The 4-Hour Body: Initial Reaction

I’m a sucker for trends — but not in fashion…in books! Especially when it comes to health, fitness and nutrition. I was a terrible math and science student, but for some reason, learning about how our body works is fascinating to me.

This week, the book that is commanding my attention is:

The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferris. You can check out the website here ( to learn more, but the basic premise, courtesy of the Amazon description, is:

Is it possible to:
Reach your genetic potential in 6 months?
Sleep 2 hours per day and perform better than on 8 hours?
Lose more fat than a marathoner by bingeing?

Indeed, and much more. This is not just another diet and fitness book.

The 4-Hour Body is the result of an obsessive quest, spanning more than a decade, to hack the human body. It contains the collective wisdom of hundreds of elite athletes, dozens of MDs, and thousands of hours of jaw-dropping personal experimentation. From Olympic training centers to black-market laboratories, from Silicon Valley to South Africa, Tim Ferriss, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 4-Hour Workweek, fixated on one life-changing question:

For all things physical, what are the tiniest changes that produce the biggest results?

I mentioned that I have read a lot of non-fiction books about health and wellness, so I wasn’t as shocked by some of the recommendations Ferris makes as others might be. For example, I learned about HIIT from Body for Life [review] (and Ellington Darden, whom we interviewed for Growing Bolder). I learned about supplements and calorie cycling from Making the Cut [review] and Mastering Your Metabolism. And I learned about plant-based diets from Food Matters, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Eating Animals [review].

I borrowed the book from the library, so I only have 2 weeks to embrace it…but after 15 minutes of reading this morning, I was hooked — and I immediately vowed to start his plan this week. If nothing else, this is another way to challenge myself to stick to a plan, and play around with food and fitness to see how the plan works for my body. I want to withhold judgement on the book until I’m a little further along, so for now, thoughts from a few other bloggers:

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  1. says

    I can’t wait to hear more about this! After learning about it over on NMA, I was really interested in it. I have tried CrossFit Endurance (running less but better and faster) and loved it, but missed the amount of running I had been doing. I might have to go check this out at my library!

  2. says

    I’m not sure how I feel about this book. To be honest I haven’t read it but what I have heard is that it is the diet is highly restrictive in nature which to me presents the problem of sustainability. I do, on the other hand, strongly support the benefits of interval training mainly because I have had a good experience with it. I am interested to see what comes of it as you continue reading.

  3. says

    I’m super excited to hear your thoughts on this! I’m going today to see if my library has the book, but I’m doubtful because it’s pretty small. I may camp out in B&N to read it though :-) Of the few things he mentioned in the Dr. Oz segment, I’m curious to try the ice packs! Can’t wait to hear more! Good luck!

  4. says

    I can’t wait to start testing out his recommendations. I’m already starting to monitor body fat and other numbers he suggested. It was part of the inspiration behind my fitness metrics series.

  5. says

    I wonder if this is the book my friend was telling me about yesterday she was going to make some notes on it because it breaks things down into teeny little segments so you can apply them, right?

  6. says

    Thanks for the comment to push me to keep going with my 4hb experiment! I really appreciate it and needed it. I hope you start following the 4hb too and see some quick results.

    *And no I don’t think you should close comments :) blogs don’t become very fun when that happens

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