What's the Point of the Four Hour Body?

The Four Hour Body is a book about finding the methods to achieve what you want, in the simplest way, the shortest time and most effective method possible. There are now thousands of examples around of people who have lost the weight they aimed to lose, and people who have gained muscle and strength more than they had dreamed of. With all of these results floating around, getting your head into what you want can be difficult. And following the crowd could leave you miserable.

I’ve been through phases in my life of gaining muscle, whilst not understanding why fat came along with it, of losing fat but losing strength, of balancing weights with cardio, and of taking time off to see what my body’s healthy natural state was. Through all this, I’ve learned, first hand, that it can be really difficult to just find a method that works, that covers all the bases.

There’s lots of good strength training advice around, and there’s lots about fat loss diets around, but both seem too focussed to one goal. I found that the closer I got at times, I was pulled away from another. Have you ever felt like this too? My most recent was some fat loss that left me with barely any energy.. not a good recipe.

Happily, I found a lot of answers in the Four Hour Body, and I’m very happy with my simple but effective routines of the last three months – from losing fat whilst not losing too much strength or muscle with slow carb eating and walking, through to gaining muscle without gaining much fat, using Occam’s Protocol and Occam’s Feeding, it seems that these methods are solid.

But what’s the point?

Someone challenged me on this the other day, while we were chatting about nutrition and health. The underlying question was, but what’s the routine and the food look like when you’re not going in one direction or another, when you’re just ‘good’? Read on for the answer in a few paragraphs.

It was interesting to think about, because they were interested in the actual lifestyle I would have, but it made me think more about the question above – What is the point to doing this?

So to start with, the point is that I’ve had goals and dreams about having a certain level of strength and fitness in my life, and more importantly, that it’s come with peace of mind and ease. I do believe I’m on this path now, but it got me thinking about why this was important.

For anyone looking at the question, and wanting the underlying answer to what drives people to make these changes, I think it’s simple: to challenge yourself to be better than you are today. ‘Better’ comes in many different shapes and forms, but everyone has their own idea about this. Aiming to be better doesn’t mean that you’re not happy or satisfied now, it just means that there is something to be enjoyed about achieving and testing yourself. Not to mention the fact that putting together a string of successes in one are of life generally means other successes start to flow with them. A winning mindset really does affect your whole life.

We all have our motivations, and some are very strong, especially when we’ve experienced an extreme of one sort (for example I was quite overweight as a kid) – as this gives us a glimpse of the reality of what it can be like. Some other’s motivations are less charged with memories and more about what they see in their future. Either way, they can both be powerful sources of energy.

So for the answer to my friend’s question: I expect, once I’m heavier with muscle, leaner from fat loss and feeling great, my exercise and food will change a little. I’m less likely to be doing Occam’s Protocol workouts and more likely to be doing functional exercises, plus stretching and kettlebells to aide flexibility and daily strength. I’m also much less likely to be stuffing myself full of food like I am at the moment, and will be enjoying a slow-carb based meal plan that most likely involves 3 or 4 ‘cheat’ meals during the week (like including rice, potato, rice pasta, fruit). I think this is practical and will work well.

Have you thought about the road ahead, after your goal point? I find its powerful because it puts you in a state of believing you have already achieved what you set out to.

You might be interested in reading these too:

  1. 4 Hour Body Cheat Sheet: Occam’s Protocol Workout Sheet Hey everyone, as it's time for me to start on the Occam's Protocol workout, I wanted to share with everyone the 'cheat sheet' that I've made up to take to the gym with...
  2. 7 steps to preparing for the 4 Hour Body Lifestyle and Diet So we've written a lot about what it's like to start, and even what to expect, but I felt like it would be worth just noting down how I would prepare for the...
  3. How to explain the Four Hour Body to friends and family When someone asks you why you're eating beans, meat and vegetables for lunch, or why you are being careful with a restaurant menu, there's no 5 word answer that satisfies anyone. Like some...

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6 Responses to What's the Point of the Four Hour Body?

  • Matt says:

    Hey Luke,

    I think you hit the point at the end of your post : the 4HB gets you quicker to a next step, whatever it is. It’s about achieving fast body (and mind, that’s closely linked) changes that will allow you to make it to the next level with your own methods. As Tim says, it’s about experimenting but what’s next is for you to decide. I think the healthier next step is to focus on functional training and nutrition. You should take a look at french method, “la méthode lafay”, wich combines functional strength workouts, stretching and cardiotraining. This is actually my next step :)

    Good luck with your healthy journey to you both,

    Matt

    • Luke says:

      Hey Matt, thanks for your comment and thanks for reading!
      You’re right about body and mind changes – they are equal I think, and they support each other.
      Once you’ve realized those changes and found that the whole world looks different, I think that’s a great perspective to then come from and start analyzing other options and experimenting further.
      Thanks for your tip on ‘la methode lafay’ – I’m going to read up and consider it for my phase after the current (muscle gaining on Occam’s Protocol).

      All the best,
      Luke

  • Brian says:

    Great post Luke.

    Something I have thought about a lot as well. Everybody has different goals when starting. For me my objective is to get my body working in a way that helps me manage my diabetes better. The strategy of adding more cheat meals every week is something that I had considered, too. A big consideration for me will be how well my body’s natural insulin response handles the carbs – slow or fast – that I throw at it.

    Anyway, the subject of your post was, “what’s the point?” For you the point is to gain muscle mass and lose fat. For me the point is to manage diabetes. The remarkable thing about four hour body is its versatility. It can be molded to help so many different people meet their goals.

    Thanks for continuing to post such great material!

    • Luke says:

      Hey Brian,

      Thanks for your comment. You’re right about the 4HB being flexible enough to suit different goals. After all, the book includes a very wide range of information. I think it’s great that you’re working to manage your diabetes through very proactive methods, like diet management, and I really hope that it continues to work well for you and provide you with a lifestyle that is convenient and supportive of everything you’d like to do.

      Cheers,
      Luke

  • Cindy says:

    I want to flatten my stomach and tone my legs. I am eating the meals but see no progress. I walk on the treadmill and do a few kettle ball raises…am I missing something

    • Luke says:

      Hey Cindy, it depends how long you’ve been following the diet, and a range of other factors.
      Have a read of some of our articles, to see if you’re following the diet as needed, and then consider if there’s any changes you’d like to make, to see if you get more results.
      Are you measuring and weighing yourself weekly? Do you have any results to show there after following the diet for a number of weeks or months?

      Cheers,
      Luke

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