When a coworker mentioned The 4 Hour Body back in January my first thought was, “Great, another book like The 4 Hour Workweek.” I read 4HWW a couple of years ago and hated it, so I was skeptical about 4HB. After reading a couple of reviews I picked up a copy of the book and decided to see what all the buzz was about.
I experimented with some of the concepts and programs for the last 3 months. I can tell you the book is the real deal. I concentrated on losing weight for 7 weeks and was able to lose 16.9 pounds and knock 3.6% off my body fat. For 4 weeks after that, I worked on adding muscle with minimal gym time and was able to increase the weight of 4 different lifts between 31% and 57%. Each week I wrote detailed posts which are linked below.
The most important piece of 4HB is the Slow Carb Diet. I found the first 2 weeks a little tough, but after that I rarely had cravings for everything I had stopped eating. Cheat day really helps with this because you can eat anything you want and have something to look forward to. In the beginning I think cheat day is very important, but I experimented with several cheat meals a couple of weeks and was still able to see a lot of weight loss.
In the book, Tim recommends some supplements to help with weight loss and some tricks to minimize weight gain on cheat day. I didn’t take any of the supplements and didn’t do anything special on cheat day. I did however do a lot of walking on the golf course, kettlebell swings, ab exercises, and cardio such as running, biking, and hiking. I think all of the exercise was important to my weight loss and made me a lot more healthy.
Another thing Tim says is a key in the book is to measure inches. I did this for a few weeks but found that it was too easy to game the measurements because there is no way you can measure the same spots every week. I was seeing my weight and body fat drop each week which was good enough of a measurement for me.
After I hit my weight goal I decided to try out Occam’s Protocol to add some muscle and I was strict about following the minimum effective dose concept. Over 4 weeks I spent less that 2 total hours lifting weights and saw gains of more than 30% (up to a 57% increase on one lift) on all 4 lifts. I added milk back into my diet and ate protein bars as snacks. I didn’t up my caloric intake anywhere close to what is suggested by the book.. The only supplement I took was creatine for muscle recovery. While I didn’t see massive weight gains, I wasn’t after a bunch of weight; I wanted to add muscle and was able to very easily.
4 Hour Body doesn’t stop with the book. Many people are writing about their experiences on blogs and forums around the web. You can find support from folks who are either going through the same thing or have already gone through it. A great community has sprung up around 4HB and everyone seems willing to share encouragement, tips, and recipes.
It’s been a week since my last detailed post, but I continue to experiment. Even with a drive across the country when I ate a bunch of crap, I lost nearly 4 pounds and almost a full percent of body fat since Sunday. My weight and body fat are the lowest they’ve been during the journey. I think dropping protein bars out of my diet had a lot to do with this because they contain a lot of sugar and carbs.
If you are looking to lose weight or put on a lot of muscle, I suggest picking up a copy of the book. Start by following the things Tim has outlined in the book. After a few weeks start making changes to experiment for yourself. Different things work for different folks. Give it a try. What have you got to lose?