I picked this book up on the dollar side of the Friends of the Library Book Sale this spring, and it’s the first of the courses/audio books I got that weekend that I loaded into the CD player in my main truck. It’s only three CDs, about 3.5 hours total, so I did not have to displace anything in the CD changer (which had three spots open).
Ferris is probably best known for The 4-Hour Work Week which he then turned into a little bit of a franchise–this book is one of several with similar titles, and it deals with exercise, diet, sex, and such things.
The sections, basically, deal with those things in that order. The first, exercise, explains how to get the most out of a minimalist exercise program. Basically, do a small set of exercises to failure, fewer exercises than even Rippletoe advocates, and then take plenty of time off to recover. The second section on diet talks a lot about body chemistry and includes supplements and whatnot. The third section deals with sex, mainly how to please a woman, and to be honest, it was a bit squicky, but I’ll get to that in depth. He also talks briefly about life extension strategies, like caloric restriction, but rightfully rejects this as impeding the quality of life for mere quantity.
So Ferris does a lot of research on the topics he writes on and then tries them out himself. So when it comes to the exercise, over the course of a couple of years, he tries various approaches and measures his body mass index and stuff. When it comes to supplements, he tries a variety of regimens and diets and self-reports that he has his blood tested frequently for various effects and markers. And when it comes to sex–well.
All right, when it comes to sex, he talks about how few women achieve orgasm, and then he attends a couple of training sessions or seminars involving actual sexual contact between the instructors, where you can actually get very close to the naughty bits to see exactly what they’re doing. Which is, in a word, weird. The tips Ferriss learns in the sex section, I’m pleased to say I already knew. Because I have had a sexual partner for a long time, and we communicate. I suppose you need this sort of abstraction if you’re changing partners quickly and don’t have the time to understand and explore with a single person. But as the section was targeted at pleasing women pretty exclusively, one must assume something about the target audience. That it’s young men, not middle-aged old folk like me (although Ferriss himself is only a couple years younger than I am).
So, what did I take away from the audio book?
- When working out, remember to work to the point of exhaustion. I think he favors the 5×5 weight approach, which is five reps and then add five pounds for the next set, and do five sets. Maybe that makes it 5x5x5. I had been working sets of 10, but I was not exhausting the muscles. Now, I might not hit five sets, but I get to the point where I can’t lift all the way up, and I hold it at that position until I can’t any more. Of course, this is not an exercise for barbells you’re under if you lack a spotter. But I’ll try that for a while; I have heard about it from other sources as well, so the audiobook is only reinforcing other information.
- Both this book and Mike Cernovich’s Gorilla Mindset extoll the virtues of cold showers, so I’ve started turning the temperature down in the shower after washing and shaving. Also, when I started listening to this book, I was getting ready for the annual “Pool is open in April” plunge into some cold water, and I wanted to minimize the chances of it killing me this year. The water in our pool has not really cleared, so I didn’t have to take the plunge before the Summer switched turned to on, but I’ve kept turning the water cold because of a couple things mentioned in the book: Specifically, that cold helps burn calories faster while working out (the shower is not exactly working out, but the body needs to spend to heat for that minute or so) and because something in Ferriss’s research indicated that cold on the neck produces a fat burning response. And, frankly, I have gone through a period of eating a lot of sandwiches recently, and I could use a little extra burn.
So that”s it. Basically, two things. But, still, not bad for a couple hours of interesting.
Note that my youngest listened to parts of the chapters on diet, and asked as he was getting out of the car, “This diet is supposed to make you shredded? I’m not going to do it.”
Me, either, kid. I’d rather eat what I want and work some of it off than try to make like a professional body builder.