New 4-Hour World Record – Joe Ceklovsky

The 4-hour lifestyle is about getting more from less in all areas of life. I just returned last night from South by Southwest (SXSW), where I presented a few fundamentals of The 4-Hour Workweek. Much more to come on the interesting after-effects of that later.

In my inbox this morning was an e-mail from Joe Ceklovsky, one of a dozen or so powerlifters I’ve worked with, primarily as related to neural acceleration. He just set a new World Powerlifting Organization (WPO) world record in the 148-lb. class with a 503-lb. benchpress. To put this in perspective, that is 3.4 times his bodyweight, so if you weigh 180 lbs., you would need to press 612 lbs. to match him, which is more than six 45-lb. plates on either side of the bar. The best part? Joe trains benchpress once per week for less than one hour and has a full-time job outside of this passion.

Remember: more with less. Smarter is better than harder. See his latest record here. His all-time competition record of 525 lbs. is presented below to amaze. If you have trouble viewing it, go here. I formally predict here that he will hit 551 in his next competition. Congratulations, Joe! (Update on Jan. 20, 2008: Joe has now benched 600 lbs. at 148, 4.06x his bodyweight)

Platinum Card Finally Gets Me

Those of you who have followed me for a while know that I don’t spend much time juggling frequent flyer miles. Nor do I squander hours making pennies on the dollar with point schemes or signing up for the latest special-offer credit cards. I have four credit cards (two personal, two business) for separating expenses, and I have used an AMEX gold card since 2003 for most purchases because: 1) Their customer service has handled disputes and fraud within 24 hours with zero paperwork, and 2) I’ve never had issues using it in more than 20 countries.

AMEX has also been outstanding at sending me at least 3 pieces of mail a week since 2003. Most of it has been offers to upgrade to the Platinum Card, which, at around $200 per year at that time, made no sense to me. The benefits included things I would never use, like getting a free companion ticket if I bought a full-fare business/1st-class ticket (about $2,000-4,000 on the tickets I checked). Personally, I’d rather get a $200 roundtrip on Orbitz.

That said, and for all my smack talking, I just signed up for the Platinum. What?!

Unknown to most people, the Platinum card benefits have just been changed for the first time in close to 10 years. Here are the two new features that sealed the deal for me and how I’ll leverage them for more fun and profit:

1. Four free domestic companion flights per year on flights over $299

[UPDATE: This benefit has since been canceled. Why? My guess is that they never planned to continue it past one year or so. It would just be a loss-leading benefit for a brief time to get sign-ups and new members. Just an educated guess.]

Since I live in CA but travel a lot to NYC, I can get four free tickets for friends who want to come with me to NYC on the same itinerary. I can also barter these tickets or trade them on Craigslist, which gives me an automatic ROI of at least $1,200 on the $300 first year annual fee. If I fly to Hawaii from San Francisco, which I plan to do soon to train with BJ Penn, and barter the extra ticket – even at a 30% discount on the “retail prices“- the ROI will cover my expense while there.

2. Free access to over 950 work and meeting spaces around the world

Coffee shops can get old fast. More that once (especially in Buenos Aires and Paris), I’ve wanted to dropkick the smoker who refuses to go outside and DDT the kid with the iPod on 1,000 decibels. If you really want to see me lose it, surround me with a gaggle of gum-chewing girls on their cell phones. The Platinum Card gives me an alternative to going postal — a remote office to use, complete with gourmet coffee, broadband, printing, and conference rooms. The alternative use that interests me — mostly for fun and pranks — is getting a mailing address and receptionist in primo locations and then having the mail and calls forwarded to wherever I actually happen to be. Want an office on Wall Street or Champs-Elysees in Paris? Next time an investment banker rolls their eyes when you say you’re an entrepreneur, you can casually mention at the end: “Nice meeting you. Next time you’re in London or Paris, give me a call. We should do lunch near one of my offices. Gotta run to the theatre/beach/museum [make sure it’s around 2pm in the afternoon], but keep in touch!” Ah, the precious moments 😉

More to come as I figure out even better methods for squeezing the most out of this card, my first new one in 3 years. If you have any good ideas, let me know.

Dozens of Previous Posts are HERE

Thanks for coming to the new home of the Tim Ferriss blog! This isn’t the first one, but I’m still in the process of deciding which goodies to pull in from the current/older Tim Ferriss blog. Be sure to check it out, as I might leave some reader favorites (“Losing 10 lbs. of Fat in 2 Weeks”, “The PX Project: How to Read 300% Faster in 20 Minutes”, “5 Doping Scandal Predictions”, and others) there.

Now that the book is coming (April 24th!) and I will be able speak more freely, the blog will be getting much, much more exciting and much, much more controversial. There are some big things coming. BIG.