Sunday 3.20.11

TIMOTHY FERRISS, nominated as one of Fast Company's "Most Innovative Business People of 2007," is author of the #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek, which has been published in 35 languages.  WIRED magazine has called Tim "The Superman of Silicon Valley" for his manipulation of the human body. He is a tango world record holder, former national kickboxing champion (Sanshou), guest lecturer at Princeton University, and faculty member at Singularity University, based at NASA Ames Research Center.  When not acting as a human guinea pig, Tim enjoys speaking to organizations ranging from Nike to the Harvard School of Public Health.

His first book, "The 4-Hour Work Week" was a New York Times best seller for two years straight.  The book is basically a blue print for living, and covers such topics as:
  • How to outsource your life and do whatever you want for a year, only to return to a bank account 50% larger than before you left
  • How blue-chip escape artists travel the world without quitting their jobs
  • How to eliminate 50% of your work in 48 hours using the principles of little-known European economists
  • How to train your boss to value performance over presence, or kill your job (or company) if it's beyond repair
  • How to trade a long-haul career for short work bursts and frequent “mini-retirements”
  • What automated cash-flow "muses" are and how to create one in 2-4 weeks
  • How to cultivate selective ignorance—and create time—with a low-information diet
  • Management secrets of Remote Control CEOs
  • The crucial difference between absolute and relative income
  • How to get free housing worldwide and airfare at 50-80% off
  • How to fill the void and creating meaning after removing work and the office
This year Tim came out with his second book, "The 4-Hour Body".  I have spent this week reading it and it is an interesting read.  Tim describes the premise of the book is how to "hack" the human body and make it do things, even if you weren't genetically predisposed to do them.  The following are some of the topics covered in the book:
  • 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 triple testosterone
  • 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
Now, a lot of Tim's claims are a little sensational, such as gaining 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days.  There's also some weird sex tangents where he discusses common sex problems.  But for me the take home message in this book was that Tim was not afraid to experiment on himself until he found what worked for him.  

Tim advocates a "Slow Carb" diet, which is basically Paleo with the addition of beans, peanuts, and other natural carb sources that don't spike your insulin or cause fat gain.  I'm okay with this advice and I know a few people on the diet who are doing quite well with it.  Tim also advocates taking one "off day" each week where you eat anything you want, and as much of it as you want.  Now this is a theory I can get behind!  Here is an epic "off day" meal that Craig and I had on Saturday night.  I feel a little sick now, I'm not going to lie. 

Los Reyes nachos, Grasshopper cake, 1/2 gallon of raw whole milk, and diet Mt. Dew cause who needs the extra calories, ya know?  I can't wait to get back to steak and veggies tomorrow!
 Tim says, "I recommend Saturdays as your “Dieters Gone Wild” day. I am allowed to eat whatever I want on Saturdays, and I go out of my way to eat ice cream, Snickers, Take 5, and all of my other vices in excess. I make myself a little sick and don’t want to look at any of it for the rest of the week. Paradoxically, dramatically spiking caloric intake in this way once per week increases fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate (thyroid function, etc.) doesn’t down regulate from extended caloric restriction. That’s right: eating pure crap can help you lose fat. Welcome to Utopia."  Does the diet work?  Probably for some, but the key is to do what Tim did:  experiment.  Here is a picture of Tim's own results on the program, which he says happened in one month:
Self experimentation is important because I would venture a guess that most of  us at one time or another have been confused by conflicting diet and training advice.  Does the Zone Diet work?  Yep.  Does Paleo work?  Absolutely.  Does eating Vegan work?  Probably, if your goal is to be weak, slow, and brittle.  The point is to set your goal (muscle gain, fat loss, athletic performance) and do what it takes to get there in both diet and exercise.  And what works for one person might not work for another.  Find out what works for you!

The book is definitely a good read, and anyone can pick something up from it, even if you don't do the Slow Carb diet and binge days.  On a side note, Tim has trained with and is endorsed by Brian Mackenzie from CrossFit Endurance, and many of his diet and training philosophies reflect a CrossFit influence.  Check it out and see what you think, just remember the weird sex tangents!  Don't say I didn't warn you!  bc


  1. I bought this book in January and it's absolutely fascinating. I've been on the slow carb now since then and just as it's promised, I'm dropping fat. I've been taping myself and weighing to back it up too. If you guys do try the binging I found it very important to follow his instructions to a T for the binge days as far as the muscular contraction before and after the meal. While it was great to try the binging a few times, I always ended up feeling gross, so I've scaled it back greatly and only do it when I really get the urge to do it. Get the book, it's a great read!

  2. Weird sex? I am going to just read that part!!!

  3. binge eating, sex and weight loss! That's my kinda plan! I'm buying the book tomorrow =)!

  4. sooooo...some new programing this week?? wahooey !!