4 Hour Body Notes

10 Jan

Tim Ferris has recently released his 4 Hour Body book. As is typical of me, I read it through for any cutting edge info I may be able to extract (and that could be backed up by some real science).

Overall the book read very much like a bunch of random blog posts jammed together. Eg in one chapter he would tell you not to eat before going to sleep, and then in another he would tell you that having some sugar before going to sleep led to better sleep.

I’ve written up notes that summarizes the book:


Elusive Body Fat

  • Body fat: DEXA, then BodPod


The Slow-Carb Diet I/II

  • Slow Carb Diet:
    1. No white carbs
    2. Same Meals
    3. Do not drink calories
    4. Do not eat fruit
    5. Once a week have a cheat day
  • When Cheating:
    1. First meal of day should not be binge. High in protein and fiber (eg legumes)
    2. Flat line blood glucose by having a bit of fructose (eg orange juice, grapefruit juice, etc)
    3. Multivitamins!
    4. Consume some citric juices (lemon, lime, and grapefruit)
    5. Do a bit of exercise before (~10 minutes) and then after (~90 minutes). Eg 40 air squats or 40 wall pushups. Activates more GLUT-4

Damage Control

  • GLUT-4 (glucose transporter type 4) helps push calories into muscle. Working out brings more, and thus eating after = better.
  • Do 30-50 reps of air squats, wall presses, or chest pulls before each meal and 90m after each meal
  • CQ (cissus quadrangularis)
  • take 2.4 grams 30 minutes before meal.
  • Gut Bacteria:
    • Splenda kills it
    • Get fermented stuff. Kimchi, kefir, sauerkraut, yogurt.

The Four Horsemen of Fat-Loss

  • Four Horsemen of Fat Loss – PAGG Stack:
    • Policosanol: 20-25mg
      • Helps lower cholesterol
    • Alpha-lipoic acid: 100-300mg
      • Antioxidant and free radical scavenger
    • Green tea flavanols: 325mg (at least 325mg EGCG)
      • EGCG is a catechin and flavanol found in green teas
      • Increases GLUT-4 recruitment
    • Garlic extract: 200mg
  • AGG before each meal, PAGG before bed time
  • Make sure you get enough B-complex vitamins when on PAGG

Ice Age

  • Forcing your body cold forces your body to burn more calories (to generate heat)
  • Ice pack on back of neck and upper traps for 30 minutes = helps fat loss. Do it during night when insulin sensitivity is at its lowest
  • Consume ice cold water when you wake up
  • Take 5/10 minute cold shower before breakfast
    • Short-term cold exposure leads to fatty acid release. It can help recruit GLUT-4
    • Increases adiponectin levels and glucose uptake
    • Increases immunity
    • Can help vs depression

The Glucose Switch

  • DexCom SEVEN Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) to track glucose level
  • Glucose from food hits you about 90-120 minutes later
  • Eat fat earlier in the meal (eg appetizer) can help suppress glucose jump
  • Stabilized glucose does notnecessarily mean more fat loss
  • 3 tbsp of lemon juice helps suppress glucose response
  • Cinnamon helps stabilize glucose
  • ~4g (1.5 tsp) per day max. Saigon is best, ceylon close, cassia shit
  • Slow the fuck down when eating


Building the Perfect Posterior

  • Kettleball swings = huge
  • T-Handle (page 180) for instant kettleball with plates.
    • One 0.75″ x 12″ long pipe nipple.
    • Two 0.75″ x 4″ long pipe nipples for handles.
    • One 0.75″ pipe “T” to connect all 3 together
    • One 0.75″ floor flange to keep plate one
    • One spring clamp to keep plates from drifting
    • Get a new T pipe every ~6 months for wear and tear
  • Ideal men waist-to-hip ratio is 0.8-0.9 and waist-to-shoulder ratio of 0.6

Six-Minute Abs

  • Cat Vomit Ab Workout:
    1. Get on all fours (like back stretch)
    2. Forcefully exhale from mouth. Your abs should contract
    3. Hold your breath for 8-12 seconds and pull belly towards spine
    4. Inhale fully through nose
    5. Take one normal breath cycle to rest, then repeat x10

  • Bicycle crunch also good for abs
  • Fix pelvic tilt with hip flexor stretches (page 187)

From Geek to Freak

  • Colorado Experiment:
    • Negative-only sets
    • Supersets (eg leg extension) to prefatigue and then compound (squats)

Occam’s Protocol

  • Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy
  • more water around muscle fibers
  • Myofibrillar hypertrophy
  • more muscle fibers


The 15-Minute Female Orgasm

  • [all graphical, so skipped]

Sex Machine

  • Protocol #1 for Sex [Long Term]:
    • Fermented cod liver oil + vitamin-rich butter fat – 2 capsules upon waking and before bed
    • Vitamin D3
    • 3000-5000 IU upon waking and before bed
    • Short cold showers
    • 10 minutes upon waking and before bed
    • Brazil nuts (aka filberts)
    • 3 nuts upon waking and before bed
  • Protocol #2 for Sex [24 Hours Sex]:
    • Before Bedtime Day before Sex:
      • 800mg cholesterol (4+ eggs)
    • Four Hours before Sex:
      • 4 Brazil nuts (helps selenium)
      • 20 raw almonds
      • 2 capsules of fermented cod/butter combo


Engineering the Perfect Night’s Sleep

  • 200mg of huperzine-A 30 minutes before sleep helped REM 20-50%.
  • More than 2 glasses of wine within 4 hours of sleep decreases deep-wave sleep 20-50%
  • Two tbsp of almond butter on celery before bed eliminated 50% of the ‘feel like shit’ in the morning. Possibly due to low blood sugar.
  • To Improve Sleep:
    • Sleep with 67-70 F temperature
    • Eat a large fat/protein dominated meal within 3 hours of bed. 800mg of cholesterol (4+ eggs) and 40g protein.
    • Use light cues, eg Philips goLITE
    • Iso-lateral (one arm or leg) movements. The more stabilization the better
    • Cold bath one hour before bed
    • Ultrasonic humidifier
    • Nightwave pulse light

Becoming Uberman

  • [skipped]


Reversing “Permanent” Injuries

  • Four Stages of Injury Recovery:
    • Stage 1: Movement – Correcting posture/biomechanics through specific movements
    • Stage 2: Manipulation – Correcting soft-tissue damage using tools/pressure
    • Stage 3: Medication – ingest, injection, application
    • Stage 4: Mechanical – surgical repair
  • Stage 1: Movement:
    • Shoe heel removal, use vibrams/barefeet. Fixes: lower back
    • Egoscue. Fixes: cervical/neck and mid-back
      • Static Back
        • Lie on back, legs up on block/chair, arms out at 45 degrees, open palm, thumbs touching floor.
        • 5 minutes
      • Static Extension on Elbows.
        • On knees, push forward, butt up, back arched, on your upper arms, thumbs up, fists, heads down
        • 60 seconds
      • Shoulder Bridge with Pillow
        • Bridge up, arms out, pillow between legs while pressing together. Only tense legs
        • 60 seconds
      • Active Bridges with Pillow
        • Like shoulder bridges, but keep moving hips up and down
        • 3 sets of 15 reps
      • Air Bench
        • Wall squat, 95 degrees
        • 2 minutes
  • Stage 2: Manipulation:
    • AMIT (Advanced Muscle Integration Therapy). Part of MAT (Muscle Activation Techniques) Fixes: pecs, glutes, calves
      • Works on proprioception (how CNS controls muscles)
      • The master is Craig Buhler in Kaysville, aka Dr. Two Fingers
    • ART (Active-Release Technique). Fixes: Shoulder internal rotators
      • Painful
      • Can eliminate scar tissue
      • Works for 70% of people
  • Stage 3: Medication:
    • Prolotherapy. Fixes: left knee, right wrist
      • Mixture of irritants are injected into tendons, ligaments, and inside joints to stimulate tissue repair
    • Biopuncture. Fixes: infraspinatus, achilles tendon
      • Bunch of injections from small needles

How to Pay for a Beach Vacation with One Hospital Visit

  • Medical Tourism:
    • Patients Beyond Borders by Josef Woodman – comprehensive guide on medical tourism
    • http://www.imtjonline.com/resources/patient-guide/
    • http://www.bumrungrad.com/
    • http://www.medretreat.com/
    • http://www.medtrava.com/

Injury-Proofing the Body

  • Most likely cause of injury is not weakness or tightness. It is imbalance
    • Designed to identify left-right imbalance (asymmetry) and motor control (wobbling and shifting)
    • Test using the following five:
      1. Deep squat
      2. Hurdle Step
      3. In-line lunge
      4. Active straight leg raise
      5. Seated rotation
    • Four main corrective exercises for fixes:
      • Chop and lift
      • Turkish get-up (best)
      • nine discrete moves
      • Two-arm single-leg deadlift
      • Cross-body one-arm single-leg deadlift
    • Imbalance is not just a strength problem, but also a motor control problem


Hacking the NFL Combine

  • Jumping:
    • Use your shoulders to jump. Throw your arms down
    • Pull extended arm back (retract) at the apex
    • When squatting to jump, feet just inside hips and back flat
    • Stretch out hip flexors (lunge with knee on floor, then rotate. Hold 30s)
  • Sprinting:
    • Short distances at 95%+ effort. No 75-95% effort (higher volume too hard to recover from in 24h)
    • 80% of training on 10 yard dashes
    • Stance:
      • Like an NFL lineman.
      • Weaker foot one foot behind line
      • Stronger leg behind, upper thigh straight down, lower leg bent, toes on.
      • Hip width between legs
      • Stronger almost arm straight down. Balance on index, middle, thumb.
      • Weaker arm close to hips, 90 degree at elbow
      • Shoulders slightly forward. This lets you push with your stronger arm instead of lifting it
    • Running:
      • When starting, target strong leg to land one yard in front of weaker leg toe
      • Eyes where first step will land (3 feet in front of weaker leg)
      • Ensure knees ahead of toes
      • Keep chin tucked (forces your torso upright)
      • Upper body ahead of lower
      • Take fewest steps possible (will make you feel slower).
    • Hamstring exercise: bodyweight glute-ham raise. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlalgTN1dgA


  • For more endurance, work on short distances to build up aerobic capacity
  • For long distance, run 4x400m at 95% effort with 90s rest in each. Then 10mins of 100m sprints with 10s rest between
  • Need to have your ligaments, tendons, and small muscles of feet and ankles developed
  • Jog barefeet on grass 30 min x 3/week to strengthen feet/ankles
  • Biomechanically Efficient Running:
    1. Use gravity for forward motion
    2. Land on balls of feet and have feet land under your center of gravity
    3. Never fully straighten legs
    4. Pull each foot off ground towards buttocks (instead of pushing off). Use hamstring as it passes center of gravity
    5. Target 180 total steps per minute
    6. Short contained arm movement
  • Decreases load on knees, increases on ankles. Change into this slowly
  • Muscle soreness in long distance is from weak sodium-potassium pump
  • If you can run a 10K, you have the base for a 50K
  • Likes the Inov-8 shoes (like I wear!)
  • If your shins hurt, you are dorsiflexing. Keep foot/lower leg at >= 90 degrees
  • Should not hear stomping when running
  • Target consuming one gram of carb per kg of bodyweight per hour while running
  • Gulp water, not sip


Effortless Superhuman

  • Use dynamic stretching
  • One kg of skeletal muscle can produce enough force to support 44kg of mass
  • Cause of speed drops is due to inability of fibers to supply sufficient tension (not reduction in fuel supply)
  • When doing deadlift, drop weight at top (when at knee) to prevent hamstring injury
    • Straight back, as if pinching a wallet between shoulder blades
  • Time under muscular tension should be < 10s to minimize lactic acid production
  • Lactic acid delays recovery
  • Competition Conditioning:
    • Walk as fast as possible (near jog) for 15 minutes, 3x a week
    • After four weeks = baseline conditioning
  • Maximal Strength:
    • 1 set of 2-3 reps at 95% RM, then 1 set of 5 reps at 85% RM, 5 minutes between sets
    • Bench and deadlift
    • 3x a week
  • Use global compound exercises (eg deadlift or bench press)
  • Lift 3x a week, with conditioning/supplementary on other days
  • Do sports-specific skill 6x a week
  • Take one day off completely
  • Sets of two or three reps, with roughly 10 total reps per exercise
  • Never to complete failure
  • Five minute rest between sets
  • Save fatigue for your sport
  • “Chronobiology” is the science of investigating time-dependent changes in physiology

Eating the Elephant

  • Muscle strength and short-term power peaks in the early evening (4-6pm)
    • Coincides with daily max body temperature and highest pain tolerance
    • Based on a wake time of roughly 8am, so peak is 8-10 hours after waking


How I Learned to Swim Effortlessly in 10 Days

  • The Total Immersion (TI) method on swimming
  • There are videos on YouTube
  • Eight Newbie Tips:
    1. Focus on shoulder roll and keeping body horizontal
    2. Keep head in line with your spine – look completely down
    3. Think of freestyle as alternating sides. You want to push your hip into it
    4. Penetrate water with your fingers angled down (45 deg) and fully extend arm well below head.
      • Extend it lower than you think
      • Don’t need to lift arms too high. Arms should be naturally out, not crowded towards body
    5. Focus on increasing stroke length, not stroke rate
    6. Stretch your extended arm and turn your body to breath
      • You should feel the stretch in your lats
      • When starting off, breathe on every stroke, working up to every three strokes
      • Remember to exhale underwater
    7. Visualize process. Hard to remember when in action
    8. Focus on practice, not numbers. Most train CNS for counterintuitive movements
    9. Board shorts drag you down. Get streamlined
    10. Get good goggles. Recommends Aqua Sphere Kaiman

The Architecture of Babe Ruth

  • [skipped]

How to Hold Your Breath Longer than Houdini

  • Disclaimer: For informative purposes only, do under supervision
  • Definitions:
    • Deep Breathing – Big breath through mouth, hold 1s, exhale for 10s through mouth with tongue on lower teeth
    • Purging – Strong/quick exhalation followed by big & faster inhalation
    • Semi-Purging – between the two others
  • Process:
    1. 1:30 deep breathing
    2. 1:15 purging (if you feel like passing out, decrease intensity)
    3. Hold breath up to 90s, no more
    4. Three semi-purge breaths
    5. 90s deep breathing
    6. 90s purging
    7. Hold breath up to 2:30, no more
    8. Three semi-purge breaths
    9. 2:00 deep breathing
    10. 1:45 purging
    11. Hold breath up to maximum
    12. After exhalation, 3-10 hard semi-purge breaths until you recover
  • Moved finger slightly every 30s to let them know you are okay
  • Go through A to Z, visualizing friends with that letter to help pass time. Distract yourself
  • Don’t check time, or it will go much slower


Living Forever

  • Focuses more on how quality of life can go down with most techniques
  • Calorie restriction (30%) elongates life
  • Less ejaculation could prolong life
  • Protocols being used:
    1. 5-10g of creatine
    2. Intermittent Fasting and Protein Cycling
    3. Blood Letting / Bleeding


Closing Thoughts

  • To improve inner game, improve outer game
  • Most people have resigned themselves to a partial completeness
  • Your body is almost always within your control


Getting Tested – From Nutrients to Muscle Fibers

  • SpectraCell
  • Useful information: http://www.labtestsonline.org/
  • Make sure to remove variables in tests. Same time, day of week etc.

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