
Immortality Institute (www.imminst.org) The Immortality Institute is an international not-for-profit. Its mission is “to conquer the blight of involuntary death.” Though I don’t love the word blight, I do love the forum on this site, where hundreds of self-experimenters (including published scientists who post pseudonymously) report on surprising results and advances from using experimental supplements, drugs, and other off-label therapies.
Snowball (www.fourhourbody.com/snowball) If you think about death too much, life seems too goddamn serious. Take a look at this site. It will put things in perspective. Trust me.
Seth Roberts, “Self-Experimentation as a Source of New Ideas: Ten Examples Involving Sleep, Mood, Health, and Weight,” Behavioral and Brain Science 27 (2004): 227–88 (www.fourhourbody.com/new-ideas) This 61-page document about self-experimentation provides an overview of some of Seth’s findings, including actionable sleep examples.
The Quantified Self (www.quantifiedself.com) Curated by Wired cofounding editor Kevin Kelly and Gary Wolf, a managing editor of Wired, this is the perfect home for all self-experimenters. The resources section alone is worth a trip to this site, which provides the most comprehensive list of data-tracking tools and services on the web (www.fourhourbody.com/quantified).
Alexandra Carmichael, “How to Run a Successful Self-Experiment” (www.fourhourbody.com/self-experiment) Most people have never systematically done a self-experiment. And yet, it’s one of the easiest methods for discovering what variables are affecting your well-being. This article shows you the five principles that will help you get started in running successful self-experiments. Bonus: an 11-minute video from Seth Roberts, discussing experiment design.
CureTogether (www.curetogether.com) CureTogether, which won the Mayo Clinic iSpot Competition for Ideas That Will Transform Healthcare (2009), helps people anonymously track and compare health data to better understand their bodies and make more informed treatment decisions. Think you’re alone with a condition? Chances are you’ll find dozens of others with the same problem on CureTogether.
Daytum (www.daytum.com) Conceived by Ryan Case and Nicholas Felton, Daytum is an elegant and intuitive service for examining and visualizing your everyday habits and routines.
Data Logger (http://apps.pachube.com/datalogger) Data Logger for iPhone enables you to store and graph any data of your choosing along with a time-stamp and location. It can be used for anything, whether food-related, animal sightings, or temperature sensor readings around your neighborhood. If you can think of it, it can be recorded and tracked.
The Black Swan by Nassim Taleb (www.fourhourbody.com/blackswan) Taleb, also author of the best-seller Fooled by Randomness, is the reigning king when it comes to explaining how we fool ourselves and how we can limit the damage. Our instinct to underestimate the occurrence of some events, while overestimating others, is a principal cause of enormous pain. This book should be required reading.
The Corporation, DVD (www.fourhourbody.com/corporation) This is a disturbing documentary about the American corporation and its relentless pursuit of profit at the expense of our culture. This film gives you a glimpse into how heavily companies can skew health reports when they have a vested interest in the findings.
“List of Cognitive Biases” (www.fourhourbody.com/biases) We are all susceptible to cognitive biases, including the scientists who produce “bad science.” Review the list at this URL and ask yourself whether you’re mindlessly accepting as fact things you hear or read.
The Good Guide (www.goodguide.com) Founded by Professor Dara O’Rourke of the University of California–Berkeley, this “for-benefit” start-up provides a consumer guide to common products, ranking each by health, impact on the environment, and impact on society. What chemicals are in your baby shampoo? Was sweatshop labor used to make your T-shirt? Is that whole-grain cereal really good for you? Good Guide can tell you, and help direct your buying behavior.
Additional Interviews (www.fourhourbody.com/vegan-athletes) Nate Green, who helped research this chapter, was able to interview the following vegans and former vegetarians, among others: Brendan Frazier, Bill Pearl (multiple-time Mr. America and Mr. Universe winner), Mike Mahler, and Dave Scott. I also interviewed Scott Jurek and rock-climbing phenom Steph Davis. All of them are available online.
Howard Lyman, Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won’t Eat Meat (Scribner, 2001) (www.fourhourbody.com/cowboy) This is one of three books (the others were Andrew Weil’s Spontaneous Healing and 8 Weeks to Optimal Health) that convinced Scott Jurek to become a vegan. Howard Lyman, a third-generation cattle rancher, appeared on Oprah and was a party in her legal battle with Texas cattle ranchers.
Lierre Keith, The Vegetarian Myth (www.fourhourbody.com/myth) This is a look at the flip side. Lierre Keith was a vegan for 20 years. She no longer is, and this book explores the moral, eco-political, and nutritional realities of veganism that led her to reincorporate limited animal products into her diet. Reference-rich and well-written, it is easily the most engrossing book on these topics that I have ever read.
Beyond Vegetarianism (www.beyondveg.com) BeyondVeg, curated by vegetarian Thomas E. Billings, features reports from veterans of raw-food and vegetarian diets (including veganism and fruitarianism), plus new scientific discoveries from clinical nutrition. The intent of the site is to discuss the serious problems that can occur on alternative diets but often go unreported. How have dieters solved their problems, whether by modifying the diet in some “unapproved” way while remaining vegetarian, or by adopting non-vegetarian options? BeyondVeg is one of the best compendiums of answers I’ve found.
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