This time of year the Internet, media and bookstores are filled with books, stories and advice on losing weight and getting in shape so the timing of this week’s Duct Tape Marketing Podcast should be right in sync.
My guest, Tim Ferriss, is the author of the wildly popular 4-Hour Workweek and the newly released 4-Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat-Loss, Incredible Sex, and Becoming Superhuman.
Some might wonder, beyond the fact that Tim’s books are two of the hottest selling in recent years, why I would do a show on weight and conditioning. Owning a business is not for wimps. It’s physically and mentally demanding and I’ve often thrown in posts about the relationship of exercise, eating right, getting enough sleep and staying on top of your game mentally as these are so important if you want to run and grow your business in the long run. And, if you’ve put 50 astern, as I have, it becomes a competitive must.
The book starts with a quote from Virgin’s Richard Branson – when asked what business owners could to to become more productive he stated plainly – exercise.
It should come as no surprise that Tim’s latest book is also stirring a bit controversy. Tim’s methods are often considered odd and his tone can be a seen as cocky, but there’s little denying that he’s built a following that verges on worship and his devotees are singing his praises for the results they’ve achieved using his teachings.
This book, while seemingly an odd follow-up to the 4-Hour Workweek is actually a return to Tim’s roots in the exercise and nutrition industry and probably the book Tim has always wanted to write. (Ironically, the success of the 4-Hour Workweek made it possible.) You can find additional book related content at the 4-Hour Body site.
Since the age of 18 Ferriss has recorded every workout and meal and turned himself into a human guinea pig running test after test and challenging much of the conventional nutrition wisdom. He outlines much of what he has accomplished and presents many quick fix solutions and backs up his research with academic journals and sources.
Like the 4-Hour Workweek some will balk at much of the advice that feels counterintuitive – he actually seems to suggest losing weight by eating more and exercising less in one chapter – but I think you’ve got to look at the big idea here and that is the idea of taking your health, diet and exercise into your own hands and start playing with what works for you and you only.
Self-testing and tracking your diet and exercise using online tools such as Daily Burn and an iPhone is how you find the right balance for optimal performance whether you’re trying to run an actual marathon or the one found inside the walls of the typical small business.
I like this book, but understand you’re free to take parts of it with a grain of salt. The book presents new ideas and challenges old ones and brings the idea of “self-hacking” or open source wellness to the forefront once again. Given people’s fascination with diet related books my guess is this book will sell more than the 4-Hour Workweek.
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