Anybody read this yet?  

4-Hr Body


Ferriss has several sections on building strength, running far, and running fast.  The coaches he references are all of the "less is more" variety.  One of them gives him a 12-wk training program to go from running a 5K to running a 50K, and he never runs more than 13 miles during the entire program.  (Incidentally, Ferriss had not actually run the 50k before the book went to print, so it's one of the only "experiments" in the book that doesn't have an outcome.)


Eric - I'd be really interested in your thoughts on the concepts in this book.  A lot of it seems consistent with your philosophy - get strong first and the cardio will come.  There's also a lot about preventing injury by focusing on stability and alignment.  The folks referenced there are doing the Functional Movement Screening and then using exercises like the Turkish Get Up and the Chop and Lift to correct imbalances.  


Other interesting techniques include doing lots of 400m  and 100m sprints - to raise your aerobic threshold.  And then there's the Tabata protocol - 20 sec sprints, followed by 10 sec rest - supposedly builds crazy speed.  


I expect we'll all be hearing about this book a good bit over the next few months.  It came out at Number 1 on the NY Times bestseller list the week before Christmas.


Thoughts anyone?

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reminds me of the stories of Emil Zatopek, known for running 40 (even 100) 400m 'sprints'.  remember his quote in born to run? paraphrased: "i already know how to run slow, why would I practice that while training??"



^^note: I don't think he was using some magic formula, just sheer determination was his real secret. 

One of my sayings is: "once you have an opinion, you become a hypocrite."  So I am going to steer clear of this one.

I don't know about that, Eric.  You're a coach, which means you have to have an opinion about coaching - things that contribute to the success of your athletes and things that don't.  


I also have a saying - he who doesn't have an opinion is easily manipulated;-)


I've noticed in talk radio that talk radio hosts don't ever want to talk about one another on the air.  It's like an unwritten rule.  Is something like that also the case with coaching?


The only reason I ask is because there's a lot of info in this book and if it's steering people down paths that will lead to either injury or failure, it'd be great to have someone who I consider to be credible offer some insight into the problems there.


With respect...



I would bet that Eric hasn't read the book and is loathe to comment on a book he has no direct knowledge of (always a wise thing). I have the book and have done some reading.  His running chapters are based on Ken Mierke's and Nicolas Romanov's methods.  Both advocate a forefoot strike and Mierke was profiled in BTR, so I would say they are credible and reputable.  Some of his other stuff regarding diet strikes me as a bit misguided, since it is a low-carb Atkins hybrid pushed by science reporter Gary Taubes in his new book "Why We Get Fat."  He recommends eating little to no fruit since he claims the fructose is converted to fat (I won't bore you with the details of how).  But that misses the point that fruit also has fiber in it which is good for you.  I don't want to do an extended review of the book, but just put in my two cents worth.  It would be good to remember that the sampling pool for his experiments in the book was composed of one person: himself. 

Thanks for the response Richard.  The specific stuff I am most interested in is the strength and speed building content.  Gray Cook's Functional Movement Screening and the exercises used to correct imbalances and misalignments are intriguing.  As are the recommendations of the build speed guy (forget his name) who swears by short sprints.  Was just wondering if any of that feeds into Eric's approach to training.


As for the diet, I've read Taubes book, and the "slow carb" diet, as Ferriss calls it, is interesting.  From what I can tell, you get tons of fiber from the diet in the form of lots of vegetables and the approved starches (like beans, which have considerably more fiber than most fruits).  He also has a breakdown of the results from his experimental group, which numbers well over 100.  So I don't think the book is as throw-away as it might seem at first glance.  In fact, the whole Paleo diet movement is pretty consistent with what Eric advocates - no sugar, white carbs, etc.  And Ferriss' diet is just a variation on that.


It's all fun to contemplate, though!

I didn't mean to imply his diet advice was worthless, just that there is more to fruit than just the fructose.  Ferriss also states that a cup of almonds contain more fat than a Whopper from Burger King.  While that may be true, I haven't really heard of anyone who has gotten fat from eating nuts and to compare almonds to fast food is a bit disingenuous.  I do think there is something to the Paleo Diet when you have someone like Joe Friel advocating for it.   I agree with giving up pretty much anything that is 'white' (though I do like sugar in my coffee) since you don't find that color very often in nature.  I pretty much gave up dairy as well with the exception of cream in my coffee and I do feel a lot better.  I make my smoothies with soy yogurt, coconut/nut/soy milk, 100% fruit juice and fruit and they taste awesome.  Chia and flax in them add a good nutritional punch, plus the chia fills you up for a while. 

I'm 20-25% through this book. he's big on using anecdotal evidence selected to prove his points. I'm 1/4 thru and see mostly common sense... More to come...


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