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15 Little Life Hacks

Sample: The 4-Hour Body: From Geek to Freak

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Tim Ferriss’s new book, The 4-Hour Body, is out, and it is superb.

It’s about hacking the human body, including bulking up, losing weight, engineering the perfect night’s sleep, improving sex, and more. I’ve had it for about 6 weeks now and have been sampling the book extensively.

I like it because instead of spouting off generic advice (“Don’t eat carbs!”) he actually spent years testing virtually every aspect of his diet, sleep, bloodwork, workout regimen, and more.

In fact, a few months ago, he and I were out with a few friends for dinner. After we’d all finished our huge meals — I’m talking big steaks — he goes, “Hey, do you guys mind if I order something else?” He then ordered an entire steak again…literally, I’ve never seen someone eat so much….and then pulled up his shirt to show up some weird glucose monitor he was using to test who-knows-what.

I love testing. And I love anyone who is rigorous enough to put common misconceptions to the test in order to find out what really works.

You guys know that Tim and I are friends, so here’s what I’m doing:

Free stuff
1. There’s a sample from his book below on “How to Gain 34 Pounds in 28 Days.” Read it, check it out, enjoy it. (Note that I’m in his book on this very topic — bulking up by 25lbs in one year.)

2. Join my email list by tomorrow (Thurs, 12/16) at 12:16pm EST. I am giving away another chapter from the book — “Engineering the Perfect Night’s Sleep — along with a chance to meet me and Tim for dinner.

This is only for I Will Teach You To Be Rich readers and you can’t find the stuff we’re doing for you anywhere else.

Here’s the sample chapter.

FROM GEEK TO FREAK

How to Gain 34 Pounds in 28 Days

On July 6, 65-year-old John’s biceps measured 14½” in circumference. Six weeks later, his biceps measured a full ¾” larger at 15¼”.

It seems like magic, but it wasn’t.

He reduced his workouts from three per week to two per week.  It was all planned.  Progressive reduction.

You see, most of the conventional wisdom about muscular growth is just dead wrong.

Prelude: On Being Genetically Screwed

I come from a family of lightly muscled males. The only exception is a dramatic bubble butt on my mom’s side. Not a bad look if you’re a Brazilian woman.

In August 2009, to confirm the obvious, I mailed DNA samples to the Gist Sports Profile laboratory in Australia for testing of the ACTN3 gene, which codes proteins for fast- twitch muscle fiber.  Fast-twitch muscle fibers have the greatest potential for growth, whereas slow-twitch fibers have the least potential.

It turns out that both of my chromosomes (one from Mammy and one from Pappy Ferriss) contain the R577X variant of the ACTN3 gene, a mutation that results in a complete deficiency of our most desired ACTN3.  This variant, amusingly called a “nonsense allele,” is found in more than a billion humans worldwide.

Sad Christmas.

The cover letter from Gist Sports began with the following headline, which, in good humor, lacks an exclamation point:

Congratulations Tim Ferriss. Your Genetic Advantage: Endurance Sports.

This is a diplomatic way of telling me (1) I’m not likely to win an Olympic gold medal in sprinting, and (2) I am not genetically pre-programmed to gain a lot of muscular mass.

I hadn’t won the fast-twitch lottery for bodybuilding, and chances are that you haven’t either. Looking at family photos, this result wasn’t surprising.  What is surprising is how well you can override genetics.

I have gained more than 20 pounds of fat- free mass within four weeks on at least four occasions, the most recent in 2005. Two of these experiments were done in 1995 and 1996 at Princeton University, where Matt Brzycki, then Coordinator of Health Fitness, Strength and Conditioning, nicknamed me “Growth.”

This chapter details the exact methods I used in 2005 to gain 34 pounds of fat- free mass in 28 days.

For the ladies not interested in becoming the Hulk, if you follow a Slow-Carb Diet and reduce rest periods between exercises to 30 seconds, this exact workout protocol can help you lose 10–20 pounds of fat in the same 28-day time span.

Before-and-After

I weighed 152 pounds throughout high school, but after training in tango in Buenos Aires in 2005, I had withered to 146 pounds. I remedied the situation with a 28-day schedule based primarily on the work of Arthur Jones, Mike Mentzer, and Ken Hutchins.

Before-and-after measurements, including underwater hydrostatic weightings, were taken by Dr. Peggy Plato at the Human Performance Laboratory at San Jose State University. Though this ridiculous experiment might seem unhealthy, I tracked blood variables and dropped my total cholesterol count from 222 to 147 without the use of statins (see pre-bed supplementation).

Here are the results:

Age: 27 (in 2005)

Weight before: 146 lbs

Weight after: 177 lbs (183 lbs three days later)

Bodyfat percentage before: 16.72%

Bodyfat percentage after: 12.23%

Total muscle gained: 34 lbs

Total fat-loss: 3 lbs

Time elapsed: 4 weeks

To put 34 pounds in perspective, below is exactly one pound of lean grass-fed beef sirloin next to my fist.

One Pound Steak

Imagine 34 of those placed on you. It’s no small addition.

Here are some select stats on the four-week change (September 21 to October 23), using combined measurements from Dr. Plato and Brooks Brothers:

  • Suit size: 40 short to 44 regular (measured at Brooks Brothers at Santana Row in San Jose)
  • Neck: 15.8″ to 18″
  • Chest: 37.5″ to 43″
  • Shoulders: 43″ to 52″
  • Thigh: 21.5″ to 25.5″
  • Calf: 13.5″ to 14.9″
  • Upper arm: 12″ to 14.6″
  • Forearm: 10.8″ to 12″
  • Waist: 29.5″ to 33.1″
  • Hips (ass at widest): 34″ to 38.23″ (J. Lo, eat your heart out)

Oh, and I forgot to mention, all of this was done with two 30-minute workouts per week, for a total of 4 hours of gym time.

How Did I Do It?

First, I followed a simple supplement regimen:

Morning: NO-Xplode (2 scoops), Slo-Niacin (or timed-release niacinamide, 500 mg)

Each meal: ChromeMate (chromium polynicotinate, not picolinate, 200 mcg), alpha-lipoic acid (200 mg)

Pre-workout: BodyQUICK (2 capsules 30 mins. prior)

Post-workout: Micellean (30 g micellar casein protein)

Prior to bed: policosanol (23 mg), ChromeMate (200 mcg), alpha-lipoic acid (200 mg), Slo-Niacin (500 mg)

No anabolics were used.

From a training standpoint, there were four basic principles that made it happen, all of which will be expanded upon in the next chapter:

1. PERFORM ONE-SET-TO-FAILURE FOR EACH EXERCISE.

Follow Arthur Jones’s general recommendation of one- set- to- failure (i.e., reaching the point where you can no longer move the weight) for 80–120 seconds of total time under tension per exercise. Take at least three minutes of rest between exercises.

2. USE A 5/5 REP CADENCE.

Perform every repetition with a 5/5 cadence (five seconds up, five seconds down) to eliminate momentum and ensure constant load.

3. FOCUS ON 2–10 EXERCISES PER WORKOUT, NO MORE.

Focus on 2–10 exercises per workout (including at least one multi- joint exercise for pressing, pulling, and leg movements). I chose to exercise my entire body each workout to elicit a heightened hormonal response (testosterone, growth hormone, IGF-1, etc.).

Here is the sequence I used during this experiment (“+” = superset, which means no rest between exercises):

  • Pullover + Yates’s bent row
  • Shoulder- width leg press
  • Pec-deck + weighted dips
  • Leg curl
  • Reverse thick-bar curl (purchase cut 2″ piping from Home Depot If needed, which you can then slide plates onto)
  • Seated calf raises
  • Manual neck resistance
  • Machine crunches

All of these exercises can be found at www.fourhourbody.com/geek-to-freak.

4. INCREASE RECOVERY TIME ALONG WITH SIZE.

This is described at length in the next chapter, which describes the most reductionist and refined approach to overriding stubborn genetics: Occam’s Protocol.

Occam’s Protocol is what I suggest almost all trainees start with for mass gains.

TOOLS AND TRICKS

The Concise Book of Muscles by Chris Jarmey (www.fourhourbody.com/muscles) World- class strength coach Charles Poliquin introduced me to this outstanding book. It is the best anatomy book for nonmedical students that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve looked at them all. Get it.

“Strength Training Methods and the Work of Arthur Jones,” D. Smith, S. Bruce-Low, and J. E. Ponline, Journal of Exercise Physiology (www.fourhourbody.com/comparison) This research review compares single- set and multiple- set strength gains. The authors incorporate 112 sources to answer the question: are multiple sets really better than single sets? For muscular growth, it’s hard to beat the economy of single sets. For pure strength with little weight gain (see “Effortless Superhuman”), different approaches are more effective.

“Cartman and Weight Gain 4000” (www.fourhourbody.com/cartman) Inspirational weight-gain video from our friends at South Park. Good pre-dinner motivation for overfeeding.

Arthur Jones Collection (www.fourhourbody.com/jones) This site, compiled by Brian Johnston, is a collection of the writing and photographs of the legendary Arthur Jones, including the original Nautilus Bulletins, “The Future of Exercise,” and unpublished works.

* * *

What now?

1. If you want to buy the book, here’s the link. I recommend it 100%.

2. Join my email list by tomorrow (12/16) at 12:16pm EST. I’ll be sending out ANOTHER chapter — “Engineering the Perfect Night’s Sleep” — and showing you how you can get your specific questions on health, losing weight, gaining weight, productivity, time management, and personal finances — answered by Tim and me. And how a couple of you can come have dinner with us. (These bonuses are only going out via email — not the blog.)

Can’t see the form above? Click here to sign up for Tim Ferriss bonuses by tomorrow, 12/16, at 12:16pm

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123 Comments on "Sample: The 4-Hour Body: From Geek to Freak"

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Sarah
5 years 7 months ago

HA! Love all this cross promotion. I preordered the book just to get “find your first profitable idea”

Sam
Sam
5 years 7 months ago

“In fact, a few months ago, he and I were out with a few friends last year and we…”

Which was it? A few months ago or last year? I stopped reading after this…

Elizabeth Saunders-Time Coach
5 years 7 months ago

Although I’ve never desired to gain 34 pounds in 28 days, I appreciate you and Tim emphasizing the importance of taking a step back and thinking about the quality of what you’re doing, not just the quantity.

So often I see that thinking about what really matters and then completely engaging in that activity when you invest time in it creates far greater results-and peacefulness-than frantically trying to complete an overwhelming amount of activities.

To your brilliance!
Elizabeth

will lee
will lee
5 years 7 months ago

It’s one thing to gain or lose x amount of lbs in a short period, but I’d really like to know if he was able to maintain that for the long term. If you’re just going to go back to your regular body type a year from now then what’s really the point? It becomes another crash diet/weight gain plan.

hilary
hilary
5 years 7 months ago
Not that Tim Ferris isn’t brilliant, but there’s many trainers who have dedicated their lives to testing and documenting their client’s results with mass gain/fat loss/body recomp programs. They read and decode the studies (so we dont have to) and are actively involved in helping people. Their input comes from a huge variety of clients, not just bros(curls get girls!) or newbie gains. I’m interested in Tim’s angle about his fitness regimen but I’m not 100% sure about a program that starts it’s day with 2 scoops of NO-Xplode (that only has the benefit of making you feel jittery and… Read more »
Honey
Honey
5 years 7 months ago

I look at this and just think, if this regimen works so well, why does he resort to the same cheap infomercial tricks in the photographs of wearing more revealing clothing and shaving his chest and legs in the “after” photos so there’s no real way to compare them to the “before” photos?

Personally, I find his physique significantly more sexually appealing in the “before” photos, anyway.

erica
erica
5 years 7 months ago

Agreed, and agreed! Men who think they should to be all bulky to be attractive are like women who think they need to be twig-thin. Lean and strong is where it’s at.

Frank Mocerino
Frank Mocerino
5 years 7 months ago
@Hilary – I’ve read the majority of the book, and I think that you’ll find that there’s something in there for everyone. Tim helps Neil Strauss gain muscle for the first time in his life, recounts how he helped (or observed) numerous software engineers lose weight. I’m not really interested in gaining 34 pounds in a month, but I did come away happy that I head read the book, for a few reasons: 1. I know things about the female orgasm that I didn’t know before. That’s always a plus 2. Kettlebells are neat. I plan to experiment with them.… Read more »
Hilary
Hilary
5 years 7 months ago
@Frank It is very easy to get results in people who have never lifted weights. They are called newbie gains and trainers and clubs use those people as examples of their awesome training powers all the time. On the same note, it’s very easy to get someone who is very overweight with poor nutrition to lose a lot of weight very quickly. 1. Not really relevant to me 😉 2. I’ve been using Kettle bells for 4 years . They ARE awesome. <3 As I said, I am interested in his methodology and philosophy so the third point might be… Read more »
RamitGroupie
RamitGroupie
5 years 7 months ago

Agreed on the better before pic. Its probably like when women dress to impress other women & men bulk up for other men. I don’t think body builder triangle is women’s preference in general.

Jim
Jim
5 years 7 months ago

The key sentence is: “I have gained more than 20 pounds of fat- free mass within four weeks on at least four occasions, the most recent in 2005.” It is well known that it is much easier to regain muscle strength and mass that one’s body has had previously. Tim doesn’t describe the work (at least in the text shared here) required to add that muscle mass the first 3 times he accomplished it. It was certainly more than 60 minutes a week. It’s misleading to omit this aspect of the discussion.

thebaron
thebaron
5 years 7 months ago
looks really gimmicky. financial porn-esque gimmicky. a lot of people have made a lot of money flipping real estate or trading currency futures. a lot of people have gotten in shape using gimmick laden training programs (all claiming to be backed by scientific research, but really based on a lot of misinterpreted studies). his gains also don’t really impress me. i’ve seen people gain more by following the stronglifts 5×5 program. years ago i gained about 30lbs in half a year (on my tiny 110lb frame) eating hamburgers and following the dinosaur training program by brooks kubik. that doesn’t mean… Read more »
Denise Pouchet
5 years 7 months ago

It always amazes me when folks instantly assume a new concept cannot work or must be a gimmick when they’ve not studied the concept (in this case read the book) and even more importantly *put that concept into practice* as an experiment for themselves.

Here’s an idea – read the book and decide for yourself! And if you don’t want to spend the $ there will likely be a local library with the book in the not too distant future.

Thanks for the head’s up, Rammit. This is seriously intriguing.

zenaxe
zenaxe
5 years 7 months ago

This entire post reeks of bad infomercial. This site gets cheesier every week. I might drop my RSS subscription.

Scott
Scott
5 years 7 months ago

I’ve never heard the term “selective reduction” before, but I’ve basically done this. I went from 5 workouts a week down to 3 total body workouts a week and got way better results. I will probably pick up the book and read it. I’m always interested in some literature about mass-gain.

Barry
Barry
5 years 7 months ago
Ramit, I’m sure this comment will be deleted but I gotta say it. This post was the breaking point for me. The fact that you’d align yourself with such a ridiculous book proves what your sole motivation is: to get rich. I know you say you’re interested in this and that and love testing and teaching and experimenting and don’t “do it” for the money but c’mon now. Let’s call a spade a spade. You’re a big part of the promotion so clearly you’re only going to say the book is “superb”. There’s something in it for you – you’ll… Read more »
david
david
5 years 7 months ago

I had to laugh…

Duff
5 years 7 months ago

This comment sums up my thoughts exactly. Bravo!

Skip
Skip
5 years 7 months ago
I think people are skeptical because magazines, bookshelves, the internet, etc… is full of so called “experts” trying to sell fitness books and products. Can you honestly say you would spend $10-$15 to try each product? Would you send $10 to $15 to each person that claims they have the secret to financial success? Tim isn’t Charles Poliquin, Pavel Tsatsouline, or some sort of former military ninja training coach. He’s a guy that blogs about a four hour work week. Can you understand why people are so skeptical? I suspect the people with the very strong skeptical reactions probably do… Read more »
Barry
Barry
5 years 7 months ago

But Ramit why would you say it’s bad? You’re a good friend of Tim’s and you’re in the book for Gods sake! The better the book does, the more exposure you get.

Obviously, you’re going to think the book is “superb” or I guess now it’s been downgraded to just “good”.

Also, shouldn’t there be a 100% chance that it fulfills every promise it makes? Otherwise, what’s the point of making a promise?

Art
Art
5 years 7 months ago
Barry, That’s exactly what I thought when I saw that Ramit said”If there’s even a 10% chance the book could fulfill even ONE of its promises, wouldn’t it be worth trying?” Well if this is the case is THAT OK, that the other 90% is complete trite because 10% might be worth some value. does the end justify the means, NO it doesn’t. I’ve recently started reading Ramit’s blogs and have signed up for his emails. some of them I have gained some pretty good information about money, financial websites and other things that I wouldn’t have otherwise. But this… Read more »
Johnny Mean
Johnny Mean
5 years 7 months ago

ALL SHOW………NO GO
I am guessing Barry, based on your comments, you are unable to produce results with the information provided to you…………….LOL
So what if Tim and Ramit make money packaging the information in a more digestible way for a certain consumer.
They have produced more success stories than your blog comments I bet. Or maybe you have some case studies you’d like to present where you have guided people to success?

Duff
5 years 7 months ago

Now that does make for some interesting psychology, doesn’t it.

Personally I think intelligent skepticism is an excellent way to become rich.

Ben
Ben
5 years 7 months ago
I was curious as to what workout regimen Tim was going to recommend in this book and I’m not entirely surprised to see it’s similar to mine. There is a trademarked workout program called “Superslow” which employs a similar method. This is NOT something revolutionary that Tim came up with himself (not to discredit him, but just saying other people DO use this method, me included). But like the fields of medicine and law, the fields of nutrition and exercise RESIST NEW KNOWLEDGE. The book Arnold wrote however long ago is still current? Give me a break. I do a… Read more »
HamzaB
5 years 7 months ago

Hi Ramit,
Thanks for the excerpt! My copy of the book is already on its way from Amazon!
Also, I signed up for the amazing offers that you were part of on Tim Ferriss’ 4HWW blog – I can’t wait for your material to come through!

Thanks again,
From a new fan that recently purchased your book

Dave
Dave
5 years 7 months ago
No one can generate the controversy like Tim. Big controversy. I’m a big fan’s of Tims. He’s had a big impact on my life and turned around my way of thinking. I don’t defend him because, frankly, I doubt he cares. But the one thing that I read on comments on his site (and this one), is people read an article and think “This doesn’t directly apply to me”. They don’t see anyway they can take anything from this article (or book in this case) and apply it to themselves. The book has great info on everything you need to… Read more »
Sandra
5 years 7 months ago

Haha, Tim has really taken over the internet this week!
It’s a pretty masterful promotion he’s put together.

Mr. V
Mr. V
5 years 7 months ago
I have to agree with Barry on some points but I also disagree with others. I don’t usually write comments but I take nutrition at heart and have been lifting for about a year and half now dropping from 250 at 6’4 to about 215 while bf% went from 30% to about 12% without using any magic diet or special freak working, just plain old balanced eating and pushing hard in the gym consistently. My diet was not always consistent though and it was on and off so I guess the same results could of been achieved faster. Now enough… Read more »
Kyle
Kyle
5 years 7 months ago

There needs to be a link to this Australian lab, because Google reveals zero URLs that aren’t just scrapes of this blog.

Eric
Eric
5 years 7 months ago

“But Tim has proven himself to be credible in his last book, interviews, etc.”

How exactly has Tim proven himself to be credible in the fitness and nutrition world? He wrote a book called the 4 Hour Work Week which is totally unrelated subject matter.

Patrick
Patrick
5 years 7 months ago

Great stuff Ramit, if we’re on the mailing list already will we get the chapter?

Michael
Michael
5 years 7 months ago
I had to laugh at this part of Barry’s post: “What also bothers me about Tim’s book is that it’s as if he’s the only one interested in body hacking. Um, what about professional body builders? You don’t think they try to figure out every possible way to hack their bodies? After all, they do it for a living. They’re not writing books in between and investing in start ups like Tim is doing and studying marketing. They’re PROFESSIONAL body builders who literally have to hack their bodies for a living. If they could figure out a way to gain… Read more »
KM
KM
5 years 7 months ago

In the interest of full disclosure, why don’t you clearly state whether you earn Amazon commissions by plugging this book, as great as it might be?

Barry
Barry
5 years 7 months ago

Michael, professional bodybuilders know that if you do the right exercises and do them consistently along with eating a ton of protein rich foods along with taking every possible drug then they’ll make huge gains.

Bodybuilders are drug addicts. They just choose to use drugs that make them bigger.

And “if he is only trying make more people aware of what these professional bodybuilders already know and do” why wouldn’t he just recommend some of their fantastic books?

Irene
Irene
5 years 7 months ago

I’m clearly not going to be spending $10-15 on this book, it seems to be targeted to a very specific audience: skinny guys who want to make their physical appearance mirror their internal image of themselves as masters of the universe.

Love your book and other ideas, though.

April
April
5 years 7 months ago

It sounds like this book is more for dudes than for chicks? Does he do the same extensive testing, for example, with a female for weight loss as he does on himself for weight/muscle gain?

The perfect night sleep thing sounds pretty interesting, though.

cc
cc
5 years 7 months ago

i didn’t know you were targeted to men, ramit : i always figured your material was pretty gender-neutral.

bunny henningsen
bunny henningsen
5 years 7 months ago
To all the complainer out there I say.. it is nice to see so many healthy, hunky hot multi-millionaires out there living their dream lives. Because then and only then do you have the right to bitch about anything either of these guys do. I’m a 50+ woman that has the wisdom to know that these guys work hard for a living and are willing to share their knowledge so others can benefit from their efforts.Yes, they do expect to make some money for their efforts. Go figure. I know I’m not even part of their target audience but I… Read more »
MD
5 years 7 months ago
The only travesty of this book is that I pre-ordered it from Barnes and Nobles many months ago. I now have to wait for it to cross Canadian customs to come into Toronto while the rest of you can start applying the techniques. The reason that people are skeptical is because they have never done anything truly phenomenal with their bodies. Anyone that has every put on muscle, ran on no sleep, pushed their body to the limit, lost weight, or done anything along those lines must truly be excited to read a book like this. For the others it’s… Read more »
will
will
5 years 7 months ago
um – it’s BECAUSE I have lost weight and pushed my body to the limit (ran a 50 mile mountain race this past year) that I have a PROBLEM with this book. It took me close to a year to get to the physical capabilities I currently have. I’m not going to go into specifics on why I don’t think I’ll like the book (no, I haven’t read it, but from the synopsis, it’s not a book that I would want to pick up), but my problem with this post is that it has NOTHING to do with Ramit’s expertise,… Read more »
Juliana
Juliana
5 years 7 months ago
Why are people reacting negatively to this? I think it’s obvious: 1. Ramit has been pushing too many products lately. Without going back through his blog posts, I feel (this is the important part) like most of what I have received in my inbox has been pushing something. The Scrooge Strategy emails always have a paragraph at the end where he pushes some website that’s amazing! The blog posts involve us readers doing something that benefits Ramit, like buying his friend’s book or pushing his NYT article. Even if the real ratio of content to pushing is much lower than… Read more »
laruso
laruso
5 years 7 months ago
Sorry you’re unhappy, and sorry you feel the need to push your viewpoint on the rest of us in such a negative way in this post. With that said, if you DO have great things to share, please do. I am open to them. We all take things we find useful from different people who’ve taken the time to document their work and integrate it into our own “map of life”, if you will. Personally, if you can write a book about it all and sell it, then all the best to you! Otherwise, if we are not convinced, we… Read more »
Jeff
5 years 7 months ago
Ramit, Earn 1k patron here, a long-time reader/first-time commenter. Dude, candidly speaking, this post reads like an infomercial. Hyperbole, before/after pictures, promises of immediate and dramatic benefits, etc. It’s the opposite of your Earn 1k pitch, which was less over-the-top and more thoughtful. Thing is, we tend to associate infomercials with products of questionable quality (Extenze!), and so our initial snap judgment is to associate whatever it is you are pitching with those other things, whether the product is actually good or not. You of all people know that we how important snap judgments are to our decision-making. I don’t… Read more »
SM
SM
5 years 7 months ago

The hyperlink you post to his book is:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/030746363X?ie=UTF8&tag=iwillteachyou-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=030746363X

Please explain the existence of the part “&tag=iwillteachyou-20” in the hyperlink. As someone else mentioned, in the interest of full disclosure, you should clearly state if there are referral bonuses for you for promoting this.

BTW, that in itself doesn’t disqualify your review… but it is the proper thing to do if you are getting a kickback.

SM
SM
5 years 7 months ago
Thanks Ramit. BTW, the book already has almost a 5 star rating on Amazon with 140 reviews. I would buy the book just based on that if I were interested to muscle up. The other book, 4HWW also has more than a 1000 reviews and close to five stars. Ramit: one reason I think people might be reacting the way they are is because this topic is so far out compared to the theme of your blog: personal finance. I can see a thin connection to approaching personal finance the same way – testing things for yourself rather than believe… Read more »
Duff
5 years 7 months ago
There is reason to suspect there may be foul play at work with the reviews for 4HWW: A great number of the 5-star reviews are posted by first time reviewers. Tim Ferriss has a small army of Virtual Assistants in developing nations. Penelope Trunk (a well-known blogger) was receiving enthusiastic comment spam promoting 4HWW. She contacted Tim and he denied involvement, but eventually said he would make sure there were no more comments like that on her blog. Ferriss has a history of tactics that are slightly within the rules and borderline unethical—in fact, that’s his whole M.O. I can… Read more »
Grace
Grace
5 years 7 months ago

I don’t usually go for blonds, but I definitely like the “before” guy (the skinnier guy) better.

Rock
Rock
5 years 7 months ago

And I was like “where are the shadows of that guy in the -after-pics”? Photoshopping a Guy is simple, shadows not? ;D Yeah, different angle, i know. Just think about it

Brooke
Brooke
5 years 7 months ago

I think that the six photographs show a noticeably more relaxed and physically much better-looking man “before,” than “after.”
Maybe before working to change myself, I want to consider my intentions for doing so. For example, if I want to build up my muscles to be stronger and have more muscles, then that’s my intention. However, if I want to build my muscles to attract a mate, it could be sensible to find out if prospective mates would be attracted to a more muscle-y me. Just a thought.

Concojones
Concojones
5 years 7 months ago

Ramit, correct me if I’m wrong, but I do believe Tim was regaining mass he’d built previously. That little detail makes a world of difference, and by omitting it Tim compromised a lot of the credibility he used to have with me. I started taking everything he says with a grain of salt. It’s a pity it has to be that way, because the guy has a lot of interesting things to say.

Rachel
Rachel
5 years 7 months ago

Ramit,
You are a better writer than Tim.
The thing I love most about your book is that you take people through the process in manageable steps. You even make investing manageable for people who’ve never looked into it before.
The sample pages of Tim’s book….I have no idea what he’s talking about when he gets to his daily regimen.
Here’s where you’ll say “oh, then this book isn’t for you.”
Thank heavens YOU wrote your book towards the average Joe instead of only towards people already familiar with the finance world.

Jules
5 years 7 months ago
If half of what the 5-star reviews says about the book is true, I don’t want to touch it with a 10-foot pole. I’ve also read the sample chapter you sent, and frankly, the stuff he writes about–and advocates–SCARES the living bejeesus out of me. He advocates taking Huperzine A? IGF and BMP for “healing” chronic injuries? There’s a reason why doctors don’t just write prescriptions for these sorts of things, y’know. And you do realize that rebound hypothermia can be dangerous? Not to mention: I fail to be impressed with his research. But then again, I actually do research… Read more »
Barry
Barry
5 years 7 months ago
@Ramit – I guess you don’t keep track of the amount of newsletter subscribers you have either, huh? You just write whatever sounds better at the time for whatever you’re trying to sell. Whatever is more persuasive – after all, that’s your thing. In the email you sent out just yesterday you said, “Sorry, I am sending this out to nearly 100,000 people and won’t have time to reply to any other questions in the next 24 hours.” The amount of mistakes you make like this prove just how much you exaggerate and embellish. And if not, just how careless… Read more »
Eric
Eric
5 years 7 months ago

“Check out the people who he’s associated with/interviewed in the book/who are promoting his book. Some of the biggest names in the fitness world. If you don’t believe them, I am pretty sure you won’t believe any other evidence.”

Who are these people? I didn’t see any endorsements on his website from fitness people. If I have to read the book to find out who they are, then I’m putting the horse in front of the cart. I want some validation before I get the book, not after I’ve already spent my money.

will
will
5 years 7 months ago

well – at least I will commend Ramit on one thing – he hasn’t taken down any comments so far

but yeah – i think you should just chalk this one up in the loss column and move on to a better day. The fact remains that you aren’t a fitness expert so how could I possibly take your recommendation seriously?

imelda
imelda
5 years 7 months ago
Ramit, I couldn’t count the number of times you’ve said that personal health and personal finance are similar, because they both boil down to simple principles that we are just too lazy to follow. So to see you turn around and sing the virtues of something as gimmicky and nonsensical as this is shocking. “Don’t sweat the details” you used to say (paraphrased). Now you’ve got Tim Ferriss analyzing his genetic code on your blog, for pete’s sake? Providing a huge list of creepy dietary supplements that he advocates (and probably owns)? I object to this post because it goes… Read more »
Mike
Mike
5 years 7 months ago

Just reading the chapter here about the workout, I had done something similar and it worked for me and I added 15 pounds through controlled workout and simple protein intake. When it comes to weight gain/loss everyone is gonna have a little different formula because we all have different characteristics, much like a financial plan, you just have to figure what works for you. One summer I felt like adding some pounds, found some ideas that I thought should work for me and did it. It was hard but it worked, much like any other default behavior change.

Ben
Ben
5 years 7 months ago
Ramit, Lots of comments on this. I had no idea this material was so contentious, since it has been on Tim’s blog for a while and is actually backed by a lot of research. I am probably a bit biased toward believing both you and Tim, but I started following you both because of the extensive research you do personally and that you offer via delicious links, links in your posts, etc. Personally, I tried this bulking workout in preparation for a professional acting position where I played the part of a marine. In the space of five weeks I… Read more »
Barry
Barry
5 years 7 months ago
@Ramit – regards to your comment about how much time I spend commenting on sites I don’t care about – – I never said I don’t care about this site. I used to care a lot about this site. I used to tell all of my friends to read this site. As I said, some of my friends even tried Earn 1k, although they quickly realized it was all hype. This post was the breaking point for me like I originally said – because you will clearly write or say or do anything to make yourself rich. It just wasn’t… Read more »
trackback
5 years 7 months ago

[…] […]

mpvc
mpvc
5 years 7 months ago
Hi Ramit, Another Earn1K patron here who strongly agrees with Imelda (#74) and Jeff (#58). Ferriss may have achieved a great deal, but it’s been at the expense of integrity and ethics. A lot of the things he does are “legal” but it doesn’t make them right. To me, this guy is covered in red flags. And the hyperbolic claims, cheesy photos –‘shopped out shadows and what else?– deliberate omissions and advocation of possibly dangerous substances aren’t helping. His use of minutia (discussion of chromosome variants, etc) appears to contradict your principles about “cognitive miserhood.” Ramit, I thought Earn1K was… Read more »
MC
MC
5 years 7 months ago
To Imelda and anyone else it concerns- Just so you know. I’m a 26-year old woman and I actually pre-ordered Tim’s book. I received it yesterday and have already read the first 100 pages. There is a lot of information in every section directed specifically at women (which surprised me) and the book seems to be extremely well researched and well-written. As with any book I take his findings with a grain of salt and will do my own experimenting to see what works for me (if anything) but it is great to see someone who is not afraid to… Read more »
MC
MC
5 years 7 months ago

*write a follow-up comment. (I swear I’m not an idiot).

Charlie
Charlie
5 years 7 months ago

I’m really not sure about this. I’ve been all over Tim’s blog after seeing this post, and read what I got in the email as well as this, but like others have said, it’s really gimmicky sounding.
However, I’m willing to read with an open mind. While I’m not willing to just plop down the cash for it, I’ll read it in the bookstore, and if it’s worth getting, I’ll buy it (that’s what I did with your book, Ramit).

Thanks for the new info. 🙂

Jules
5 years 7 months ago
If he didn’t make such outrageous and downright dangerous claims, he wouldn’t have to prove anything. My issue with the book is that he advocates several incredibly dangerous practices–if in fact the things he suggests taking work the way they’re supposed to. Prescriptios for acetylcholine esterase inhibitors such as donepezil are not written to the general public for a reason, y’know? As for the injections: well, I’d love to know where the hell to get that much IGF or BMP that you can actually shoot it into you–and moreover, have an effect. God knows it’d really help me stretch our… Read more »
Mr J
Mr J
5 years 7 months ago

Comments like the one at 77 seem made up. Anytime someone says something against Ferris you get things like that. Just look at the Amazon reviews of his books.

Abraham
Abraham
5 years 7 months ago
I’ve read most of the chapters in the 4 hour body and I can truthfully say it’s solid. I’m no expert in anything he’s written about at all but I can say I’ve tried some of it and it worked. Out of curiosity I tried the slow carb diet and lost 20 pounds without exercise. For a single workout (I didn’t workout much), I did a series of exercises off Tim’s “Geek to Freak” blog post and although I couldn’t run far at all, I ran 4 times farther than I did the week before (1/2 mile without stopping the… Read more »
Matthew Peters
Matthew Peters
5 years 7 months ago
About the Photoshop use on Tim’s photos… Tim stood in front of an infinity background – he was not cut-out. The “before” photos were actually shot with Tim a little too close to the backdrop (lost the infinity effect) – the second photos were taken a couple feet further away from the backdrop. The goal when using this type of backdrop is to place people in a blank environment by lighting the background as well so the shadows are minimized. I was actually surprised that the lights used for Tim’s “after” photos were not more harsh. The diffused light used… Read more »
Jeff
Jeff
5 years 7 months ago
Pretty good discussion here. I’ve been involved in marketing work for so long that I sometimes forget how much of a negative reaction “hype-y” language gets from regular folk. I don’t even notice it myself anymore, haha. Tim’s marketing IS gimmicky. He’s a lot more gimmicky than Ramit, which is probably why he gets such a strong negative reaction from Ramit’s readers (who, being money-conscious, are already particularly “hype-averse”). But being gimmicky doesn’t automatically mean you’re “all hype.” There’s two reasons I don’t mind Tim’s gimmicky-ness: 1. His stuff works. Some of it is vastly oversimplified (“do AdWords lol!”), and… Read more »
BH
BH
5 years 7 months ago
I am amazed that you were able to write a post containing the phrase “I love testing” that also includes a sample chapter advocating the use of supplements. Without any links to studies demonstrating the efficacy of any of these supplements at these doses, this is nothing more than an infomercial for the unethical supplement industry. I agree with the other posters that this is stooping to a new, money-grubbing low. If you can’t see this, perhaps you need to break through some of your old ways of thinking. The upside for me is that I will have fewer emails… Read more »
Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

i’d be concerned about long term effects on the body / genetics? but then again, it’s worked for Tim and some . . . i take a lot of pride in my fitness and physique, and my personal view has always been to try different things (as long as they make sense to you) and stick to what works. our bodies are all very different, and different things work for each one of us

Mr k
Mr k
5 years 7 months ago

Jeff at 91 is an obvious plant. You really need to be abit more subtle about it.
Tim and Ramit must think that everyone is stupid.

Jeff
Jeff
5 years 7 months ago

Neg

Matt
Matt
5 years 7 months ago

I’ve been waiting on the arrival of this book for a week now. Today I finally got my copy and am now 125 pages into the book. I originally was skeptical once I saw the cheesy ad above. However, so far the books is top notch. I’d recommend everyone read the first couple of chapters at least before jumping to any conclusions.

MrL
MrL
5 years 7 months ago
I didn’t say the “plant” was from you. It’s from Ferris and the people hoping to get stuff from him. Whenever there are negative comments about him on a blog there will suddenly be lots of similar sounding comments saying how great he is. You can see that on this blog. You are being somewhat aggressive. Are you angry that people are sceptical of someone making fantastical claims ( 34lb of muscle gain in a month) and offering no evidence to support it? How is this different from the get rich schemes that you make fun of? Will you be… Read more »
Nhat Tran
Nhat Tran
5 years 7 months ago

I tried this out today. Quite refresh for me. I’m a skinny type of guy. Been following Tim’s 80/20 Pavel and his Geek to Freak for a while.

Wonder about the bench press, deadlift and shoulder sit-up mentioned in Tim’s 80.20 weightlifting post. It said those 3 were the most effective (80/%) and you dont need to practice anything else besides those 3. This blog post contradicted it.

I wonder how much and which exercises should I do for each day? What are the reps and exercises?

Luke
5 years 7 months ago

Interesting. Does Tim go into the costs of the supplements that he used on this regimen? It seems like it would cost quite a bit, but I do not know supplements that well.

Regardless, he made great gains in a very short period of time. I have to wonder if his weight gain was really muscle mass or if it was a combination of increase in water mass, some muscle gain and some fat loss. Any way you look at it, he looks great afterward.

Greg
Greg
5 years 7 months ago
I came to “iwillteachyoutoberich”, not “iwillteachyoutobehealthy”. I understand the psychological connection your drawing between health and finance, but your blog is neither psychology nor health. For that reason alone, this post does not belong here. Were I a first time visitor to IWTYTBR, I’d likely not return as the content doesn’t match the blog title. If you want to talk psychology, do it in a way that relates to finance (as you’ve done in the past). The same goes for health. Cross promotion is fine, guest posts are fine… But your readers come here to learn about finance. Please dont… Read more »
Ron
Ron
5 years 7 months ago
There’s something about the math in his 30 minute workout that confuses me. Discloser: I am not a mathematician or fitness expert, haven’t read the next chapter where, according to above, things are explained in more detail. Just looking at the numbers as stated in the excerpt. confusion #1 – He lists 10 exercises, 2 supersets, which leaves 8 exercise ‘sets’ as his daily ‘full-body’ exercise routine. He advocates for 3 minutes of rest between exercises. This leaves 7 breaks between exercises (no break needed after the last exercise). If my math is correct, this leaves 9 minutes of actual… Read more »
Mr M
Mr M
5 years 7 months ago

@Ron

I think that you are much better off getting free information from weight training sites and ones on the “Paleo” diet rather than buying the book.

On threads going back several years on bodybuilding.com they were making fun of his claims to have put on 34lb of muscle in 28 days.

Dave
Dave
5 years 7 months ago

I used Tim’s techniques (off the original blog post) for about 3-4 weeks and gained 15-20 pounds of muscle. One yr later I have all the muscle plus additional gains. If you follow the routine stricly and it doesnt work then complain about it, until then your oponion doesnt mean shit.

Mr N
Mr N
5 years 7 months ago

15 -20lb ? That sounds very vague. Why don’t you know the exact figure?

I follow a paleo diet. I mostly do HIT and yes claims that you can put on 34lb of muscle in 28 days are full of shit.
As for your claims make them on a weight training forum and see the type of reaction that you get!

Sharron Clemons
5 years 7 months ago
I came to “iwillteachyoutoberich”, not “iwillteachyoutobehealthy”. I understand the psychological connection your drawing between health and finance, but your blog is neither psychology nor health. For that reason alone, this post does not belong here. Were I a first time visitor to IWTYTBR, I’d likely not return as the content doesn’t match the blog title. If you want to talk psychology, do it in a way that relates to finance (as you’ve done in the past). The same goes for health. Cross promotion is fine, guest posts are fine… But your readers come here to learn about finance. Please dont… Read more »
Latoya Bridges
5 years 7 months ago

15 -20lb ? That sounds very vague. Why don’t you know the exact figure? I follow a paleo diet. I mostly do HIT and yes claims that you can put on 34lb of muscle in 28 days are full of shit. As for your claims make them on a weight training forum and see the type of reaction that you get!

Kevin
Kevin
5 years 7 months ago
I was skeptical of IWTYTBR at first but kept reading. Now, I really feel like a sucker after taking Ramit’s Earn1k course and then reading this plug…. “But Tim has proven himself to be credible in his last book, interviews, etc.” I for one do not find Tim to be credible in the claims he made in 4HWW – IF he was making $40k a month off his supplement, why did he sell the company or feel the need to write a book on how to duplicate it? And the kickboxing tournament – I guess the ends justifies the means.… Read more »
Juan
5 years 7 months ago

Automation and going for the big wins are good ideas but they are in no way original to Ramit. They have been around for years before him.
You can get it all for free from numerous websites or books.

Nick
5 years 7 months ago

Everyone should go read the reviews (namely the very thoughtful 1-3 star reviews) on Amazon before purchasing this book.

I think I’ll wait and check the book out from the library once all the millions of copies being purchased now start getting donated.

Chris
Chris
5 years 7 months ago
Rami, I’m disappointed. I usually get great ideas on what to do with my money here. So I bought this book on your recommendation. After reading to the end, my conclusion is that it’s beyond far fetched. Good statistics and sound medical findings dictate principles such as statistically significant sample sizes and peer reviewed, widely replicated results. His conclusions are garbage without those. I guess I prefer the Michael Pollan perspective on health. i.e. The only diet scientifically proven to be detrimental to your health is the American diet. It is shown empirically through evidence of our comparatively poor health… Read more »
brad
brad
5 years 7 months ago

Shouldn’t you be separating the editorial content from the advertising content on this website? What is your cut of the profits from selling this book to your members? 10% 15% or is it a cost-per-conversion? Do let us know.

Matthew Peters
Matthew Peters
5 years 6 months ago
Ramit mentioned that he makes something like $.87 from a book sale. He could have done this with any book he believed in at any time – twice a day if he wanted to. I’m surprised that he doesn’t take advantage of this more often. I find it refreshing to read a blog that isn’t littered with advertisements (like many other personal finance blogs) to the point I have to rummage through the site for usable content. I doubt Ramit would risk his reputation for an easy buck. He seems to market sparingly when he feels it’s appropriate to readers.… Read more »
Robert Dawson
Robert Dawson
5 years 6 months ago

I, for one, enjoyed the 15-minute orgasm piece immensely. Doing a hairsbreadth more research I found a longer video which explains more about how to do it. Here’s a link to the video I bought: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVXkpvgMJPI

Allen
Allen
5 years 6 months ago

Switch from NO Xplode to JACK3D and get real results. less price, less fluff and more volume. just sharing that with you. plus NO xplode has Magnesium (can cause dihereah). u might not care, thought id comment on that.

Jason
Jason
5 years 6 months ago

I have to agree with a lot of the people here. This type of book is junk and you are better then this Ramit.

dsaint
dsaint
5 years 6 months ago
Here’s a non-bot or -VA leaving unadulterated praise for both Tim’s book and Ramit. I’ve adopted his SlowCarb Diet, converted my father to kettlbells, and taken the advice on facilating female (cough) experience. It’s a fantastic book for people who are open to overturning their assumptions and long-held, long-nurtured beliefs. If you’re reacting so violently to this post, you simply don’t fall into that group. Every major bookseller on the planet has a return policy. Try it out. If you’re not convinced take it back. Keep it up Ramit, and Tim, if you’re reading this, way to go, mayne, you… Read more »
The Penny Hoarder
The Penny Hoarder
5 years 6 months ago

Awesome. Thanks for the free chapter.

Jbg
5 years 6 months ago
New reader of your blog. I bought two of these books for $14 dollars on preorder. I bought one to instigate someone who thinks he can get in shape with short cuts whether pro hormones, ugh,etc and not knowing how to work out – ironically a 4hww fan… I bought one for myself to see what he had to say. Marginal stuff and if you keep up on fitness studies and such you will dismiss as quackery or sensationalism at a min. The section on sex is a joke and wildly out of place. Ferris strokes his ego in a… Read more »
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[…] In his new book he applies he minimalistic methods to exercise and makes the claim that he gained 34 pounds in 28 days.  Well, once I read the sample chapter I was hooked.  I’ve always had trouble gaining […]

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