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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2011
I would say that 2/3 of the book really appeals to me, and the other 1/3 does not, and yet I feel like the $24 I spent on this 500 page beast of a book was well worth the price. From reading some reviews and discussion surrounding this book, I've come to realize that a lot of people really seem to hate it and its author Timothy Ferriss. I've seen him being accused of hacking Amazon's rating system (check the article comments on TechCrunch) and it's been said that he's nothing more than a sleazy marketer who knows how to talk up a room. As for the book, there are some people who write it off as being "nothing new" or full of unsubstantiated claims. I'd venture a guess that 99% of those people haven't actually read it. The book does make a lot of bold claims, some which may seem unbelievable (gain 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days by only working out for 60 minutes per week? Yeah, right!) at first, but then become more plausible as you delve deeper into the book.

This is one of those books that has a little bit of something for everybody, and is not intended to be read from front to back. There are sections on how to build muscle, how to lose fat, how to get a 6-pack, and even how to improve your sex life.

I've learned a lot from reading this book, and one of the most important things I've come to realize is that what you eat, and when you eat it, matters a lot more than how many hours you spend on the treadmill. Exercise is obviously important, but ultimately it's all about what you eat. You can go to the gym everyday, run 60 minutes on the treadmill and lift a bunch of weights, but if you go home and eat a bunch of packaged foods and drink a keg of beer, you're going to get fat. Eating the right stuff at the right times throughout the day can really help you out, and help you reach your goals.

Some other things I've learned, had reconfirmed, or changed about my day-to-day life:

- Don't drink calories. Pop, juice and even milk are mostly just empty calories. Drink lots of water, and some green tea and a glass of red wine doesn't hurt.
- Eat carbs, but only after you've just worked out.
- Mixed nuts such as cashews, Brazil nuts, and almonds are great snacks and are full of stuff that is good for you.
- Vegetables are good for you, and should comprise the biggest chunk of your meal. Start with vegetables, then add protein.
- Fish > Chicken > Beef
- Eat a high-protein and carb meal within 30 minutes of finishing your workout.
- Don't eat a lot of dairy products. Cheese and milk might taste good, but they're not all that healthy for you. You can get the calcium and vitamins from nuts and fish instead.

There's a lot of information in this book, and it is actually a bit overwhelming. Anyone who's spent time in the gym or has even a bit of education in human kinetics will probably find a lot of the material is just rehashing things they already know. That being said, Ferriss' gift is that he puts it all in an easy-to-follow framework, with short chapters told through engaging stories. I'd highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in their own well-being and actually wants to think about what they eat and how to get the most out of a workout.
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113 of 131 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2010
I'm a big fan of the Four Hour Work Week. Not only was it a great read, but it contained rather unique ideas that caused me to reevaluate how to run my business and also my life. I would go as far to say that it is one of the last decade's seminal pieces of business literature that all serious business people should read.

With that in mind, it's unfortunate that The Four Hour Body is such a big let down. First, it's not really a book, but rather a series of independent chapters that the author says can be read independently. As such, the book doesn't really flow, and there's no real end goal. Second, I really can't tell who the target audience is, but a lot of the book appears to be geared towards people with very serious athletic ambitions. Want to run marathons, fix previous injuries with plasma injections, or lift more than 3x your weight? Sure, you'll get something out of the book. But the legions of normal people who bought the Four Hour Work Week probably won't.

Another problem I have is that the majority of the links that the author uses in the book appear to be affiliate links where the author makes money when someone purchases an item. Given that I can't seem to find any disclaimer that this is the case, I personally feel like it undercuts the serious message in some of the chapters, especially with the chapter on how to lose weight. How does one know that those supplements aren't being recommended simply to make money off of them? It's a conflict of interest, and it undercuts the message.

The author also has spent a lot of time doing medical experiments on himself, the results of which are used to reinforce some of the ideas in the book. Unfortunately, a experiment with one person is completely useless statistically. All it shows are the results for the author, and nothing else can be inferred from their presentation. In fact, there's one series of data that the author presents, but then spends far more time discussing all the problems with how he did the experiment than the time spent discussing the actual results. If the experiment was so bad, why not revise the methodology, or exclude it completely? It just seems hastily put together.

I was expecting a lot more from this book based on the marketing, the revolutionary ideas in The Four Hour Work Week, and some of the entries on the author's blog. But this book was one of the first books in a long time I started skimming near the end, simply because I was no longer interested in it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on March 16, 2011
This book has some great information, but is very poorly written. It's almost as if the author is spitting information at you. In a way it was an annoying read.

However there is bits and bites that any health enthusiast can take with them. It had some great information on a few new Ab workouts, and kettle bells, the meal plans are simple and reasonable and his three scale approach to sliding the percentage of exercise, diet and supplements is smart.

I find Tim Ferriss an interesting guy and someone to learn from, however this book is not a plan that the majority of us can live by. I see most people taking some good information from it and applying working it into there existing routine.

All in all good information, but again, very poorly written.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2011
Well, one week into using this book with a focus on rapid fat-loss, I am down 5 lbs. That includes one binge day and six strict days. 15 lbs. to go and then I'll be focussing on muscle gain. The book is laid out so you only need to read the chapters necessary to accomplish your own personal goals. 4 chapters for rapid fat loss, a few chapters for rapid muscle gain, more chapters for optimum fitness. Cool concept that works, so I'm recommending it so far. More opinion to come later as I tackle more goals.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2011
Ferriss' book is easy to read, well organized and interesting enough that it usually can't be put down before finishing a chapter. So many of his plans seem so simple and yet they work so well. I especially like that Ferriss never tags plans as "his ideas": he observes and listens carefully to others and pounces when he sees something he'd like to test. The book is honest and real with no nonsense rules for losing weight, sleeping and getting stronger. I've been quoting it for weeks, trying to convince everyone I know to eat protein for breakfast.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2011
I recently received this book as a gift (but had been planning to buy it anyway) and am very pleased with it so far.

As has been noted in other reviews, the book is not one that is intended to be read cover to cover. So far, I have implemented just one piece of advice from the book, and that was to eat two tablespoons of almond butter before bed to make waking up easier by combating low blood sugar. As someone who would wake up at 11 am if left to my own devices and still feel tired, I was thrilled with the results! I had an excellent night's sleep and woke more refreshed than I have in years.

Though I have yet to implement them, the chapters on muscle gain make sense for a hard-gainer like myself. The advice is very similar to what is written in Scrawny to Brawny, which I know from experience works for slight-of-build folk.

From my own experience so far, I would say this book does what it states and would recommend it.
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on January 20, 2015
I think this book is worth a read as long as you keep in mind that 80%+ of the information is unreliable.

You have to keep in mind, the remaining 10-20% is still SOLID GOLD, and that's why you should get this book.

For me, the biggest impact the book had on me were the chapters on weight gain and muscle growth. It talks through the mechanics of why certain workouts are better suited for building muscles while others are better at fat loss, and offers quite a few exercises to try. In particular, I like the concepts of increasing the muscle-under-tension time, and incorporating more compound exercises like the kettlebell swing.

The chapters on running and swimming were also quite informative. I wish those information were taught in elementary school, and maybe we wouldn't have so many people today with hunch backs (myself included)!

In conclusion, I think everyone will get some useful information out of this book, you just have to jump around different chapters until you find the 10-20% that apply to you.
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on May 8, 2014
I really enjoyed reading this book and have adopted a lot of Tim Ferriss' advice. That said, a lot has to be taken with a grain of salt - or, better yet, just testing it out to see what works for you because everyone is different.

The most intriguing to me was his approach to weekly cheat days, in particular how to binge without negative effects. A summary from conscientiousintrovert.wordpress.com follows:

Tim Ferris already does an amazing job of condensing key info so I won’t summarize his whole 4-Hour Body book. However, I find his advice on how to binge one day a week very interesting. His main recommendations follow:

1. Minimize insulin release by blunting jumps in blood sugar.

First meal of the day should have 30+ grams of protein with insoluble fibre, i.e. legumes. This is the only meal that won’t be a binge; it will be closer to 300-500 calories.
Consume a small amount of grapefruit juice before the second meal for its fructose.
Consume lime or lemon juices for citrus.
2. Consume caffeine (100-200 mg or 1-2 cups of coffee) with the biggest binges to help empty the GI quickly.

3. Do 60-90 seconds of muscular contractions (i.e. squats or even just tensing leg muscles while sitting) before and after eating. This is expected to help fuel muscle instead of fat.

Bonus: cultivate healthy gut flora with fermented foods and probiotics.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2011
Love this book, it`s my bible now.
Sure the ways to lose body fat is eating repetitive meals but hey, it works.
I`m not too sure about avoiding fruits 6 days a week so
be sure to add multi-vitamins supplements if you`re following the fat-loss diet.
Make sure you drink plenty of water and most of all, feel great. (ok now i sound like some tv-advertiser lol)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 26, 2011
I definitely would recommend this book to anyone wanting to improve themselves physically or at the very least get you thinking to alternatives to the physical zeitgeist that dominates our modern society. To make this short and sweet: Good book, may or may not work for you, won't hurt you at all to try and at the very least it will simulate your mind.
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