This book gives a totally new slant on how to work smarter not harder. It's been done before in so many business related cases, but now Tim does it for health & fitness.
The book I found easy to read, but it is slightly harder to put the programs together – you must decide if you just want to lose weight, or if you want to bodybuild (perhaps sculpt is a better term), or if you want to run a marathon, or be superstrong (and not break yourself in the process). It all appears fairly simple, and most programs take between 1–3 months.
Tim has tested all of this on himself, with additional testing by other volunteers over the last year. The premise is that excellent results can be done in 4 weeks, with 4 hours total exercise in most cases (i.e 1 hour per week!).
I am a sceptic. And thankfully Tim is too, so he tells you how to monitor your own performance, how to evaluate other “too good to be true” diet plans, and why mainstream medicine will always be 20–30 years behind the leading edge of science. He introduces us to a wide array of leading edge experts, and I'm now a fan of Neutraceuticals, although very wary of how I should be monitoring what I do (evaluation of actual results appears to be the key).
I've done Atkins, low fat, no fat diets in the past, with varying success. This one is fairly easy, but requires some supplements to help burn the “slow” carbs you can eat, and a very basic exercise plan (1 hour per week – no gym required). The difference between this and the others “diets” is the minimal adjustments required to: Diet (high protein, some carbs); Supplements (simple stuff relatively available in NZ); exercise. It's about doing the minimum in each to give the maximum gain. I'm about 2 weeks into it, and I'm starting to get some definition occurring. Only about 1kg lost so far, although Tim suggests that weight loss should not be a goal (muscle weighs heavier than fat & BMI's are hugely over rated).
I'm a fan of Tim's “4 hour working week” as well. His approach to life is very different. In all cases he finds the best experts to solve his problems – solutions requiring the minimum of work, taking the best shortcuts available, and questioning everything about the common assumptions. He is more than a writer of new fads – he is an architect of how we will come to view the world in 30–50 years. If you are a kiwi, then much of this will be quite different to our own health system.
If you want a simple “Diet” to follow to shed some kilos, then this book is entertaining, and may help you down this path. But if you are more serious about your long term health, and health management in particular, then this book will really put the bit between your teeth and open your eyes to what options are available, but not commonly known even in the medical profession. If you have a health issue with limited options, then this book also covers medical tourism, Neutraceuticals, treatment lifecycles (why racehorses & HIV patients are so important), and what good & bad science is. In may cases, you will end up more informed than your local GP.