Timothy Ferris’s Occam’s Protocol is actually a pretty easy work out that just needs consistency on your exercises and nutrition. He really simplified everything down, but we’ll see how I follow through. This is how my first day went…

Occam's Protocol - Four Hour Body - Day One

Note To Self

Jeeze, so the timing of this one was so weird. I actually went to a friend’s birthday party and after having a chat with a long time homie, I realize I haven’t gotten off my a$ in years. So at 2 am in the morning the conversations sparked something in me and it forced me to go to the gym. (Note: I had no alcohol in my body, I literally drove there just to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while).

Just Do It

I may have attempted Occam’s Protocol maybe 6 or 7 times for maybe like 4-5 workouts each time lol. But like many past attempts I just kinda fall out of it. I guess because I do them off of memory and not follow a strict guideline or anything, but honestly having written a blog post it’s such an easy workout I don’t know why I kind of just forget about it and then it disappears. Tim Ferris is a way better writer than me so I highly recommend reading the “Geek to Freak” Chapter from “Four Hour Body” to gain a clearer understanding. But I mean if you made it this far, you might be okay with my writing so nonetheless, here is how my first day went!

Dylan's First Occam's Protocol Workout

So Day One of Occam’s Protocol is really just about finding your weight. For being a person that used to only workout once a year. It tough to know/guess how much your body can handle. So Tim Ferris outlines it pretty well that all your doing is two exercises but the first day may take up to an hour. It’s really about leaving your muscles under tension for a longer period of time. So here’s how my first day went…

Workout A (Machine Exercises)

The book outlines that with these exercises you want to be sure that you are in a locked position to prevent injury. That’s outlined in clearer detail but essentially it’s where you are comfortable while arching your back. My settings were just:

Close-Grip Supinated Pull-Down


Finding Your Weight

So the first thing you should do is setup the machine to the comfort of your body. At the gym I went to I just set the seat to 3 because it gives me enough space for my legs to go in but still be secure. Next just do the workouts, I started at a lower weight cause I don’t usually use machines and I had no idea what would be alright. The way that you increase weights is to test the current weight for 5 reps and if you complete it. Wait a minute and increase it by 10 pounds until you fail. 


So this is what I did.

55 lbs x 5 reps (fast/down 2) [1 minute rest]

  • up fast then down slow controlled for about 2 seconds
  • This felt considerably light so I went up to a weight I thought I should be able to handle

88 lbs x 5 reps (fast/down 2) [1 minute rest]
99 lbs x 5 reps (fast/down 2) [1 minute rest]
110 lbs x 5 reps (fast/down 2) [1 minute rest]
121 lbs x 3 reps (fast/down 2) [3 minute rest]

  • At this point I failed because I couldn’t complete 5 reps, so by taking the last completed 5 rep set we are able to calculate the weight we should be doing for this workout. Now rest for 3 minutes to do the actual workout you will be completing for the duration of this experiment
  • 110 lbs x 70% = 77 lbs

The Actual Workout

Now all you have to do is use your calculated weight and do slow controlled reps until failure. You MUST do a minimum of 7 reps in order to increase you weight for the next workout. Record even your half reps to ensure that you maximize the amount of time your muscles are under tension. My results were:

77 lbs x 8.4 reps (slow controlled 5 seconds up and 5 seconds down) 
[5 minute rest]

That’s it! You did the first exercise of the workout. Now all you gotta do is wait 5 minutes and repeat the same steps for the shoulder press!

Shoulder Press


Run The Same Ting

So this machine is actually weirder looking at my gym so I’ll remember to take a picture next time I reach Workout A. But i just needed to measure how high my seat was. Following that locked position thing mentioned in the book was hard to find my placement for everything but I just made it it up and my end result for the most comfortable postiions for the exercise was holding the grip on the corner and my seat at 6

  • So Here’s How It Went

20 lbs x 5 reps (fast/down 2) [1 minute rest]

Same thing as last time, I didn’t realize I could push more so I just jumped a few pounds.

60 lbs x 5 reps (fast/down 2) [1 minute rest]
70 lbs x 5 reps (fast/down 2) [1 minute rest]
80 lbs x 2 reps (fast/down 2) [3 minute rest]

  • Just like last time, I failed because I couldn’t complete 5 reps, so by taking the last completed set I can calculate the correct weight
  • 70 lbs x 70% = 49 lbs rounded up to 50 lbs

The Actual Workout

My results were:

50 lbs x 7.8 reps (slow controlled 5 seconds up and 5 seconds down) 

That’s it! The very first workout of Occam’s Protocol is done! You can either jump to workout A.1 or just wait till Workout B day in two day! 😀

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