T Nation

4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss


I figure we'll get around to discussing this book at some point or another. I've just been perusing the copy I've got, and while going through the weight gain section, and while I may not agree with everything else I'm going to find in his book, there's one thing he does take the time to say, which, due to the frequency of being mentioned on here, I think we'll all agree with:

"This is the simple and rightly venerated GOMAD (Gallon Of Milk A Day) approach to mass gain, which - along with squats- has produced monsters for more than 75 years..."

Yes, Tim Ferriss, author of 4-Hour Body, recommends. . . Squats and Milk.


Me and Tim are working on a new book: The 4-Hour erection.

Be on the lookout for it at all good bookstores sometime next summer.


BulletProofTiger and I went back and forth over Ferris's claims in this thread:

There've been a couple others.

Slightly earlier: http://velocity.T-Nation.com/free_online_forum/music_movies_girls_life/tim_ferris_bodybuilding_legend

And then there are a few links in the latter to previous discussions of Mr. Ferris.


lol i almost black out laughing


Is the book going to be diamond shaped with a blue cover?


ahaahah blue cover? shouldnt it be pink?


Timothy Ferris is a fucking douchebag. He talks out of his ass constantly.


Might want to cut it to the three and half hour erection because I hear at four hours you're suppose to call a doctor.


Yeah, the nurse wants to see you.


I had never heard of him before but read an interview with this guy in this month's WIRED. Some of what he said sounded pretty silly, but he also aparently ran several tests on himself and found that he got best muscle results drinking his post workout shake 20 minutes BEFORE lifting, ate nothing but beef and nuts for a month and saw his cholesterol drop significantly and his test triple.

He was pricking himself like 30 times a day to test his blood sugar to see which meal combos were working best, shit like that. He also said he gained something like 34lbs in 28 days. Don't know how long his total experiment was but he did some pretty cool things with it. Still couldn't pay me to buy the book.


Yeah, I'm very skeptical about the book, which is why I didn't buy it. I borrowed it, and if it helps me in any way, I'll buy it. I first heard about it because Nate Green promoted it on his blog (Apparently he contributed in some way):


I've heard of using cinnamon for increased insulin sensitivity on this site before, and his ice baths sound interesting. Yes, he supports the use of the GOMAD and squats. I really don't know what to say about his large gain of muscle done with only 4 hours of work. Sounds like complete bullshit. He makes some other odd claims, such as using a Stairmaster strenuously for an HOUR burning only 7 calories (That's not a typo, for cereal).

"The caloric argument for exercise gets even more depressing. Remember those 107 calories you burned during that kick-ass hour-long Stairmaster session? Don't forget to subtract your basal metabolic rate (BMR), what you would have burned had you been sitting on the couch watching The Simpsons instead. For most people, that's about 100 calories per hour given off as heat. That hour on the Stairmaster was worth seven calories."


This is exactly what I'm talking about. The things he says are so retarded, I'm amazed that people buy into them. Someone needs to smack him in the face.


I received the book as a gift and so far, although I have just been skimming it's an entertaining read. Obviously a lot of the stuff won't work for everyone, but there are plenty of cool sections. Not that I'm going to try to better my NFL combine stats, but its an interesting section of him working with Joe DeFranco. There is also a lot of other well known names in the book. Its not gospel people and he even admits the whole book isn't for everyone. I think he says out of the 450 pages or so, about 150 pages are going to apply to you depending on your goals. Again, I haven't read the whole thing, but from the nuggets I have its an interesting read. I don't plan on following his training protocols, but its interesting what he did for the book and how much money he used to make himself his own guinea pig in his experiments.


I read the book.

Honestly, I think it's a fun to read something that goes against the grain of what you think/hear/believe every day. There are some segments that I really found interesting:

His take on thermodynamics- exogenously dropping body temp forcing increased metabolics (ice baths that make your body "work" harder to hit 98.6. I think the idea of an ice bath or two per week during a cut seems like fun (I'm masochistic))

His use of testing- Instead of just taking what is being written as gospel, he tries things that "don't work" and actually measures the results. Testing his own insulin response to foods etc..

There are actually a few other things that peaked my interest. Is this earth-shattering stuff that will revolutionize BB/PL/looking good nekkid? No, it's not. But if in 450 pages I find just one little thing that may help me towards my goals, it's a good read.


He is a bullshit artist. He dehydrates himself and then claims rehydration as weight gain. One of his many tricks.


The only thing I want to see is a picture of Ferriss being at his supposed top weight of 220.

He claims in the book that he was around this weight (lean) when he was in China and he claims he records everything. Where are the pictures then?

Also if it is so easy for him to gain muscle then why didn't he continue the experiment until he reached 220?

There are some tips in the book that are worth testing on yourself, but some of it just sounds fake.

Just my 2 cents...


I enjoyed the book, and approve of the fact that he tells women not to worry about getting big.


I thought this would be interesting for those who think Ferriss is full of shit. Here is a quick bit from my interview with Tim.

ROMAN: Okay, you've made some bold claims that seem nearly impossible for a person with any training experience to accept without skepticism -- skepticism which you encourage.

FERRISS: I'm happy to touch on that. Being called a huckster and a charlatan started several years ago, so that's something I'm very accustomed to. In most cases, it doesn't bother me.

I think that if you take a strong stance and have a clear opinion or statement on any subject online, you're going to polarize people. And without that polarity, there's no discussion. Discussion is what I want, which means that I'm fine with the consequences.

For example, let's say I give a case study that focuses on gaining 34 pounds of muscle in 28 days. I'm not saying that ANYONE can do that. I'm saying it's within the realm of physical possibility--and that is worth noting.

I think that you can learn a lot from the extremes, and this is why I also talk to people like Dave Palumbo, who went from 140 to 310 pounds. Again, not everyone can do that--perhaps almost no on else. That isn't the point. The point is that you can learn A LOT from looking closely at those extremes as opposed to focusing only on the middle.

But, that said, there are also two types of skepticism. I encourage active skepticism -- when people are being skeptical because they're trying to identify the best course of action. They're trying to identify the next step for themselves or other people.

I discourage passive skepticism, which is the armchair variety where people sit back and criticize without ever subjecting their theories or themselves to real field-testing.

If I make a claim, people should say, "Where's your evidence? Where's your data?" And I should be able to support that. I should be able to support whatever recommendation I'm making. Whereas if a skeptic says, "That doesn't work. This doesn't work. That doesn't work. Tim Ferris if full of shit." People should turn to them and say, "Okay, what's your replacement? How do you know it doesn't work and wheres your data?" So, if their criticism is completely unfounded on data, then I don't want to hear it. It doesn't hold up to scrutiny.


It's a good book, a great read. The chapters on steroids are particularly cool.

To summarize his points there, basically he feels that the medical community can learn a lot from bodybuilders. It's really a very interesting book. I think most T-Nation people would enjoy it.


You're partially correct.

He dehydrates himself for weigh-ins and then rehydrates before matches, competitions, or whatever he was making weight for. I touched on this with him in my interview.

In terms of claiming muscle gain, his "Colorado" experiment (also known as his Geek-to-Freak experiment) where he gained 34 pounds in 2 8 days was monitored by a Ph.D at San Jose State University with hydrostatic weighing.

He's very honest that there was a lot of muscle re-gain during this time period (muscle memory, horay!) but he did gain a lot of new lean tissue.

I don't want to imply that Tim isn't a bit of a trickster--that's part of his schtick: finding the loopholes and exploiting them. I just think it's a gross overstatement to say that guy is making ALL of his claims based on water manipulation.


He is a huge trickster and self promoter. You can find better info on this site for free. You don't have to subsidize his 4 hour work week lifestyle (another lie) by buying his book.

Of course if you don't care and read his stuff for the entertainment valuego ahead and enjoy it.