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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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14 thoughts on “I’m Doing (a version of) the 75 Hard Challenge… Join me!”

  1. Pingback: Page not found |
  2. The point of 75 Hard is to be really challenging, tweaking it like that will mean you’re not doing 75 Hard. Not drinking for 75 days straight sounds really challenging to you? Good, that’s why you should do it. That’s the whole point! 75 days is not the rest of your life, and if you really want the benefits completing this challenge promises, you just cannot tweak it like that. If you can’t stand drunk people when you’re sober, don’t go to parties for 75 days! Simple.
    Did you listen to the MFCEO podcast episode where he explains the concept? I feel like you didn’t, and I think doing so could help you understand the point of the challenge better.

  3. Hi Rebecca….

    If you read my article, you’ll see that I say I’m doing a ‘version’ of it – my version. I didn’t claim to be doing the official thing. In part, because I think the official 75 Hard is kind of stupid. It’s arbitrary. I’m all for personal development and challenge, but I was looking for something different that physical and mental punishment for the sake of it. I wanted something to benefit me and my life, within parameters I was willing to set.

    My family parties during the time were more important to me than a voluntary challenge, so it was edited. I was always going to go to family parties where people would be drinking. My family relationships are more important to me.

    I still trained 75 days in a row, I still read over 750 pages of personal development literature, I will ate well etc etc. I still benefitted from my version of the challenge, so I’ll challenge your claim of “if you really want the benefits completing this challenge promises, you just cannot tweak it like that”.

    You can tweak it. I did. I benefitted. In this case, it’s my party and I’ll do as I want to.

    I haven’t listened to the podcast article, but I will now. I first saw the challenge on social media.

    But before you look down on my challenge, remember, we don’t all have to do as prescribed. I can tweak a recipe, I can take a different route to a destination.

    Life is an adventure. Choose yours.


  4. Don’t fucking promote it with the 75 hard headline if you think it stupid. Your challenge you are doing is really stupid. Takes every point of the challenge away from it. Might as well live your life. If you want to learn how to be productive, do the actual 75 hard. Not your made up version wont achieve 1/100th that you would if you did the real thing. You think you have enough mental toughness? That’s a joke you got way more in you. I may be harsh but this entire post made me furious and many others. Don’t promote this shit.

  5. Hi John

    So I slept on whether or not to give your stupid ramblings the light of day, but then I thought I would. Two reasons why…

    1. I believe we’re all entitled to our opinion and this is yours.
    2. So I can reply with context.

    First of all…

    This is my blog, my life and frankly, I’ll do exactly as I fucking please. Guess how much consideration I put into John Dawkins’ opinion of anything when I decided on my challenge?

    None. Not a nanosecond.

    So, now I’ve established that I couldn’t give a mouse-sized shit about your opinion on my challenge, I’ll go on to further explain your stupidity….

    1. My made up version was personal to ME. I said on numerous occassions in the article that it was borrowing from the challenge, it wasn’t the actual thing. If you couldn’t understand that, despite the (at least 3 times I explained it was my version) life must be tough for you.
    2. I don’t need to learn how to be productive. I have three businesses, a girlfriend and two kids. I coach my son’s football team, I’m chairman of a weightlifting club and still manage to find time to be present with my family.
    3. Explain to me how I didn’t manage to achieve 1/100th of the real thing? Go back to school. Your maths needs polishing.
    4. Mental toughness – I’ve cycled 1000 miles in a week. I’ve completed the three peaks in less than 18 hours. Do either, then come and talk to me about mental toughness.

    Finally, I want to address your ‘fury’. If a blog post about a challenge I’m doing makes you furious, you’re a pathetic excuse of a man. If that’s a worthwhile direction of anger, get help. A lot of it. Quickly.

    John, let me say this loud and clear…

    ‘Tough’ isn’t an outcome measure. Making a challenge hard with arbitrary targets is bullshit. Train twice a day? Fine – but what if that’s not a good idea? What if you start to develop injuries? What if you suffer from CNS fatigue? Should you just carry on? A challenge needs to be useful. Making it hard for the sake of it isn’t useful. In special forces selection, sure. In day to day life? Not really required.

    I’d love to meet you, to see what you’re really like. I’d imagine you love the idea of kicking the shit out of yourself… but probably aren’t bright enough to understand why that’s probably not always a great idea.

    Have a great day!


  6. If you saw my schedule, I don’t have time for 2 45mins a day either, but, I’m doing it. I’m not touching alcohol because that what makes me better, I’m drinking a full gallon and it’s hard, but that’s what makes me better. Step out of your comfort zone and do things that are hard and you don’t have time for and you don’t think you can do, because that’s what makes you better. Doing the full 75 hard is what is going to make me better then those that can’t or won’t do it. Good luck with your challenge. Maybe after it you should actually try the proper 75 hard 🙂
    And in response to your answer to Rebecca saying:
    “In part, because I think the official 75 Hard is kind of stupid.”
    It’s only stupid because you don’t think you can complete it, plain and simple.

  7. Hi Stephen

    Well, there’s a few points to address here….

    1. Good for you, doing 2 x 45 minute workouts. As I said, this is MY challenge, written about on MY blog. The Hard 75 merely served as inspiration. I trained 75 days in a row, and that’s good going. It’s what I challenged myself to do.

    2. I know all about stepping out of my comfort zone… if you read, you’ll see I cycled 1000 miles in 6 days. I cycled the width of the UK in one day. I’ve done the 3 peak challenge, I’ve done Tough Mudders, competed in weightlifting events, football and running events. I’m no stranger to stepping out of my comfort zone.

    3. I told Rebecca I think the Hard 75 is kind of stupid not because (as you so confidently assume) I can’t do it, but it’s because it’s so arbitrary. Drinking a gallon of water every day doesn’t make you better… it makes you piss more. If you’re sufficiently hydrated with 3/4 of a gallon, why would drinking the whole gallon make things better? It wouldn’t. There’s literally not one single health benefit to it, so it’s stupid. A challenge is about improvement and that isn’t something that improved me.

    Now, think about that. Making something ‘hard’ doesn’t mean it’s ‘good’.


  8. Don’t worry about the naysayers, man. You’re still challenging yourself which is awesome. Keep being a dope person to look up to.

  9. Thanks, Cierra!

    I’d never let them bother me – they’re keyboard warriors! They’re welcome to work out with me any time they like if they think they’re hardcore!


  10. I really like the way you tweaked this challenge. I’m not a purist/ I saw the original challenge and was going to forgo it in its entirety because I have three family birthdays and my graduation party over the next 75 days. This seems like a challenge I can actually get on board with. I believe fitness is adaptable and positive change is positive change. Keep on keeping on! Also- I’m glad I found your blog, my husband and I both enjoy fitness motivation.

  11. Hey Rachel!

    Thanks for the kind words. As for your challenge, this is YOUR journey through life, so adapt things how you see fit – the purpose is to upgrade yourself over the 75 days (in my eyes it was anyway), not punish yourself.

    Give it a go and let me know how you get on!


  12. Thanks for posting this! I’m coming out of a two year Period of a thyroid crash. For me to start working out 2x/day for 45
    Min each is way too much. I like the way you took the concept and made it something personal to you! I’m going to do it too!! Cheers!!

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