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The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and… (edition 2010)

by Timothy Ferriss

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8022011,392 (3.51)2
Member:JeffV
Title:The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman
Authors:Timothy Ferriss
Info:Crown Archetype (2010), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 592 pages
Collections:Your library, To read
Rating:*****
Tags:Non-fiction, Fitness, Health, Self-improvement

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The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
While this book is more informative, and better, than the 4-Hour Workweek (my review) it's not as easy to read. It's like reading a cookbook, especially one where several recipes are similar but slightly different. You like the idea of trying each recipe but acknowledge you'll never be able to, so just knowing that recipe exists and you won't enjoy it brings you down a bit. Ferriss lets the reader know up front that it's not to be read in order, but the reader should skim for chapters applicable to himself and then dive in. But where to begin, as it's mostly loosely connected? Even then, each chapter contains links to videos and more material elsewhere. Some people have devoted their lives to trying all of it piecemeal or in great detail.

The value of this book comes from the fact that Ferriss has harnessed his OCD to getting his bloodwork taken multiple times a week, even buying a real-time glucose-tracker he's constantly connected to, and recording every workout he's ever done since age 18 in order to meticulously analyze everything he does. He has broken, torn, bruised, and damaged just about everything. He is a "human guinea pig," from which the reader reaps the benefit. Better yet, he's reading scientific studies and cold-calling the researchers for the inside scoop, sometimes hanging out with them or recording in-depth interviews. It's not just doctors and scientists but body builders and professional athletes.

The goal is to get the minimum effective dose (MED) in all you do so you can maximize productivity and minimize time. But to do so requires a large amount of up-front cost in examining the methods Ferriss presents, trying them for yourself over a long period of time (to be certain of the result), and tweaking them. So, in a goal to increase our output and happiness, I find Ferriss has rather decreased mine. If you're familiar with Seth Godin's The Dip, these are the activities you can do in relatively little time that help you scale your skill or attribute rapidly but not to a meticulously elite level. So, Ferriss increases his vertical jump dramatically in a couple days.

Want to quickly become a decent baseball hitter? Swim faster, hold your breath longer? Increase your testosterone? Your sexual prowess? Build muscle mass and increase your strength with little more than 30 minutes in the gym? Up your bench press by 100 pounds in a few months? Get six-pack abs without crunches and Ab Ripper X? Run faster and with less injury? Run a mountain marathon while running more more than a 5K in training? Sleep less, but more effectively? Lose weight without working out? Heal your back and other seemingly irreversible injuries? This book is for you.

I recommend skimming the book's website, the book itself has links to many hidden items on the website.

From 4-Hour Body, I have basically modified my previous diet to more of a "slow-carb diet." But while it sounds like Ferriss stays on the diet during his travels around the world, it's not clear whether he recommends it when trying out the various chapters. For example, if you're working on increasing your strength and running speed ("geek to freak"), do you add a starch or not? Do you lift three times a week or five? Do Occom's Protocol I or II? Or do the weightlifting regime used to boost the runners' time?

I've made dozens of highlights that I will have to study (29 pages pasted into a Google Doc at 11 point font). In the meantime, I'd already adopted a weight-lifting routine (the Faleev method) Ferriss featured on his blog but not exactly in the book. I've started consuming his PAGG supplement stack ("The Four Horsemen") while modifying my diet to more slow-carb. (Note: My wife was a bit surprised by these changes as I'm usually quite skeptical. Ferriss' self-experimentation and track-down-the-experts style are quite convincing.) I consider it my own experiment, and I'm skeptical of the results.

I'm a little apprehensive to see the results over the next month. I'm not going to spend the money on bloodwork every month, I'm content with my annual insurance-funded blood tests. That said, the book has given me a lot (too much, really) to think about.

I liked it. ( )
  justindtapp | Jun 3, 2015 |
Un mix de date stintifice, opinii personale si concluzii subiective. O harababura uriasa... ( )
  mariusgm | Sep 12, 2014 |
Kind of wanders a bit, but Ferris has some really fascinating arguments for a strict diet for shedding fat and building muscle. ( )
  MorganGMac | Feb 13, 2014 |
Any book rating is subjective, but I suspect that ratings of this book are necessarily more subjective than most, in part because the book is constantly selling - the author's brand, his commercial partners, a lifestyle. It's hard to see this being useful to readers other than men in their 20s and 30s who are deeply involved in maximizing their physical (specifically, muscular) development. The sections on sex and sleep are thrown in to boost sales (more on that below), while the sections on workout regimens take a great deal of background for granted. I don't fit the target audience, so most of the book was gibberish. But, it was interesting reading as a kind of social artifact:

* By chance, I recently read the essay The Divided Brain and the Search for Meaning by Ian McGilchrist, echoing themes from his longer book, The Master and His Emissary. McGilchrist argues that modern civilization has unwisely elevated the left brain - which views the world as a machine or collection of discrete rules and constantly tries to engineer it - over the right brain, the seat of holistic perception, wisdom, and insight. The 4hour Body is an object lesson in McGilchrist's thesis; Ferriss treats everything as a set of rules that can be manipulated to achieve whatever results you want, if you're smart enough to figure out the hack. But there's no wisdom here to ground it, just endless engineering.

* Over the last decade, several science fiction authors have explored the question of whether intelligent behavior can evolve without consciousness - or, in a related form, whether a conscious species can evolve in such a way that, having had self-awareness, it loses it, while retaining language and other symbols of intelligence. (This trope can, of course, be used as a metaphor for the unexamined life, but most of these authors have meant it literally). I found it hard to read Ferriss' manic self-promotion and obsession with achieving the fittest body, without wondering if this is what intelligence without self-awareness would look like.

* Except, of course, that the book is part of a carefully and relentlessly constructed brand, and who knows how it actually relates to Ferriss' inner world. In an interview with a reviewer, Ferriss mentions reading (and liking) the Stoic Roman philosopher Seneca; and his undergraduate degree in East Asian studies must have exposed him to Buddhist concepts of non-attachment. None of that comes through in the book. What does, is sex. The sex advice in The 4Hour Body is very basic - it drops names, but has no more information in it than one could gather from a couple issues of Men's Health magazine. Yet, in every public discussion of the book, sex features prominently, and whenever the book is criticized (often for applying its mechanistic approach to sex, as it does to everything else), Ferriss' response has been designed to further highlight those two chapters. It's not hard to see why; sex is the book's best hope for carrying buzz and sales beyond the narrow primary market.

Ultimately, The 4Hour Body is less a book than a cross-promotion of the author's brand. It's not science; it's hard to tell what parts of it, if any, are true; but all of that is irrelevant. And if you try to follow the huckster's advice, and it makes you sick, or sore, or just plain hormonally nuts, well - YMMV. ( )
1 vote bezoar44 | Dec 21, 2013 |
How to turn your body into a chemistry set. ( )
  weeta | Sep 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
It’s among the craziest, most breathless things I’ve ever read, and I’ve read Klaus Kinski, Dan Brown and Snooki... “The 4-Hour Body” reads as if The New England Journal of Medicine had been hijacked by the editors of the SkyMall catalog. Some of this junk might actually work, but you’re going to be embarrassed doing it or admitting to your friends that you’re trying it. This is a man who, after all, weighs his own feces, likes bloodletting as a life-extension strategy and aims a Philips goLite at his body in place of ingesting caffeine.
 
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For my parents, who taught a little troublemaker that marching to a different drummer was a good thing. I love you both and owe you everything. Mum, sorry about all the crazy experiments.
For my parents, who taught a little hellion that marching to a different drummer was a good thing. I love you both and owe you everything. Mom, sorry about all the crazy experiments.
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Shoreline Amphitheatre was rocking.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 030746363X, Hardcover)

Thinner, bigger, faster, stronger... which 150 pages will you read?

Is it possible to:
Reach your genetic potential in 6 months?
Sleep 2 hours per day and perform better than on 8 hours?
Lose more fat than a marathoner by bingeing?

Indeed, and much more. This is not just another diet and fitness book.

The 4-Hour Body is the result of an obsessive quest, spanning more than a decade, to hack the human body. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of elite athletes, dozens of MDs, and thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation. From Olympic training centers to black-market laboratories, from Silicon Valley to South Africa, Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, fixated on one life-changing question:

For all things physical, what are the tiniest changes that produce the biggest results?

Thousands of tests later, this book contains the answers for both men and women. From the gym to the bedroom, it’s all here, and it all works.

You Will Learn (in less than 30 minutes each):
* How to lose those last 5-10 pounds (or 100+ pounds) with odd combinations of food and safe chemical cocktails.
* How to prevent fat gain while bingeing (X-mas, holidays, weekends)
* How to increase fat-loss 300% with a few bags of ice
* How Tim gained 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days, without steroids, and in four hours of total gym time
* How to sleep 2 hours per day and feel fully rested
* How to produce 15-minute female orgasms
* How to triple testosterone and double sperm count
* How to go from running 5 kilometers to 50 kilometers in 12 weeks
* How to reverse “permanent” injuries
* How to add 150+ pounds to your lifts in 6 months
* How to pay for a beach vacation with one hospital visit
       
And that's just the tip of the iceberg.  There are more than 50 topics covered, all with real-world experiments, many including more than 200 test subjects.

You don't need better genetics or more discipline. You need immediate results that compel you to continue.

That’s exactly what The 4-Hour Body delivers.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:39 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The best-selling author of The 4-Hour Workweek outlines a program for healthy living that draws on 15 years of research and interviews with leading doctors and health-care experts to offer insight into genetic factors, nutrition requirements and fitness practices.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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