Site menu:


Site search

The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss – First Thoughts

I recently purchased The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss (hugely bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek.)  I don’t usually buy books (preferring to get them from the local library) and when I do buy books, I tend to buy used or at the very least softcover after they have been around for a few years.

The 4-Hour Body

This book though?  I bought the first edition hardcover very shortly after it was released.  Why?  I’m not sure! I guess I got sucked in by all the marketing hype (of which there was a lot!) That, and because when I was looking to read The 4-Hour Workweek my library only had the audio-book version.  While I quite enjoyed the book, I found I didn’t absorb much of the information, and think it was largely due to the audio format.  As such, I wanted to give this book a fair shot (I will likely re-read The 4-Hour Workweek too when I get my hands on a dead-tree version).  I think I made a good decision, as I can see myself referring to this book on a regular basis, so it’s good to have around!

So, some initial thoughts?  Firstly, this is a very entertaining book.  If you’ve read diet/fitness/lifestyle books before, this one is different.  Timothy’s writing style is very ‘fun’ and makes reading even somewhat technical information quite enjoyable (to me at least, although I may enjoy technical writing more than most…)  Secondly, if even one tenth of what I’ve read so far in the first section (on Fat Loss) is true, then this book is a major game changer.  Could some very simple changes like properly timed exposure to cold be a key in weight loss?  I don’t know, but the theory is sound in my mind, and it can’t hurt to try (for those that are looking to lose fat.)  Some of the diet advice seems extreme (although it likely does work very well) for folks who want to eat a somewhat ‘normal’ diet.  No fruit?  Yikes.  No ‘white’ food?  OK, Timothy is hardly the first to say that! ;)

Now, I am not looking to lose fat, but the concept of “body re-composition” hits home.  Timothy argues for a 20lb ‘change’ in weight (not loss,) which sounds very fair and could certainly benefit me.  What this means is that you may not have to lose 20 lbs; perhaps you could lose 10lb of fat, and gain 10lb of muscle (or 15/5, or 5/15 for that matter, depending on your current situation.)  That’s re-composition, not ‘loss’ and I think this concept makes a lot of sense for those that aren’t already obese.  I love this concept.  I would personally like to see even 5-10lbs of re-composition–I think I’d be in a much healthier place (lose very little fat, but put on a few lb of muscle to prevent some of the injuries I’ve been having).  Why 5-10lb for me when the book recommends 20?  Because I’m already a ‘small’ guy (6′, 145-150lb) and because, as a cyclist, I have no need for massive muscle (upper body at least.) Do I feel bad already changing Timothy’s rule from 20lb to 5-10? No–I think all of this information should be taken with your own needs/body in mind, and adjusted accordingly.  I am hoping the second section of the book (on muscle gain) will give me some more thoughts on this…

I’m only just getting started in this huge book, but already I think I would like to get a body composition test done (anyone know where to get a DEXA scan or BodPod Analysis in the Ottawa area?  I can’t find anything!) to see where I currently stand… One thing about this book; it is very motivational!  I’m really looking forward to the sections on injury prevention (prehabilitation).  He has already hinted that muscle imbalances are the key issue causing injuries, and I know that I am as lopsided as they come, so hopefully there’s some applicable advice for me there to get ‘evened up’ and prevent further injuries!

That’s all for now…I will keep posting updates as I read!


Comment from Bubble Hash
Time April 5, 2011 at 10:06 pm

Did you try anything in the book? I am thinking about trying the slow-carb diet. I am also looking for a BodPod but in Halifax and haven’t had any luck.

Comment from darrencope
Time April 6, 2011 at 6:54 am


I haven’t tried anything specific yet. However, I found it very motivational, and I started going to a personal trainer to get some ‘basics’ down, and now I’m working on some core work at home. I’m not sure about the diet–although I’m not looking to lose weight. It seems rather extreme, but I see how it could work! I’m using bits and pieces of some of the other ideas, which definitely help in their own ways! I do hope to write some more about the book, but just haven’t gotten around to it yet!

Write a comment