By now the internet has been set on fire by Tim Ferris‘s media blitz in promotion of his newest book, The 4-Hour Body. I’ve already ordered it and looking forward to learning some new “hacks” to increase my fitness and health.
Just like Tim’s last book, The Four Hour Workweek, the title of the new book implies peak results in little time. This is misleading. Even Tim is clear that the goal is not to just work for a few hours and sit around being bored. The point is to spend less time needing to do stuff and more time doing what you are passionate about.
In the same way, I am expecting The 4-Hour Body to provide great time efficient tips for growing strength and endurance, but the point won’t be to spend the other 164 hours of the week slouching around, sleeping and eating potato chips. The point is to integrate it into a lifestyle that is more active and physically aware. In other words, a 4-Hour Body style approach to fitness will give you the tools and motivation you need to make caring about physical well-being a natural and desired thing and not some tax you have to pay.
I also think that in the midst of all the hype around getting massive results quickly, we can jump to the conclusion that real effort and hard work is not required. This is a big mistake. Even if you only train for 4-Hours a month or 4-Hours a week, the level of intensity (I’m talking about physical and mental focus) needs to great. This is evident in Tim’s “Geek to Freak” experiment, which I also tried a few years ago.
If you are going to be in the gym for a few minutes a day and expect massive results, the intensity will need to be incredibly high. If you are going to go from 5K to 50K run in a few months (I just did this!), you need to be very diligent in how you train and focused in getting proper rest and having tons of mental strength to push through discomfort on race day.
This is the truth about a 4-Hour Body. It will take massive focus and lots of effort, though perhaps not a ton of time. The point is NOT to assume that less time and more efficiency = easy results!
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I’m heading tomorrow to XC Ski camp in the Methow Valley in Washington State. Should be a few fun days of snow-time and endurance training! I then fly to Ecuador for 10+ days exploring Quito, the surrounding highlands, maybe the rainforest and then on to the Galapagos Islands for a 6 days boat tour! I’ll drop a few updates to my blog if I find an internet cafe while traveling.