75 Hard: A Life Changing Challenge

Today I want to talk about a challenge I just finished called 75 hard. This challenge was created by a gentleman named Andy Frisella. Andy is a very successful entrepreneur and one of the co-owners of the 1st Phorm supplement company. Andy first talked about 75 Hard on one of his podcast episodes, over a year ago.

75 Hard Challenge wasn’t for me…

Now, I’ll be honest with you, I dragged my feet for a long time before starting 75 Hard. I didn’t want to do it, and if I’m being totally honest, I was a little scared. You see, this isn’t just a fitness challenge, it’s an entire life overhaul. I’m going to give you a quick rundown of what all it entails, and after you read everything involved, you’ll understand a little better why I felt that way. It’s intense, and a little intimidating. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart. 

For 75 days straight you must:

  • Two 45 minute workouts. One must be completed outside, no matter what the weather
  • Read 10 pages of a personal development book or a book about business
  • Drink a gallon of water
  • Take a progress picture
  • Stick to a diet
  • No alcohol
  • No cheat days

If you forget even one of these, you fail the 75 Hard challenge. You can start over on day 1, if you want, but you MUST complete this entire list every day for 75 days straight to complete the challenge.

Over my 75 days, I ended up reading over seven books and I wound up getting close to roughly another seven audiobooks started and completed during my workouts. I calculate that I covered roughly 300 miles on foot and I put so many miles and did such a number on my sneakers, I had to go buy a new pair 45 days into the challenge. I’m not a small guy, coming in at 6’4″ and 280 when I started the challenge.  

On the advice of my personal trainer, Marc Zalmanoff the Fitness Ninja, I chose a diet that limited my calorie intake. I was only eating 2,400 calories a day. And let me tell you, working out twice a day and limiting your caloric intake at the same time is no joke! It took some major adjusting on my part, that’s for sure.

But why 75 Hard?

So, why in the world would I decide to take on the 75 Hard challenge? Honestly, it was seeing the people around me who were doing the challenge absolutely crush it, people I know personally and respect, so I decided to stop being a spectator and step into the ring. I had planned to start in August of 2019 but didn’t end up doing that. And honestly, I’m glad I didn’t, because I don’t think I had the mental fortitude and strength to get through the 75 Hard challenge then. Yes, I was working out and watching what I put in my body, but I want in a place, mentally, to complete it.

The real truth is, I didn’t think I was going to be able to give up alcohol, and then COVID-19 and the quarantine happened, and I definitely didn’t think I’d be able to do what needed to be done to be successful at the 75 Hard challenge. At that point, because of the quarantine, I had fallen victim to the Force of Average. I was off my routine, I was eating and drinking more and more every day; I was moving my body less and less, and I was using the gyms in NY being closed as an excuse not to do the work.

Thankfully, I realized the spiral I was in, and after looking around and seeing several of my friends and colleagues and even existing coaching clients who were not only surviving but thriving during COVID, I started asking them what it was they were doing to be in that position while everyone else seemed to be falling apart. 

I quickly learned that each of these people who were thriving through the chaos the world was in had recently completed – or were in the middle of – their own personal 75 hard journeys. I realized then that I had to take on the challenge myself. And the only way that I was able to get through it was on day one I made the decision that I wouldn’t quit regardless of how bad the pain was, regardless of how much shit life threw at me. I promised myself that even if I had to cross the finish line on a nub foot because I had worn it off, that’s what I was going to do.  

From the beginning…

So, starting on day 1 I tried to front-load my days. I woke up early and got as much of my 75 Hard done as possible. That way there were no excuses. Well, that’s what I did the first day, at least. I woke up on day 2 so sore I could barely move, but I had made a commitment and I wasn’t going to quit after just one day, so I got up and made my body move. And I just kept moving. I kept going outside for those walks, and then the walks became runs. And after a while, I started to marvel at the amazing ability my body had to adapt.

Day three smacked me in the face with a hard dose of reality. It was a combination of things that were starting to catch up to me, really. My body was detoxing, hard. In the nature of full transparency, I had been drinking like a fish before I started 75 Hard. 3-5 beers a day was the norm for me, and had been for a long time. And when the shutdown started and COVID came to town, I upped the ante even more. I was also putting horrible food into my body.

So day three smacked me hard. I had more mental clarity than I’d had in I don’t know how long. I was waking up early, reading, working out, getting outside every day. And then it hit me…I’d been settling for average in my life for too long. It was especially hard for me, because I live by the moto, “I refuse to be average.” In fact, that motto is on a painting my wife bought for me and hangs over the desk in my home office. I looked at it every day, and had lived by that belief my entire life. So, sitting back and realizing that I had been settling for average in multiple areas of my life was a hard pill to swallow. That realization forced me to take massive action immediately.

My wife and I made some big decisions concerning our family and the direction we wanted to go in, and it was a decision a lot of people in our family struggled with, but we knew if we didn’t make moves we were settling for average. So we put our house on the market and started to prepare to move across the country. We were done settling for average, and we weren’t looking back.

By day 45, I had lost a total of 20 lbs. For the first time in my life, i could look in the mirror and see abs! I went from 280 lbs to 253. But the physical changes are just the tip of the iceberg. During the 75 Hard challenge, I underwent a massive mind-shift change and started taking very real and very intentional action in both my business life and my personal life.

What most people don’t see when they look at the 75 Hard challenge is the intense mental and emotional shifts that come with getting control over your health and fitness. And that’s why 75 hard was so important to me. The mental breakthroughs, the strength developed, and the added clarity to every aspect of life is hard to understand unless you’ve been there.

Honestly, if you start peeling back the layers and digging deeper and deeper, there’s so many countless small lessons that are applicable in both your business and your personal life throughout the 75 Hard journey. I challenge you to give it a try and see what I mean. I guarantee you won’t regret it. 

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