Timothy Ferris Physical Routine

Posted on July 9, 2007. Filed under: workout |

I came across Tim’s post and the amazing results he accomplished.

In 28 days, he gained 34 lbs of muscle while losing fat% and cholesterol level. And he did it in two30-min workouts/week.


Some basic statistics:

“Bodyfat %- 16.72 to 12.23
Suit Size- 40 short to 44 regular (measured at Brooks Brothers at Santana Row in San Jose by a professional tailor)
Neck- 15.8″ to 18″
Chest- 37.5″ to 43″
Shoulders- 43″ to 52″
Thigh- 21.5″ to 25.5″
Calf- 13.5″ to 14.9″
Upper Arm- 12″ to 14.6
Forearm- 10.8″ to 12″
Waist- 29.5″ to 33.1″
Hips (Ass at widest)- 34″ to 38.23″”

Too good to be true? Perhaps. But I am willing to give it a try.

How did he do it?

“Here are the six basic principles that made it happen:1. Follow Arthur Jones’ general recommendations for one-set-to-failure from the little-known Colorado Experiment, but with lower frequency (maximum of twice per week) and with at least 3 minutes between exercises.

2. Perform every repetition with a 5/5 cadence (5 seconds up, 5 seconds down) to eliminate momentum and ensure constant load.

3. Focus on no more than 4-7 multi-joint exercises (leg press, trap bar deadlift, overhead press, Yates bent row, dips, incline machine benchpress, etc.) and exercise your entire body each workout to elicit a maximal hormonal (testosterone, growth hormone + IGF-1) response.

4. Eat enormous quantities of protein (much like my current fat-loss diet) with low-glycemic index carbohydrates like quinoa, but drop calories by 50% one day per week to prevent protein uptake downregulation.

5. Exercise less frequently as you increase strength and size, as your recovery abilities can only increase 20-30%, while you can often increase fat-free muscle tissue up to 100% before reaching a genetic set-point.

6. Record every workout in detail, including date, time of day, order of exercises, reps, and weight. Remember that this is an experiment, and you need to control the variables to accurately assess progress and make adjustments.”

His main complaints?

“I did not maintain the gains. Why? Too much eating. I estimate (I don’t both counting) that I was consuming between 5,000-8,000 calories per day in 5 or 6 divided meals, which is a full-time job. I spent more time eating than working out! I much prefer to be around 165 lbs. for athletics.”

Additional Tips?

“For each set, I target to reach failure after 80-120 seconds, thus 8-12 repetitions at 5/5 cadence. This is sometimes referred to as “time under tension” (TUT). I will usually do one marathon workout of 2-3 hours before beginning the program to determine an appropriate starting weight for each exercise.”

Additional Resources:

Ellington Darden
Ken Leistner
Matt Brzycki (he edited one compendium with excellent research references)

Tim’s original post


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