The 4-Hour Body
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|Subject||Health & Fitness, Weight Loss, Diet, Self-help|
|Published||2010 (Crown Publishing Group)|
|Preceded by||The 4-Hour Workweek|
|Followed by||The 4-Hour Chef|
Ferriss's first book, and the one that made him well-known, was The 4-Hour Workweek. Two facts informed his choice for his new book's topic: Firstly, he felt he did not want to write another book on business, as "I've said what I have to say about business. [...] I don't want to be 'The 4-Hour Workweek' guy; I'd prefer to be known for the way I approach the craft of writing and storytelling." Secondly, of the top ten Google searches bringing visitors to his weblog, four searches were some variation on "lose weight". That, as he put it, left him with "no Option B. [...] my next book was going to be The 4-Hour Body, or I wasn’t going to write another book."
The author spent three years interviewing over 200 experts, from doctors to athletes to black-market drug salesmen. He claims to have recorded every workout he had done since the age of 18, and from 2004 (three years before his first book was published) he had tracked a variety of blood chemistry measurements, including insulin levels, hemoglobin A1c, and free testosterone.
The 4-Hour Body was published on December 14, 2010.
Ferriss describes The 4-Hour Body as "unlike any diet or fitness book...It's more like a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure book for the human body, full of ridiculous stories, practical philosophies, and larger-than-life characters." The book covers over 50 topics, including rapid fat loss, increasing strength, boosting endurance and polyphasic sleep.
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"The slow carb diet II" as detailed in the book can be summarized as the elimination of starches and anything sweet (including fruit and all artificial sweeteners) and a strong preference for lean protein, legumes and vegetables. Ferriss says that he drinks a glass of red wine daily, and has a weekly "cheat day" where he gorges on candy, fried foods, sweet drinks, and all the other forbidden foods so that the body does not go into starvation mode, as also recommended in the Body for Life diet. Although the weekly cheat day may cause a temporary weight gain due mainly to water weight, it actually results in greater weight loss over time. The 4-Hour Body recommends just 2 or 3 gym workouts per week.
The 4-Hour Body debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and spent 3 weeks in the top 3. It peaked at #4 on both the Wall Street Journal and USA Today's lists, and was one of Amazon.com's top 5 bestselling books for December 2010 and January 2011.
Reviews for the book have been mostly positive. The New York Times review stated "it's among the craziest, most breathless things I’ve ever read, and I’ve read Klaus Kinski, Dan Brown and Snooki." The book has been profiled in publications including CNN, The Huffington Post, Wired, USA Today, TechCrunch, The New York Post and Forbes.
Marketing and release
The author's initial goal for The 4-Hour Body was to beat out the Guinness World Records for the #1 spot on The New York Times bestseller list for the third week of December, which Guinness traditionally dominated. Two weeks before the book's release, he released a 60 second trailer for The 4-Hour Body, which he credits with pushing the book's Amazon sales rank from #150 to #30. He focused much of his marketing plan on connecting with various bloggers within the fitness and exercise community, or as tech blogger Robert Scoble put it, "get drunk with bloggers." One week before the book's release, he announced "The Land Rush", a promotion where he awarded prizes to people that bought one of The 4-Hour Body package deals. His marketing efforts proved to be successful, as The 4-Hour Body beat out The Guinness World Records to debut at #1.
- The 4-Hour Body Amazon.com.
- Ferriss, Tim. The 4-Hour Body: How Do You Follow Up A #1 Bestseller Without Repeating Yourself? Huffington Post. December 14, 2010.
- Keen, Andrew. Keen On...Tim Ferriss: How to Turn Your Body Into A Startup TechCrunch. December 13, 2010.
- Susannah Cahalan. The 4-hour body: Advice from the guy who knows everything New York Post. December 10, 2010.
- Ferriss, Tim. The New Book Unveiled: The 4-Hour Body. Four Hour Work Week FourHourWorkWeek.com. September 29, 2010.
- The 4-Hour Body Official Website.
- Garner, Dwight. New! Improved! Shape Up Your Life! The New York Times. January 6, 2011.
- Best Sellers: Hardcover Advice & Misc The New York Times. January 2, 2011.
- Best Sellers: Hardcover Advice & Misc The New York Times. January 16, 2011.
- Best-Selling Books Week Ended Jan. 9 The Wall Street Journal.
- Best-Selling Books Database: The 4-Hour Body USA Today.
- Bestsellers in Books for the Week of December 27, 2010 Amazon.com.
- Bestsellers in Books for January 2011 Amazon.com.
- Park, Madison. How one man’s shame sparked a 300-pound weight loss CNN. December 29, 2010.
- Wolf, Gary. Tim Ferriss Wants to Hack Your Body. Wired Magazine Wired. November 29, 2010.
- Book Buzz: 'Jeopardy!,' Patterson and '4-Hour Body' USA Today. Minzesheimer, Bob. December 12, 2010.
- McNicholas, Kym and Jones, Laura. How to Become Superhuman Super Fast Forbes. January 13, 2011.
- The Land Rush: 48 Hours to Claim $4,000,000 in Prizes Tim Ferriss Official Blog. December 9, 2010.
- The 4-Hour Body: Official Trailer YouTube. November 30, 2010.
- Boog, Jason. How Timothy Ferriss Hit the Amazon Bestseller List GalleyCat. December 20, 2010.