4 Hour Body (book cover)This is my quick book summary of The 4-Hour Body:
An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex and Becoming Superhuman
(by Tim Ferriss). The book is available on Amazon.

Summary notes below. All emphasis mine.


“The future is already here – it’s just unevenly distributed.”

“Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively” – Dalai Lama

The formula: 60% diet, 30% exercise, 10% drugs

Forget balance and embrace cycling – “maintaining peak condition year round is a ticket to crazy.”

The word aerobics came about when gym instructors said: “if we’re going to charge $10/hour, we can’t call it jumping up and down.”

Men and women should do the exact same thing in 99% of cases.

You must REALLY want it. And you must measure/track it consistently.

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool” – Feynman

Making Failure Impossible:

  1. Make it conscious
  2. Make it a game. “We are what we do repeatedly” (at least 5 times to get started)
  3. Make it competitive. Peer pressure works.
  4. Make it small and temporary.

Do a little thing every day. i.e. write 2 pages per day, call 1 client/day.

“Take the pressure off.” The rest will take care of itself.

The Slow Carb Diet

“Out of clutter, find simplicity” – Einstein

Rule #1: Prohibited foods (except 30 mins after workout): bread, rice, cereal, potatoes, pasta, tortilla, fried foods (“don’t eat white stuff unless you want to get fatter”)

Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again

Construct each meal with 1 item from each of the following (eat as much as you want of these):

ProteinsLegumesVegetables
2-5 whole organic eggsLentilsSpinach, Kimchee
Chicken breast/thighBlack beansMixed (broccoli, cauliflower)
Grass fed beefPinto beansPeas
FishRed beansGreen beans
PorkSoy beansAsparagus

Additional rules:

  • Don’t drink calories. Only water and unsweetened coffee/tea, up to 2 glasses red wine/night (pinot noir, cabernet, merlot)
  • Don’t eat fruit other than tomatoes and avocados
  • Take 1 day off per week: eat out for your cheat meals!

Supplements to consider:

  • Potassium
  • Magnesium (500mg pill)
  • Calcium

Acceptable spices/herbs:

  • Montreal steak rub
  • thick salsa without sugar
  • sea salt
  • thai chili paste
  • balsamic vinegar olive oil
  • grapeseed/macadamia oil

Nuts: cashews, peanuts, almonds, pistachios

Common Mistakes:

  1. Not eating within 1 hour (or 30 mins) of waking
  2. Not getting at least 20g protein per meal
  3. Not drinking enough water
  4. Don’t eat anything that requires portion control (nuts, chips)

Slow down! Make 30 minutes minimum for every meal. Chew 20 times.

For losing last 5-10 lbs, eat one of these every 3 waking hours:

  • Five whole eggs (hard boiled)
  • 50g whey protein isolate + ½ cup nuts or 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 8oz of cooked, non-fatty fish (lean tuna, whitefish, bass, catfish, pike, whiting, flounder) + ½ cup nuts or 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 8oz of cooked turkey/chicken + ½ cup nuts or 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 8oz of cooked fattier protein (real meat, ground beef, fatty fish, dark poultry) + 1 tablespoon of olive oil or macadamia oil

+ Unlimited quantities of: spinach, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli
NO corn, beans, tomatoes or carrots!

Adding Muscle

Building perfect posterior – use a 20 kg (44 lbs) or 24 kg (53 lbs) kettlebell

Exercise routine (Day 1 / 3 / 5)

  • High rep kettlebell swings to at least 75 reps (up to 150 reps)
  • Slow myotatic crunch with max weight x 10-15 slow reps

+ Every other week: single arm kettlebell swings to 25 minimum reps each side

Guidelines for kettlebell swings:

  • Stand with feet 6-12 inches outside of shoulder width on either side, each foot pointed outward about 30 degrees. Keep shoulders pulled back and down. Don’t let shoulders go in front of knees at any point.
  • Lowering movement (backswing) is like sitting on a chair movement, not squatting down movement.
  • Imagine pinching a penny between butt cheeks when you pop your hips forward.

Six Minute Ab exercise: do the Myotatic Crunch or Cat Vomit

From Geek to Freak

Measure your weight in pounds and consume 1.25 grams of protein * weight (lbs) /day.

Machine workout options:

Workout A:

  1. Close grip, palms facing you pull down x 7 reps (5/5 count)
  2. Machine shoulder press x 7 reps (Optional: abs)

Workout B:

  1. Slight incline/decline bench press x 7 (5/5)
  2. Leg press x 10 (5/5) (Optional: kettlebell swings x 50)
  3. Stationary bike 3 mins @ 85+ rpm

Free-weight options:

Workout A:

  1. Barbell x 7 (5/5)
  2. Barbell overhead press shoulder width x 7 (5/5)

Workout B:

  1. Slight incline bench press with shoulder width grip x 7 (5/5)
  2. Squat x 10 (Optional: kettlebell swings)
  3. Stationary bike 3 minutes

Workout rules:

  • If you can do all minimum target reps, next time increase everything by 10 lbs
  • The last rep is the rep that matters. Don’t just drop the weight at failure. Hold it for 5 seconds, move it millimeter by millimeter
  • Don’t pause at top/bottom of any movements (except bench press) and take exactly 3minutes rest between all exercises
  • It’s a slow process for rebuilding muscles! No more than once per week/muscle
  • Stay consistent (use free weights if you travel often)
  • If you don’t make target number of reps, STOP, go home, take next day off, then repeat workout, rest and eat enough. Don’t decrease weight and do another set. Just leave.
  • Warm-ups: take 60% of work weight and do x 3 reps at ½ cadence (1 second up, 2 seconds down)

Improving Sex

15-minute female orgasm:

  • Change the angle so head of penis comes to g-spot. Index finger palm up 2nd knuckle – come hither.
  • Pelvic bone should be in direct contact with clitoris

Other tips:

  • Improved angle missionary (pillow below her buttocks): 9 shorter + 1 longer penetrations
  • Improved pressure missionary: targeted pelvic grinding in this position, either moving hips in small circles or slowly side to side
  • Improved pressure cowgirl position: man doesn’t lie back or sit straight, instead lean back 20 degrees
  • When in doubt: man supplies pressure, she supplies the movement

Using finger:

  • She lies down on her back, feet in butterfly position
  • 1 o’clock position, tell her to relax, don’t ask “does it feel good?” Instead, “faster or slower?”
  • No idle chatter, don’t give in as she begs for penetration
  • Low pressure! Imagine scratching friend’s nose just enough to get them to react, but not wake up

Boosting Testosterone:

  • 20-24 hours before sex: eat 800mg of cholesterol (i.e. 4 large whole eggs) within 3 hours of bedtime, hard boiled
  • 4 hours prior: 20 raw almonds

Keep cell phone away from testicles!

Improving Sleep

  • Test 19.4 – 21 degree temperature with 1 bed sheet
  • Take cold bath 1 hour prior to bed
  • Half military crawl position so you literally can’t move
  • The Siesta: 6 hour sleep, one 20-minute nap midday

Getting Stronger

“do as little as needed, not as much as possible”

  1. Use 2 “global” exercises (bench press and deadlift)
  2. Lift 3 times a week. Practice your sport skills six days a week, and take a day off.
  3. Focus on 2-3 reps. Complete 10 reps per lift per workout (3×5, 2×5, etc.)
  4. Never train to failure. Have at least 1-2 reps always “in the bank”
  5. Rest for 5 minutes between sets.
  6. Finish your workout feeling stronger than when you started.
  7. Keep training times consistent. Window of: 8-10 hours after waking

“The goal is to build as much strengths as possible while staying as fresh as possible for your sport.” Save the fatigue for your sport!

How to hold your breath for a long time

Deep breathing = taking big breath in through the mouth, holding for 1 second, and then exhaling for 10 seconds through your almost closed mouth with tongue pressed against your lower teeth. Should be a hissing exhalation and make a tsssss sound. All breathing exercises – both inhalation and exhalation, are performed through the mouth

Purging = A strong exhalation as if you were trying to blow a toy sail boat across a pool, followed by a big but faster inhalation. Cheeks puffed out as you exhale. Be careful not to heave back and forth, as this wastes oxygen. Keep as still as possible.

Semi-purging = Breathing somewhere between the above two. Used for recovering after each time trial.

The steps:

1:30        Deep breathing
1:15        Purging

Hold breath for target 1:30, no more

Take 3 semi-purge breaths

1:30        Deep breathing
1:30        Purging

Hold breath for target 2:30, no more

Take 3 semi-purge breaths

2:00        Deep breathing
1:45        Purging

Hold breath for as long as possible

After exhalation, take 3-10 hard semi-purge breaths until you recover

  • Count from A to Z in your head during time trials, visualizing friends whose name starts with each letter as you go. Use celebrities or historical figures when needed.
  • Don’t constantly check your time!
  • After taking your big inhalations for your time trials, do not let any air out whatsoever
  • Easier to hold breath if you haven’t’ eaten for 4-6 hours.
  • Don’t try this in water! Drowning in a few inches == drowning.

“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same.”

How do you become more productive? Richard Branson says: “work out!”

The best way to predict the future is to invent it.

Don’t settle for partial completeness!


Read other reviews and notes on the book’s Amazon page.