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Book Review: 4-Hour Body

Book review time! I got done reading 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss last week. I had to give it time to settle in before reviewing it. As a Paleo diet promoter, I wanted to hear about how great it was. But this book isn't designed for that person. A full-on diet book is appropriate for that person. This book is a book of short cuts, but not in a bad way.

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We all get short on time, patience, and other resources. The 4-Hour Body provides the reader with a decent guide to maximize what resources he/she does have. I like that some diet recommendations are in line with Paleo. Those expecting the ultimate diet short cut can still expect to have some work ahead of them with trimming out certain items. Sorry, there is no easy pill.

The sections of the book are geared towards goals - getting lean, putting on muscle, recovery, sex, and sleep. Each section is worth a read, but each section also reads great on its own. What does this mean for you? It means you can attend to your goals faster than if you had to read the entire book. Don't get me wrong, there is useful information in each section. But you can read those sections while working on your primary goal. No need to stop in the middle and wait around. That's pretty efficient and Tim Ferriss a black belt in efficiency. He probably puts German engineering to shame...unless he is German engineered.

My favorite part of the book was on cheat days. I don't have all out cheat days. This comes from an intimate knowledge of my dietary capabilities and not an admonishment of cheat days. That's a nice way of saying I know I will cause damage that will take more time to recover from than an entire cheat day is worth. Trust me, I can get it done. I digress. The section on how to minimize the impact of diet cheats is awesome. I'd like to do more of my own research to confirm what he presented. The good part is there are plenty of resources included in the book, so the research is easy to find. I felt the money I paid was made up in this section alone.

The other sections were also good, but not as great of a concern to me. They are concepts well known to me through previous athletic, fitness, and academic experience. Don't get it twisted, those of you without this background would benefit from these sections. I am in great appreciation of Ferriss' lab rat mentality with recovery/rehabilitation methods. Although, results of one person does not indicate repeatable measures. It is still useful in the sense that he's cut out some ambiguity. One method of recovery/rehab  may seem viable to you, but the cost/benefit analysis he provided nullifies its usefulness. The set up of the book allows you to look at a method less Gucci, but kinder on the wallet and will allow you to experiment around with multiple methods. Not such a bad idea when you may have to try more than one thing. Once again, very efficient.

If you have some money to spend, buy the book. If you're looking for diet specifics, I recommend Why We Get Fat by Gary Taubes. If you've read that book and The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf, go for this book. The one thing this book doesn't do is get into the science of the diet like The Paleo Solution and Why We Get Fat. If you already have a good understanding of this science, you will benefit from reading the 4-Hour Body. If you are still a little lost on these concepts, the 4-Hour Body will provide you with some guides, but will not extend your knowledge so you can make a lifetime worth of good dietary choices.
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