Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Review of Tim Ferriss's The 4-Hour Body Up, Just In Time For Its Release TODAY!!!

by Chris Masterjohn

My review of Tim Ferriss's The 4-Hour Body is now up.  Check it out at this link:

The 4-Hour Body, by Timothy Ferriss

Feel free to come back here and leave comments!

Read more about the author, Chris Masterjohn, PhD, here.


  1. Excellent review Chris. As you know from our personal conversations that Tim's first book, The Four Hour Work Week, was a game changer for me, and is part of the reason I'm able to be on the road traveling right now with no apparent deadline for coming home.

    And I just have to say, a guy who uses let alone understands the concept of autophagy in a sure to be best selling book will get my vote of approval any day of the week, LOL!

    Outside of my references to it years ago in various yahoo groups, I have rarely seen the concept intoned by anyone, let alone someone with the reach of Tim Ferriss.

    Thanks again for the review. I'm also interested in seeing your post on Jimmy Moore's foray into the relationship of Christianity and Paleo and how it dovetails (or diverges) with my own upcoming post.

  2. Hey Michael,

    Thanks! Yes, will be interesting. My post will actually lead into a series about genetics and some related topics that may take a month or two to complete, depending on my other projects. I look forward to seeing yours.


  3. The going vegan for 2 weeks to cure your warts sounds interesting. I think it would help with psoriasis as recommended by some.

  4. Chris,

    When you said Nicholas Blaine in the article did you mean David Blaine?

  5. Yes, definitely meant David Blaine. Thanks! Off to fix it now!

  6. Fixed! Thanks! And thanks for your comment too, Sue, very interesting.


  7. Interesting, your experiences with fasting, are you saying you think the vegan diet actually induced more profound autophagy than total fasting? Did you experience more benefits overall with the vegan diet than with fasting?

  8. Great review! Clicked your link to order the book. The value is amazing, at only $14.51 and eligible for free shipping!

  9. Great review. There is a good video review posted on Tim's blog right now by the guy's over at Epipheo Studios


  10. Thanks for the props everyone!

    With specific respect to the warts, or whatever they were, the 2-week veganism seemed to be much more effective, but it is difficult to say for sure because I don't know what would have happened had I done a second 2-week total fast. In other words, it could just have been additive. That said, since I got at least as much or more benefit from it, I think it was due to the restriction of complete protein.

    For anyone who is ordering today, I suggest hopping over to Tim's blog, which I think is at fourhourworkweek.com but in any case you should be able to find it Googling pretty fast. I believe he has promotions where if you fill out a form you can get extra stuff if you ordered today.

    $15 is a ridiculous crazy value deal for this book.


  11. I should also say that the 2-week fast had profound effects on other areas, especially digestion, so I wouldn't generalize the comparison to *all* effects.


  12. Chris, I just discovered your blog (excellent), and this review (sweet!), thanks for both. My copy is winging it's way slowly over to me but I've been looking forward to this for the longest time.
    I wildly speculated that this book might make a serious dent to the way the world thinks about nutrition but reading your review it sounds more like a list of tricks and hacks as it were - is that a fair summary?

  13. Excellent review, Chris.

    Paul Jaminet covers autophagy and recommends it in his book "The Perfect Diet". I recommend the book for that and a host of other reasons, including scientific references.

    I considered posting to Jimmy Moore's article about paleo and christianity, but ultimately decided against it. As you intimated, it would be a very big topic and post. Since I believe that "whom God designates beforehand, he calls...", those whom He has called would be a sympathetic audience, those whom He has not called or at least not yet, would be antagonistic. Neither side would be swayed, so what's the point, from my point of view.
    In any case, a time is coming when the last enemy, death, is conquered and God will be All in all. Even the former skeptics.

  14. Mike, I don't understand what you mean by tricks and hacks really. He does use the word "hacking," which I take to mean kind of like "cracking the code," i.e., using crazy methods to get to the bottom of things.

    I do not think this book would become a bestseller if it were a run of the mill nutritional encyclopedia. I think this book will be a huge bestseller. Therefore, I think it will, like you suspected, make a big dent in the way the world thinks about nutrition.


  15. Jim,

    Thanks, Perfect Health Diet is next on my list. I have not read a book in a LONG time and while my body is a little bit mad at me for the sleep deprivation it took, my brain was very happy with how infinitely easy it is to read a book compared to what I usually read and the Jaminets recently sent me a signed copy. And it's shorter! :)

    I agree that it is senseless to try to preach (anything) to people who don't want to hear a message (of any type) but I don't think writing a blog post (about anything) is forcing a message (of any type) on anyone.


  16. Chris,

    I might not have come across very well; I agree with your last statement 100%. I'm very much looking forward to your post, as I'm a great admirer of your public work. In fact, I was the guy who suggested to Jimmy Moore that he interview you.

  17. Thanks again for the review. I really enjoyed it. I wasn't sure how people would think about nutrition but reading your review it sounds more like hodge podge of solutions. Second question. I have been using at home cholesterol test I found at www.homecholesteroltests.org. do you know if these are accurate

  18. Muscle stem cells in skeletal muscles promote a muscle transcription factor. With under use and age, fast twitch fibers have more stem cell loss relative to rate which slow twitch lose their % of stem cells.

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  19. Sorry Mr. Masterjohn for cross post just did.

  20. Hi Chris,

    I enjoyed your review. It's the best review I've read so far. I appreciate the detail you offer and enjoy your style and sense of humor.

    After I read your review I decided to get the Kindle version of the book to read on my iPod. I saved a few bucks that way. I could start reading it within minutes instead of waiting for delivery.

    In case anyone thinks that they need a Kindle or iPod or iphone to use Kindle, you don't. You can download Kindle to your PC or Mac and read Kindle books that way, at no additional cost. I can save a lot of money on books doing that.

    One of the things in the book that fascinates (and admittedly disturbs) me is Tim's method of reducing the absorption of food he eats on his binge day.

    Do you have more thoughts on that? Does it seem likely that a person could do that successfully, and that it would be safe?

    Many things done in the short term likely won't do permanent damage, I realise. I'm just having a hard time believing that it's as simple as that, safe or not safe.

    Side comment: I can easily imagine people doing what he advises to reduce absorption EVERY day to try to get away with eating like fiends. LOL NOT that it would be Tim's fault if they did so, but it seems that being as disciplined as he claims to be about diet and his body (OCD, he confesses in the book) is not that common.

    But risks of non-compliance aside, I really want to know if what he says about that seems to have merit.

  21. Excellent, even-handed review! Thanks to you I'm reading this fascinating and valuable book right now. I was aware of his earlier book, but some reviews convinced me he was an unethical egomaniac bragging about some random hucksterism. Now I'm largely changing my opinion of him and seeing a lot of positive aspects. I wish there was more thorough scientific reasoning in the book and less irrelevant anecdotes, but there's a great benefit to someone tossing out all kinds of hypotheses for others to consider. I've read a few chapters so far and I could easily recommend this book to most people.


  22. Chris, What did you eat on your vegan diet for 2 weeks? I'm thinking of just fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil. Maybe fruit for breakfast, salad for lunch, baked vegetables for dinner. Maybe nuts too much protein since the point is to fast from protein?

  23. Great review - it was an interesting read and looking forward to trying out some of the techniques that worked well for Tim.

    Some other reviews that helped me:



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  25. I've read it too and concluded that it was too basic for me. I also suspect Tim Ferriss is just milking his 4-Hour Cash Cow.

  26. Shortly after starting low-carb I developed small bumps on my back & arms that have proved resistant to any & all remedies my doctor has recommended, so I found the section on autophagy & protein-cycling interesting. A quick Google search turned up this article - http://knol.google.com/k/ron-mignery/protein-cycling-diet/2s3nmvrwklbxs/1#.


  27. "I had developed a problem with small wart-like risings on my hands and fingers at one point."

    Could be "butcher's warts"

    Also, DrGreger found vegetarians with low levels of Salicylic Acid (like aspirin) circulating
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZIGKEmTb0Y&feature=BFa&list=PL53AA35449C7DD652&lf=PlayList#t=3m35s - http://is.gd/GHc8Bl 'fruits and veggies.pdf' and 'ASA.pdf'


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