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John vs Tim. Which one are you?

John vs Tim. Which one are you?


This is a concept that Andre Chaperon used to illustrate the two different types of internet marketers. I remodeled his work to present you the two types of people that approach healthy living. In the following article, I will describe the key differences between them and why ones succeed and others fail.

Although John and Tim are not real people, (I’ve made them up) – their traits and habits are based on real people and are pretty darn accurate.

You are currently one of them!

Which one? Well, you will have to draw a conclusion by the end of this page to find that out.

But know this…one of them works out religiously and doesn’t get results (nothing meaningful). The other one is looking great and performing at a top level, putting in the same effort.

One more thing… this article is not written to offend you in any way. The idea here is just to give you some thoughts and make you revise your course of actions.

                              Meet John:


“What do I mean by “regularly going”, is that I’m devoting at least three to four hours a week for fitness and I’ve been doing it for the past 7 years.

 Feels like I’ve been doing it forever.

I do different types of workouts; I try to mix it up, keep my muscles guessing. A little bit of everything is what I do.”


                                 Meet Tim:


“Like my buddy John, I’ve been into fitness for a while. Got 9 years under my belt.The beginning was really difficult; lots of trial and error until I get things right.

Now I’m much closer to my end-goal. As soon as I realized a few “truths”- that’s when I started seeing results.

You can now find me at the gym 2, 3 times at most spending no more than 45 minutes. I also enjoy swimming, jogging, and skiing. Occasionally a hike with the family is also on the list. Still keeping up with the kids.”



Recently I came across the work of Doug Cooper. There is this quote he uses in his book “Outside in” that stuck with me.

Quote for thought

I’m going to refer back to that quote in the end. After you go through the post it will make perfect sense.

It’s really important for you.

But let me first explain what are the key differences between John and Tim in relation to my own life experiences.

Where it all started

2009, June 2nd I had my first taste of reality.

Up until then I was enjoying the carefree life of going to school and pretty much having my entire day after that at my own expense. That changed when I was thrown into the deep end. I’ve joined the workforce. 10-11 hours work days and that’s how 6 out of the 7 days in the week would go for me. The brutal system quickly chewed me and spit me out. I started the day at 8 am every morning and finished at 7 something pm on most of the days. I was similar to a robot. I’d wake up 10 minutes before I had to leave to work because every minute mattered especially in the morning. I’d brush my teeth and with my eyes closed, I would head to the bus station. On my way there, I’d grab something from the pastry shop across the street and eat on the go. I would then join the group of other “misfortunate” individuals for a 1-hour bus ride to work.

I don’t know how you would call this state of mind, neither asleep nor awake I was staring through the window.


What was I thinking about?

I had been on this “tough path” called life for a mere 2 months and it already felt like an eternity. Days would roll one after another and I’d wake up on my only day off finding my week was gone and I couldn’t differ it from the previous one in any way. Oh yes, I was adventurous this week, so I had a strawberry croissant for breakfast instead of chocolate one, but besides that, same routine, same exact workflow, same exact people…. and boom another day is gone.

Gone forever, I can’t take it back.

Even with all that thinking, I didn’t take action right away. It took me a “painful” while before I knew it was time for a change and time to do something. Maybe I didn’t have control over the first 12 hours of my day, but what I did during the other 12 was on my own terms, so eventually I did act on that. I decided that it was time to do a little something for me; something that will be beneficial to me in a way. I needed to do something because I WANTED it, not because I HAD to.

It was Tuesday at 8:20 pm, day one when I first set foot on the gym floor. I was clueless and had no idea as to what I was doing. I just knew that fitness was something that can help you create a fitter look and feel for yourself. I began with a 30-minute circuit consisting of jumping from one piece of equipment to another. I can remember that I performed the exercises with horrible form! However, I did feel a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment when I finished it…. And that’s how I felt for the rest of the night. Even though I was exhausted  more than ever, I felt good, really good. So I added this activity to my monotonous lifestyle. 11 hours of work followed by 30-45 minutes of gym activity.

I was really happy with my new activity. I really enjoyed it. Didn’t matter, though. Why? Because I wasn’t getting any results. I didn’t have a plan of action, didn’t know what to do… I just knew it is good for me, so I was doing it. And this is when without knowing it, I started “operating” as John.

John and what he does wrong.

I had been into it for a solid 2 months when I started buying fitness magazines and browsing through fitness websites. I was getting “the new best workout” delivered to my mailbox every week.

  • “5 Brutal movements that help you build an amazing physique”
  • “How to get 6 packs abs in less than 3 weeks”
  • “The new secret method actors and Hollywood stars use to drop fat”

These are just a few of the headlines I was bombarded with on a daily basis. Everything sounded so appealing. What I knew back then was that:

-I’m 6 months in and I have zero results to show for my efforts

-I’m busting my ass off on a daily basis

-And that “new best training” method, the stars are using will be in my hands next week.

So this is what I did. I would religiously follow the plan I had received for about a week. Then the “new shiny plan” would arrive at my mailbox seven days later and I would jump on it for another week or two. I was constantly on the lookout for the next promise, the next big thing, expecting, at least, one of these tactics to work like wonder and bring the promised results with little effort from my side.

But guess what?  Every expert out there had a different approach, which constantly pulled me in a different direction.

  • I was doing 5×5 strength training
  • Squat, Deadlift, Bench ( “The foundation”, I did plenty of those)
  • I was doing crazy volume workouts, 10 exercises per muscle group (that’s what bodybuilders do)
  • I was eating (at least trying to) 6 times a day (had to mark off another hour for cooking here of my daily schedule)
  • Carb-loading (This one here was easy)
  • Carb-depletion (That’s what fat loss expert say)
  • Supersets, drop sets, negatives (all advanced methods that were recommended for building a great physique)
  • Drinking protein shakes (if that’s what it takes, I’m in)
  • No carbohydrates, no fats (I’ve tried it all)

I became really desperate. I felt that my head would explode because I was putting in all that time and effort in over the course of a year with little to no results to show.

I was spinning my wheels!

Eventually, I knew where I went wrong! I was looking for a “magic formula”, for “the best training plan”, “the fastest fat loss diet”. I know most of us who approach nutrition and training feel exactly the same.

I will visually present to you how my thought process would look like:


When the first “new method” came out – I would drop whatever program I was doing at the time and act upon the new one for a week or two; maybe a month at most. This action was repeated over and over for the course of a year. It was really discouraging. I was constantly trying “ways to shock” my body, working my ass off, day in and day out. It’s the big promises of instant gratification that get us hooked on the never-ending cycle.

“Lose 10 pounds in a week.”…..  Not an immediate result, but pretty darn close. Marketers know that this will trigger our implicit thoughts (impulsive decision, without putting too much thought) to act up on the offer, because that’s exactly what we want, to lose 10 pounds in a week. And by rotating these “promising” titles on a weekly basis, they get us on the loop.

But you already know that…

I’m not telling you anything new here.

The Internet is the proof of that, every website you go to, every blog post you read.. “the magic program” shows up. It fights for our attention and often gets it, and before we know it, years pass with NO results to show for the efforts, even though we followed the so-called “experts” advice.

And then you quit…. or worse, just like John you keep doing the same thing year after year, wondering why nothing changes, and before you know it, years have passed, and you look and feel exactly the same as you did 5 years ago.


Results? They were barely noticeable. Did I have clear goals in mind?  Nope, they were non-existent. It was one full year “lost”. So I considered that lack of experience and moved on. No more rookie mistakes, no more blindly following advice. I would not frequently jump from program to program. I figured I would become much more selective.

One day I joined a 90-day program conducted by a bodybuilder. Marc Lobliner I believe his name was. I finally decided to devote my time and focus on a program. Stick with it to the end. The program consisted of rigorous training twice a day. Both cardio and weight training, taking approximately 3 hours of my day. I was eating 6 meals a day, which added an hour of cooking daily. Incorporating the regime with my work schedule, I was burning out quickly. But did I see results this time? Yes! Much better, I made tremendous progress for the 90 days I followed the program… but it wasn’t sustainable. I couldn’t see myself living such a lifestyle, where I trade my social life for an athletic body.  I was eating home cooked, proportioned meals out of plastic containers six times a day. The food was the only thing I was thinking about and I was training every morning and night; not sustainable! I finally had a good-looking body, but at what cost? Was it all worth it?

I can answer that question with a yes, but I just had to find an efficient way to reach my goals, allowing me more freedom, the ability to enjoy eating out, hanging out with friends and account for my busy lifestyle (while still maintaining my desired look). This epiphany I had was slowly, but surely turning me into a Tim, operating like him, thinking like him. I didn’t realize this back then, but my mindset was changing. Two years into it and I finally started to see a light at the end of the tunnel.


Tim does the exact opposite of John. He is not after hyped up programs, doesn’t blindly follow what every “experts” says. He can control his emotions and think rationally. He knows what’s required to achieve the desired outcome. His attention is selective and focused. He values his time because it’s very limited. He has no time to waste on programs that can easily be considered a full-time job. Tim’s thought process looks something like this:


Tim doesn’t jump on the “next big thing” in the fitness industry, “trying the juicing for 10 days” prescribed by Dr. X. Tim knows that in order to achieve long-term results he has to follow a plan that is suitable for his needs. This is where I failed. I was going in the wrong direction for far too long. I followed the advice of a bodybuilder, even though I didn’t want to look like one. I wanted to look good in clothes, suits, shirts and dress pants. I wanted to have a lean body, but not the extreme look bodybuilders are after. I didn’t have to put myself through all the things they did, but I didn’t know any better at that time. Today, I try to pass on that knowledge and help people that have that same goal in mind: to look good in clothes, have a lean aesthetic body without putting their life on hold while trying to get to that level.

Tim knows that there is no perfect workout plan. All the plans work if YOU do. You have to find what is suitable for YOU. Tim doesn’t try to achieve 3 goals at a time, he crushes them one by one. There is no way you can build more muscle and get leaner at the same time (it’s possible for novice trainees and steroid users, but else you have to choose one). He knows there is NO “magic fix” or a “pill” that does all the heavy work. He has no high expectations and knows that in order to get where he wants, he has to put in the time and effort. He doesn’t obsess over the minor things; he sees the big picture and has his own path. He experiments with his body and knows what works for him and what doesn’t.  When he hits a plateau and doesn’t advance with his training and nutrition, he makes small tweaks and adjustments instead of jumping on to the next program on the list. The second I changed my mindset (and answered the question “Why am I doing all of this?”) – it positively transformed my lifestyle–almost instantly.

Today, I wear a bullet-proof vest to be protected from all the hype and media tricks. I focus on creating a sustainable plan of action that will bring me closer to achieving my desired outcome. I’ve put all the information I’ve learned through a filter and make it applicable to my situation. I’ve created a strategy. I was flexible with my plan because I knew how each aspect affects my body.

I want to pass this on to my clients, offering them the solution they’ve been looking for. That’s why I don’t offer programs. I offer premium courses that show you exactly how to structure your nutrition and training to achieve your goals.

Living a healthier lifestyle is an ongoing process. Something like a program or a magazine isn’t going to get you to live healthier because it does not provide you with the reasoning behind what you are doing. That’s why I decided to create these courses that teach you on how to take control of your body and look the way you want.

To teach you how to manipulate your training and diet and go out on your own.

Why go the hard way? Your time is much more valuable than that. Overcomplicating fitness won’t bring you the results you are after I can bet my head on that.


John is on a constant look out for the “secret method”, always thinking there is a better way to do things, constantly questioning his efforts. John does a little bit of everything but hasn’t mastered anything. That’s why there are no results. Best case scenario, there are “some” results from the last “fat diminishing” workout plan he followed, but that is his lifetime success. He brags about it everywhere he goes and promotes another fad. That’s why all these “promising” programs get traction and reach huge audiences, and many people just like me and you hop on the bandwagon. Mislead by the promises of a dream body.

Tim, on the other hand, is different….Tim knows that the change to a healthier lifestyle is a process, not an overnight thing. It’s something that you constantly work on. It’s not easy by any means; it’s tough as hell and requires laser focus and determination. But at the end, it is all worth it. Once you get to that level it is easy to maintain it, it’s easy to integrate it in your life. And it does pay off, you will look better, feel better, have more self-esteem and probably will have a better outlook in general. It all starts with the right mindset here.

There are millions of John’s and Tim’s all around us. I’m sure that at least few of your friends are an illustration of these characters. What is sad here is that some John’s know what they are doing wrong and they are ready for a change. But, they need little help and support from someone who has been through all of this. They don’t know how to become a Tim, yet!

The successful Tim’s are those who:

  • Manage their time efficiently. Usually, the most successful Tim’s are the busiest: CEOs of companies, managers, or executives. Their time is so limited that they value it to the last second of the day. That’s why they succeed.

Note: Here is a video that made me re-evaluate my own routine. I got shivers watching it. It might be just the thing you need, to fuel your ambition and become a Tim. Watch it here.

  • They question everything they hear or see. They apply logical thinking to figure out whether that’s the right thing to do for their situation or not. They don’t blindly follow advice. They know better than that and so do you.
  • They don’t abandon the plan they follow. They just work around it or tweak it. It’s like building a business; you don’t just throw the towel on day 30, you get feedback and make changes until you make it work. Apply the same principles to your training and you will get results. That’s why usually the busy professionals are easily transformed into Tim’s, they know what it takes.
  • They don’t whine or complain. If they fail, they get up and try again.. and again… and again, until they get it right.

It’s all choices, decisions, and attitude. Nothing is right or wrong. It all depends on what you want and what your reasoning is.

“When compared side by side, my days can barely be distinguished from one another. The only difference is what I do after work and with whom I do it.”

Choose wisely, how do you want to spend your days?

Are you a John or a Tim? If you are a John re-read the quote above and give it some thought.

Do you live your dream day? If not, give it a second thought.

I made the decision to become a Tim instead of a John. In order to do so, I had to go through my own journey to find the way to becoming one. Now that I am, my life has transformed completely. It was a lot of hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, but it paid off.


I choose to be different and not to go to the masses. I choose to break past what’s accepted and what’s normal. I want to be unique and help others be unique too.

I choose to change the world, even a tiny little bit of it.

And I want to help you do it too.

Do you have the guts to operate like Tim?

Simeon Krastev About Simeon Krastev

Simeon is a fitness coach with a unique perspective on training and nutrition. For the past six years, he’s been helping busy people achieve an impactful fit look without putting their life on hold. Stay in touch by connecting with him on LinkedIn.

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