Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Four Hour Body - My Experience

     My buddy, Clif, sends me the coolest links, pictures, random facts and ideas.  One night over a pint of Guinness he told me about Tim Ferriss' book, The Four Hour Body.  I had no idea what a profound impact it would have on my training.  The book covers weight loss, muscle gain, better sex, faster running, flatter abs, roudner butt and plenty of other topics.  Ferriss has tried it all and explains the innerworkings, chemistry and physics of each.  I was amazed.  You don't have to care about the complexities to benefit from the book.  Follow the basics and you're in.

     I've been overweight.  I was a chubby kid but leaned out some around high school but once tipped the scale at almost 250 in my twenties.  After I became a SWAT officer I managed to keep my weight at bay to the point I could pass a PT test at any time.  I was able to maintain my required military standards in the 220's, even running a few 10Ks.  In the last three years or so I've stayed in the 213-218 range.

     I'm into fencing.  Save the jokes about chain link or stolen property, I'm talking about the olympic sport with swords.  I turned 40 last year which bumps me to the "Vet 40" class.  I want to fence in the USFA Nationals and was looking into training goals to help give an edge to the young vet class newcomer.  After a little research I had already decided that being lighter would make me faster.  Competitive fencers who are the same height (6'4") are seldom over 200 pounds.  Clif's book report came at the right time.

    On January 28 I started logging weights, diet and exercise notes on my Blackberry.  To date I'm at 200 pounds (18 lost) and have noted a significant increase in strength and flexibility.  I didn't do a body mass index beforehand, but all the victory signs are there.  Pants size down, increase in muscular definition and vascularity, etc.  I'm using some exercises from the book (kettlebell swings, squats, myotatic crunches) but I've incorporated others for fencing and my severe case of exercise ADD.  Following Tim's directives, I actually exercise LESS than I used to.  My goal of better speed on the fencing strip was met.

     The diet is pretty simple; lean meats, lots of beans, green vegetables and no white starches, fruit or dairy.  With three to four meals a day there's no schedule shocker, and there's one carb-blasting cheat day per week.  Sure, no bread, crackers, pasta, cheese or whatever sucks but it's not about fun, it's about results.  Ask me on Saturday while I'm eating a half-gallon of Rocky Road and I'll tell you how it is fun 1 out of 7 days.

     That's my story thus far, and it's still a work in progress.  If you're interested in fitness, this is a must-read. 


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