Tim Ferriss is famous for the cult entrepreneurship book 4 Hour Work Week and this book is no less of an intriguing read. The 4 Hour Body is laid out like a recipe book based on what goals you want to achieve. There are chapters for weight loss, muscle gain, endurance improvements, swimming, sex techniques, testosterone improvement, injury rehabilitation, and so on. Tim Ferriss is not kidding around when he cautions you against reading it cover to cover: the organisation makes for a difficult and disconnected read, so follow his advice and only read the chapters you’re actually interested in.

Advice ranges from….

  • 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

Key takeaways for me were –

      • Minimum Effective Dose (MED) – The MED is simply the smallest dose that will produce a desired outcome and anything beyond the MED is wasteful. Ferriss claims that eighty seconds is the magic number when it comes to the MED of muscular contraction to help “push” calories into the muscles instead of being stored as fat. The timing of these muscular contractions is also a key component to making the most efficient weight loss effort. But when to do these exercises? According to Ferriss, blood sugar was highest about an hour and a half after a meal. Ideally, you should do a bout of exercise (pushups, squats, pullups etc) for eighty seconds immediately prior to eating and again at an hour and half after the meal – especially a cheat meal.
      • The Russian Kettleball Swing – According to Tim, one of the most effective ways to lose fat rapidly.
        • Most women should start with a 16kg or 20kg kettlebell and most men should start with 20kg or 24kg kettlebell.
        • Stand with your feet 6-12 inches wider than your shoulders, each foot pointed outward. Toes pointed at 30 degrees – 10:00 (left foot) and 2:00 (right foot).
        • Keep your shoulders pulled back and down to avoid rounding your back.
        • The downward movement (backswing) is sitting back, not a squatting-down motion.
        • Do not let your shoulders go in front of your knees.
        • Forcefully and fully contract (tighten) your glutes at the top of the swing
      • Slow carb diet –Stick to Slow-Carb Diet approved foods 6 days a week: lean meat, beans, and veggies and no white foods like sugar, pasta, rice, bread, cheese.
        • Eat the same few meals over and over again, especially for breakfast and lunch.
        • Don’t drink calories. 1-2 glasses of red wine is okay.
        • Start your day with protein, shooting for 30g within 30 minutes of waking (boosts success rate by 11%).
        • Don’t eat fruit. Tomatoes and avocados are allowed in moderation.
        • Take one “cheat day” a week: Eat whatever you want on cheat days. Tim recommends Saturday for social purposes.

The book has numerous other takeaways but as with all self-help books try it out to see if it works, obviously be cautious if you have existing medical conditions.

Buy the 4-Hour Body