While the characters are fictional, the traits these dudes exhibit are 100% real. I have concocted this story based on the character traits of people I observe and interact with who claim to be in pursuit of a better physique.
If you haven’t read part 1 yet, you can here.
One Winner, One Loser – Part 2
The next day, John is in the gym at 9am, feeling eager and fresh. He works on correct form with his bench press and finds it difficult to focus on everything at once. However he asks another regular gym goer for some tips, who is more than happy to help him out.
John then spends the rest of the morning getting rid of all of the bad food he has in his house. He is going to eat a low carb, high fat and high protein diet and “cheat” with high-carbohydrate foods for 30 hours beginning after his workout on Friday night.
He gets rid of all pasta, milk, sugary foods, fruit and everything else that contains more than 5% carbohydrates, knowing that he won’t be able to fuck up if he doesn’t have “non-keto” foods available. He then goes shopping and stocks up on steak, mince meat, eggs, cream, vegetables and butter and starts his first day of “Keto” with 3 fried eggs, fried bacon and some pan fried mushrooms.
“This is a diet? This is fucking awesome!” He thinks to himself, remembering all those times when he believed that he was making a “healthy” choice because he opted for a highly processed, low fat option that would have sent his insulin levels sky high, blocking the oxidization of his stored body fat (something he was now aware of after doing a little research).
At 3pm John heads over to see James, who is walking around groggily dealing with a mad hangover. He’s “craving KFC hard, man” and is in the midst of writing a text message to the “slut” he was “sussing out” the previous night, apologizing for his butt-hurt, stalker-like behavior.
John drives James to KFC and explains his new diet to him now that James is a little more receptive than he was the previous night.
“No bread or sugar?” says James, “that sounds too extreme man, I mean, you’ve got to enjoy life, don’t ya?”
“Exactly” replies John.
Today John has a Sunday morning sleep-in, and heads into the gym around midday. He does some more squats today and allows himself to go a bit heavier, still focusing primarily on his form. He gets through his last set and he notices his legs feel really fatigued compared to his previous squat session with lower weights.
He also tries doing some pull ups and manages to get two in a row.
“How can I have let myself get this out of shape?” he asks himself. Setting himself the goal of being able to do 10 pull ups in a row in three months time.
James however is nowhere to be seen. John tried calling him today, but didn’t get an answer. James had been planning to drink and “back it up” with his mates the night before, so John assumes he is in bed sleeping through another hangover.
This was the case, after James got in contact with him that night and telling him how he spent over $150 on drinks the previous night and didn’t get to sleep until 8am.
“The same $150 that I spent on protein” John thinks to himself and realizes how satisfying it feels to have invested his money on improving himself (nutrition) rather than damaging himself (alcohol).
James is yet to use his new gym membership once, despite signing up five days ago. John has been everyday, and is starting to become obsessed.
John spends the night doing some more research on dieting and looks at some motivational material to get himself pumped for the week ahead.
Monday comes and James finally rolls into the gym, feeling lethargic and unmotivated after getting wasted on both Friday and Saturday night.
He manages to get in a few bicep curls, spends a lot of time browsing Facebook on his phone before deciding that he is too tired for this and calls it quits for the day.
John however, is on day 5 of his program and is feeling rather sore. He likes this though, he knows that this means he is growing stronger. He focuses on bench press today, putting on a little more weight this time.
He is starting to notice how good he feels after a workout.
“I don’t know how these guys spend so much time in here” says James, glancing up from his Facebook news feed on his iPhone, “this sucks dick.”
“I’ve noticed that I feel really clear headed, talkative and happy when I finish training, it’s like a natural high” he tells James.
“You’re becoming brainwashed by all that shit you’ve been reading, it’s all in your head man. This shit isn’t fun, it’s work” James says cynically.
“Haha, ok man” says John in a patronizing tone.
John was planning to take a rest day today, but he was sitting around home after work, and felt that he just wanted to go to the gym, “I can rest tomorrow” he said putting on his training shorts.
He didn’t buy into all the over-training bullshit he had heard guys complaining about on the forums, he wanted to experience being over-trained himself before he would judge if he was going too hard. He also acknowledged that a lot of guys probably used this as an excuse to be lazy, rather than being genuinely “over-trained”.
He decides that tomorrow he will take a rest day, but he buys a foam roller to roll out his legs and back, he wants to be feeling fresh for tomorrow.
James rocks up today too, after the insistence from John to “stop being a pussy”. He does a few more bicep curls, and some machine exercises, but doesn’t do deadlifts with John as he says that he “just wants to tone up” and that he “doesn’t want to become the incredible hulk or anything”. The jacked guy within earshot starts chuckling, then says to James “Mate, you know that there is no such thing as “toning”. It’s an ambiguous term generally used to rationalize mediocrity. Being what you call “toned” is simply somebody with some decent muscle mass and low body fat.”
James gets pissed off at this; “What the fuck does he know?” he says in a sulk as he picks up his gear to leave.
The habits John and James exhibited were only magnified over time. While being biologically similar to each other, the difference in mindset was the single most important factor that determined their success.
John went on to achieve a single-digit body fat percentage, while James cancelled his membership after a month, having used it sparingly.
John learned to do it for the process itself, he stuck with it and achieved results. He didn’t focus solely on the results he was going to achieve, rather they were just used as a guide to base his actions upon.
He looked forward to training every day and enjoyed the small victories, like hitting a new PR on deadlifts or finally reaching 10 pull ups a week earlier than the three months was up.
John was process-orientated, going to the gym was the point in itself, not to achieve an ambiguous result like “fitness” or being “toned”.
It wasn’t instant, it took him months before he started to see his abs appear, but he was obsessed with the process, so the results were just a bonus. He didn’t want to go out drinking, he wanted to continue making progress.
He didn’t want to break his diet, being disciplined was just too satisfying.
James became increasingly jealous with Johns progress, and started bad mouthing him behind his back. “All he cares about is being in that stupid gym, he hasn’t been out drinking with us since he started, some mate” he complains.
After constant refusal to give into peer pressure to drink and break his diet, John eventually stopped hanging out with James and his other friends who weren’t supportive of his new lifestyle. He made better friends who didn’t live to get drunk on the weekends and were also working on developing themselves into winners.
This was a very extreme comparison between two personality types, most guys are somewhere in the middle, or spend periods imitating one or the other.
I’m going to assume that as you were reading this you could relate to the behaviours and characteristics of the two guys. As I said, this is a fictional story, but it is based on the character traits of those that I interact with, observe and discuss different aspects of dieting and training with.
Hopefully you’re not as much of a bitch as James was in this story.
If you have identified yourself as a “James’, you need to spends some more time reading my other posts. When you’re ready to take action, you can follow my Aggressive Keto diet, which will get you strong, lean, disciplined and awesome in a very efficient manner.
Or you can say I’m narcissistic, superficial and/or insensitive, and try to pretend that being a suckier version of yourself isn’t a problem or that I’m shallow for thinking so. You’re still the one suffering, not me.
I used to be the shitty guy with a mediocre body, ready to throw spiteful comments at those who were successful because I wasn’t willing to accept that I just didn’t want to put in the work.
But I turned it around, I exhibit the characteristics that John developed in the story, and well, life’s pretty fucking cool when you are in control of your body.