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Quick Summary: The book “The 4-Hour Body” is a classic of our dear Tim Ferriss. After the masterpiece “The 4-Hour Workweek”, Tim chose to create a guide with easy and efficient solutions to many issues that affect most people. The book covers topics such as weight loss, muscle gain, insomnia, and even sexuality.
The book starts from the premise that small changes can produce great results.
If you want to learn how to efficiently stay in shape and without hunger, how to have good nights of sleep, run better and even how to improve your sex life, this is the ideal book for you.
You do not have to have good genetics or count on luck to do it! Author Tim Ferriss explains how to get better results from the least effort with simplicity. Let’s go on this adventure for health and well-being?
The 4-Hour Body Summary
The rules of weight loss always say that some things are impossible: you cannot lose more than 1kg per week; You can not change your muscle type; the only way to lose weight is by cutting calories.
The Foundations Of The 4-Hour Body Plan (4HB)
You have heard all these things and tried to be healthier, but the reality is these rules are not as accurate as most think.
You can do some things differently, small changes that will allow you to reach your ideal weight.
The purpose of 4HB is to show what you can change in your life to improve your health regarding weight loss, sleep habits, physical stamina, and overall longevity.
Tim tells the story of Arthur Jones. He was one of the most influential people in the field of physical education.
Jones did a lot of research and experimentation and left a substantial legacy. One such legacy was the idea of an Effective Minimum Dose (EMD).
The EMD is the least amount of something that will produce the desired result.
For example, the minimum amount of exercise you need to do to see results is the exercise EMD for you. If you overdo your EMD in any situation, you can interrupt your progress and hinder your efforts.
If you think about reinventing your life, especially with regards to your physical appearance, removing stored fat and gaining muscle are two essential elements.
When it comes to stored fat, you need to find out your EMD to activate fat burning hormones.
To gain muscle, you need to find out your EMD which activates muscle growth and the hormone responsible for it.
Experiments show that losing weight is not as simple as just counting calories.
Calories should not be your focus to achieve weight loss. In fact, calories are only considered significant because they are measurable and monitorable in tests. The 4HB plan will not make you count and cut calories to lose fat.
Your motivation needs to be large enough that you not only start the process but also stick to it. You need to monitor your progress by always measuring your results to keep you on track.
Measuring And Accompanying The Results
When you start following the 4HB plan, you will lose body fat and gain muscle.
You will begin to notice a substantial difference in your weight in the first few months. You may also notice that your weight loss will begin to get less dramatic after the initial three months.
While you lose fat, you are gaining muscle as well. Muscle gain appears on the scale, so even though you are still losing fat, it will not appear because of the muscles you gain in the process.
You cannot let the numbers on the scale hinder your progress.
If you are the type of person who needs to see measurable results in terms of body fat, there are some tests you can do to determine the fat percentage.
When you begin the plan, write down your measurements so that you see your progress throughout.
Begin by measuring your circumference. Use a tape measure, note the size of your upper arms (middle biceps), your waist, your hip at the widest point and both of your legs.
Add these measures to determine your overall measures. Next, estimate your percentage of body fat based on your body shape.
When you are following the 4HB plan, your diet will be low-carb. If you follow the diet correctly, you can lose up to 10kg of fat in a month.
The first rule of dieting is to avoid white carbs. These foods are banned during the diet, except thirty minutes after a high-strength workout.
That means you’ll need to cut out all bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta, and fried breaded foods. That includes whole foods as well.
The second rule is to have repeat meals. You can mix the foods in your meals, but you should eat the same foods in your meals. These are the foods allowed:
- Chicken breast;
- Black bean;
- Pinto beans;
- Red bean;
- Mix vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and others;
- Green bean;
You can eat as much as you want from the above foods. You also need to make sure you have enough vegetables to maintain your caloric intake while you are on a diet, as vegetables do not have many calories.
Make three to four meals and repeat them every day. If you are going to eat in a restaurant, or anywhere but your house, ask to replace the starch with more vegetables.
You can also eat other vegetables that are not listed above; Just stay away from potatoes.
You may have noticed that there is no milk on this list. Milk is forbidden as it causes a high insulin response in the body. The only dairy product that is allowed is cottage cheese since it is high in protein.
Butter is also allowed as long as it is pure butter and has only butter and salt in its ingredients list.
Another important factor for dieting is the time you eat. You need to make your first meal of the day the first hour you wake up. From there, your meals should have a 4 hours gap.
If you NEED to snack between meals, carrots are the best thing to eat but do not eat too many. If you have noticed that you are getting hungry between meals, you are not eating enough and you should increase your portions.
The third rule is to stay away from liquid calories. You can drink as much water as you want, unsweetened tea, black coffee or other non-calorie beverages. You cannot drink milk, soda or fruit juices.
You can drink soda diets, but need to limit yourself to 400ml per day. Alcoholic beverages should be avoided. However, you can take two glasses of red wine a day.
The fourth rule is to stop eating fruits. That may seem strange, but the reality is that you do not need to eat fruits to be healthy. The only fruits allowed in the diet are tomatoes and avocado. Avocado should be limited to one unit per day.
The fifth and final rule is to take a day off per week in which you can eat anything you want in any amount. That is not just to help you not give up; There are also benefits of weight loss.
When you increase your calorie intake dramatically, you will actually help your fat loss by ensuring that your metabolic rate does not get slow because of the long periods of calorie restriction.
You will notice that you have gained weight after your day off but as long as you follow the plan on all other days, you will lose that weight within the next 48 hours.
Beyond the diet, you can take supplements like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. You can also use different seasonings and sauces in your meals.
Pepper paste, unsweetened sweeteners, olive oil, macadamia oil, and grapeseed oil may also be used.
The above five rules are the basis of the 4HB meal plan. Here are two other factors that will contribute to your fat loss and muscle gain:
PAGG: Nutraceuticals are supplements that you can add to the diet to give you more energy, improve your immune system, cholesterol, and other benefits. PAGG is a nutraceutical that can help you in your weight loss and muscle gain.
This supplement consists of 20 or 25 milligrams of policosanol, which is a plant extract to lower cholesterol, 100 to 130 milligrams of alpha lipoic acid, an antioxidant that will prevent your body from storing carbohydrates in fat cells, 325 milligrams of green tea flavanols also known as EGCG and at least 200 milligrams of garlic extract, which prevents fat recovery, and coats cholesterol.
It is recommended that you take this supplement before each meal and before bed. You should take it six days a week and stop taking it for a week every two months.
While using this supplement, make sure you maintain your optimal levels of B-complex vitamins.
Consult a doctor if you have any health problem or taking any medicine, especially anticoagulants. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, do not take PAGG.
Ice Therapy: Scientific research has found that the body burns more energy when subjected to cold temperatures.
One option is to put an ice pack in your upper trapezius muscle area or behind the neck for about twenty minutes every morning. A second option is to drink at least 500 ml of ice water as soon as you wake up, before eating anything else.
You should then have breakfast no more than half an hour later. The third option is to take icy baths for 5 to 10 minutes in the morning or before bed.
The fourth option is the most extreme: you will need to sit in an ice bath for 20 minutes.
Cold baths have numerous benefits, including the release of fatty acids, an increase in adiponectin, stimulation of thermogenesis, improvement of your immune system and an indirect treatment for depression.
Getting Stronger And Building Muscles
The next step is to learn how to gain muscle, which will help keep the fat away and make you feel better. For this, we present some exercises that you can do:
Balancing with Kettlebells: balancing with kettlebell done with two hands is one of the best exercises you can do to gain muscle. It is, in fact, the only exercise you need to produce drastic changes.
To properly balance the kettlebell, stand with your feet at a distance of approximately 30 cm (12 in) from each other, and with your fingers pointed slightly outward.
Keep your shoulders back, start swinging backward with the kettlebell while making a movement as if you would sit in a chair.
Hold your shoulders back and push your hips forward as you squeeze your buttocks. As you move forward, the thrust and weight of the kettlebell will push your arms, creating a swing.
Exercises to build muscle mass: These exercises are designed to help you get in shape and improve your posture quickly and easily.
Make 10 sets each with thirteen reps and as much weight as you can, except for swings with the kettlebell. For the kettlebell, make 20 to 25 swings. Repeat the entire circuit twice.
- Squatting with dumbbells, tighten buttocks at the bottom of the squat for one second before getting up;
- One-sided paddle with two supports;
- Step forward with a dumbbell;
- Open-arm push-ups;
- Swings with a kettlebell with both arms;
This series has different repetitions for each exercise, but the whole circuit must be repeated twice.
- Bilateral paddle with dumbbells on a stand, 10 to 12 reps on each side;
- The horizontal bar (descent only, 4 seconds) × 10 repetitions or until you are not able to control the descent;
- One-sided hip lift with abdominal below the ball, 6 to 12 repetitions per leg;
- Bridge (front and side with elbow support), start with 30 seconds front, 30 seconds on each side, exercising for up to 90 seconds;
- Hip extension on a ball on a bench, 15 to 25 repetitions;
Abs: The abdominals are probably the most coveted muscle group, especially for men. Here are two moves you can do to set your abdominal muscles.
The myotatic abdomens use their fully extended positioning and their stretch reflex to create a strong contraction. To perform these sit-ups, you need a Bosu, a Swiss ball or a pile of firm cushions.
You want to position yourself on the ball or on the cushions by sitting as close to the ground as possible.
Begin with your arms stretched over your head as high as possible; Keep your arms behind or close to your ears throughout the exercise.
Then lower yourself slowly for four seconds until your fingers touch the ground, all the while trying to keep your hands off the ball. Stop at this position for two seconds, attempting the maximum elongation.
Climb up slowly and stop at the top, in full contraction position for another two seconds. Do a total of 10 reps.
After completing them, add weight to your hands, but women should not exceed 5 kg in weight.
The “cat vomit” exercise will contract your abdomen inward. Instead of working the vertical muscles in your abdomen like the myotatic abdominal, this exercise works the horizontal muscles known as transverse abdominal muscles (TAM).
To do this, stay on all fours and keep your eyes focused directly on your head or slightly forward. Do not arch your back or strain your neck.
Then exhale through your mouth until all air is expelled.
Your abdomen should contract with this forced movement. Hold your breath and contract the navel upward toward the spine as much as you can, aiming for 8 to 12 seconds. Take a deep breath through your nose after holding your breath.
Do a breathing cycle as rest and then do 10 repetitions of this exercise
When it comes to the 4HB plan exercises, it is important to remember that extrapolating your EMD is risky and pointless.
Improving Your Sex Life
The 4HB plan is not just about your weight and your muscles. The purpose of the plan is to reinvent your life so that you become a better person overall. For this reason, improving your sexual performance is important.
Some women say they have never had an orgasm while others say they have never had an orgasm in a sexual relationship.
The goal here is for you to have an orgasm through manual stimulation or intercourse, or for you to be able to give a woman an orgasm through these methods.
A woman first needs to feel comfortable with her own sexuality and what she likes in bed. If a woman does not masturbate regularly, it will be difficult to facilitate orgasm.
If you are one of these women, you should start exploring your body for five minutes before bed or when you wake up. You will not be able to enjoy orgasm as a partner until you can enjoy one on your own.
Regarding positions that increase pleasure and induce orgasm, the penetration angle is important.
By changing the angle at which the penis penetrates the vagina, you can ensure that the head of the penis contacts the female G-spot, which lies 2.5 to 5cm inside the vagina, at the top.
If a man inserts his index finger to the second joint (palm up) and makes a move up and back, as if he were calling someone, the fingertip should touch a spongy tissue.
That is the G spot. Change the penetration angle so that the penis head has a better chance of coming into contact with that area.
Similarly, you can change the applied pressure during sex to facilitate female orgasms. Increasing the force will allow the male pelvic bone to be in direct contact with the clitoris. That will lead to increased pleasure for the woman. Here are some positions that facilitate female orgasm:
- “Missionary position” with improved angulation: Begin by placing a pillow under the woman’s hip to tilt her hip toward her head. The man then pulls his hip as close to the woman’s as possible, keeping his ankles under his butt. He should be sitting on his ankles and with his knees open comfortably. The lower your hip, the better the angle to touch the G spot. Try more or less deep penetrations. Making a nine-penetration rhythm shorter and a longer one is very efficient. Use the underside of the vaginal opening as a support for the penis, which will act as a lever.
- “Missionary position” with improved pressure: To achieve this position, the man needs to throw his weight forward and keep his legs straight behind him. Then, he will support more weight on the woman’s pelvis (the goal) and on the arms themselves. This contact of the pelvis with the clitoris allows for friction in that position. Direct stimulation of the clitoris will facilitate the female orgasm.
- Improved cowgirl: The cowgirl with improved pressure puts the woman on the man and recreates the same penis position of the missionary position with perfected pressure. The man should not be completely lying down or fully seated. He should maintain a slope of about 20 degrees. Pillows can be used to achieve this angle. The woman can control the movement all the time. While she controls the movement, the man must control the pressure.
- Reaching orgasm in 15 minutes: The woman should lie on her stomach with her legs spread apart. To reach the right angle, the man should sit on the right side of her, on at least two pillows and with her leg bent perpendicularly over her chest, her feet resting on the opposite side.
This contact should last for exactly 15 minutes. Man, start by separating the lips and hold the clitoris with the right thumb, keeping the prepuce of clitoris upwards.
Place your left hand under her butt, two fingers under each buttock, with the thumb at the base of the vagina.
This will work as a support and help the woman relax. Imagine that you are looking directly at the clitoris in the middle of her legs, with the top of the clitoris at the 12 o’clock position.
Find the position 1 hour – ideally a small flap or pocket between the hood and the clitoris – with the index finger on your right hand and start stroking using the lightest possible touch, with a movement around the region of about 1.5 mm
Use a consistent speed for two or three minutes before varying the speed.
That will cause her to orgasm.
Increasing Testosterone in the Body: Testosterone is the male sex hormone produced in the testicles. Some men have low amounts of testosterone for many reasons.
That is usually treated with medicines, but it need not be so. There are two different methods for you to improve your testosterone levels without medications.
The first is for your long-term testosterone levels. Take two capsules of cod liver oil with butterfat rich in vitamins. Take 3,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D when you wake up and before bedtime (until you reach blood levels of 55ng / ml.)
Take short 10-minute ice baths when you wake up and before bedtime. You can also eat three nuts when you wake up and before bed.
The second method is for the short term. Consume at least 800 milligrams of cholesterol three hours before bed the night before sex.
That works because testosterone is derived from cholesterol, which is mainly produced while you sleep. Also, eat four horse nuts, 20 raw almonds and two capsules of cod liver oil and butter, four hours before sex.
Improving Your Performance In Physical Activities
The next step is to reinvent yourself, focusing on improving your performance in physical activities.
Improving your vertical jump: To improve your vertical jump, you should do the workouts prepared by NFL coach Joe DeFranco.
Begin by making ten conventional jumping jacks, ten with forward arms, five steps backwards on each side of your body, five steps to the side on each side, ten full leg swings, and twenty seconds of jump rope, landing on the front part of your feet and straight legs, as fast as possible.
Once you complete these exercises, you can measure your vertical jump base distance and save your results.
To improve the initial average, you must first change the way you jump. You need to use your shoulders and upper body strength to pull back.
You should also leave your arms at the highest point without pulling them back. Narrowing your squatting position can also help you improve your heel.
The tension in the hip flexor muscles can also be a problem to improve vertical jumping. Stretch your flexor muscles using static stretching 30 seconds before your jump; Hold the position for 30 seconds.
Running faster: Start with a warm-up: jump rope for 18 meters (60 feet) twice, six reps backward on both sides of the body, 18 meters backpedaling twice, 18 meters semi-squatting with a lateral pass.
Continue the procedure with stretching and muscle activation: 10 roll-overs with legs apart, 10 hip circles on the move 4 pads and 10 alternating pads.
These exercises should be followed by frequency training: 20 seconds of jump with plantar flexion and two sessions of 5 seconds of normal squatting with jumping.
To start improving your speed, correct your starting position. Place your right hand down and your left leg forward. Keep your left foot about 30cm behind the finish line, then touch your right toes at the back of your left heel.
Bend and bring your right hand in front of the line with your index finger, middle finger and thumb together. Bend your right arm at a 90-degree angle.
Boost and look at the first step with your back leg to land almost 1m ( 3ft) from the toes of your front foot. When running, keep your chin down and do not look up.
Improving Your Sleep
If it takes a long time to fall asleep, this is considered early insomnia. If you wake up several times during the night, this is called intermediate insomnia.
If you wake up too soon and cannot go back to sleep, you have terminal insomnia.
Because it is very hard for someone to assess their own sleep quality and understand what is actually happening, it may be necessary to have some outside help, such as using a sleep monitor with a variety of functions.
Some important points about having a good night of sleep are:
The percentage of REM sleep: Whether or not you get a good night’s sleep for eight or ten hours depends on the relationship between your REM sleep and your total sleep.
If you have high percentages of REM sleep, you feel more rested. You can increase your REM percentage by waking up for five minutes approximately four and a half hours after sleeping.
You can also increase your REM sleep percentage by taking huperzine A thirty minutes before bed.
The percentage of deep sleep: If you have a high percentage of deep sleep, you will perform better the next day. Be careful about your wine consumption: drinking more than two glasses of wine in the four hours before bedtime can decrease your percentage of deep sleep.
You can also find the ideal temperature for your room. On average, you’ll want your room to register somewhere between 19 to 21 degrees Celsius.
You can also make great meals based on protein and fat four hours before bed to improve your sleep. Light therapy can also improve the quality of sleep.
Insulated movements performed before bedtime as well as a cold bath an hour before.
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4HB’s plan is incredibly simple and can fix almost every aspect of your life if you dedicate enough to the process.
The plan is somewhat restricted and may take some time for you to adjust to it, however, if you commit, you will achieve the results you are looking for.
The sheer amount of scientific research used in the different aspects of the plan and the fact that the creator himself made personal experiments puts this plan into a different class when compared to standard diets and exercise plans.
The downside of this plan is that either you do everything or nothing. You cannot choose to follow just one part of the diet and expect it to be successful.
Another downside is that the plan asks you for too many tests to monitor your progress. These tests cost money and are not available to everyone.
Finally, this plan was created so that you would only fail if you drop the ball. Follow the Tim Ferriss method and reap the rewards of a healthier life.