75Hard – a POV from one of my clients

I completed 75 Hard for the first time in 2022 (https://differentbreed.io/75hard-this-is-what-discipline-looks-like/) and knew that come 1st Jan 2023 I would be doing it again.

I opened it up to everyone I knew to see who, if any, would set up to the plate. The first time 6 of us started it and only myself and my friend Chris finished it. This time 13 of us started it and only 4 of us; myself, Chris, Pete and Lindsay (and despite this success rating so many people tell me it doesn’t sound that hard!)

I’ll be honest, Lindsay was one of the last people in my team that I thought would do it but she grabbed the challenge by the horns and fucking ran with it.

I asked her if she would share her experience and her it is, in her own words:

Last year my friend and coach Liza asked if I wanted to try the 75HARD challenge designed by Andy Frisella. I dismissed her as when she explained it I thought no way I can’t do all of them.

The rules are ,

  1. Follow a diet to match your goals, no cheat meals and no alcohol – I could do that I thought
  2. Take a progress picture every day – I could do that as long as no one could see them
  3. Read 10 pages of a non fiction book – I could do that and a good excuse to have some me time I thought
  4. Drink 4 litres of water a day – wow that’s a lot of water, wasn’t sure if I could mange that
  5. Complete two 45 minute workouts every day, one must be outside – absolutely not I thought I haven’t got time for that and it was starting in January, not a good time to be outside.

Later on at the beginning of December she suggested it again and once again I said I couldn’t do it, ‘All I’m hearing is excuses’ I was told.

Those words must have resonated with me as later on that evening I thought yes she’s right all I’m doing is making excuses and after all this is a mindset challenge not a weight loss programme or an exercise challenge. So why not give it a go. So I toasted the New Year in with Nosecco and began.

I completed this challenge on 17th March and wow it was tough but I did it.

What did I get out of it?

To start with I am the lightest I’ve been for many many years, I lost over 13 inches from my body and my fat%  is down by a whole 5%. 

I have proved to myself that I have the mental toughness to take on a challenge like this even when it was tough. I had a 30th and an 80th birthday to go to and a funeral where I was told, ‘go on just have one drink, surely it won’t matter and no one will know’ Well I would have known and I wasn’t going to fail so stuck to it. 

I cut out refined sugar which meant no cake, chocolate, biscuits, yummy deserts etc and surprisingly once the cravings went I was okay with this. Even when at work the usual ‘cake and cookie table’ looked very appealing I didn’t succumb. Once my manager found out what I was doing I was asked to talk about the challenge to everyone in my office on our monthly coffee and cake catch up. After this I was told that I was inspirational and what an amazing thing to do.

I went to London for the weekend and was doing a 45 minute yoga session on the hotel floor late in the evening and got back home late so had to cram 3 litres of water in when I got home, I didn’t sleep well that night!

I spent many hours walking in the rain when it was miserable and cold thinking why am I doing this to myself when I could be in the warm and dry having a coffee.

My Results

My body composition has changed as I lost 5% of my body fat and my muscle percentage is up. I feel stronger and healthier than I ever before and ran my first sub 30 minute 5K.

The 4 litres of water was a challenge to begin with as that’s a lot of water but my body adapted to it and my skin loved me drinking that amount as it now feels softer than before. 

Weight – Day 1 75.3kg; Day 75 67.9kg Total loss 7.4kg

Body Fat% – Day 1 32.8; Day 75 27.7 Total Loss 5.1%

Bust – Day 1 38”; Day 75 36.5” Total Loss 1.5”

Waist – Day 1 34”; Day 75 30” Total Loss 4”

Belly – Day 1 40”; Day 75 35.5” Total Loss 4.5”

Hips – Day 1 42”; Day 75 38” Total Loss 4”

Total inches lost – 14”

It’s been two weeks now since I finished this challenge and I am still sticking to most of the rules. Not because I am deliberately trying to but they have become a habit. I still drink at least 4 litres of water, I still generally do two workouts every day(not always one being outside) I am still not eating refined sugar apart from the one cake I had which although tasted good wasn’t as amazing as I expected, I still read most days as this was a great bit of me time.

Was it tough? – yes but it’s called 75HARD for a reason. 

Did I Surprise myself with what I achieved? – yes physically and mentally, my day 1 photo is very different to my Day 75 photo.

Would I do it again? – yes definitely and if you are thinking of trying this challenge I would say go for it as you may just surprise yourself.

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  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
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  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
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  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
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  • 75Hard… This is what discipline looks like

    Back in December last year, after seeing my friend Hannah’s results, I decided to take on the 75Hard challenge. I’d looked at it earlier in the year but dismissed it as I didn’t understand it properly. 75 days of training without a rest day? No thanks! I don’t even do 14 day challenges that don’t factor in rest and recovery as that’s just a straight road to overtraining, loss of performance and possible injury.

    Hannah posted her results and I immediately messaged her to ask some questions. She gave me all the info I needed to finally understand this challenge and decide that yes, this could actually be one for me.

    I shared it with the 3 other Team NBR members (my accountability group)that I would be starting this on 1st Jan and in sharing it for accountability reasons I actually inspired (although he’ll say peer pressured) Chris James to do it with me.
    We had several discussions about our individual ‘Why’ as we both had similar thoughts… “it doesn’t actually sound that hard”, “thats pretty much what we do anyway” “I don’t really know what I’d get out of it”… and I think we both came to the same conclusion; This is the Why… because we think it’ll be easy/simple and it must be called 75Hard for a reason. I was also still massively motivated by Hannah’s results but also aware that she is an absolute beast when it comes to fitness so it was unlikely I could achieve what she had.

    What is 75 Hard?

    It a mindset challenge, not a fitness challenge, designed by Andy Frisella, also known as the MF CEO. It’s 75 days of discipline abiding by the following 6 rules:
    1) Two 45 Minute workouts. 1 MUST be outside. They cannot be consecutive and 3 to 4 hours apart at least.
    2) Follow a diet. You choose the diet to match your goals but it must be strict. If you decide on calorie deficit and macro counting you cannot just have a takeaway pizza one day and make the rest of the day fit. It must be clean.
    3) No alcohol or cheat meals.
    4) Take a progress photo every day.
    5) 1 gallon of water a day. This is a US gallon which is basically 4 litres.
    6) Read 10 pages of a non fiction book every day. Not a e-book, not an audio book. An actual book.

    I completed day 75 yesterday and can honestly say this is one of the most surprising challenges I have ever done. I didn’t expect it to be so worthwhile or interesting. I got so much more out of doing this than I ever imagined. It was also a better experience for doing it alongside Chris as we had a lot of the same revelations and thoughts.

    Ok, so what did I get out of it?

    Well for starters I look better. I start there because it’s the most obvious change. I’m the lightest I’ve been for about 20 years maybe, but the body composition shift is all the right way. Fat% down and muscle % up.

    I’m stronger than I was. During the 75 days I PB’d my 1RM Deadlift and Strict Press and have been challenging myself to use heavier options during CrossFit classes.

    I read more, I read better. I have loved carving out a little bit of time everyday to sit down with a book and this is definitely something I will be continuing. I’m always listening to audiobooks and reading my kindle but very rarely read an actual book and this is staying. I found it makes such a difference putting the book in my hands. Its a different focus as there are no devices, no electronics and I really liked that a lot. I finished 6 books and am a third of a way through the 7th.

    I have proved again to myself that all the stuff I say about myself is true. I am disciplined. I have strong mental grit. I have a strong work ethic. If I say I’m going to do something I do it. There were days when it got to 8pm and I still hadn’t hit the workout criteria so had to get shit done before I could think about going to bed. I’m Ironman training so many days I would hit 2, some days even 3 workouts but because they were either brick sessions, or all indoors or outdoors, I hadn’t followed the rules. In this situation a few people said to me “what does it really matter” “you’ve done 2 workouts” and thats true, but thats not the rules and you can say the rules are stupid/not fair/whatever but I knew the rules going in so bitching about them would have been pointless. I could have quit, saying the rules don’t suit my lifestyle… but thats the point. It’s meant to be difficult, it’s meant to be inconvenient so head down, mouth shut, do the work!

    I discovered how much of a difference refined sugar makes to how I feel day to day. Both Chris and I cut refined sugar as part of the diet rule. Neither of us are mass consumers and we were both surprised as how a small change made such a big difference. I followed a strict high protein, calorie deficit diet with no refined sugar. I’ve been doing the high protein, calorie deficit thing for a while, although not as strictly, so the major difference was the sugar piece. After the cravings on day 5 and 6, it was actually really easy to stick to. I thought this would be the hardest bit but not at all. I feel a bit in love with no sugar me. I had more energy, I didn’t feel the need to power nap every afternoon (although I still love a nap – I just didn’t need one), I was just, well, better. Thats not to say I’m never eating refined sugar ever again but it was a learning experience and will for sure shape my diet moving forward.

    I finally found a type of yoga I can get on board with. As mentioned at the start, the bit I struggled with when I first heard about 75Hard was the 75 days of 2 workouts a day. After speaking to Hannah, and listening to Andy’s podcast ( a must for anyone thinking of doing this), I understood that you can still have rest and recovery days. An outdoor workout can be a walk and an indoor workout can be yoga. I’ve never been a fan of Yoga but Hannah was using the downdog app and suggested I look at the Yin Yoga. Ok, game changer! I LOVE Yin Yoga. I’m a huge fan of mobility work so this was perfect for me and although I only did maybe 1 or 2 sessions a week, my mobility improved, my squat technique improved and I genuinely enjoyed every session. Like the reading an actual book, weekly yoga is staying as part of my new routine.

    The Results:
    *for the before and after photos you’ll need to check my social media.

    Body Compostion:

    Weight – Day 1; 82.4kg – Day 75; 74.6kg (Total loss: 7.8kg)

    Body Fat % – Day 1; 32.8 – Day 75; 27.5 (Total loss: 5.3%)

    Muscle% – Day 1 29.8 -Day 75; 33.2 (Total gain: 3.4%)

    Bust/Back – Day 1; 38.5 / 31.5 – Day 75; 36 / 28 (Total loss: 2.5″ / 3.5″)

    Waist – Day 1; 34 – Day 75; 29 (Total loss: 5″)

    Hips – Day 1; 39 – Day 75; 36 (Total loss: 3″)

    Other Stats:
    Resting Heart Rate – Day 1; 52bpm – Day 75; 45bpm

    Bike FTP – Day 1; 195 – Day 75; 235

    Bike Watts per kg (avg) – Day 1; 2.1 – Day 75; 2.5

    Vo2 Max – Day 1; 42 – Day 75; 45

    Cycling Vo2 Max – Day 1; 44 – Day 75; 51

    Workout Totals:
    Open Water Swimming – 1

    Pool Swimming – 10

    Outdoor Cycle  – 2

    Indoor Cycle – 24

    Run – 23 (92 miles) 

    CrossFit Class – 45

    Training with Toby – 12

    Indoor Strength – 1

    Outdoor Strength – 2 

    Indoor Row – 1 

    Yoga / Mobility – 19

    Recovery Cardio/Mobility – 5

    Total sessions – 145 + 62 (45 min+) walk

  • Train your breathing for better race results
  • Does how you breathe really matter?
  • Unlocking Your Athletic Potential: Nature vs. Nurture
  • Recovery: The Unsung Hero of Triumphs
  • Build Consistently, Adapt Relentlessly
  • Minimum effort. Maximum Impact
  • Specificity is KING for Endurance
  • Strength Reigns Supreme in Endurance
  • The 5 Pillars of the DB Training Methodology
  • The Three Biggest Mistakes Endurance Athletes make…
  • Mastering the SAID Principle for Endurance Training Success
  • Mastering Heart Rate Zones for Peak Endurance Performance
  • Setting your HR Zones & How to Judge Progress
  • How to Test your Lactate Threshold
  • Why Lactate Threshold trumps Max Heart Rate for Endurance Training
  • Golden Rule #5 Extreme Ownership
  • Golden Rule #4 100% Effort
  • Golden Rule #3 Focus on You
  • Race Day Nutrition – A Rough Guide
  • Race Week Nutrition 
  • A feeling or results… which do you want?
  • Post Workout Nutrition
  • Pre Workout Fuelling
  • Golden Rule #2 Find the Positive
  • Golden Rule #1 Control the Controllable
  • My Coaching Ethos and Athlete Philosophy
  • Do your actions support your goals?
  • Better Athlete / Better Person
  • 75Hard – a POV from one of my clients
  • Should I take Creatine?