As you may have read in my most recent article about the 4-Hour Body by Tim Ferriss called, My Slow-Carb Diet Journey, I have lost quite a bit of weight. This book has really revolutionized the way I think about dieting and exercise. And I hope to someday take it’s advice about sleeping 2 hours a night as well (I wanna be more productive!). But this time around; now that I’ve lost over 14 lbs, I need to start building some muscle.
The Slow-Carb Diet has given me some headway in gaining some lean muscle, but at the same time, I’m losing weight like crazy and looking pretty scrawny. As a man, I wanna look good for my wifey. I want to finally have that 6-pack that I’ve never seen. So I again turn to this book’s amazing way to hack the body in a short amount of time.
Understand that most people mix the Slow-Carb Diet that I’ve been on with the workout schedule that I’m going to share with you, but I didn’t necessarily want to do that until I was less than 200 lbs. The reason for this is because I love to see the scale lower and lower. If I were working out, the scale wouldn’t change much because I would be gaining muscle as I lost fat. So I just wanted to see the scale go down every week. But now that I am less than 200 lbs, I’m going to switch up my life-routine a little and add a workout schedule taken straight from the 4-Hour Body.
The idea of this book is really to do the least amount of work to produce the greatest amount of results. Why work your body like crazy if you could be gaining the same results with 20% of the work. So I turn to the Geek to Freak model. I may not stick with this exact model for too long since it’s designed specifically to bulk you up in size and not necessarily for perfecting your strength and agility. So I’ll do this for a little while and then jump over to the Eating the Elephant workout plan to gain 100 lbs of bench press in 6 months. Crazy sounding? I know!
Geek to Freak
To start off, you must read how much of a difference this workout can make. Tim tried this workout plan for 28 days and went from 146 pounds of skinny to 177 pounds of muscle. He actually put on 34 lbs of muscle in 28 days! And the only catch was that he used certain supplements to help his workouts out:
- Morning: NO-Xplode and Slo-Niacin
- Each meal: ChromeMate and alpha-lipoic acid
- Pre-workout: BodyQUICK
- Post-workout: Micellean
- Prior to bed: policosanol, ChromeMate, alpha-lipoic acid, and Slo-Niacin
* See the book for exact measurements of each
The Four Basic Principles
There are basically 4 things that contribute highly to this building of muscle in a short amount of time:
1. Perform one-set-to-failure for each exercise you do
This means that for each exercise you are required to undertake, you only do one set; but that set requires that you do 5 repetitions where the 5th rep is when you can no longer move the weight. Then 3 minutes of rest between exercises.
2. Use a 5/5 Repetition Cadence
Perform every single repetition with a 5/5 cadence; meaning that you go up 5 seconds under tension and down for 5 seconds. This ensures constant tension under the load and eliminates the momentum you can build while pushing the weight back up. It’s all equals out.
3. Put your Focus between 2 and 10 exercises per workout, NO MORE!
You want at least one multi-joint exercise for pressing, pulling, and leg movements, but otherwise you should be only focusing on 2-10 exercises the whole time. The best method may be to workout your whole body for each period so that you can elicit a heightened testosterone response. Check out the book for the exact workout Tim did.
4. Increase Recovery Time Along with Size
The best way to gain muscle is to increase you recovery time respectively. Obviously you won’t gain more muscle by waiting 5 months between workouts, but you definitely do not need to be working out more than 3 times per week. Tim explains that a person should be spreading out their workouts the more muscle they gain. For instance, your first couple workouts should be 2 days apart and slowly be adding days in between as you gain muscle. Two days in between, then 3 days in between workouts, then 4 days. If you hit a plateau of strength, add a day in between workouts and you’ll see yourself go up.
Eating Right for These Workouts
The best method to gain muscle or lose fat is to eat a lot of protein. The Slow-Carb Diet is all about eating tons of protein; so it makes it the perfect diet to be on when losing weight or when you’re trying to gain muscle mass. But if you’re simply looking to gain muscle and weight so that you can bulk up, then here’s a few tips:
- Drink milk
- Eat big or eat often
- Do not skip breakfast (eggs are the best source of protein)
- If you’re around 200 lbs like myself, you need around 250 grams of protein per day to gain around 2 lbs of muscle per week
In the following weeks after I have written this article, I will be coming up with exact workout schedules for myself. I’ll also add specific weights and exercises that I’ll be doing. So come back for updates on how I’m doing. I’d like to be able to take pictures of myself along the way as well, but I’m terribly shy and self-conscious. If this method of losing fat and gaining muscle finds you intrigued, it’d be worth your time and money to go on over to Amazon and purchase the 4-Hour Body. It’s truly a revolutionary system of methods to hack your body to do whatever you want it to do. The best of luck to you!