The Truth About a 4-Hour Body

By now the internet has been set on fire by Tim Ferris‘s media blitz in promotion of his newest book, The 4-Hour Body. I’ve already ordered it and looking forward to learning some new “hacks” to increase my fitness and health.

Just like Tim’s last book, The Four Hour Workweek, the title of the new book implies peak results in little time. This is misleading. Even Tim is clear that the goal is not to just work for a few hours and sit around being bored. The point is to spend less time needing to do stuff and more time doing what you are passionate about.

In the same way, I am expecting The 4-Hour Body to provide great time efficient tips for growing strength and endurance, but the point won’t be to spend the other 164 hours of the week slouching around, sleeping and eating potato chips. The point is to integrate it into a lifestyle that is more active and physically aware. In other words, a 4-Hour Body style approach to fitness will give you the tools and motivation you need to make caring about physical well-being a natural and desired thing and not some tax you have to pay.

I also think that in the midst of all the hype around getting massive results quickly, we can jump to the conclusion that real effort and hard work is not required. This is a big mistake. Even if you only train for 4-Hours a month or 4-Hours a week, the level of intensity (I’m talking about physical and mental focus) needs to great. This is evident in Tim’s “Geek to Freak” experiment, which I also tried a few years ago.

If you are going to be in the gym for a few minutes a day and expect massive results, the intensity will need to be incredibly high. If you are going to go from 5K to 50K run in a few months (I just did this!), you need to be very diligent in how you train and focused in getting proper rest and having tons of mental strength to push through discomfort on race day.

This is the truth about a 4-Hour Body. It will take massive focus and lots of effort, though perhaps not a ton of time. The point is NOT to assume that less time and more efficiency = easy results!


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I’m heading tomorrow to XC Ski camp in the Methow Valley in Washington State. Should be a few fun days of snow-time and endurance training! I then fly to Ecuador for 10+ days exploring Quito, the surrounding highlands, maybe the rainforest and then on to the Galapagos Islands for a 6 days boat tour! I’ll drop a few updates to my blog if I find an internet cafe while traveling.

New Vibram FiveFingers Model for Running

I’m a huge fan of the Vibram FiveFingers (VFF’s) as I wrote about in my previous post. Watching The Raw Food World show on Youtube, I saw that Matt and Anglea swung by the Vibram offices and had an impromptu discussion with their President. In the clip, they will scan over several models (including some new prototypes) of the the FiveFingers.

Vibram’s President also announces that they will be releasing a brand new version of the VFFs for running in February 2010! I can’t wait! Below is the full clip.

Barefoot Running – Vibram Five Fingers Are Worth It

I’ve been a runner for the past 15 years. Over this time I’ve suffered countless injuries. Training for marathons and Ironman Triathlons can be tough on your body!

Shin splints. Stress fractures. IT band issues. Knee issues.  Plantar fascia issues. I’ve suffered through it all. I can run injury-free as long as keep my mileage fairly low, around 30 miles a week. If I get above 40-50 miles a week for a month or longer – I tend to develop issues. My easy response to this is just to keep my mileage low and cross-train heavily.

There must be a better way to stay healthy while training – without having to cut back on mileage.

Lately, there has been a lot of buzz about barefoot running. The benefits of ditching traditional shoes have been discussed in Men’s Health, bestselling books like “Born to Run” and by popular blogger Tim Ferriss. Running and walking barefoot is what we were built to do as human beings. Ditching heels and overly cushioned trainers are said to be a huge help in curing lower-leg and back injuries as well.

Continue reading Barefoot Running – Vibram Five Fingers Are Worth It

Before Defining Your Goals Define Your Fears

Tim Ferriss has a short 5-minute video from the Google I/O conference. He talks about first defining your fears as a means to overcome them. I agree that our worst fears never come to pass. They sure can hold us hostage and keep us from acting, but I have never been in a situation where they have actually occurred in my own life!

It is a worthwhile exercise to consider the worst-case scenario when confronted with a big decision. Write it down. Look at it. Laugh at the absurdity of the chance of it actually happening. Recognize that even if it did happen, that you would still be OK at some level (you would still have physical health, or emotional health or good friendships or peace of mind ….etc.). Then press on with newfound confidence that the worst isn’t really all that bad.

How to Gain 34lbs of Muscle in 4 Weeks

Tim Ferriss has another motivating post about how to gain a massive amount of muscle in a short period of time. It is almost too big a change to believe, but I’ll let you be the judge.

What’s the most weight (muscle or fat!) that you’ve gained in a single month?

For me: +10lbs. Back in 1998, after school let out for the summer, I had an internship in NYC. I went from running, swimming and biking a ton, to just lifting a ton (and eating a ton) and not doing much else. The weight came on pretty easily. After the first month, I gained about 2 pounds each of the remaining 2 months.

During my 12-week challenge last year, I managed to gain +10lbs of lean muscle in 12 weeks.

Gaining 34lbs in 4 weeks is crazy. Even 1/4 that gain would be tough. The kicker is, Tim did it while training only 8 hours a week! I need to learn that technique.