20 Tools and Tips for 4HB Beginners

tips and tools for 4hb beginners
Creative Commons License photo credit: Evil Erin

If you are here because you’re new to The 4 Hour Body and you aren’t sure what to do, you’ve come to the right place. Below you’re going to find some great 4HB tips I have for getting going down this road to your fitness. It might be a long journey, but the most important part is to get going. Here are some things to help you get on your way.

First things first

Some of you may have started because of hearing someone else talk about it. If you haven’t yet, you need to pick up The 4-Hour Body. Just go right to the source. Depending on the subject, if you ask two people the same question you might get two answers. The best resource is always going to be the book. You can also occasionally find great 4HB-related articles on Tim Ferriss’ blog.

Develop a plan and write it down

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you can’t know where to start if you don’t know where you’re going. Once you make the decision to start this journey, develop some type of plan, even if it’s just very basic at first. Figure out exactly what you want to accomplish on 4HB (“I want to lose 20 lbs”, not “I want to be thinner.”) and decide how you’ll get there. Write it down and keep it visible. Keeping it visible is necessary. I wrote mine down, but when I put them where I could see them every day I finally began to see solid changes.


Keep a 4HB food list handy too. I wrote one down on a post-it note and keep it in my wallet. It’s handy when you’re in a restaurant you haven’t thought about before.


When you’re starting out, you only have to worry about a few different kinds of exercises. If you read the book, you’ll see three: kettlebell swings, flying dogs (known by many names, actually), and glute activations. It’s important to make sure you are doing kettlebell swings correctly otherwise you could hurt yourself. Don’t start too heavy; I use 30 lbs starting out, and I’m working my way up to 50 swings in one set.


You can absolutely lose fat without supplements. Please don’t feel like you need to take PAGG just because it’s in the book and “everyone’s doing it.” It’s not necessarily cheap (crappy versions are cheap), and it’s unnecessary. However, it does have benefits. Please check out my article on PAGG to learn more about it.

You’ll also read about Athletic Greens in the book, and there are also a variety of that type of supplement to take. It’s essentially a form of mix to drink to get extra vitamins and other nutrients. You can find a list of greens supplements on Amazon to check out. I am not currently taking any, but I’ve been thinking about it.

Put some thought into some things so you’re prepared

After you’ve got your basic plan down and your food list handy, start to think about ways you can automate some decisions into your life to make it easier. If you plan ahead, you’re less likely to be derailed by impulse.

For example, if you eat out frequently with co-workers and don’t want to stop completely, figure out what types of foods at these restaurants would be 4HB friendly.

My favorite restaurant tip: find the closest Chipotle or other burrito place. Just ask for a bol with no rice, no cheese, and no sour cream, and you’ll have a super tasty 4HB lunch on standby.

Find a support system

Accountability is huge in this business. It’s too easy to give up when you don’t feel like continuing if you don’t have people rallying alongside you. You need people to support and encourage you, and you also need people to call you out when you are not trying anymore. This is also part of automating the appropriate decisions into your life.

Join the Twitter community

There are a TON of us talking about it all day long on Twitter. You’ll find links to great articles, blog posts by fellow 4HBers, general fitness advice, and more support than your rotund, elderly Aunt Gerty can handle (my apologies if you actually have a rotund, elderly Aunt Gerty – give her a hug for me). I’d love to have you follow me @fmfblogger, and you can do a search for #4hb to find a bunch of others tweeting as well.

Start a blog (and tell me about it)

One of the greatest tools I’ve got in my belt is my blog. Aside from it being great fun writing and sharing with you things I’m learning and food I’m making, this is also the single greatest accountability tool I have. People come here and tell me to cut the crap when they see I’m slacking off. But people also come here and give me awesome advice and genuinely want to help me on my own journey. If you start a blog and let people know about it, you’ll get people coming who really care and want to see you succeed. If you send me your link, I’ll add it to my list of blogs to check. I’ve developed a couple really good fitness friendships because of this, and you can expect to see some fantastic things come from them in the future.

Join a forum

There are couple 4HB forums out there. The three that come to mind are 4HBTalk and 4 Hour People. Each are unique, so there’s solid info to find at either or all of them. I’m personally most active on 4HBTalk, but I know that there are several hundred members at the other two as well. You’ll find a wealth of information and probably the answer to any question you have. If you can’t find your answer, just ask it!

Enlist your family and friends

Tell everyone you know about your decision to get healthier. Give them your blog URL and your Twitter name. Ask them to help you stick to the plan if you guys go out for dinner. See if anyone will go to the gym with you. Invite them over for dinner slow-carb style so they can see first hand that it’s a great way to eat. Ask them for motivation and support as well as accountability. The more people know, the easier it’ll be to keep going. Some may not understand, and they’ll tell you that this is a crackpot method. Deep down they really do want to help you, so grab hold of them. Eventually you will be come the example to them. You may even start your own revolution in your circle!

Just start already

After reading all that, you won’t get anywhere if you don’t just start. Don’t overwhelm yourself by gathering more and more information. Use what you’ve found, and just start! Why wait until tomorrow or Monday if you can start it today? If all you do is start with your next meal following the program, you’re already on your way! I literally started 4HB one afternoon after I read a blog post and lost 6 lbs the week before I got the book. Get going, get your results, and you’ll keep going.

Remember, your fitness is not a race, it’s a journey. You don’t need to get there today, and you don’t need to know everything in order to get started. You’ll learn a lot on the way. I never thought I’d love learning about health and fitness. I’ve also never been convinced that I’ll actually become fit until now. You will too – but you have to start!

If you’re following 4HB and you’ve got a twitter account or blog, let us know about it in the comments. We’re all in this together, and we can keep each other accountable! I’d also love to know other resources you’ve found to help you get started.

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  1. Agreed.

    I think most importantly – just start it already. Either today or ‘ok, next monday’ and do a countdown.

    Then adjust yourself as you move along…that’s the best way to go.

    Fantastic article!

  2. As someone who has lost 35+lbs so far I can honestly say it has changed my life. I am one of those women over 40 with kids that has the hard to shift fat deposits. I can’t compare this to other lifestyles because I haven’t actually tried to lose the weight until now, but I can say that I have not felt this good in years.

    Start as you mean to go on, which means jump in and accept everything as gospel truth (you can’t NOT lose weight on the diet). You can modify things later, but follow the rules at teh start so the discipline and habit is created.

    Oh and keep an eye out for the Slow Carb App coming out this week – I made it to be what I needed when I started and discovered there is not one 4HB app available out there ๐Ÿ™‚

    • SCA, you’re right. When you do it right, you lose fat. It just happens. Are you blogging about doing it as a mom? I know that a lot of ladies had a hard time doing it, and having to cook two meals (one for them and one for their family) is one of the biggest challenges they face. But 35 lbs is a bunch! Keep rocking it out! I signed up last week to be an android beta tester…I guess I’ll have to wait. ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. I just got the 4HB book last week and can’t put it down. I’m starting the program this week. I’m 54 years old and was thin my entire life until I hit mid-40’s. The pounds started creeping on and suddenly I’m 40 or 50 lbs overweight. I’m hoping this works for me, it almost seems too easy!!!

    • Welcome, Christy! It ALMOST seems too easy, but it’s not an easy fix. It takes diligence and dedication, but it’s not as restrictive as it sounds. You can do it, and I can’t wait to hear how you fare. ๐Ÿ™‚ Let me know if I can help you with your goals.


  4. Great blog Jason…
    I’m afraid that the program doesn’t work as it says.
    Yesterday, I just started the 4HB program. I hope it works!!!
    Twitter: @serniver

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