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After 28 Days of Occam's ...

Greetings, fellow 4-Hour People!

Firstly, let me give a HUGE thanks to all the contributors to this website - the answers (and the questions) being posted have been very helpful and inspiring for me as I've waded through the sometimes ambiguous, sometimes contradictory words of Mr. Ferriss.

That said, I have just finished 28 days of the Occam's protocol. To summarize the experience:

    I went to the gym 9 times over the month (the first two being used to find my starting weights);

    I was really good about following the SC Diet, occasionally adding quinoa or brown rice to my meals;

    I mixed my types of cheat days -some were more carb rich (following Tim's damage control), while one was more for limiting protein to avoid problems with protein uptake;

    During weeks three and four, I added the perfect posterior (PP) exercises to the other 'optional' exercises, doing the PP (incl. KB) AND the Ab moves after each Workout A and B - those muscles recovered quickly and, in the PP chapter, it is recommended to do those 3 times a week ( not just once which was what was happening when I added 2 or 3 rest days between A and B );

    I used the recommended types of supplements (L-Glutamine, Creatine, PAGG, Multi Vitamin, and Fish Oil Capsules); and,


did gain weight - about 11 lbs, though it came with a wee-bit of belly fat, too.

Do be pretty honest, while I made strength gains and gained mass and inches, the visual difference is (as far as I can tell) pretty minimal. This experiment has not created the dramatic difference I thought it might (certainly no 38 lbs gain!), but it has got me thinking more about what the MED might be for me to get more of the 'Freak' and less of the 'Geek' look going for me....I will start another experiment soon: G2F.


1) Should I wait a couple weeks before starting G2F (so I can do PP eating SC to trim away a bit more fat), or should I dive right in after my usual rest period following yesterday's workout?

2) Full body (what Tim did) or the three recommended sets (pulling, pushing, leg)? This is one of the most ambiguous areas of the book - no real 'prescription' for G2F is given, just some allusion to what he did. (Seriously: choose 2 - 10 exercises from the list below and maybe don't do that, but this other thing, too.... It is how I read this chapter!)

I do want to move from G2F for the summer. Best route? What has worked for you?

-Shawn C.

PS. Before and after measurements, exercise weights, and pics below...nothing super dramatic, though (and if I didn't list which was before and after, you might not be able to guess...)


weight* 155.2lbs / 166.2lbs

bf%* 14.5% / 16.5%

(*using my scale, when I am fresh out of bed, but after having relieved myself)

neck 14.5" / 14.75" (taken over Adam's apple)

shoulders 44" / 45"

chest 34.25" / 35.5" (fully exhaled)

l.bicep** 11.5" / 11.75" (no flexing)

r.bicep 12" / 12.5" (no flexing)

waist 34" / 34.5"

hip 37.25" / 39.25" (around butt, at widest)

l.thigh 20" / 22"

r.thigh 20.5" / 22"

th_BeforeOccams-Front.jpg / th_AfterOccams-Front.jpg

th_BeforeOccams-Side.jpg / th_AfterOccams-Side.jpg

th_BeforeOccams-Back.jpg / th_AfterOccams-Back.jpg

(For a full size picture, of the above thumbnails, copy and paste the addresses below: )


  • ShawnC commented May 8th 2011:
    As for strength: STARTING (as determined using Tim's formula in Occam's II) / CURRENT (using last weight I used successfully -past 7 reps, 10 for legs)
  • ShawnC commented May 8th 2011:
    Close Grip, Suppinated Pull-Down START - 125 lbs / CURRENT - 160 lbs Shoulder Press START - 45 lbs / CURRENT - 100 lbs
  • ShawnC commented May 8th 2011:
    Incline Bench Press START - 40 lbs / CURRENT - 100 lbs Leg Press START - 250 lbs / CURRENT 320 lbs
  • ShawnC commented May 8th 2011:
    Kettlebell START - using 25 lbs, 3 sets of 25 / CURRENT - using 35 lbs, 2 sets of 38


The Best Answer

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How much were you eating? Tim mentions a few times (but not very blatantly) that the most important part of the routine is getting a huge caloric surplus. He specifically says a minimum of 20*(your target LEAN bodymass). So if you were shooting for 160lb of lean bodymass, you'd need a minimum of 3200 calories a day. He said that he shot for 6000 a day during his Geek to Freak. If you're not eating close to that amount, you won't build as quickly.

Another thing he talks about that I've had huge success with is a split routine, his looked like this:

Four Hour Body Push-Pull-Legs

1. Push

a. Incline Bench Press

b. Dips

c. Shoulder-width grip shoulder press

2. Pull

a. Pullover

b. Bent row

c. Supinated pull-down

d. Dumbbell shrugs

3. Legs

a. Leg sled

b. Adduction machine

c. Hamstring curl

d. Leg ext

e. Seated calf raises

With only ONE day of rest in between exercises (to start). This supposedly makes you build quicker (which is also what I've found) but it requires a bit more gym time. Using that method, I put on 23lb in a month, while eating as much as I possibly could.

I think the most important factor is eating more, if you do that you should expect to see more gains.

  • ShawnC commented May 9th 2011:
    I will start this three-set system tomorrow. One day rest between....unless I am aching! Thanks for taking the time to reply. I'll post a screen shot of my KCal over the month, below.

All Answers


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Congratulations on completing the 28 days. For myself, I've pretty much have gone into this knowing that Tim's experience is most likely not the norm. I'm not saying anything negative here, it is what it is. If I were writing a book I put in the best results in too. Whether I end up gaining 34.4 lbs of muscle (high doubtful) or not, there are so many other benefits to the program imo.

Like you, I've up'd my weight on lifts every time I've been into the gym. That says something significant right there. You've made some significant strength gains it looks like. I'm also a big believer in the benefits of discipline in any form. Undertaking something like this and seeing it through to the end, the workouts, the clean eating, make us a better person. Hell, the discipline of just making your bed every morning does something in us psychologically I believe.

From the copious amount of books/forums/etc I've read, most people would probably say you didn't eat enough if your goal was size/mass. If you're wanting to get bigger you might want to try adding the GOMAD (Gallon of Milk A Day) to your normal Slow carb diet. Go with whole milk, as 2% and non-fat have pretty much the same amount of carbs, but with less calories so you have to drink more. Good luck!

  • ShawnC commented May 9th 2011:
    Thanks for the advice. It felt like I was eating more than ever before, but still not enough, I guess. I had done the LOMAD with whole milk, mostly in shakes, sometimes 1.5 Litres a day, but I felt this was contributing to the forming navel-area layer.
  • ShawnC commented May 9th 2011:
    Here is my kCal over the 28-Days: [IMG][/IMG]

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