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Timothy Ferriss has a lot of fitness and nutrition advice in the bestseller 4-hour body. He advocates one-set-only (per muscle group) workouts. Is that good advice?

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closed as not a real question by Matt Chan Feb 27 '12 at 3:15

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

To clarify, are you referring to the "Occam's Protocol" chapter? (Ferriss has several alternate workouts that are recommended for different purposes). For those who haven't read the book: Occam's Protocol is a minimalist approach to mass building (and also involves a lot of guided eating and a formula for timing rest between workouts). – Greg Mar 19 '11 at 22:22
Emile, the resources he gives supporting that methodology are "Body by Science" (…) and "The Colorado Study"… I'm not sure how valid the technique is, but I'm gonna give it a try ( don't have time for alternatives ). This random chap on a blog also found success with the methodology – Ross Rogers Mar 19 '11 at 22:51
It depends on what your goals are? Obviously this isnt a program for everyone... – Moz Mar 20 '11 at 22:10
Why is it not for everyone? This seems like a comment not an answer. – J. Won. Mar 20 '11 at 22:18
As the answer below mentions, you should add more detail and clarify what your goals are, especially for people who are not familiar with the book. Is it good advice for improving flexibility? Gaining strength? Agility? Speed? – J. Won. Mar 21 '11 at 0:29
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Thanks for posting this. I've read/reviewed the one set approach and I think it's worth trying. Like any other approach (steps/pyramid, waves, etc.) - they probably all work, but not forever. I think there's a 2-3 month period where you will see gains and then the body adopts/adjusts to the routine, at which point you need to change.

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It depends on what activity level you are at and what your goals are. Like a lot of programs you will see progress but eventually your body gets efficient at it so it's best to change up exercises every few months.

If your goal is...

Fat loss - you can't target fat loss. You can do a thousand crunches a day and still have flab on top of your incredible six-pack.

Sculpting/Toning muscle - you need to have muscle first in order to tone it. Any weight lifting regimen will build muscles for you. For target-specific exercises - I'd just caution against getting a muscle imbalance (i.e. making sure if you work biceps, you work triceps too, etc...). Having one muscle stronger than its opposing muscle will make you susceptible to injury.

Any exercise is better than none.

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