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

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  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!!

  13. Firstly, good for you. Make the changes that you want to benefit from!

    Secondly- you people need to take a chill pill, what the hell is wrong with you?

    Obviously this is a person who wants to challenge himself and grow as individual but isn’t going to set himself up to fail because he has responsibilities other than his own (I.e a job and a family)

    The 75 hard program itself is a derivative of 10,000 other programs. The 75 hard program itself IS tweaked. And any SUCCESSFUL person knows that the goals you set for yourself need to be realistic. The man set a realistic challenge for himself and succeeded, so lighten the fuck up.

    So again, good for you Steve. Your program achieved exactly what you wanted it to, which is the only point of ANY 75 day challenge.

  14. Thanks Chris!

    The internet is a funny place, isn’t it?! That being said, I allow them to have their voice on the site. I’m not the type of person to get too upset by it – I do wonder why they’re so motivated to post nasty things about something that doesn’t change their day in any way, shape or form tough!

    I enjoyed my challenge and I got from it what I wanted. It’s my party and I’ll do as I want to.

    So f**k em!

    Have you done a version of it?


  15. I love that you reworked this and made it doable, yet challenging. I took one look at the 75 hard and thought 75 impossible. I’m 58 years old, and not much of an exercise person. I also have family and work commitments that trump working out for an hour and a half a day, and who just gives up alcohol? Perhaps some of the people who didn’t like the way you changed the program are doing it for the wrong reason. Maybe they want to complete the whole rigid thing just so they can brag to everyone how awesome they are. ?

  16. I can’t believe the comments on this page! The 75 hard is an illusion of mental toughness and physicality, if anything. It preaches the notion that if you don’t do it perfectly, you have failed. That is simply not the way life works! I would rather be happy and healthy making some progress, then feeling like a failure all the time. Do whatever works for you and what makes you happy. Dietitians and fitness experts tend to agree. Your method would probably be more sustainable past the 75 days anyway.

    P.S. Your responses are so f*****g funny.

  17. I actually found your site by searching for “75 hard” light. Lol! I listened to his podcast I read what was prescribed, but I didn’t feel his plan in its entirety was for me, but I was willing to give it a shot. Then I got an email from Andy (mass generated) This was the subject.
    How Long Are You Willing To Tolerate Being Average?

    This turned me off, and maybe it’s exactly what others need. I don’t think I’m average I also don’t think my life is in need of “help”. I just wanted something to commit to, so after the lengthy preface (lol). I’m going to give “75 hard” light a shot. I dig your message, but I really love your nonchalant ness with the haters. Thanks for the ideas and inspiration!

  18. No problem, Amanda! It’s your life, so live it how you want to. I took the concept and adapted it in a way that would suit my life.

    As for the haters, they’re like sport. I love how they think I care about their opinions, so feel the need to voice them at me!


  19. Thanks Ruee!

    I’ve got zero doubts at all that my approach is more successful over the long term. Whether or not that abides by some notion of ‘hard’ is irrelevant to me, but some keyboard warriors seem to think that it’s the be all and end all. Maybe they didn’t get enough hugs as a child and think that life has to be tough to be rewarding!

    It’s good fun responding to their negativity – mostly because this is a battle of brains and humour, but they’ve come unarmed…


  20. Hi Jan!

    Perhaps you’re right – if it doesn’t fit with their version their rigid thinking doesn’t allow for the fact that many people won’t see any benefit in the original version of the challenge. That’s their problem though, not ours!

    Take an edited version of the challenge, one that suits you and go ahead and improve your life!

    I’m with you!


  21. Hi Steve,

    I just wanted to say that I really appreciate your modifications to this challenge. I’ve seen quite a few friends post about the challenge which definitely piqued my interest, but I know full well that there’s no way I’d be able to get through the original plan.

    Your version excites me to no end and actually gives me a chance to accomplish something without making too many excuses. Appreciate you!

  22. Go for it, El! Your life, your rules – who cares if it isn’t the original version? You don’t need permission to run your own challenge!

    Good luck with it all!


  23. Yeah really a lot of people missing the point. Think in essence you did a 75 day fitness programme. Excellent. Having done 75H twice now and the Club La Santa (would have been 6 but Corona) 5 times. I can safely say running my own business, 2 kids house, wife dog the whole 9 yards, 75Hard is a mindset programme that stretches into Ultra territory, I would argue that I couldn’t give two fucks if you borrowed from it, leant on it or whatever, you took some of the principles and created a fitness programme. Cool. You won’t have seen the full benefits of 75 as on occasion you took the easier path. The more comfortable path. And that’s fine. It’s not where the growth happens though in my opinion, yet I respect yours. It happens when we delay gratification, alter our routines for our goals and take the less common route. You’ll have gained a huge amount from your program and good on you. Not the same playing field however. And the achievements so far are excellent but on the IM or Ultra circuit… well think we’d see. Best wishes. Not passive aggressive as I too couldn’t care less but found this interesting for a fleeting moment. Clinton

  24. Hi Clinton

    Thanks for taking the time to comment. I agree with a lot of what you say – yes, what I did was easier. Was it still tough? Absolutely.

    As for ‘where the growth happens’, that’s where I think you’re wrong. Growth happens when we push ourselves, be it fleetingly (as what happens in a HIIT workout) or over the longer term.

    Adaption of a challenge is a good thing. If I was to drink a gallon a day, I’d not get anything done because I’d be heading to the toilet every 10 minutes. If I was to stick to a strict diet regimen for 75 days, I’d be leaner…. but I’d also be a boring fucker.

    We get one go round in this life. You can choose to spend it in search of being some arbitrary version of elite (impressing only others like you), or you can spend it mixing challenge with enjoyment.

    I know which I prefer.


  25. Great job. How did it go? I am also doing my own version, I’m starting tomorrow. I cant wait.

  26. Hi Dana!

    It went great thanks – I felt amazing at the end of it and really enjoyed the challenge. It’s not easy, but it was really worth it!

    What are you doing?


  27. Hey,
    I googled “75 Hard variations” and found your blog today. Thank goodness I did. I have been toying around with the idea of 75 hard but in all honesty, it doesn’t fit into my life but I do want to commit to something difficult and follow through so I was looking for a variation. I love yours. I am getting started this week coming.
    I also love your responses to the trolls out there and I love even after so long you’re still replying to comments! Now off I go to dive deeper into your blog now that I’m here ?

  28. Hi Shan!

    I’ve said all along that it’s your life, so you get to choose the challenge. It’s about personal growth, not following some arbitrary set of rules that a somebody else set.

    There’s nothing wrong with the original challenge, it’s great… it just doesn’t bear relevance to what I wanted/needed in my life.

    Of course the internet is a fun place and you not following something to the letter is enough for people to ‘call you out’ apparently! That’s why I stand up to these half-wits, as if they know the first thing about me! I’d love to see them though, learn a little bit more about them. I’d imagine most of them are still living with their parents and sharing topless pictures of themselves on the internet!

    Good luck with your challenge, I’m here if you need any help.

    If you’re looking for some other articles on the site that might be relevant, here’s a few…


    1. What Happened When I Followed a 1000 Calorie Diet
    2. I Did a 3 Day Fast. Here’s the Result
    3. What Happened When I Gave Up Sugar


    1. How to do Cardio When You Hate Running
    2. Adding EMOMs to Training
    3. How Many Calories Does Sprinting Burn?

    Hopefully you’ll enjoy the articles!


  29. I just wanted to come on here and let you know that this post inspired me. I liked the idea of sticking to something and bettering myself, but not completely messing with my brain and making it unhealthy. My fitness journey began about a year ago and it has become a lifestyle for me. I like that you took the good from this challenge and made it into something of your own. I am on day 12 of my challenge and I’m doing basically what you mentioned on your list. I feel fantastic and have all the desire to keep going, especially after this post! Keep doing your thing man, you’re awesome.

  30. Hi Christine!

    Thanks for the kind words – and well done for embarking on your own fitness challenge!

    How are you getting on?

    Lockdown has seen me develop a lot of my own projects further, but the trade off is that my fitness has suffered. I’m going to do another version of my challenge to get me back on track!

    Best regards


  31. Thank you for posting this. I’ve been wanting to do the 75 Hard Challenge for awhile, but felt like it wasn’t truly sustainable, so I’ve been searching for a modified version, and this is the one! I believe when it comes to health, you have to do what’s right for YOU, and part of that health is mental/emotional health – which means keeping rude comments, snide remarks, and cruel judgments to yourself. If all the people who commented mean comments truly benefitted from their “real” 75 day challenge, I would have assumed they would have come out of it kinder, and more willing to accept the health journey others are on, even if it is different from their own. Thank you for sharing YOUR journey and teaching us that it’s okay to modify challenges to fit your lifestyle. Even a 10% change is a change, and I’m thankful for people like you that celebrate and support others in whatever season of life they are in.

  32. Hi Hannah!

    Good for you – feel free to challenge yourself in a way that you want to. It’s a weird alpha badge where the goal is to kick the crap out of yourself in the spirit of making yourself ‘better’ or ‘elite’. It’s ridiculous, especially when much of what you have to endure doesn’t actually make you better at all!

    You might like this article I wrote…

    Good luck with your own challenge and let me know how it goes!


  33. Hey Steve

    Well done on tweaking it to suit you – it looks far better the way you are doing it.

    Ignore all the negative nancies.

    Have a great day!

  34. I’m glad you tweaked it. I’m actually looking towards doing so myself because I work, have an internship, and go to school. The way you did it makes a bigger difference because you created habits that you will stick to after the 75 days. Most people will go back after the 75 days because they dreaded the things they had to do.

  35. “I know I’ve got enough mental toughness to cope with most things.”
    “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 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.”

    The modifications you made to the training schedule would probably yield better results than an arbitrary prescription of training twice a day, and the blanket statement of drinking a gallon of water a day, no matter how big you are is misguided to say the least. However I do not think you are as mentally tough as you say you are, perhaps you are during physical activity, but you missed a major part of the program by not challenging yourself not to drink.

    Being the only sober person is hard. Saying no to your friends when they’re trying to force you to drink is hard. But by sticking to it you adapt and build resilience within your own mind.

    Great article nonetheless and good luck in your future endeavours.

  36. Thanks for your comment Alexander.

    The thing is, as I said in the article my family and friend relationships are more important than a challenge to me. I am able to not drink very easily (I barely drink at all anyway), so it wasn’t a mental toughness thing, it was an enjoyment thing. Nobody would have forced me to drink – we’re not that kind of family!


  37. Absolutely, Insiya. It’s the springboard into a wider personal improvement, not an exercise in punishment. The more people understand this, the better!

    Good luck with the internship and school.


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