The 4-Hour Body by Timothy Ferriss [Book Summary]

There are a lot of various types of diets present assuring everything from quick-and-easy weight loss to eternal youth, and the absolute range of advice can become overwhelming. Where do you begin? How can you tell the one that is actually effective, in order for you not to end up buying a fad and wasting your time?

Fortunately, the author already did the entire profound research for you and he did various diet plans and exercises, collecting information from his personal experience to bring up body hacks that can be easily included in your day-to-day life.

Supported by evidence from rich sources like the medical practitioners and the top athletes in the world, these following chapters offer you some of the key approaches the author found for losing weight, gaining muscle, enhancing your sex life, sleeping better and improving your athletic performance.

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1 – Begin your trial for a good body with a Harajuku Moment, and after with the Minimum Effective Dose.

In order to become better at the things you do, you have to commit yourself to the work. That’s the reason why, for a decade, the author visited well-known athletes and scientists and gave himself up as a test subject for unconventional fitness approaches to find the most effective manner to get a good body.

What the author discovered during his ten years of research was the significance of the Minimum Effective Dose (MED). This main term was formed by Arthur Jones, a top specialist in exercise science. According to his research, he discovered that the minimum amount of effort that would be needed to yield the desired result. As a matter of fact, anything beyond the MED would have an unfavorable outcome.

Putting this theory into practice, Brian MacKenzie, a triathlete and Ironman competitor, reformed his training agenda according to the MED technique. Formerly, he was training for up 24 to 30 hours every week, which put a strain on his body and his personal relationships.

But, with the MED technique, his training was reduced to 6.5 hours per week and involved strength training, CrossFit and speed work. Due to that, MacKenzie came fourth in the world’s most difficult race, the Angeles Crest 100-Mile Endurance Run. He had trained his body to become aerobic at full speed, which was more effective than the high-volume and low-speed training he was doing before.

But, before you begin the MED, you have to first experience a Harajuku Moment. This means the minute when you understand that you have to do something.

The word originates from Chad Fowler, CTO of information and technology company InfoEther and the author’s friend. While on a vacation to Tokyo, Fowler was in Harajuku, expecting to do small shopping. Unluckily, he couldn’t see anything that he wanted because he was overweight and he said to his friend, “For me, I don’t even bother about what I wear; I’m not going to appear good either way.” It was at that point when he was saying these loudly, that Fowler had his Harajuku Moment.

He questioned himself why he was successful in all parts of his life except for his health. After that insight, Fowler began to care more about what he was consuming and did cardio training three to four times a week. A year later he experienced his Harajuku Moment, Fowler had succeeded in losing 32 kg.

2 – You can lose weight instantly with the slow-carb diet and a protein breakfast.

If you desire to lose weight, there are a lot of diets you can attempt out there. However, one that has been confirmed to work is the slow-carb diet. When the author used it, within 30 days, he was able to lose 9 kg without exercising once.

There are five instructions to stick with when taking the slow-carb diet.

The first instruction is to stop consuming white carbohydrates. That’s all kinds of bread, rice (as well as brown rice), potatoes, pasta, tortillas, and cereal.

Secondly, you have to keep eating the same meals. The supermarket may provide a lot of choices for foodstuffs; however, just a small portion of them won’t lead to weight gain. Therefore, abide to these three kinds of food: main proteins (eggs, beef, pork, chicken breast or thigh), legumes (black beans, red beans, soya beans, borlotti beans, and lentils) and vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, asparagus, peas, green beans, sauerkraut, and kimchi).

The third instruction is to avoid consuming calories in the form of milk (and soy milk), fruit juices and soft drinks. Rather, you can drink large glasses of water and unsweetened tea and coffee. It is okay to take one or two glasses of red wine every day, however, you should avoid beer because it has more calories.

Fourth instruction, don’t eat fruit, as a lot of fruits have fructose, which is a kind of sugar. But, tomatoes and avocados are exceptions to this instruction.

And the last instruction is to let yourself cheat a day, where, once a week, you have the opportunity to eat whatever you want, even pizza or beer. The reason is that binge-eating one time in a week increases your metabolism and enhances fat loss.

In order for the slow-carb diet to work well, you also have to eat a protein-rich breakfast.

Let’s look at the author’s father, he was also on a diet plan and was losing 7.7 kg of weight every month. But, when he began missing breakfast, his weight loss rate decreased to 2.5 kg every month. The reason is that skipping breakfast regularly leads to overeating in the evenings.

Additionally, adding at least 20 g of protein in your breakfast within the first hour of waking lessens cravings for carbs. Some of the proteins that you can eat as the first food of the day contain eggs, cottage cheese, and a protein shake or turkey bacon.

3 – Reduce some weight with the Russian kettlebell swing and gain some muscles with the Occam’s Protocol approach.

Meet Tracy Reifkind. She has been overweight for the majority of her life and at the age of 41 years of age, she weighed 111 kg. Tracy fantasized about going to Italy; however, her obesity kept her from achieving that desire.

At that time, Tracy’s husband Mark Reifkind who was a former powerlifting coach for the US national teams introduced her to the Russian kettlebell swing. The Russian kettlebell swing is the best effective approach to lose fat quickly and was produced by Zar Horton, an ex-firefighter from the Albuquerque Fire Department.

The Russian kettlebell swing has three steps.

Firstly, place yourself so that you’re holding the kettlebell in between your legs. Then bend down, and when the kettlebell hits the floor, lift it up immediately. Repeat three sets of five deadlifts; ensure that your head is regularly facing forward. For full effectiveness, it is essential that the kettlebell touches the same spot on the ground every time.

Secondly, rather than putting the kettlebell on the floor between your feet, like the first step one, this time swing it further back then forward again. With this difference, you will inevitably work up a pendulum motion as you “touch and go.”

Third, concentrate on swinging the kettlebell very far back in order for it to reach behind your legs and up underneath your buttocks.

Doing these three steps, training twice every week in sessions of 15 to 20 minutes, Tracy lost over 45.1 kg in weight and 20.4 kg of fat in just three months.

For others, like Neil Strauss, the friend of the author and the bestselling writer of The Game, losing weight wasn’t the issue, but gaining muscle. In order to attempt to fix this, Strauss started following the author’s own Occam’s Protocol technique.

The protocol comprises a lot of weightlifting exercises, as well as the overhead squat, where you do ten squats and lift a barbell at the same time. In order to do this, you have to place both feet a bit further apart than shoulder width and about a foot in front of your hips. Ensure that your knees are bent to a 45-degree angle and your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Extraordinarily, by switching back and forth between the Occam’s Protocol technique and the Russian kettlebell swing, Strauss succeeded to add 4.5 kg of muscle in only a month.

4 – Boosting your libido and changing the angle and pressure of your sex positions will make you have better sex.

According to Shere Hite a sex researcher, over two-thirds of American women fail to get orgasm during sex. Also, a sexologist named Alfred Kinsey discovered that nearly 50 percent of them couldn’t even orgasm at all.

But, by switching up the angle and pressure of sex positions, women have a better opportunity of having orgasms.

Meet Nina Hartley. Hartley has featured in more than 650 adult movies and is a famous star in the industry. And there is also Lexington Steele, the only male porn star to be awarded the Adult Video News Awards, named “the Oscars of porn,” three times. Without any doubt, Steele indicated that the greatest sex he’s ever had was with Hartley.

Hartley has two recommendations for orgasmic sex. Firstly, change the angle of penetration in order for the tip of the penis to touch the woman’s G-spot. Secondly, change the pressure in order for the man’s pelvic bone to be in touch with the woman’s clitoris.

Therefore, during a missionary position, a pillow should be put beneath the woman’s lower back to assist raise her hips, and the man should put his hips as close as possible to the woman’s hips by kneeling. Hartley recommends that for pressure, the man gradually moves his hips in small circular movements or side to side to ensure that his pelvic bone is touching the clitoris.

Another method to have great sex is to increase your libido by boosting your testosterone or luteinizing hormone (LH) levels. LH is accountable for ovulation and is strongly associated with the female libido. In order to increase your testosterone or LH levels in the short-term, the exact advice is applicable: you should eat a minimum of 800 mg of cholesterol (four hard-boiled eggs, for instance) a few hours before bed, a night before you want to have sexual intercourse. The reason is that both testosterone and LH are produced from cholesterol, which is released most efficiently at night.

5 – Have a cold bath and have a good sleep at night with two hours of REM sleep.

Do you ever see yourself in bed struggling to sleep when your brain won’t just stop? You attempt counting sheep, changing positions, switching the TV on and other methods, and before you realize, it’s four in the morning, and you’re still fully awake. If you are accustomed to this, you – just like the author and a lot of other people in the world – might have insomnia.

In order to help you fall asleep, attempt having a cold bath one hour before you sleep.

In 2002, at the author’s sleep biology class at Stanford, the professor stated that the cold was really effective at initiating sleep. His suggestion was precisely to fill a bathtub with two to three bags of ice and then sit down in it for about ten minutes an hour before bed. This was the only method that helped the author with his insomnia.

The next advice is to target two hours of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep every day instead of the typical eight hours of shut-eye.

REM is the most essential phase in the sleep cycle for memory and regulating emotions, and you can make your body go into the REM phase faster by making it trust that it won’t get adequate sleep.

You can do this REM hack with the Everyman approach, which enables you to feel fresh and awake on just 5.2 hours of sleep every day by having one main sleep of 4.5 hours and two more 20-minute naps.

Instead, you can also use the Uberman approach, which teaches you to have 20-minute naps, once in every four hours, six times a day. It’s essential not to do more than the chosen 20 minutes, as it’s essential not to skip a nap by above 30 minutes because that could signify that a few days are required to get back on track. The difficult part will be the first two weeks, as your body begins to get accustomed to a new sleeping routine. However, when you master this approach, you’ll be working on just two hours of sleep every day instead of eight – just think of the entire reading you can do with all that extra time!

6 – You can develop your vertical jump in two days and make use of the Pose approach to run in the right manner.

Every year, over 300 of the top college footballers go through physical examinations that comprise of a vertical jump and a 37-meter run in front of NFL coaches and talent scouts. A slight or a fifth of a second could be the interval from getting – or losing – a deal from a football team.

Due to this, a lot of aspiring football players are wishing to be trained by Joe DeFranco who is an expert that can increase an athlete’s vertical jump in just two days.

After being coached by DeFranco, the author improved his vertical jump by three inches. He succeeded to attain this by learning the following: begin his jump holding his arms over his head, like an Olympic diver. Since the shoulders add nearly 20% of the jump height, it’s essential to utilize your upper-body strength to swing your arms down as quick as possible. The quicker you pull yourself into a half-squat, the higher your jump. Furthermore, it’s essential to avoid getting into a wide squat because it can reduce your jump by one to two inches.

However, to be good enough to get a deal from an NFL team needs more than only a good vertical jump; another main standard is that you should be able to run well, and this can be learned from the Pose technique. The method was made by Nicolas S. Romanov while he was rounding up his Ph.D. in physical education at the Russian Academy of Physical Culture and Sports.

Romanov uploaded a video of himself running on ice in 2005, and this went viral. This was because the method he used for running on the ice is also the best effective approach to run on dry ground:

  • Improve speed by making use of gravity and leaning forward rather than being totally dependent on muscular exertion.
  • Touch the ground using the balls of your feet.
  • Keep your knees a bit bent regularly instead of keeping them straight.
  • Instead of push off with your feet, move your effort near your buttocks.
  • Endeavor to hit a stride rate of a minimum of 90 steps every minute per leg.

7 – Enhance your running speed with Competition Conditioning and increase your swim distance with the Total Immersion method.

A 17-year-old student named Allyson Felix, broke her high school’s 200m sprint record after she began training with world-famous coach Barry Ross. In 2003, a year after their training under Ross, Felix broke the 200m world record.

One of Ross’ key training methods is what’s called Competition Conditioning, which originates from a study known as “Energetics of High-Speed Running: Incorporating Classical Theory and Contemporary Observations.”

The training is really easy: the aim is to be able to walk a distance of 100 meters within 23.8 seconds. In order to attain this aim, Felix trained to walk as fast as she could for 15 minutes three times a week so that she first walked in one path for 7.5 minutes and then head back within the next 7.5 minutes. For every session, Felix pushed to walk more in this timeframe.

After practicing this technique for a month, Felix was able to walk 100 meters within 23.8 seconds, showing that she had reached baseline conditioning for competing. The effectiveness of this training method comes from the walker’s strong feeling that the movement is unproductive and the resulting wish to jog.

But, running speed isn’t just the athletic skill that can be enhanced within a short period of time.

The author succeeded to increase the distance he could swim with the exact number of strokes by utilizing the Total Immersion method. He was taught this method by Terry Laughlin an American swim coach, and its key points entail the following:

  • Concentrate on turning your body when you breathe in rather than depending on pulling with your arms or kicking your legs – this will enable you to push forward with slight effort.
  • Look straight down in order to make sure that your body is in a horizontal spot every time. Cut through the water with your hands looking downward and stretch your arm fully for it to go above your head.
  • Target to increase your stroke length instead of your stroke rate. Decrease the number of strokes per lap by utilizing the momentum of every downstroke to push you as far as possible.
  • Extend the arm that’s underwater and change your body fully to the side when taking a breath. You’ll realize that you’ve stretched enough when you feel it in your lower side like you were reaching for something from a shelf.

With methods like these, you can achieve outcomes faster than you ever imagined possible.

The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss Book Review

In order to shed weight and add muscle, use the Minimum Effective Dose approach and stop eating white carbohydrates, such as rice, pasta, and bread. Teach yourself to survive on only two hours of REM sleep in order to maximize the time for other pursuits. And lastly, learn to run faster and swim farther with Competition Conditioning and the Total Immersion approach.

Ensure that you include one and a half teaspoons of cinnamon to your diet every day.

Cinnamon can make you feel very full and faster by decreasing your glycaemic levels by 29%. Your glycaemic levels indicate the number of carbohydrates present in the food, and they influence the effect these carbs have on your blood sugar level. In order to assist you to lose weight, use one and a half teaspoons of newly ground cinnamon – preferably Saigon cinnamon – every day.

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