I want to show you my 75 Hard challenge results and my 75 Hard Challenge before and after pictures.
I Didn’t Want To Do The 75 Hard Challenge, But…
I am a creature of habit and preferably healthy habits.
Well, at least when it comes to fitness and working out.
I always perform better and get better results when I have a set of tasks I need to complete. Usually, this means the type of workout I will be doing for the day.
So as November of 2021 approached, I found myself in a position where I needed a strategy and plan for the next bit of time.
With the holidays approaching, I felt like if I were in the middle of a program or diet, I would be more likely to behave appropriately (regarding food) when all those tasty holiday dishes hit the table.
It was almost a sort of “holiday defense.” Putting myself in a corner BEFORE I was a bad boy.
There was another aspect to my November day one start date as well.
Typically I eat everything in sight during the holidays, and then when the New Year comes around, I start on day one, with a target to be in excellent shape by my birthday, which is in late March.
But every year, I am not happy with my progress by March.
It always feels like a missed deadline. The November kick-off is just as much about late March for me as it is about being a good boy during the holidays.
Enter The 75 Hard Challenge
What is 75 Hard?
I’ve known about the 75 Hard challenge for a while. Many people I know have done it (or attempted to do it), so I was familiar with it and how it worked.
As a side note, I should also mention that I avoid trends “everyone” is doing, especially if I feel something is being over-sold and over-hyped.
So, I ignored 75 Hard. Until late October.
During the last week of October, I saw the 75 Hard challenge on Instagram with some overhyped language I typically ignore.
People shared their 75 Hard challenge results and 75 Hard success stories, and many were impressive.
I wanted those same 75 Hard challenge results for myself.
I set the sensationalism aside and just looked at the nuts and bolts of the program.
What Are The 75 Hard Challenge Rules?
There are no cheat days; you must complete the entire challenge to succeed.
The 75 Hard Challenge is not for the faint of heart – it requires dedication, discipline, and a strong will.
However, those who complete the 75 day challenge will be physically and mentally transformed.
The 75 Hard challenge rules are simple. For 75 days straight:
- This lasts 75 Days. Does 75 hard have rest days? No. No rest for 75 days straight.
- Two workouts a day. Two 45-minute workouts, twice a day. One must be outside.
- Follow a diet. No cheat meals for 75 days. No rest days for 75 days.
- One gallon of water per day.
- Read ten pages of a self-help book every day.
- Take a progress photo daily.
The 75 Hard Challenge rules push your mind and body to their limits.
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. Go figure.
A Transformative Mental Toughness Program
When looking for a program in late October of 2021, I thought about a “fitness” or “workout” plan.
Since the 75 Hard program has two 45 minute workouts per day, this part of the fitness plan drew my attention and, ultimately, why I chose to do the 75 Hard challenge.
I wanted the 75 Hard challenge results.
The diet and water portion of the plan made sense to me 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.
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 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 Hard program.
I should not have done that.
After all, I just wanted my 75 Hard Challenge results!
So Then, Exactly What Is The 75 Hard Challenge?
The 75 Hard Challenge is a fitness and lifestyle program that promises many benefits for those who complete it.
While this self-improvement program may seem daunting initially, the rewards are significant.
Those who complete the challenge report improved energy levels, increased confidence, and enhanced physical fitness.
In addition, the challenge provides a tangible way to measure progress and see your 75 Hard results.
The before and after photos motivate you to stay on track, and the strict diet ensures that participants get all the nutrients they need to support their workout regimen.
While the fitness and diet portions of the challenge are certainly the anchors that grab your attention, I learned quickly that the self-improvement program required a lot of mental stamina, time management, and prioritization of my life to complete every day.
When I took a step back and looked at the challenge, I realized that every program step takes time to complete.
Yes, some more than others, but it’s still time. And each step adds up.
I would mentally check every day to ensure I did all the challenge steps.
At night, I would double-check to ensure I did everything before bed.
I began the fitness program but embraced it as a life and mental challenge.
And if you are going to do the 75 Hard program, you should too.
It’s not all just about the 75 Hard challenge results.
It’s about your life and self improvement.
My Top Tips For Each Step of the 75 Hard Challenge
After watching a few videos, reading some articles, and listening to a few 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 program.
First, I want to start with some general advice to survive every single day of the 75 days, and then I will walk through each of 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.
As an Amazon affiliate, I may make commissions on purchases made via links on this article
Things to Keep In Mind with the 75 Hard program:
- 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, 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 over my first three weeks in the program. My body fat percentage increased slightly during that time, and my muscle mass also increased. Not the ideal progress, but you gotta trust the process.
- Come up with a daily schedule so that 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 concrete your healthy habits.
- Focusing requires concentration. Put your head down, block out the noise, and go! Don’t overthink your daily tasks. Don’t talk too much about what you are doing. Focus and do.
- I recommend talking to your health care 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 way to the 75 Hard challenge results you want.
- 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 program. I did a review on how to survive the first 30 days of the 75 Hard Challenge here:
Tips for the Daily Workouts
Ok, now let’s get specific with each daily requirement. First, the twice-a-day workouts:
- Get creative with your outdoor workouts. Think outside the box for 75 hard exercise ideas —Parks, new roads, etc. Mix up the scenery.
- For your outdoor workouts, I hear a lot of 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 an 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, plans, family, and how you can be better than you are today.
- Don’t be afraid to use exercise tools to keep it interesting. I incorporated weighted vests, jump ropes, macebells, and other things to keep my workouts interesting (I will also link those below for your consideration).
- Listen to your body when it starts to hurt. With two workouts a day for 75 days, and no rest, there will be times that you ache. Shift your workouts to concentrate on other body areas and give those sore areas some rest.
- If you need 75 hard workout examples, anything that gets you moving will work. Even if the exercise is a walk, it still counts.
- There is no specific 75 Hard workout routine. You pick your own workouts.
Tips for the Daily Water Requirement
- 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. The water tends to be the one aspect 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 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.
Tips for Reading 10 Pages Of A Self Help Book Requirement
- Before starting the 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 dayt and in what order takes one thing off your plate during the program.
- I HIGHLY recommend one of those books, “Can’t Hurt Me” by David Goggins. This should be the official first personal development book in the 75 Hard 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 not just about “enlightenment” but also about the commitment to reading and mental health.
Tips for the 75 Hard Diet And Food Requirements
- There are no specific challenge rules about which diet you follow, so you have some flexibility to decide. 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.
- No junk food. No cheat meals. Do some research and find some foods you think will work for you.
- The easiest diet is a monotonous diet. 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 that you need for other things. Make your life easier and be boring most of the time.
- Prepping ahead of time is necessary to ensure you don’t find yourself hungry with no food that matches your challenge diet. Make sure that never happens by preparing plenty ahead of time. Again, no cheat meals.
- 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. I use the Cosori from Amazon.
- After a couple of weeks in, you won’t even think of a cheat meal.
Tips for the Daily Progress Pictures Requirement
- Take progress photos at the same time of day, in the same room, with the same lighting. This will make your comparison photos much better. I did mine in the morning every day when I was typically the leanest.
- Also, taking progress photos and making it a habit that the first thing when you wake up means you don’t have to think of it again the rest of the day.
- Don’t look at your 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 sooner. You’ll have plenty of time to look at your 75 hard before and after pictures when the challenge is over.
- 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.
Some Tools That Helped Me Survive The 75 Hard Program
One of the keys to surviving the 75 Hard program was preparation.
And to get the 75 Hard challenge results I wanted, I wasn’t willing to wing it.
I knew that some of the 75 days challenge would be difficult and physical. I knew the weather would suck, and I would hit mental health walls at some point.
Be Prepared By Having The Right Tools For The Job
So I tried to prepare for what was ahead by ensuring I had the tools to succeed.
Below is a list of my primary “go-tos” that I used almost daily in some form or fashion.
Everything is linked to an Amazon listing, so click the link to go to Amazon and check it out if you are inclined to check it out.
Books I Read On My Hard 75 Challenge Journey
You can see a full list of recommendations for the books to read on the 75 Hard Challenge here.
I also used a couple of apps along the way to keep on on the right path:
Seconds Interval Timer (workout timer)
Happy Scale (for weight and body fat tracking)
75 Hard Challenge Results
75 Hard Challenge | 75 Hard Before And After
I was a bit bummed out when the 75 Hard program was over. I would miss being on a “mission,” so to speak.
When I laid down at the end of my 75th day to sleep, I smiled, just a little, out of self esteem and pride.
I couldn’t help but feel accomplished after completing the challenge.
Here are my 75 hard challenge results progress picture of day one and day 75 physical changes.
I wasn’t too sure what to expect as far as physical changes.
Since starting the program as a “fitness” challenge, I have been happy with the physical shape and changes from the hard 75 results.
I didn’t get the abs I wanted, so I’ll have to do more work to make that happen.
My weight loss started at 232 pounds and ended at 218 pounds, a 14-pound loss. My body fat percentage ended at 15.7%, down from 17.1%, and my muscle mass went down to 174 pounds from 183 pounds.
I lost more muscle from exercise than I wanted to, thanks to the twice-a-day workouts, but not surprising based on the amount of working out and the types of workouts I was doing.
I read a lot of pages, and I drank a lot of water per day. I ran in some frigid temperatures. I doubled my daily step count. I did lose weight and reached the weight goal I had set.
I set out to follow a diet without wavering (despite wanting to at times). No cheat meal, no problem.
I increased my mental toughness and mental health. I developed better positive habits and healthy eating habits.
I put my head down and just did it. One day at a time, even when I didn’t feel like it.
At some point, the 75 Hard before and after wasn’t just about losing weight; the overall self improvement in my daily living made the biggest impact.
And you can too. It can change your entire life.
I also put together a review video with some other points that you might find interesting. The video is posted below.
Is the 75 Hard program right for you? Curious about your own 75 Hard challenge results? Should you do it? Are you ready to be a 75 Hard challenger? Will it change your life?
As a personal trainer, I can’t answer that; honestly, I don’t know if you can either.
I didn’t have an answer for that myself. I just did it anyway.
It turns out it was the right self improvement plan for me at the right time.
Best of luck if you choose to try the 75 Hard Day Challenge. Keep your head down, and go.
Have you tried the 75 Hard Challenge? Do you have some great 75hard before and after results? I want to see them! Email me your 75hard results!
As with all exercise, consult with your physical health care professional before starting.
Thanks for reaching my 75 Hard Challenge Before and After Results article. If you liked this, you may also like:
Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape in a quest to better himself and those around him focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.