So what’s my game plan this time around?
Enter The 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss.
I’m going to go off on a little bit of a tangent here and hype up thisbook because it’s one of the best health and fitness books I’ve ever read.
Anyone who has anyconnection with the health and fitness industry has probably heard the buzz surrounding this book over
the past few weeks. Ferriss describes it as a “hacker’s guide to the human body.” Topics, among many
others, include how to lose weight like crazy by following a simplified diet and binge eating one day aweek (which is similar to a diet I currently follow), simple supplements and tricks to accelerate fat loss andprevent fat gain while stuffing your face, and how to get muscles fast in an extremely short period of time.I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in health and fitness.
Hour Body is a 550 page monster, but you really only need to read the sections you’re
interested in. This is actually what Ferriss recommends.
So how do I plan on gaining muscle without gaining fat?
Well, for the muscle gain part, I’m going to workout
less. That’s right… less.
Keep in mind that I currently only perform about 2 hours of strength training per
week. I’m planning on dropping this to about an hour and a half. I plan on
shortening my primary weightlifting sessions from about 30 minutes to about 15
minutes. According to Ferriss, more isn’t necessarily better. He emphasizes a
concept known as MED or minimum effective dose for almost everything,including muscle gain, and doing anything more is just wasted effort and mayactually hinder your progress. For strength training, one of the reasons behind
this is making sure your recovery time is adequate. I’ll probably stick to 3 of these
sessions per week. The other 45 minutes of strength training will be devoted tooff-day exercises (more on these in the following section).
How is it possible to make significant gains with such a small amount of gym time?
I’m going to shift my focus from workouts to exercises. Instead of building a workout around a couple of
muscle groups and doing up to
9 sets for each muscle group, I’m going to perform an entire upper body
workout during each session, pick two or three exercises for each muscle group, do one set of each, and
get really good at these exercises. I’m now going to focus on going to failure
on each set and increasing
weight quickly. I’m also going to try 10 second reps (5 seconds up and 5 seconds down). Ferriss gained
34 lbs of muscle in 28 days and only 4 hours of total gym time using this approach. He actually describedresisting the urge to workout more as one of the bigger challenges.
Another component I’m going to add to my strength training routine is a kettlebell workout. In his“Building the Perfect Posterior” chapter, Ferriss hails kettlebell swings as a near
-perfect exercise for
getting ripped and recommends as little as a few minutes 3 times a week for noticeable changes. I’ll add
kettlebell swings to my current off-day strength training exercises of pushups, pull ups, and hanging legraises. Another fitness goal of mine for 2011 is to be able to do 50 consecutive pushups and 25consecutive pull ups.