32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation
I bought this book on recommendation from a friend who had experimented with a few chapters from the book with great results. The book is a collection of experiments and research that the author has completed over the past ten years on the human body. Much of it challanges regular thinking and explores doing things easier or smarter. The key difference with this book is...
Published on 15 Aug 2011 by Mr. B. T. Clutterbuck
99 of 104 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Be a student, not a follower" - Jim Rohn
This book unfortunately was a big disappointment for me. I absolutely loved the 4HWW but this book seems to be a hangover from his first book. "How to make money from selling information" and it seems that this book is the product of that philosophy.
Almost everything taught in 4HWW was used to promote this book including the use of competitions to sell more...
Published on 26 April 2011 by Kho Minh
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99 of 104 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars "Be a student, not a follower" - Jim Rohn,
This review is from: The 4-Hour Body: An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman: The Secrets and Science of Rapid Body Transformation (Paperback)This book unfortunately was a big disappointment for me. I absolutely loved the 4HWW but this book seems to be a hangover from his first book. "How to make money from selling information" and it seems that this book is the product of that philosophy.
Almost everything taught in 4HWW was used to promote this book including the use of competitions to sell more books during launch to get the book to the top spot in book sales. Asking this fans and followers to write reviews all to create more "credibility indicators" along with "real life examples". All of this has made me question the credibility/validity of this book.
In essence it's not a book thats getting good ratings for the merit of its content. So keep that in mind when making your decision about whether or not to purchase this book.
So onto the book itself. Having read all over the subject of personal health and nutrition I was hoping that this book would provide something new and remarkable in developing a system to improve results of sorts. However, this book seemed to be a bit of a hack job. Bits and pieces put together to create a beast of a book.
I especially enjoyed the titles: "How to lose 9kg in a month". Anybody who is significantly overweight that goes on a healthy diet would lose that kind of weight easily including myself. And it seems that many people who have seen these results have assigned its merit to the 4HB. Once again resulting in more ratings.
"Six Minute Abs: Two ab exercises that actually work" - A variation of the classic abdominal crunch and sucking your belly in, oh and get your body fat percentage below 12%.
"From geek to freak: How to gain 15.4kg in a month" - Supplements and exercises that promote Sarcoplasmic Hypertrophy. Will it it make your muscles big? Yes, through making them bloated. Again, disappointed there was no mention of muscle hyperplasia (creating new muscle fibre). Again the book seems to be targeted towards quick superficial results. And I use 'quick' as a relative term. (PS - I like the way how they left out the word "lean muscle" from the title of this section.)
Will this books help people lose weight? Sure, and the somewhat misguided publicity will convince more people to follow its principles. Are the theories sound/safe? Some of them are - in an over-hyped and half-truthful way, and the rest are questionable at best.
My advice is to try the book as an experiment and then take what works with you. Some of the theories may turn out to be effective and just what you're after, others not so much. My only wish was that Ferris had used his clout to promote proper health and nutrition and not mass radical experimentation.
Losing weight and getting lean is a slow process as well a long-term study/education. Take any of these shortcuts with due diligence. And if you're already a health freak following a healthy routine and seeing results, get this book for fun and keep it on your bookshelf but don't expect to learn anything new - its introductory level at best.
91 of 100 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The best ever guide - to hacking your body and and self marketing,
This review is from: The 4-Hour Body: An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman: The Secrets and Science of Rapid Body Transformation (Paperback)Ferris throws together a wide ranging and somewhat disparate ensemble of topics and offers some interesting insights into them all. Unfortunately he does so with incredible hypocracy. Scoffing at poor science he proceeds to offer anecdotal evidence for many of his claims and adopts a inconsistent approach to referencing.
Each chapter is a small essay on a different topic, and each jumps between narrative, product endorsement, unreferenced fact, and often, some very insightful ideas and jumping-off points on the subject.
As an introduction to the numerous topics, this book represents a great starting point for further research, and goes further than that in many places. More importantly, Ferris recognises the importance of what some teachers call "cues". Not necessarily focusing on telling you the facts, but rather what you need to hear to get results. In my opinion he frequently hits on very effective techniques that work.
Perhaps my biggest issues with the book are that firstly the chapters are hard to follow as serious advice darting as they do between ideas, and secondly often it reads more like the hype and marketing bumf he purports throughout to eschew. It's often less a "how to improve yourself" than a "how to make a lot of money from selling a book to suckers".
I'd give this book more stars for its smattering of insightful gems if only I hadn't been made to feel like a sucker!
241 of 272 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Promises Far More Than It Delivers,
This review is from: The 4-Hour Body: An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman: The Secrets and Science of Rapid Body Transformation (Paperback)The first thing the author of this book tells us is that we're not meant to just pick it up and read it all the way through. Instead, we're encouraged to read the introduction to establish a certain base level of knowledge, and from there decide for ourselves which of the remaining sections are relevant to us. The book has specific sections on losing fat, gaining muscle, improving sex, perfecting sleep, reversing injuries, running, getting stronger, living longer, plus a section called "from swimming to swinging", which covers a grab-bag of topics. Personally I focused on fat loss, so that's what I'm going to focus on in this review.
The section on fat loss begins with a chapter entitled "The Slow-Carb Diet I: How to Lose 20 pounds in 30 Days Without Exercising". Pretty spectacular stuff, huh? In fact, most authorities agree that weight loss that rapid is not actually healthy. So before I began I decided that if the program truly lived up to its hype, I'd only stick to it for a couple of weeks before going back to a slower weight loss program.
The diet is broken down into five rules:
1. Avoid "white" carbohydrates (e.g. sugar, white rice, white bread, potatoes).
2. Eat the same few meals over and over again.
3. Don't drink calories.
4. Don't eat fruit.
5. Take one day off per week and go nuts.
The author also advises dieters to emphasize high protein foods, legumes, and vegetables.
I took two serious shots at this diet. In the first I made one small change of my own, but in the second I followed the stated program TO THE LETTER. In neither attempt did the results even remotely live up to the claims made by the author.
In my first attempt, on my non-binge days I ate:
Breakfast: 2 cans of Old El Passo "Mexe-Beans" plus raw baby spinach.
Lunch: Kangaroo keema with optional green salad; OR steak with grilled tomato and optional steamed broccoli.
Dinner: 20 gm of 85% cocoa dark chocolate plus 20 gm of sunflower seeds plus optional green vegetables (raw baby cucumbers or celery, or steamed broccoli). The chocolate, which I ate for its established heart-health benefits, was my only break with the diet's normal rules. It represented less than one single teaspoon of sugar per day, and as a low glycemic index (GI) food, at least seemed in the spirit of "slow carb".
I drank only water, diet sodas, and black, unsweetened coffee. Following a further suggestion of the author's, I also drank two litres (4.2 pints) of chilled water per day. I occasionally skipped a meal, but as stressed in the book, always ate my high protein breakfast within an hour of waking up.
In the week before going on the diet I have to admit I overindulged. As a result my weight "spiked" by 3.4 kg (7.5 pounds). After five days on the diet literally all of this had come off. Unfortunately, that's where the good news ends. In the three weeks after that I lost just 1.3 kilograms (2.9 pounds). So on a diet billed as causing weight loss of 20 pounds in 30 days, I actually lost less than 3 pounds in 3 weeks. At this point I decided it wasn't worth continuing.
My body fat percentage did end up marginally higher than it was when I started, but the difference was well within my normal daily fluctuations. I did not go quite so far as to use the more rigorous body fat measuring protocols suggested in the book, but I did use my scale (with electronic body fat monitor) at the same time each day: immediately upon awakening, after using the bathroom but before eating or drinking anything.
On the plus side, if you not unreasonably take the view that Mr. Ferriss is not responsible for what I did to myself in the week before going on his diet, you could say that I lost 10.4 pounds. On the other hand, if you factor in the reality that - as any experienced dieter knows - weight gained during these "final" binges usually comes off very quickly anyway, what we're left with is a loss of less than one pound per week. As a personal aside, when I ran the weight loss program by a nurse friend of mine she predicted that it wouldn't work: that each week I'd just regain what I'd lost in my weekly binge. As it turns out, each week I regained almost, but not quite all that I had lost. Hence the very slow net weight loss I did in fact achieve.
And that's where my discussion of the slow carb diet originally ended. However, after posting this review I began seeing claims that my daily dose of dark chocolate was why the diet didn't work for me. I decided to do some reading, and found an article in the Journal of Nutrition reporting that coco-flavoured foods really do cause an insulin response greater than you'd expect from their GI alone. Dark chocolate is still very good for you in the long run, but it _might_ cause an insulin spike at the time you actually eat it. And it is true that the book tells us to avoid this. I figured it was just possible that the fault here really was my own, so I decided to give the slow carb diet another try.
The second time around, on the days I didn't "go nuts" I ate nothing outside the following four meals:
Old El Paso Mexe-Beans served on leafy greens with a splash of red wine vinegar and jalapeños.
Kangaroo and cauliflower curry served on leafy greens with a splash of red wine vinegar.
Lean rump steak with steamed Brussels sprouts.
Stir fried vegetables (from local Chinese takeaways; on most occasions ordered in curry sauce).
On almost every day of the diet I ate three meals: one beans, one meat, one stir-fried vegetables. I once missed the third meal, and I once had a second meal of Mexe-Beans in place of the vegetables, but that's it. As before, I was always careful to eat a high protein breakfast within an hour of getting up, and drank only water, diet sodas, and black, unsweetened coffee. This time around I also made the supreme sacrifice and omitted the pre-diet binge so beloved of slimmers everywhere. I wanted to be sure that whatever weight I lost was going to be real weight loss. No excuses!
My results were mediocre to say the least. After six days of regimented eating I'd lost 1.1 kg (2.4 pounds). In the "go nuts" day that followed I not only regained all of this weight, but more besides. As a result, by the end of the next six days of regimented eating I was still actually 0.1 kg (3.5 ounces) HEAVIER than I'd been at the end of the first six days - although 1 kg (2.2 pounds) lighter than when I first began. On a positive note, in this second shot at the diet my body fat percentage did drop slightly, so all of that appears to be real fat loss. Even so, it seemed pretty clear that I was simply yo-yoing, just as my nurse friend had said I would. Plus I'd only lost about a quarter of what I should have by day 14 had I truly been on course to "lose 20 pounds in 30 days". I decided it was time to call it quits and resume a healthier pattern of eating.
So much for my personal experiments in fat loss. There are two other sections of the book I would now like to comment on.
First, "Adding Muscle". Ferriss is an advocate of Arthur Jones style High Intensity Training, or "HIT". As with his weight loss program, Ferriss has no problem advertising truly spectacular results, titling one chapter "From Geek to Freak: How to Gain 34 pounds in 28 days". I agree HIT deserves more attention than it gets, but there are more realistic manuals out there. Just do a book search here on Amazon on "High Intensity Training" or "Mike Mentzer" and you'll get some good suggestions.
Similarly, while Mr. Ferriss has a chapter entitled "Living Forever: Vaccines, Bleeding, and Other Fun", a lot of the science behind this chapter on "Living Forever" is highly debatable. Here too I would advise that there are simply better, and certainly more scientifically grounded books available. I personally suggest starting with Dr. Roy Walford's Beyond the 120 Year Diet and the CR society website. On a more conservative front, Jack LaLane's Live Young Forever is also well worth a look.
Finally, I would like to comment on the number of five star reviews this book has garnered, particularly over on Amazon's US website. Having seen other reviewers claim that this book gained a suspiciously high number of positive reviews rather too quickly, I decided to do a little detective work. By sorting the reviews from oldest first, I easily verified that 110 reviews of this book were posted on the 14th of December 2010. Of these 110 reviews, all but 5 gave the book five stars. Obviously it's equally easy for you to verify all this too - provided you don't mind doing some counting! A disturbingly large number of five star reviews also happened to appear on the US website on April 26 2011. I've no idea why April 26 2011 was the magic day, but if you do happen to know, then please leave a comment on this review letting me in on the secret. I'm quite curious myself!
In the end I can only say that I went into this with an open mind. I did actually buy the book, and I didn't throw away that money just so I could write a nasty review. I also took not just one but two very serious shots at the weight loss program contained in the book. And yes, like anyone else on a weight loss program, of course I wanted it to work. However, I find that I cannot reconcile my own experiences with the countless rave reviews this book seems to attract.
Draw what conclusions you will.
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A revelation,
I particularly liked the Chapter on slow carb dieting, this is really working for me right now and isn't much of a challange. The Kettlebell swings section is also really cool and there are also a couple of other fun chapters on Sleep and sex which are fun.
The overall vibe of the book is to have a go and see what works for you, the book doesn't take itself too seriously but it is based on science, research and a better understanding of how the body works without boring you to tears. So if you are looking to make some tweaks and changes to your lifestyle to get fitter and healthier but you aren't quite ready to overhaul your way of life for a six pack then this is for you. You'll see results quickly in any area you decide to pick up on and you won't have to wade through 400 pages of theory before you get there. 30 minutes and you'll be taking content away and using it.
Improving quality of sleep
getting a six pack
Controlling body using temperature
... and more. Like i say not every chapter will float your boat but they are all independent and don't form part of an overall regime.
Fun, digestible, manageable, readable, informative and just plain better than every other book I've read on the body.
It's all about results and getting them fast.
83 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A guide to self experimentation,
In particular if you want children, men should read about Tim's insight in this area and the female orgasm chapter is very.... DETAILED.... with diagrams on how to and even what to say and all. That should suit a lot of men!
One thing that is seriously annoying is, that the editors deemed it necessary to translate all the kg weights into stone & pounds for the British release of the book. This was done by somebody who has no concept of British measures and therefore they are often wrong. Nobody would use 0.12st for a kilo or at one stage they claim 14 kg = 7 stone. They also translated every $ amount into £ as well. WHY? It really is annoying and distracting when reading the book, please leave it out in the reprint.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars no different to a atkins diet really,
The book itself says the drop out rate is three percent, well I just happen to be that three percent. The book also says that a common complaint was not eating enough veg, and therefore feeling hungry. I ate so much veg i could feel my stomach swelling but my body was still hungry as I was short of blood suger.
I had no energy and was constanly cooking and eating on this diet, like making meals every two hours. If you dont want to spend three hours a week in the gym and want to spend 30 hours a week thinking about food and eating and preparing food every two hours this book is for you.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're willing to put in the time, this book will give you the rewards,
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's easy and it WORKS! No, really, it DOES!,
That said, in just 6-weeks, Ferris's diet has :-
1. allowed me to EASILY lose a stone (only 10lb to go...)
2. finally broken my 48-year bread, biscuit and chocolate addictions
3. cleared up a mysterious rash I've had for 5 years
4. eliminated my afternoon drowsiness
5. considerably alleviated depression, especially in the mornings
6. given me the enthusiasm to exercise more
7. amazed my friends, who can't believe how well I look
Give it a try - you will need to be open-minded and forget everything you've ever been told about losing weight. Then when you've proved it works, read Mark Sisson's Primal Blueprint book as well!
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A burst of inspiration,
The slow-carb section, the increased muscle section and the distance running section are all spot on. My own results have been great (albeit not superhuman). They don't involve vast amounts of effort either. A key tenet to the book is doing the minimum required to get a result. Rather than some ker-azy 6 day a week program of 2 hour gym sessions, he claims you can get a great result with, say, 20 minutes of kettle bell swings twice a week, or one gym workout a week. Hence the advice isnt dangerous.
Some of the other sections are a bit spotty. The swimming section basically says, check out this other guy's DVD. The female orgasm part is frankly bizarre. Don't read it on the tube whatever you do.
There are other downsides. Firstly the editing is poor. Spelling errors, formatting errors all over the show. Every measurement is given in both metric and imperial. Fine when discussing weights or suchlike, but when he casually refers to someone as being over 6 ft and 200lb, or mentioning that someone can run over 100 miles, we dont need to know the exact conversions for these. He's tall, he's heavy and he can run a long way, thats we need. It means each page becomes a sea of brackets.
Its also quite hard to fathom an actual programme of activity. As he suggests only doing a certain amount of exercise each week, and on a certain timetable, it means that if I want to, say, learn to swim, improve my running and sort out my podgy belly, the timetables get in the way of each other. It took quite a bit of thought to work out a timetable that suited my needs and was balanced.
But these shortcomings shouldn't stop anyone with a vague interest reading it. You really get the feeling that he's interested in finding out what works, not making out that he's always right. I think if you got off your chair and disproved his theories, and made a new one in the process he'd be a happy man.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read!,
This review is from: The 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman[ THE 4-HOUR BODY: AN UNCOMMON GUIDE TO RAPID FAT-LOSS, INCREDIBLE SEX, AND BECOMING SUPERHUMAN ] By Ferriss, Timothy ( Author )Dec-14-2010 Hardcover (Hardcover)Loved this book. Its written so you can jump to which ever chapter you require. Not all of it is for everybody, but used correctly, this book is a great resource of knowledge and can change your life.
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The 4-Hour Body: An uncommon guide to rapid fat-loss, incredible sex and becoming superhuman: The Secrets and Science of Rapid Body Trans... by Timothy Ferriss (Paperback - 27 Jan 2011)