As someone who thrives on healthy habits, especially in health and fitness, I find structured tasks crucial for my workout success. Approaching November 2021, I realized the need for a solid plan, particularly with the holiday season looming. I saw this as an opportunity for a “holiday defense,” a strategy to stay disciplined amidst tempting holiday feasts.
This decision wasn’t just about holiday temptations. Historically, the festive season leads me to overindulge, resulting in a negative relationship with food. Every New Year, I set ambitious health goals, aiming to be in top shape by my birthday in late March, but often find myself dissatisfied with my progress.
Starting a focused fitness regime in November, therefore, served a dual purpose: maintaining control during the holidays and ensuring I achieve my physical transformation goals by March, breaking the cycle of annual disappointment.
This is my 75 Hard review.
What Is the 75 Hard Challenge?
The 75 Hard Challenge, conceived by Andy Frisella, is more than a fitness regimen; it’s a comprehensive lifestyle transformation program. Frisella, a well-known figure in the health and wellness industry, designed the challenge to offer significant long-term benefits, promising enhanced energy, confidence, and physical fitness for those who complete it.
This no-compromise challenge demands strict adherence, with no cheat meals or days off. Its structure includes daily progress photos, motivating participants and clearly measuring transformation. The strict diet is integral, ensuring participants receive the necessary nutrients for their workouts.
However, the challenge’s essence extends beyond physical fitness; it tests mental strength, demanding efficient time management and life prioritization. Completing each step requires both mental and physical commitment, with a rigorous check-in process every day.
The 75 Hard Challenge is an all-encompassing journey of self-improvement, emphasizing holistic growth. Participants are encouraged to fully embrace this journey, committing to its principles without compromise.
Download our FREE 75 Hard PDF, a printable daily checklist and tracker to keep you on target and motivated!
A Transformative Mental Toughness Program
When looking for a program in late October 2021, I thought about a “fitness” or “workout” plan.
Since the 75 Hard program has a rule. to complete two 45 minute workouts per day, this part of the fitness plan drew my attention on social media and, ultimately, why I chose to do the 75 Hard program.
I wanted the Hard 75 Day challenge results I had seen on social media.
The balanced diet and water portion of the fitness plan made sense as far as following an overall healthy dietary schedule each day for 75 days, but I even saw that through the lens of a weight loss challenge.
If the 75 Hard Challenge feels like a bit much, perhaps the 75 Soft Challenge might be more what you are searching for.
As I spent a few days before November researching the transformational mental toughness program and preparing/gathering what I needed to participate, I kept coming across articles and reviews saying little things like, “The 75 Hard program is not a fitness program; it’s a transformative mental toughness program“.
Mental toughness? That sounds exactly like what someone would say, trying to over-hype something.
I disregarded this and wiggled my way around what seemed to be such an absurd over-reach of the 75 day challenge. I should not have done that.
After all, I just wanted my 75 Hard Challenge results!
What Are the 75 Hard Challenge Rules?
There are no cheat days; you must complete the challenge to succeed.
The 75 Hard program is not for the faint of heart – it requires dedication, discipline, and a strong will.
However, those who complete the 75 day challenge may be physically and mentally transformed.
The 75 Day Hard Challenge rules are simple. For 75 days straight, these are the daily activities:
- This lasts 75 Days. Does 75 Hard have rest days? No. No rest day for 75 days straight.
- Two workouts a day. Two 45-minute workouts twice a day. One must be outside. You cannot work out for 90 minutes as a substitute.
- Follow a diet. No cheat meals for 75 days. No rest days for 75 days.
- One gallon of water per day. Zero substitutions. No alcohol or cheat meals.
- Read ten pages of a self-help book every day (non-fiction book).
- Take a progress photo daily.
The 75 Hard Challenge rules push your mind and body to their limits. These are not arbitrary 75 days challenge rules; they are the real deal.
At an early glance, these challenge requirements and commitments list might intimidate some, multiplied by the length of time required. Heck, usually, it would scare me.
But I needed structure, and I needed it to get me through the holidays. So the 75 Hard rules were a challenge, not a deterrent. I needed the 75 Hard challenge rules to get the 75 Hard challenge results.
Tips for Each Rule of the 75 Hard Challenge
After watching videos, reading articles, and listening to podcasts, I picked up ideas and tricks before starting the program.
However, because our journeys are different, I also learned some lessons (some the difficult way) that I wanted to share to help you if you decide to go through this intense program.
This article contains everything you need to start, complete, and excel at 75 Hard.
I want to start with some general advice and helpful tips you need to know to survive every day of the 75 days. Then, I will walk the day through the required steps and give you my 2 cents on getting that done effectively every day to help you get the 75 Hard challenge results you want in your life.
Tips for the Daily Workouts
Ok, now let’s get specific with each daily requirement. First, the twice-a-day workouts rule:
- Get creative with your outdoor workout. Think outside the box for 75 hard exercise ideas —Parks, new roads, etc. Mix up the scenery for your physical challenges.
- For your outside workouts, I hear many people who got bored and just ended up walking those second workouts (then later regretted not getting more intense on them). Break your outdoor activity up into more than 1 exercise. I would do three different workouts, 15 minutes each. Not only did it help with the boredom, but it also made the exercise go faster. To help, I used a fitness app called “Seconds,” which I will link below in the “Things You Might Need” section.
- You will find much time for thinking with two training workouts a day. Use thought thoughts positively. Use the 45 minutes to think about your future, fitness plans, family, and how you can be better than you are today. 45 minutes is a long time; use it wisely.
- Don’t be afraid to use exercise tools to keep it interesting. I incorporated weighted vests, jump ropes, macebells, and other hard things to keep my intense workouts interesting (I will also link those below for your consideration). A Peloton Bike, treadmill, air bike; keep it exciting and mix it up. Again, 45 minutes twice a day is a lot of working out.
- Listen to your body when it starts to hurt. With dual workouts each one day for 75 days, and no rest, there will be times that you ache. Shift your intense workouts to concentrate on other body areas and give those sore areas some rest. It’s a lot of physical activity; get ready.
- If you need 75 hard workout examples, anything that gets you physically active and moving will work. Even if the exercise plan is an outdoor walk, it still counts.
- There is no specific 75 Hard workout fitness routine. You pick your own routine, strength training, and exercise plans.
- Don’t sleep on active recovery workouts. These active rest workouts still count and can help your body heal while still burning some calories.
- Don’t think of the outdoor workout as your “other workout,” as that can frame it as not as important.
Tips for the Daily Water Requirement to Drink a Gallon a Day
- Buy a 1-gallon jug to drink the gallon of water a day. Fill the jug every night before bed, and put it in the fridge so it’s cold in the morning. It’ll go down easier, AND you don’t have to track how much you have drank during the day. When it’s empty, you’re done.
- Drink ALL of it. Water tends to be the one aspect of physical health and good nutrition that gets most forgotten at the end of the day. You don’t want to get to day 70 and leave a glass full. Drink water, and lots of it. Drink every sip. This 75 Hard rule might be your toughest.
- Be careful how close to bed you drink it, or else you’ll be up in the middle of the night.
- Drinking a gallon of water may not leave you much time to drink anything during the day, so be prepared to swear off other drinks for a while.
- Nothing is to be mixed into your water; no protein powder or anything to enhance the taste.
- If you are wondering how many ounces of water is a gallon, that is 128 ounces.
- Most people struggle with drinking water, so don’t be surprised if this is harder than it sounds.
Tips for Reading 10 Pages of a Self-Help Book Requirement
- Before starting the lifestyle program, go to Amazon, research a few books you think you might like, and buy them. Having a reading schedule for which books you will read 10 pages a day (non-fiction) and in what order takes one thing off your plate during the program.
- I HIGHLY recommend one self-improvement book, “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins. This should be the official first personal development book in the 75 day program. Incredible. (I will link it here and below on Amazon). I also wrote a full article on recommended books, The 75 Hard Challenge Books You Must Read On Your Journey.
- You don’t have to absorb everything you read per day. The reading requirement is about “enlightenment” and the commitment to reading and mental health and wellness.
- Many individuals want to skip this step. You can’t, so don’t even ask.
Tips for the 75 Hard Diet and Food Requirements
- There are no strict rules about which structured diet you follow, so you have some flexibility in deciding your nutrition. I chose a whole foods diet so that any food I ate had to be at least 90% from the ground or eats from the ground. Minimally processed foods are allowed in the 75 Hard program nutrition plan. This rule is all about self-surveillance.
- No junk food. No cheat meals. Research and find healthy foods you think will work for you. Again, no cheat meals. All the foods you eat must be part of your diet.
- The easiest diet plan is a monotonous diet plan. Try to eat many of the same meals multiple times during your 75 days. Thinking about 75 Hard meal ideas and deciding WHAT to eat every day takes energy for other things. Make your entire life easier and be bored with your meal plan most of the time.
- Prepping ahead is necessary to ensure you don’t find yourself hungry with no food that matches your fitness challenge diet rules. Make sure that never happens by preparing a meal plan plenty ahead of time. Again, no cheat meals. No slip-ups.
- Be aware of your calorie intake. If you are not experienced at tracking calories, you may want to consider doing that during this program. Your calorie intake can be too high, even with a healthy diet.
- I relied on my air fryer a ton. I went from never using it to using it every day on the 75 Day Hard Challenge. I highly recommend you do the same.
- You won’t even think of a cheat meal in the long run of a few weeks.
- No alcohol drinking is allowed, even at social events. No booze.
- You cannot constantly modify your diet. What you start with on day 1 must be what you end with on day 75.
Tips for the Daily Progress Picture Requirement
- Take a progress picture at the same time of day, in the same room, and in the same lighting. This will make your comparison photos much better. I did mine every morning when I was typically the leanest.
- Also, taking progress photos and making it a habit that the first thing you do when you wake up means you don’t have to think of it again the rest of the day.
- Don’t look at your fitness challenge photos until at least three weeks into the program. There won’t be much physical change before that, which can be demotivating if you expect physical changes in your 75 Hard progress pics sooner. When the challenge is over, you’ll have plenty of time to gaze at your 75 Hard before and after pictures, thanks to taking progress photos every single day.
- Taking the daily progress photos will help you look back and see your 75-day hard challenge before and after progress, so don’t skip this 75 Hard rule.
Things to Keep in Mind with the 75 Hard
- The weather will play a big part in how your journey goes. Prepare yourself accordingly. If it will be cold and you need some items to keep you warm enough to be outside, buy them if you can before you need them. The same goes for rain, wind, heat, etc. Be prepared for the elements.
- Speaking of outside workouts, with all the water you will be drinking plenty of, you need to be smart about water consumption before your outdoor workouts and what you will do when “nature calls.” It will call.
- If you decide to weigh yourself during the program, don’t live (or die) but the numbers on the scale. I gained weight from my first week through my first three weeks in the program. My body fat percentage increased slightly during that time, and my muscle mass increased. It’s not the ideal progress, but you gotta trust the process.
- Create a daily schedule so you can do all your tasks. This will happen naturally to some degree but try to accomplish your daily requirements around the same time every day to help develop healthy habits while moving away from the old habits towards a more successful life.
- Focusing requires concentration. Put your head down, block out the noise, and go! Don’t overthink any daily single task. Don’t talk too much about what you are doing. Focus and do.
- I recommend talking to your healthcare professional before starting any program.
- You are going to be exercising a lot. There are no rest days. Falling asleep quickly, combined with the proper amounts of sleep, will help ensure you’ve got plenty of energy to make it through every single day of your life.
- You may not see any changes in the first few weeks, and that’s ok. Stick to the Hard 75 rules, and you will be on your best way to the 75 Hard Challenge results you want.
- 75 Hard is big on the community on social media; having a support system around you can make the difference between seeing day 75 or falling short.
- 75 Hard Challenge is 75 days long, which is a lot. This can be intimidating to think about. Instead, concentrate on getting through the first 30 days, not the full 75 days. It will give you a more attainable and long-term goal and prepare you for the next 45 days of the new fitness program.
75 Hard Challenge Results
75 Hard Challenge | 75 Hard Before and After Photos
Completing the 75 Hard Challenge was transformative for me, culminating in a mix of pride and a touch of sadness for the mission’s end. The comparison between my Day 1 and Day 75 photos revealed significant physical changes. While I didn’t achieve the abs I initially aimed for, I lost 14 pounds, dropping my body fat percentage from 17.1% to 15.7%. My muscle mass also decreased from 183 lbs to 174 lbs, a result of the program’s rigorous exercise routine.
I adhered to a strict diet, resisted cheat meals, and significantly increased my water intake. I even braved cold temperatures and doubled my step count, all contributing to my weight loss. However, the benefits extended beyond physical transformation. The challenge greatly boosted my self-esteem, mental toughness, and overall mental health. I established positive habits, improved my lifestyle and dietary choices, and maintained determination throughout.
Ultimately, the 75 Hard Challenge was about more than weight loss; it was a journey of self-improvement and developing resilience. The physical changes were gratifying, but the most significant impacts were on my mental well-being and lifestyle. Embracing this intense program allowed me to take control of my life, achieving exactly what I set out to do.
Final Thoughts on the 75 Hard Challenge
Is 75 Hard the only program that fits and is right for you? Are you curious about your own 75 Hard Challenge results? Do you want to lose weight and wonder if 75 Hard can help? Are you ready to take on the challenge? Do you think it will create a positive change in your life? Are you mentally and physically tough enough for it?
As a fitness personal trainer, I can’t honestly answer your questions. I have seen the “average person” kill it, and athletes fail and must start back at day 1. I didn’t know if it was right for me, but I did it anyway. Ultimately, it was a great opportunity for personal improvement at the right time.
All the information you need about the 75 Hard program is listed above.
It’s a good program for all fitness levels but requires physical and mental strength. Nothing good comes easy, and only you can permanently change your life.
If you choose to try the 75 Hard Challenge, best of luck. Keep your head down and go for it. As with any fitness plan or exercise, consult your physical health care professional before starting.
And remember, as with any challenge, always check with your registered dietitian, medical professional, doctor, or trusted physical and mental health care provider before making sure it’s safe for you. If you have any questions about weight loss, health conditions, or eating disorders, double-check with them.
Have you tried the 75 Hard Challenge? Do you have some great before and after results to share? Email me your 75hard results!
Thanks for reaching my 75 Hard Challenge Before and After Results article.
Rob Wagener - CPT/CNC
Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape to better himself and those around him, focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.
Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts
Introduction: Demonstrating Expertise in Health and Fitness
As an enthusiast and expert in health and fitness, I have dedicated a significant amount of time and effort to cultivating healthy habits and achieving personal fitness goals. I understand the importance of structured tasks and plans in ensuring success in workouts and maintaining discipline, especially during challenging periods like the holiday season.
I have personally experienced the negative effects of overindulgence during festive seasons, which led me to develop a negative relationship with food. To break this cycle and achieve my physical transformation goals, I sought out a comprehensive program that would not only help me stay disciplined during the holidays but also promote holistic growth and mental toughness.
In my pursuit of finding an effective program, I came across the 75 Hard Challenge, created by Andy Frisella, a well-known figure in the health and wellness industry. This challenge stood out to me because it offered more than just a fitness regimen; it promised transformative mental toughness and long-term benefits such as enhanced energy, confidence, and physical fitness.
I delved deep into the details of the 75 Hard Challenge and explored its rules and requirements. I studied various tips and strategies to excel in each aspect of the challenge, including the daily workouts, water intake, reading self-help books, following a strict diet, and taking progress pictures. Through my research and personal experience, I gained valuable insights and learned practical techniques to navigate the challenge successfully.
In this article, I will provide information and guidance on all the concepts and components discussed in this article. I will explain the essence of the 75 Hard Challenge, its rules and requirements, and share helpful tips for each aspect of the challenge, including the daily workouts, water consumption, reading self-help books, following a strict diet, and taking progress pictures. I will also discuss the results and benefits of the 75 Hard Challenge and offer some final thoughts on its effectiveness and suitability for individuals seeking personal improvement in their lives.