The Challenger:The Four Hour Body vs. P90X and Insanity – Day 1

Day One Weight: 174.5 lbs.

Day One Body Fat: 15.9%

Here we go. It’s been a year and a half, and I am back at it.

In my downtime, I picked up the book: Four Hour Body by Tim Ferris (my favorite author) and played around with weight gain/weight less and some other fun biological experiments. Some were too explicit to even mention… Ahhh.. the memories.

Here are the highlights:
1. Drinking a gallon of milk per day and performing one set of 10 reps on three weight lifting exercises, just three times a week, I put on ten pounds of lean muscle in a single month.
2. Eating a slow carb diet and pigging out (pizza, soda, ice cream, you name it!) one day per week, I pulled my body fat down to 7%.
3. Eating brazil nuts and a ton of grass-feed beef, I raised my testosterone to a very noticeable high (you’d be surprised what happens when you have super-hero-ish testosterone levels).
4. There is an entire chapter devoted to providing ladies with 15 minute orgasms… Enough said… (Guys: read this book; Girls: make your guy read this book.)

In the past six months, I have taken it pretty easy. Finished off my M.B.A., started a new career-focused job, and laid off the exercise all together. I didn’t forget to eat healthy, but I certainly didn’t restrain myself. Most of the gained muscle disappeared, my body fat went back to around 16%. My energy level also decreased.

That is why I am back. Just in time to get ripped for summer. However, I am going to do things a little bit differently. I am going to take the best of P90X, Insanity, and The Four Hour Body, put them into a personal training plan, and see what happens.

Here is the plan:

Diet (mostly Slow Carb) from The Four Hour Body:
Breakfast: Oatmeal and three whole hard-boiled eggs.
Snack One: Canned Tuna, light mayo, relish, and 20 raw almonds.
Lunch: Can of turkey chilli, cup of brown rice, sugar-free Jello.
Snack Two: Pure Protein Bar, 20 raw almonds.
After Workout: Protein shake with water.
Dinner: One chicken breast, one cup of whole wheat noodles.
Lots of water all day.

Monday: (30 Minutes)
Occam’s Protocol – Workout A (The Four Hour Body)
Weight Machine: Close-grip supinated pull-downs, 8 reps to failure, 5×5 count.
Weight Machine: Machine shoulder press, 8 reps to failure, 5×5 count.
Ab Ripper X (P90X)

Tuesday: (30 Minutes)
500 jump rope reps
1 mile run
75 Kettlebell swings

Wednesday: (30 Minutes)
Occam’s Protocol – Workout B (The Four Hour Body)
Weight Machine: Slight incline bench press, 8 reps to failure, 5×5 count.
Weight Machine: Leg press, 8 reps to failure, 5×5 count.
Weight Machine: Stationary bike: 3 minutes at 85 rpm.
Ab Ripper X (P90X)

Tuesday: (30 Minutes)
500 jump rope reps
1 mile run
75 Kettlebell swings

Occam’s Protocol – Workout A (The Four Hour Body)
Weight Machine: Close-grip supinated pull-downs, 8 reps to failure, 5×5 count.
Weight Machine: Machine shoulder press, 8 reps to failure, 5×5 count.
Ab Ripper X (P90X)

Cheat Day! Eat anything I want with the help of a few minimal movements before/after eating, coffee and grapefruit juice at each meal, and a few select supplements (PAGG Stack)

Rest; because I need my beauty sleep.

Having tested the weight loss and muscle gain methods in The Four Hour Body (they really do work), I no longer see it necessary to workout 90 minutes a day. Although P90X taught me a ton about muscle groups, importance of stretching, dietary basics, and discipline, I have been to the promise land: and it takes less than 30 minutes a day and is WAY more fun!

Ab Ripper X is a definite keeper. This is the one area of P90X that I will incorporate into my workout for the rest of my life. Tony is a genius for pulling these max-result ab workouts into one routine.

Insanity on the other hand… I did complete the entire 60 days. I was skinny afterwards, but really defined. I haven’t found any routine within Insanity that I need or want to keep doing. The best part of that workout was its shortness in length. I felt proud to have completed a program that most sane people wouldn’t touch, but beyond that… I’ll stick to jump rope and kettlebell swings for my major fat-loss routines. They are more effective and a lot less painful.

Day one is complete, I’ll probably also run a weekly post on this blog. I need to enjoy life… In the words of Tim Ferris, “Life doesn’t have to be so damn hard.”

Sit back, enjoy the show… See the results and make your own judgements. Will The Four Hour Body out-perform P90X in 90 days?


5 responses to “The Challenger:The Four Hour Body vs. P90X and Insanity – Day 1

  1. Sounds like a good plan! Looking forward to following along.
    I too read the 4HB. I tried the slow carb diet but didn’t have that great of results. I did the occam’s protocol for a couple months and was probably in the best shape of my life. Since then, my wife gas gotten pregnant and every kind of unhealthy food has found its way into our kitchen. I have gained about 14 lbs back, and all of it has gone straight to my belly/love handles. I can still keep up with the first insanity videos and run 3-4 miles a couple times a week. Just struggling with food right now…

    • Hi Austin,

      Did you get enough protein in the morning when going for the slow carb diet? I eat about 3-4 hard boiled eggs every morning.

      For me, the slow carb diet worked miracles. If you are strict on it, it should do the job. I just saw some muscle loss with it. I am hoping that a cross between the slow carb diet and occam’s protocol builds a slow lean muscle mass. It is good to hear from you again. I hope you are enjoying the new family member.

    • Austin,

      What were your takeaways from Occam’s Protocol. You said that you had amazing results… What were the most important points to follow that offered these results. Also, did you just do the two-exercise A-B workouts, or did you try to follow the full-length routine?

      • Honestly, before trying occam’s protocol, I had never really done any kind of resistance training outside of P90X and Insanity. I think just the fact that I was working out consistently and knew what I needed to do, rather than wander around the gym for an hour trying things out. I just did the A-B workouts.
        Thanks! Actually, the baby’s not here yet. Due in a couple months. So I still have a couple months of Ben & Jerry’s runs and homemade sweets to deal with before my wife is ready to get back to the gym with me. It’s making it really hard to stay focused!

  2. I still eat 4 scrambled eggs an half a can of black beans every day, but I didn’t get to eat it until about 11:30. And I’m usually up at 5:30am, so it’s a long morning. I drink about 3000 ml of ice water daily. I just need to re-read the slow carb chapters and eat at more optimal times. But thanks! You’ve re-ignited the fire for me!

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