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I’m Doing (a version of) the 75 Hard Challenge… Join me!

Having been inspired by the 75 Hard challenge I saw online, I considered doing an edited version of it, basically to drag my body and mind kicking and screaming out of the summer. (It has been indulgent).

I’d kicked the idea around in my head and gave it a bit of thought. I decided I wouldn’t do that version of the 75 Hard, but if I could think of a few suitable changes, then I’d do it.

Fast forward a few days and my friend Finn saw the 75 Hard challenge on instagram and asked did anyone fancy it. I told him I did, but I wanted to tweak it to make it more personal to me. He was keen…

I wanted to give it elements of a fitness challenge, make it more of a lifestyle challenge. A sprint towards a general personal upgrade I suppose.

It’s a bit extreme in some elements, but there’s a reason for that. I want to drag myself out of the summer indulgences and back on to some sort of productive drive. The summer is over (if it really started), the kids have gone back to school today and the timing is right for me to throw myself into a challenge.

I have a few personal training clients who work in the IT industry and they talk about ‘sprints’, where they work full speed on a project for a few weeks. This is my version of it….

The 75 Hard Challenge

The 75 Hard challenge was created by a guy called Andy Frisella and goes along the lines of kicking the shit out of ‘challenging’ yourself because it’ll help you figure out who you really are and how mentally tough you are. That’s all well and good, but in my suburban bubble I have no reason to push myself to breaking point.

I’ve cycled the length of the country in a week. I’ve cycled the width of the country in a day. I’ve completed 3 Tough Mudders, 3 Snowdonia Charity Challenges, a 250 mile charity bike ride in 2 days and completed the Three Peaks Challenge in less than 18 hours. I know I’ve got enough mental toughness to cope with most things.

75 Hard

There’s been a whole host of men with this kind of message in the last few years, which is funny – they seem to wear their suffering as a badge of honour, as if life is a war. If life is a war, you’re doing it wrong.

I’m not into that, I don’t see life as a war to be won. I just want to be in decent nick and all that.

Anyway, on the 75 hard, for 75 consecutive days you have abide by these rules…

  1. Strict Diet – No cheating, not even 1 bite, and No alcohol 
  2. 2 Workouts per Day – 1 has to be outside and both have to be at least 45 minutes
  3. Drink 1 Gallon of Water per Day – Nothing but clear, plain water counts
  4. Read 10 Pages per Day – From a non-fiction self help book or business book
  5. Take a Progress Picture Every Day – So you can see the progress at the end

I’m not going to do that, for loads of reasons, but I’m going to borrow from it. I’m going to take some of the principles and abide by them for 75 days to see a personal and professional uplift. I’m going to challenge my fitness to generally elevate my health.

I don’t have the time to train twice per day for at least 45 minutes, one of which being outside. I leave the house before 5.00 in the morning up to 3 days per week. I sometimes don’t finish work before 9.00. On the days I do, I have a family and non-work commitments.

In the next 75 days I have 5 major social commitments, one of which is Rachel’s birthday, another of which is my son’s birthday. I’m not going to avoid family meals out for the sake of a challenge.

I can abide by dietary discipline without going Tibetan Monk.

The other parties – have you ever been to a party and been sober? I have… once. Fuck doing that again. Even people I like piss me off when they’re drunk and I’m not, so if I’m around drunk people, I want to be one of them.

My Version of the 75 Hard Challenge…

I want to keep the essence of the challenge, but at the same time personalise it to me. I don’t need to train twice per day, nor will I stick to a strict diet with so many events coming up. Taking those into account, here’s my version of the 75 Hard.

  1. Dietary Discipline – Eating well. Only drinking on social occasions, not at home
  2. Train Every Day – 75 days without a day off. Active recovery counts
  3. Drink 3 litres of Water per Day – Nothing but clear, plain water counts
  4. Read 10 Pages per Day – From a non-fiction self help book or business book
  5. Take a Progress Picture Every Day – So you can see the progress at the end
  6. Complete a full 10,000 steps per day

Some will argue I’m missing the point of the 75 Hard by tweaking it and they’re possibly right, but I don’t need the extreme pain-in-the-arse that such a challenge would represent. Why drink a gallon of water per day for example? If I’m fully hydrated, any extra is pointless.

75 Hard, 1000 calorie diet, nitric oxide, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, exercise

What I want to do is throw myself into a challenge that will test my discipline and make me a better, fitter and more productive person at the end of it, without being a huge drain on me physically and psychologically – I can imagine training 150 times in 75 days and living on a super strict diet will make me a rather dull boy, not to mention an irritable arse hole.

So it’s a Hard-ish 75 for me.

What am I Hoping to Achieve From It?

As I said at the start of the article, I’ve had an indulgent summer. I’ve still trained, but not as hard. I’ve enjoyed a few parties, a holiday, some time off work and a bit too much food and booze. It’s life. It happens.

What I’m hoping to achieve from my version of the Hard 75 is a physical and mental kick up the backside. I want to kick-start my training, drop some weight, get on top of some extra reading and professionally, get more done. Develop a few projects I have on the go.

I’ll be charting the Hard-ish 75 journey with a weekly update on this blog. I’ll post the workouts, the stats and the roundups from the whole thing and we’ll see the journey through together!

By all means, join in too – either by emailing me or by adding me on Instagram and messaging me there.

Update 1: What I learned in Week 1

By the way, if you subscribe to the Hoyles Fitness mailing list you’ll receive a free eBook containing 101 Health and Fitness Tips, plus offers and news exclusive to Hoyles Fitness subscribers. Click the image below to download…

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Owner of Personal Trainer, Father and fitness copy writer. Working hard making the world fitter and healthier!

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