Book Review: The 4-Hour Body

April 17, 2011

This is the first time we are reviewing a book on The Iron You but I feel this one is really worth doing it.
Why? Because when my roomie Alex got it she red it in less than a week, and you could tell she was really loving it. Also, when I borrowed it from her I seriously couldn’t stop reading what book are we talking about?
“The 4-Hour Body” by Timothy Ferriss

What’s so special about this book? Well, it is a guide to “Rapid Fat-loss, Incredible Sex and Becoming Superhuman”, bursts through a 571-page variety show of topics from fat-loss to how to train for an ultra-marathon to “How to hold your breath longer than Houdini”.

The author dedicates more than 100 pages to detailing weight-loss techniques and strategies that he considers superiors to mere calorie counting and food restriction.
Through the “Slow Carb Diet” Ferriss asserts that the reader can lose 20 pounds in 30 days without exercising by sticking to five rules:
  1. avoiding white carbs (such as white bread, white rice and potatoes);
  2. eating the same meals repeatedly (habits are a positive thing);
  3. not drinking calories (except for two glasses of red wine each night. “Red wine is by no means required for this diet to work, but it’s 100% allowed unlike white wines and beer, both which should be avoided”);
  4. dissing fruit, and
  5. binging through one cheat day per week.

Also, the author is a big fan of ice baths or very, very cold showers. He writes that cold triggers hormones that aid and speed fat loss. “Cooling can burn calories,” he write “a glass of cold water before a meal can do the same thing.”

Ferriss works to make the case for his assertion less with science journal data and more with data he has collected by experimenting on himself and coaching on others.
Ferriss is not a doctor, nutritionist, or scientist. He is a 33-year-old author and blogger. He has served as his own guinea pig since high school to develop the program he details in his new book. He did run many of his ideas by a panel of experts, including athletes and scientists, and does urge all comers to see their doctor before following any of his advice.
The book's premise is simple: less is more, and small, simple changes produce long-lasting effects. “There is zero room for misunderstanding and visible results compel you to continue,” Ferriss writes in his book. “If results are fast and measurable, self-discipline isn't needed.”

So, if you prefer peer-reviewed, double-blind findings to support your health and training goals, this book will likely not be your cup of calorie-free coffee. But if you’re not into being your own lab rat and want to punch up your training program, buckle up for a fitness joy ride.


You can buy “The 4 Hour Body” on