Episode 8, Getting Started with the 75 Hard program! Interested in doing 75 Hard? All my best info, tips, and advice in one quick episode.
Support the show by checking out our affiliate links:
Use code FITVIEWS for 20% off our favorite keto goodies at Perfect Keto https://www.pjatr.com/t/3-274263-86806-249382
Kerri's LMNT referral link: http://elementallabs.refr.cc/kerrio
Check out Kerri's Amazon Influencer page full of lists of her favorite fitness gear, keto stuff, etc https://amazon.com/shop/kerriolkjer
Get free shipping on Kerri's protein powder obsession https://www.pntrs.com/t/3-197577-86806-149752
POLAR aka Best fitness tracking watches https://shrsl.com/3brw2
Andy's podcast episode on 75 Hard: https://andyfrisella.com/blogs/realaf-podcast/14-75hard-a-tactical-guide-to-winning-the-war-with-yourself
Host: @KerriOlkjer on Twitter https://twitter.com/KerriOlkjer
The show on Instagram: @FitViewsPodcast https://www.instagram.com/fitviewspodcast/
Theme song from: https://www.pond5.com?ref=fitviews469
Getting Started with 75 hard
As I’ve mentioned before, I am currently doing the 75 Hard program. As I record this I’m on day 17.
So, what is 75 Hard?
Well, it's a mental toughness skills development program started by Andy Frisella. His premise is that mental toughness is a skill and therefore can be learned, practiced, and honed. Andy designed this challenge to cultivate: confidence, self-belief, self-esteem, self-worth, endurance, fortitude, grit, perseverance, self-discipline, endurance, resilience... and all of the skills inside the scope of mental toughness.
OK, so what are Rules for 75 Hard?
Well for 75 days straight you must:
- Follow a diet of your choice strictly. No cheats. No alcohol.
- Workout twice a day for 45 minutes each session. Any workout of your choice, but one workout MUST be outside.
- Drink a gallon of water per day.
- Read 10 pages of a nonfiction entrepreneurship or self-improvement or personal development book each day. Audiobooks don't count.
- Take a progress pic every single day.
No slips, no substitutions, no compromises, no altering the plan. If you slip, if you miss one tiny detail, you start back at day 1.
Andy is emphatic about not cheating yourself by allowing cheats, slips, excuses, or "Oh, that's not a big deal, I'll just keep going." The program is intended to be completed as it stands, straight through, no breaks or editing at all. I see his point on this. I firmly believe we'll get out of this program what we put into it. Holding ourselves accountable is a big point of it all. I definitely recommend listening to Andy’s podcast on the challenge for more info; I’ll link to it in the show notes.
To me, the magic in 75 Hard is the mental benefits that you're going to get out of this program, it's actually not about the physical transformation (though that will likely occur as well), it's about who you're becoming through doing hard things. It's about the qualities and skills you will develop by sticking it out and seeing it through. It's about the HARD in the 75 Hard.
People do 75 Hard for as many different reasons as there are people I suppose. The first time I did it, back in the beginning of 2020 it was about getting back to ME again. I had wandered so far off from the strong, confident, fit mama I knew that I was meant to be. That I had been prior to baby number four. I joke that self-discipline is my superpower. Self-discipline is something I had always excelled at, but life had knocked me flat over and over so many times at that point in my life that I had lost myself. I had let so much slide in the name of just keeping my head above water. That round of 75 Hard was about fighting through the hard to get it all back.
I also used it as an opportunity to hone my overall process. It was a really great way to figure out how my process needed tweaking. It was through that round of 75 Hard that I came up with my Low Carb Protein-centric approach. You can go back and hear more about that in Episode 7.
My current foray into 75 Hard is more about extreme habit building. My struggle in health and fitness has always been: consistency. This time around I’m using 75 Hard as a tool to deeply ingrain the habits I want to build. It’s time for me to stop stopping. To prioritize my health and fitness no matter what life throws at me. This time around I am going to build consistency if it takes me all year! I am beyond determined.
I get some funny reactions from people about 75 Hard. I see a lot of people bashing it online too. “It’s so extreme!” they say or “I’ve heard that’s dangerous!” or they just look at me like I’m crazy. I cannot say firmly enough: I do not think 75 Hard is extreme or dangerous.
As with any tool, I suppose it could be misused. The thing is it’s scalable. You do not have to do anything beyond your abilities. Yes, there’s two workouts a day, but ONE OF THEM CAN BE WALKING. BOTH of them could be walking. You could do some yoga and take a walk around your neighborhood. There is no reason to make this program dangerous for anyone. I mean, have some common sense here. You can wisely plan your workouts to not wreck your body. As far as the diet goes, you get to pick what diet you want to do. It’s not some crazy crash diet; it’s not even a diet. You can and should pick a perfectly reasonable food plan! It’s more about being consistent with these things. Which is amazing. Not extreme, dangerous, or crazy.
OK, that out of the way, I have some tips to get the most out of 75 Hard:
For the diet portion of 75 Hard:
- Pick something that is going to fit well with your lifestyle. This challenge is hard enough without picking a food plan that is going to present roadblocks right from the start.
- Pick something that fits with your goals. If you want to gain muscle, pick an appropriate plan. If you want to lose fat, pick an appropriate plan. If you need to gain weight, pick an appropriate plan. I didn’t see the results I wanted in my first round of 75 Hard because my plan was too high in calories. That was frustrating. Do your research.
- Consider meal planning and food prep. We’re all busy and this can really help us hit our targets.
As far as the gallon of water goes:
- Get a gallon water bottle. I did this the first time I did 75 Hard and thought it worked well. I just filled it first thing in the morning and it had to be empty by bed.
- OR you can do what I’m doing this round of 75 Hard and just have a notebook handy to tally your water as you drink it. This works best if you’re home most of the time. There are also apps to help you track if you’re on the go more. I think My Fitness Pal can track your water too. But definitely don’t leave it to trying to keep track in your head.
- I highly, highly recommend having a time by which you try to have all of your water drank. Mind is 6 PM. Otherwise, you’re going to be peeing all night. Nobody wants that.
Now, for the 2 daily 45 minute workouts, my tips are:
- Definitely PLAN your workouts. Two-a-days for 75 days is no joke and without planning, you could be in a world of hurt. Plus, you really don’t want to be on day 6 trying to think of something to do for your second workout. Don’t give yourself any excuses.
- I like to alternate hard and easy workouts and hard and easy days. Some workouts will be easier and some days will be lighter. Now, what is hard and easy for each of us will be relevant. For me, my second workout is usually an outdoor walk. That’s easier for me. While my first workout is something harder, like barbell training, kettlebells, or something involving my Echo Bike. After a few days of that combo I might be getting pretty sore, so I’ll have a day that involves two walks or maybe a walk and an easier rowing workout.
- Alternate body parts on your lifting days. Whether you split workouts up into upper body and lower body, a push/pull split, or specific body parts like back and biceps, this will keep soreness at a doable level.
- Lots of variety is key. It keeps it from being too boring and from hammering the same body parts the same way all the time.
Some other general tips:
- I would highly recommend grabbing extra sleep anywhere you can the first few weeks of this program. The added workouts with less recovery time will definitely benefit from more zzz’s wherever you can get them.
- Share on social for accountability. It’s so much tougher to just say, oh well, this is hard, I quit if you’re sharing on social. Also, I find the 75 Hard hashtag to be very encouraging.
- Set phone alarms to remind you. I’m not doing that this round, but I found the first time that setting alarms just to check in with myself was super helpful. Especially for the progress pic. You’d be surprised how easy that one is to forget. I have a friend on Instagram that said she made it to I think, day 50 and forgot her progress pic. Devastating.
- Hang tough the first few weeks, it gets better. You would not believe the things that were thrown at me the first 2 days both times. It seemed like everything was conspiring to throw me off track. It's amazing to me how when we set out to do something positive, in our lives or the larger world, everything seems to come at us to try and knock us off our course. Just keep. GOING! Also, you will likely be tired and sore. I've seen some people say they felt great at the two week mark, it took me until 3 full weeks, but I definitely say there is light at the end of the tunnel if you're just starting this challenge. Do whatever you can to hold on through those rough first weeks. You will feel amazing once you get through those.
- Enlist the support of those near you. My husband said he was 75 Easy the first time I did the challenge because he was doing the morning workouts with me and he did everything he could to ensure I got through it. Support is priceless. Better yet, enlist someone to do it with you!
- Have a checklist that you go over every night to ensure you've done everything! Again, you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget something. There is an app now that I think serves this purpose.
- Make sure you have enough workout gear! This one completely surprised me the first time around, but depending on what types of workouts you do, and how much you sweat, you could wind up constantly doing laundry. That round had me doing laundry every 3 days! It was nuts. This time around I bought more pullover sports bras, more workout pants, and I should have bought an extra pack of workout socks.
- Commit 100% NO MATTER WHAT. This is probably my most important tip. Most people fail 75 Hard from lack of commitment. Point blank. Dems da facts. In fact, if you’re not totally committed, I don’t really recommend even starting. As the name would suggest, this is HARD. I mean, HARD. I mean really HARD. Like, I'm one of those extreme self-discipline types and I struggled with this the first time. I remember being 18 days in and wishing I could let myself quit. No such luck however, I'm one of those: finish what I start freaks, so I did. I would not recommend joining 75 Hard lightly. I've seen so many quit or just kind of appear to fake it. Like I said, don't start this unless you are really and truly all-in committed to yourself to finish.
- Have a good exit strategy. This is where I screwed up the first round; I had no exit strategy. It was 2020 and the world lit on fire and I had no plan for what to do after 75 Hard. It took me quite a while to get traction again. So, I highly recommend that during the challenge you take the time to make a plan for what you will do after the challenge to not just go back to your old ways. This can actually be tougher than you might think.
I hope those tips are helpful if you decide to do the challenge.
I have benefited, and continue to benefit from the 75 Hard program. I realize it might not be for everyone, but I also sometimes think we don’t expect enough from ourselves. We’re stronger and more capable than we let ourselves realize. I firmly believe it’s good to intentionally do hard things. Everything good in life really is on the other side of hard things. Our comfort zones are nowhere to live an entire life. Life is short. You might as well be a badass.