February 1, 2011
I roll out of bed at 5am, and make my way to the kitchen. After a few years living in Mainland China, and ordering super cheap delivery, I'm finally cooking. I crack a few eggs, and get out the sausages. After breakfast, I'll down a protein shake before doing my morning workout. I make sure to grab a few almonds while I'm at it. My fridge is full of actual food (not Pizza boxes), lots of meats and Caesar salad with chicken and tenderloin steaks. Last night I had Garbanzo beans and Salsa. Needless to say, I've never felt or looked better. It's only been a couple weeks since I cracked open the 4 Hour Body, but so far, I'm a believer. I got this for my brother, who dabbles in Thai boxing, and he hasn't shut up about it since.
Ferriss, of 4 Hour Workweek fame, had converted his San Francisco home into a full-scale laboratory of human experimentation: fat machines, blood samples, and personally been 'tested' on every body-ray scanner under the sun. He'd packed on muscle in very short amounts of time, and had a million testimonials from friends and relatives on amazing fat loss and heart rate regulation. He'd figured something out, and with this book, he was putting his name on the line. Big time.
After getting the book, and delving into it, I found it: he's saying what millions have been 'hinting' at when it comes to dieting, for years. Tim knows what doctors (including my father) have known, but could never articulate. The stuff you know you shouldn't eat (namely, white carbs) is why you're fat, and why a 100,000 crunches later, you still have a mini-keg down there. That's it. Change that, and eat enough so you're not hungry all the time (the major reason we love that greasy stuff is the caloric density) and you'll lose weight. That's it. No Rice. No Pizza Hut. No Mashed Potates with melted cheese. Stop eating white carbs. This is going to mean revisiting the kitchen and learning how to cook actual food. Ever heard of lentils? Legumes? No.. They have massive amounts of protein.. Hook it up. No milk. No fruit. Some of this stuff is just too crazy to believe. But it's true. Tim goes into detail on what to eat, when to eat, and how to have fun doing it.
With this book, and the recently released 'Why we get fat,' people are starting to get this amazing message: losing weight is simple and easy. That's the most powerful part of this book. It's not just the old mindset of 'hit the gym, run 10 miles, stop eating so much, and you'll lose weight.' In much the same way he breaks down languages, Tim breaks down the human body and gives us the ultimate secret: losing weight, and getting ripped on the absolute minimal gym time.
It's not just that we're lazy (we are), but that we're putting ourselves though torture chambers and hamster wheels with abysmal results. The current workout routines and aerobics classes don't work, and they waste time. Consider the Minimum Effective Dose (MED) concept: if it takes 15 minutes lying under the sun for your skin to be stimulated, what's the point of the 16th, 17th (and 45th) minute lying there? Exactly. Burning. Pain. You're actually not doing anything productive after the 15th minute, and those burns will basically screw you over, keeping you aching and indoors, while your friends get to play outside.
Same goes for lifting weights. Doing 1000 reps is not cool, when 25 reps done right will do the same, and prevent injury. You only need to rip the muscle once. Using these principles, Tim packed on an astonishing 28lbs of muscle (Bruce Banner/Incredible Hulk pictures in the book, of course) in one month.
Personally, I've always been 'skinny'. I was just like every other skinny guy you've ever met. Ate everything he could get his hands on when he was in high school, and 'filled out' as he entered his mid-20's, but that's not the point. 'Filling out' just means you're putting on fat, and look a little better in a suit; but, you're not actually improving, because you're not improving your diet. And you're not improving the way you feel, you're just getting fatter. And the first time some girl snickers about your 'double chin' you'll have a whole thing to be 'shy' about.
Another concept is the Body Recomp. Most of the ways we describe our bodies (eg. gaining and losing weight) is meaningless. Rather than focusing on pounds lost (which can be done by starvation, anorexia, death etc), Tim introduces the 20-lb recomposition (or recomp for short). Gaining 10 lbs of muscle mass and losing 10 lbs of fat, for most people, would reflect a massive change in the way they look and feel. And ultimately, that's the point.
Of course, what self-respecting health and fitness book wouldn't have a few dozen pages dedicated to sex, sex drive, and the almighty G-spot. More importantly, I think, Tim notes a fascinating reason why most men nowadays are going Metrosexual (not his words, mine). Something that seems to have come along in the last 10 years, may have less to do with San Francisco and more to do with Silicon Valley.
So with looking better, getting stronger, improving your sex life, getting a good nights sleep, this is effectively the user manual for the human body. Have you ever wondered why you look or feel the way you do? Of course you have. Wanna change something? We all do. Not because we're egomaniacs but because most of us eat garbage, and feel/look like it.
You are an animal, a hairless chimp. You can go on eating cardboard, or you can be King Kong (or the beautiful blonde). Your choice.
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