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The 90 to New Challenge – Update 4

We’re at the fourth update of the 90 to new challenge and I’m glad to report, things have been progressing well. I’m really noticing changes in my fitness levels, there’s been no dip in exercise motivation and I think I’ve cracked the ‘balance’ of training and recovery.

I spent a lot of time last week thinking about what this challenge means to me and to the group, because the positivity of the experience so far has been really quite powerful. When I combine the shared experience with what I’ve learned from the book I’m currently reading, it reinforces to me the challenge mindset and mentality.

What I’m learning is that fundamentally, I’m better at this stuff in a group or challenge setting. Is that a weakness, or are more of us the same? When I see how CrossFit, Weight Watchers, Slimming World and the like work in a group setting, I’m inclined to believe a lot of us are wired this way.

Exercise Update

Not a huge amount to report, other than I hit the targets I’ve stuck to. Last week I walked on the Monday and Sunday’s exercise was a load of gardening, which including shifting a few tonnes of soil around. Functional fitness, if you will!

I did a fair bit of high volume weightlifting, which felt good. This is where I mean I feel my fitness is coming along, because I was putting up good numbers for high reps, so I considered that a win.

Here’s a set of 5 snatches at 70kg, which is the first time I’ve done that in years (if ever, actually!)

I also added in a ride with my friend and personal training client, Rick. It’s low intensity cardio but it burns a good few calories! It’ll also increase in intensity as Rick gets fitter and fitter.

Reading Update

I’m now over 200 pages into ‘59 Seconds‘ and I’m enjoying it. I was a little apprehensive because I’d really enjoyed the last two books I’d read and didn’t want to lose the momentum, but it has been an insightful book and one that I have learned a lot from. It’s written in an easily digestible style and I like the lay-summaries that conclude each paragraph.

Once I’ve finished the book I’ll probably look back through it and pull out some of the information and share it in a blog post – it’s fitting content for a fitness blog, which is ultimately about behaviour change.

I’m probably a week or so away from finishing the book, so my attention is beginning to turn towards my next reading. I’m thinking I’ll conclude ‘Meditations’ by Marcus Aurelius – it’s a book I’ve read before, but I stopped re-reading it around the start of lockdown (which ironically, is probably the worst time to have stopped). I think I’ve only got around 40 pages left of it, so I may have to line up the next one pretty sharpish.

The thing I’m most grateful for this challenge for it re-establishing a reading habit in me. It’s something that I’ve really enjoyed and I hope I never stop it.

The week ahead…

It’s a slightly misleading subheading, given I’m writing this on a Tuesday night so am essentially half way through the week, but it’s my intention to get through the bulk of my additional writing work. I’ve got around 7 articles to write of varying lengths, some of which are a day’s work, others are a couple of hours. I want to get through 5 of them before Friday night.

If I manage to do that, I can write another article for my blog which I’ve wanted to write for a couple of weeks. If you see a new article on the site before I’ve updated you again, you’ll know I managed it!


It’s been another good week. I’m really enjoying the challenge and I’m happy with the impact it has had on my life. I’ve got a lot going on (although we’re in lockdown, I remain as busy as ever), so the plan is to get ahead of my work schedule so I can take a couple of weeks or so off to relax.

The best laid plans and all that though…

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2 thoughts on “The 90 to New Challenge – Update 4”

  1. hi! So I just heard about 75hard on social media and was intrigued, but like you, found some of the rules rather arbitrary and not universal. I tried posting about my version of hard-ish 75 on reddit and met some not so nice responses, so I’m glad to see people like you taking the spirit of the challenge and adapting it to your goals!

    I plan to do one 45+ minute workout a day but incorporate strength training into my usual running schedule, and for the 2nd workout I just want to get away from my desk around lunch for 10-15 minutes. That will be a huge challenge in itself.

    The diet I plan to follow is keeping a food diary. My goal is mindful eating and my greatest struggle is late night snacking, so the food diary will help bring awareness to what I’m eating and help me make better decisions when i want to eat out of emotions, not hunger. I also don’t plan to have zero alcohol, I just want to track it and cut back. I had a stroke 3 years ago and alcohol doesn’t help blood health!

    For water I figured about 100oz would be good for my weight and activity level. A gallon is very subjective, it’s good for some but not all.

    I love the concept of reading 10 pages, and at the start of the year I started incorporating a morning and evening routine, which included reading 30 minutes before bedtime. I don’t think I’ll read self help books though, I find most of them to feel like something is being sold to me. I definitely think you can learn a lot from fiction as well. There’s more to life than being an influencer, you do not have to read like one to improve yourself.

    Finally I will not be taking progress pics. I personally think that part of the challenge is 100% social media based, the creator of 75hard wants people to have convenient before and after shots they can tag him in, getting him more exposure and $. This supposedly isn’t a weight loss or fitness challenge, so I don’t see how progress pics help. I will be journaling instead.

    Anyway, I’ve really enjoyed reading how you’ve modified and grown with the challenge concept, keep up the great work!

  2. Hey Ama!

    That’s fantastic to hear – glad you’ve enjoyed reading about my adapted challenge.

    I have found it a great way to grow personally and professionally. For me life isn’t about a constant onslaught against yourself, it’s about challenge and growth but within reason. The cons can’t outweigh the pros in order for it to be worthwhile.

    Your challenge sounds excellent and I’d love for you to come back and update me on how it’s progressing!

    Best regards


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