Thursday, March 3, 2011

Quick Thoughts on The 4-Hour Body

Lately I've been reading through "The 4-Hour Body" by Tim Ferriss.  While I may not agree with all of the training protocols he has in the book, it's an entertaining read to say the least.  He traveled the globe and met with the some of the world's leading experts in the realm of human physiology.  He met with scientists, professors, lab rats, and "in the trenches" strength coaches and compiled everything he learned in the book. 

He also has quite a few points - with regards to behavior change and taking care of one's body - that were worth taking note of.  Tim Ferriss is an extremely successful businessman, and in fact he was a large inspiration behind the "80-20 Principle" post I wrote a few months back, which describes how to leverage the fact that 20% of your efforts will be responsible for 80% of your results, both in and out of the weight room. 


 I thought I'd share a couple points from the book that I took note of:
  •  "More is not better.  Indeed, your greatest challenge (in a training program) will be resisting the temptation to do more."
  • "We want to avoid all methods with a high failure rate, even if you believe you are in the diligent minority (those who always stick with a plan).  In the beginning, everyone who starts a program believes they're in this minority.  Take adherence seriously: will you actually stick with this change until you hit your goal?  If not, find another method, even if it's less effective and less efficient.  The decent method you follow is better than the perfect method you quit."
  • (In blaming genetics) "Even if you are predisposed to being overweight, you're not predestined to be fat."
  • "People suck at following advice.  Even the most effective people in the world are terrible at it.  There are two reasons:  1.  Most people have an insufficient reason for action.  The pain isn't painful enough.  It's a nice-to-have, not a must-have.  2.  There are no reminders.  No consistent tracking = no awareness = no behavioral change.  Consistent tracking, even if you have no knowledge of fat-loss or exercise, will often beat advice from world-class trainers."
Tim's point about the "nice-to-have" becoming a "must-have" for success really hit home to me.  It explained, in beautiful simplicity, why so many people seem to always be talking about how "next month" they'll make the decision to clean up their diet, or "at the new year" they'll begin a weight training program to jump start a positive body composition shift.  These goals (fat loss, muscle gain, etc.) are most frequently just a "nice-to-have," not a must-have.  It's usually not until they're told (for example) by a doctor that they'll die from diabetes unless they begin a sound nutrition and exercise regimen, that they make an intentional behavior change.

It's the same for athletes, too.  I've noticed that the athletes who are focused and work the hardest in the weight room (and thus experience the greatest results), are those that view the resistance training portion of their sport program a MUST-HAVE for success, not a nice-to-have.


Post a Comment