If you're here, it's probably because you've heard about the 75-Days Hard challenge and you're seriously considering it.
My partner Ash and I are midway through our challenge and we've learned a ton along the way. We're already feeling the difference, so we want to share important information about 75 Hard with some updates on our own experiences with the challenge.
So buckle up, 75 Hard is a wild ride and we're stoked you're here.
What is the 75-Days Hard challenge?
The interesting thing about 75-Days Hard is the rules and both strict and malleable. More often than not a challenge is one or the other, but 75-Day Hard has 6 rules - some of which are personally chosen and others are flat-out non-negotiable. Here are the rules:
- Participants must complete two 45-minute workouts everyday. One workout must be outside, the other is your choice.
- Participants must read 10 pages of a non-fiction (self-help) book everyday. You can choose the books, but audiobooks are not allowed.
- Participants must choose a diet and stick to it everyday. Choose wisely, as this will be your life for almost 3 months.
- Participants must drink 1 Gallon of water everyday. Yeah - this one is non-negotiable. Be prepared to pee... a lot.
- No alcohol.
- Take a progress photo everyday.
As you can probably see here the common theme is everyday. You cannot skip, double up, or do later - this is a non-negotiable part of the 75-day Hard challenge. However, within these challenges, there is wiggle room to make it your own. You can choose your diet, your books, when and where you workout, and so on.
Why 75 Days?
There are a few reasons why 75-Days Hard is 75 Days long. Firstly, this timeframe is significant enough to develop new habits, but not too long that it seems unattainable. In fact, science says it takes the average person approximately 66 days for a new habit to become an automatic behavior. This means, 75 days exceeds this to make sure.
Secondly, 75 days pushes participants outside of their comfort zones - not just physically but mentally too with perseverance, endurance, and resilience all key to success.
The 5 Aspects of 75-Day Hard
1. The Workouts
There are two 45-minute workouts that need to be completed each day to successfully accomplish 75-Day Hard.
One is more free-range: you can do a gym, at home, or outdoor workout as you please (so long as it's a minimum 45 minutes, of course). The second workout has to be outside and this is where things get interesting.
The fact that one of the workouts has to outdoors mean you will encounter situations beyond your control that gives you an excuse not to go. For example, a snowstorm, hurricane, rain, heat waves, and so on. No matter where you live you will encounter something that will try to stop you from going.
*Surely it goes without saying, but obviously, don't put yourself at risk for this challenge. If there are life-threatening conditions outside, do not put your life on the line for this.
Right now, Ash and I are in Minnesota where temperates are deep into the negatives and the wind goes right through you... this is our challenge. It becomes more mental than physical. If it were not for 75 Hard, we'd likely skip the afternoon workout outdoors. Instead, we're out there every afternoon, freezin' our asses off. After all, its called 75 Hard, not 75 Easy.
75-Day Workout Strategy
Your strategy should be unique to you and your environment. I'd suggest having one workout be your "hard" one, where you push yourself. Your second workout can be a little less intense. For us, we're using the gym for our "hard" workouts, and the afternoon for walks outside or yoga, etc.
I'd also recommend giving decent time between these workouts, ideally morning for one and afternoon/nights for the second. This will help not feel so overwhelmed with doing two workouts each day.
Some things to consider when you put together your workout strategy should be:
- Work: What are the best times to plan your workouts around your job? Can do a lunch-break workout?
- Kids: If you have young kids, who will watch them each day while you workout?
- Climate: What are the best times for your to workout outdoors. For example, if you live in a hot and humid climate, can you go for a run early before the heat sets in?
2. The Diet
You have freedom over which diet you choose but you must stick to it. As vegans, we already stick to a strict plant-based diet, so for this part of our challenge we simply cut out our "cheat foods" which included some mock meats for Ash, and bread and plant-based nuggets for me.
If you're wondering which diet to take, I'd recommend you give a plant-based diet a try. This diet is healthy, delicious and it's the most ethical diet for animals (we don't eat the homies) and the environment. Our Why Go Vegan post has plenty of information, which we highly recommend you check out if you're on the fence.
75-Day Hard Diet Tips:
- Choose a diet that has a good variety of foods so you don't get bored.
- Meal prep your lunches ahead of time. As you'll be working out twice per day, saving time cooking lunches will be huge for you.
- If possible, get your spouse, friends and family on board. If your household is all on the same diet, then it'll be easier to resist any temptations. If they're not, talk to them about your diet so they understand and support your decision - no one wants to be psyched out.
3. The Water
Drinking a gallon of water every day, in my opinion, is the hardest part of the 75-Day Hard challenge. It seems simple, but you seriously have to drink a lot of water to hit a gallon and at first your body won't know what to do with all the water - so expect to be peeing constantly.
My biggest tip for the water aspect of the challenge is to get as much water consumed early in your day and take advantage of how thirsty you get during your workouts. You don't want to be force-drinking a half-gallon of water right before bed - that's a recipe for disaster and no way to live.
4. The Reading
At first, you might be confused by the reading part of this challenge. How does reading help you achieve your fitness goals? Well, that's because 75 Hard isn't all about physical growth, but mental, emotional, and even spiritual too. The holistic approach means you're improving every part of your personal growth.
The reading aspect of 75 Hard is either the easiest or hardest for some, especially if you haven't read a book since school. If that's you, check out these awesome self-help books I highly recommend for 75-Day Hard. And before you think about Audiobooks - they're not allowed, sorry.
Best books to read for 75-Day Hard
- 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- How to win friends and influence people. How to stop worrying and start living
- You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life
- Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones
- The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment
- Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
5. No Alcohol
This one is pretty self-explanatory. No beer, wine, or cocktails for 75 days.
6. The Progress Photos
Progress photos are the easiest part of this challenge, in theory. However, if you're uncomfortable with your body, this might be a difficult part of 75 Hard at first. You'll be confronted with your physique and forced to focus on what you do not like about yourself. But take this as motivation, and photos will be easier as you progress.
The best part is when you start to see the change - that's when the photos become fun.
How long does it take to see results?
How long it takes to see results in your physique depends on the individual, their workout plan, and their diet. However, if you're doing 75 Hard right and really pushing yourself, you should start to see results at around 4 weeks mark. However, some will see results faster, and others might take longer, so don't be dissuaded - it will happen for you.
75-Day Hard vs Soft
While researching you may have also heard about the mirror challenge: 75-Day Soft.
The 75-Day Soft challenge is a modified version of 75 Hard that allows participants to customize the program to their individual needs and goals. This version of the challenge may include only one workout per day or allow for some flexibility in the diet plan. The idea behind the 75-Day Soft is to create a program that is challenging but still attainable and sustainable for the individual.
Ultimately, both challenges can be effective tools for personal growth and self-improvement, and the choice between the two will depend on an individual's needs, goals, and fitness level.
Why take the 75-Day Hard challenge?
There are many reasons why you might want to challenge yourself to 75 Hard. The most common reason is to get in better physical shape. As the program has a heavy focus on both working out and diet, results will come faster than ordinary schedules. Some of the most common reasons to take 75-Day Hard are:
- Struggling to stick to a diet plan
- Lack of consistency with working out
- Preparation for an event
- Wanting to better oneself (mind, body, soul approach)
- Supporting a loved one
No matter your reasons for taking on 75-Hard, you'll see holistic growth if you see it through - so keep up the good work.
75-Day Hard FAQs
Does 75-Day Hard have rest days?
No, the 75 Hard challenge does not have any rest days. Participants are expected to complete the program without taking any days off for rest or recovery. This means that they must follow the strict diet plan, drink a gallon of water, complete two workouts each day, read 10 pages of a personal development book, and take a progress photo every day for 75 consecutive days.
That being said, the workouts can be modified to be less intense or to target different muscle groups, allowing for some variation in the program. It's also important to listen to your body and avoid injury. If you need to take a break due to illness or injury, it's important to prioritize your health and well-being over completing the challenge.
Does walking count in the 75-Day Hard challenge?
Yes, walking can count as one of the two daily workouts in the 75 Hard challenge. However, the walk must be at least 45 minutes long and cannot be a leisurely stroll. It should be a brisk walk that raises your heart rate and gets you sweating.
It's important to note that while walking can count as one of the daily workouts, it may not be enough on its own to achieve the full benefits of the challenge. Participants are encouraged to incorporate a variety of workouts into their routine, including strength training, cardio, and other forms of exercise.
Does yoga count in the 75-Day Hard challenge?
Yes, yoga can count as one of the two daily workouts in the 75 Hard challenge, as long as you're doing it to better yourself.
Who created the 75-Day Hard challenge?
The 75 Hard challenge was created by entrepreneur Andy Frisella. Andy is a successful business owner, author, and speaker who is passionate about personal development and helping others achieve their goals. He created the 75 Hard challenge as a way to push himself and others to develop discipline and resilience, both of which are important traits for success in all areas of life. The challenge has gained widespread popularity and has inspired thousands of people to take control of their health and fitness, as well as their personal and professional lives.
Can you have coffee during 75 Days Hard?
Yes, there are no rules that directly state whether or not coffee is allowed. However, you'll want to make sure coffee aligns with the diet plan you are following.
What are other challenges like 75 Day Hard?
There are several challenges that are similar to the 75 Hard Challenge, each with its own unique set of rules and requirements. Here are a few examples:
- Whole30: This is a 30-day challenge that involves cutting out all processed foods, sugar, dairy, grains, and legumes from your diet. The goal is to focus on whole, nutrient-dense foods and reset your eating habits.
- No-Spend Challenge: This challenge involves avoiding all non-essential spending for a set period of time, typically a month. The goal is to save money and be more mindful of your spending habits.
- 30-Day Fitness Challenge: This challenge involves committing to a daily workout for 30 days, with a focus on improving strength, endurance, or flexibility. The workouts can be customized to your fitness level and can be done at home or at a gym.
- Digital Detox Challenge: This challenge involves unplugging from technology for a set period of time, such as a weekend or a week. The goal is to reduce screen time, improve mental health, and be more present in the moment.
These challenges, and others like them, can be a great way to challenge yourself, develop new habits, and improve your health and well-being.