T Nation

Tim Ferris: Bodybuilding Legend


"It finally time to tell you all.

My next book will be a hackerâ??s guide to the human body. The working title is â??From Rapid Fat Loss to Strongmen: A Guide to Becoming Superhuman.â?? It has actually been planned for more than two years.

Iâ??ve recorded almost every workout Iâ??ve done since age 15, and my house looks like an ER, with dozens of gadgets and medical devices for capturing data. Iâ??ve had hundreds of blood tests performed and have been doing this since 1996, with costs now totalling well over $100,000. Iâ??ve taken my weight from 145 lbs. to 225 lbs. (lean) and back down, and I can remove or add 20 lbs. in 3-4 weeks on-demand.

So, what is the result of all this OCD madness?

I can show you how I safely do things outdated physiology textbooks tell you is impossible. This isnâ??t because I have some unique intelligence. Itâ??s because Iâ??ve tested the most basic assumptions of nutrition and exerciseâ?¦ and I experiment with outrageous alternatives that end up working.

Cut 2% bodyfat in two weeks? No problem. Drop 50-100 pounds in weight or increase muscular strength 30% in 48-72 hours? Not an issue. Iâ??ve done the guinea pig shotgun approach so you donâ??t have to. Iâ??ll spare you the 10,000 pages of literature on a given topic and give you the one unusual 1-2-3 method that produced unbelievable results..."


For those that don't know, Tim Ferris is the author of The Four Hour Workweek, and is one of the new breed of post web 2.0 self-help gurus.

I can't tell you how many times I've read infomercials that've pretty much said the same thing as above. I've tried many of them, and most end up being... misleading.

From what I've read, Ferris has more integrity than that, so I'm somewhat on the fence as to what to think. About him. I totally don't believe his new book will accomplish a quarter of what he writes about.

What're your thoughts?


This is Tim Ferris


My thoughts are this: "100 lbs in 72 hours? Does it involve amputation?"


I don't trust people with fauxhawks


The guy is obviously full of shit.


An exceptionally motivational man. Loved his TED conference. Read his blog on occasion.

This book . . . Damn, I'm gonna hafta get a pirate copy, if I like it, I'll buy it. If not, I'll delete it and tell no one about it's being published.


Motivational guy but he's really cocky. I read the four hour work week and I liked it. A lot of good stuff. But he has a story about winning an MMA championship or something by default by kicking a guy out of the ring and he totes it as a really great accomplishment. "The Four Hour Work Week" book is both motivational and interesting when it comes to life, work, and priorities.

I would not trust his advice on bodybuilding though. That picture posted earlier further affirms this. The fauxhawk doesn't help much either...



I don't know what to think about this guy.


Guess this'll teach me to search before posting http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/music_movies_girls_life/tim_ferriss_new_book


Indeed, I mean, who else would make the completely bullshit claim of being able to increase your lifts by 20lbs in a day http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/add_20_pounds_to_your_1rm_today

(Ok, sarcasm doesn't really come across well over teh 'n3t, no offence intended Steel, I just don't think it's fair to judge someone until you've heard him out)


I think it was a kickboxing championship he won. He "super dehydrated" and then came back to fight at like 20-30lbs heavier. Meah......

4hr workweek was good; gave me some neat ideas. i didn't follow through on everything the book said...but i still learned a few tips. not a bad buy or $18 on a 4hr plane ride.


FWIW CW's claims in that article are full of shit too. Supramaximal holds work, but they aren't going to put 20lbs on your max in a day unless you were being a complete bitch in the gym beforehand.

I read 4HWW and liked it, but Ferriss' bodybuilding claims are total BS. He has the attitude that he's smarter than everyone else so he can get away with doing less work. That might work fine when you're hawking energy pills but that's not how the human body works. You either bust your ass and put in your time or you don't get results. Patience is a big key, but that doesn't sell books nearly as well.


I had no idea a T-Nation search for 'Tim Ferriss' turned up so many Cosgrove articles. Good call.


Basically he isn't "lying" but what he doesn't tell you is that the things he's talking about are all stuff you have to have accomplished in the past - sort of.

Sure he gained like 30-40 pounds or something in a month and "lost fat" (the pics didn't look like it) but he had already been at that weight for a good amount of time, then later cut down for when he want into ballroom dancing.

Sure you can increase your strength in 36 hours, if you're going from a super dehydrated weak state, to the totally opposite end of the spectrum...

What he recommends will most likely work. What he's going to recommend likely won't be what most are looking for though. There's probably going to be a Nate Green interview coming out of this, as I know Nate has met him and talked to him before.


Sounds like a good way to make easy money off the internet. I'd imagine he has a huge reader base.


If you can see his collar bones, dont trust him.


That's what it was. There's no doubt that he's good at what he does. He has some decent tips but I don't think I'd follow through with everything he says. His philosophy seems to be about everyone else working their asses off and you taking advantage of them. That may not be exactly what he means but it seems that way. I have mixed feelings about his stuff in general.


In addition to my last post, I think the four hour work week did EXACTLY as it promised. the problem being, that you had to majorly sack up to do it right. Many people have bullshit excuses for not following the plan (myself included) so they did not get the results expected.

The same can be said for 90+% of people on fitness websites. There are great plans everywhere, now if people just follow them and eat right they'll make progress (physique clinic anyone?).

So I have no doubt if people follow Tim's plan in the book they'll likely get what they want. The real question is, what percent of the buying base is going to follow all the advice in order to get all the results?

Of course none of that is Tim's issue. As long as the plans/principles work and it sells books, it is out of his hands. Of course, he seems smart enough to where he'll include some kind of mental section in this book because he knows the average person won't do anything about fitness until they're borderline dying.


I think a healthy skepticism of some of these claims is warranted, but I also think that he does have some useful info to share (I'm referring to 4HWW and his blog, not necessarily this new project. So far it's too vague to know what to expect.)

I don't remember reading that he was ever that heavy before. He did say that he was 152 in high school, then went down to 146 before adding the 34 pounds in a month. He also said...

"I did not maintain the gains. Why? Too much eating. I estimate (I donâ??t both counting) that I was consuming between 5,000-8,000 calories per day in 5 or 6 divided meals, which is a full-time job. I spent more time eating than working out! I much prefer to be around 165 lbs. for athletics."

So that's a 146-pound guy (pictured above) eating 5,000-8,000 calories a day, and lifting intensely.

He modeled his experiment after the old Colorado Experiment, which (just as controversially) worked for Viator:

So the underlying basis for it (going balls out in the gym and eating like a beast) isn't a brand new concept. Plus, programs like the old 20-rep squat routine has people regularly reporting similar gains in similar brief periods.


The after.

According to him, the numbers were:

Bodyfat %- 16.72 to 12.23
Suit Size- 40 short to 44 regular (measured at Brooks Brothers at Santana Row in San Jose by a professional tailor)
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"

And keep in mind that this change took place about four years ago. The picture Otep posted above is much more recent.