For the past few years, I’ve heard and seen a lot about the 75 Hard fitness program—a 10-ish week challenge that focuses on hard and straight habits to create a very tangible physical transformation. I’ve seen countless before-and-after photos and endless countdowns, and I’ve always been cheering along silently in the background.
I’m not gonna lie, I have mixed opinions about the program. While I’m always impressed by the people who complete it (namely their dedication), I’m weary of the program creator’s extreme views and his subliminal (and sexist and fat phobic) messaging. (He uses phrases like, “inner bitch voice,” and has a slew of other problematic “tell it like it is” philosophies.) I also don’t like how extreme it is; if you mess up, you start over. There are hard lines and I disagree with that mentality in relation to health and wellness.
But I do like the idea of a challenge that un-sticks yourself, takes you out of your comfort zone, and puts you in a position where you focus on what you can control—dedication and effort and carving time out of the day for yourself.
Honestly, Chad and I have been feeling stuck lately and could use a little push out of it. So, together, we’re going on a heavily modified challenge journey together. We’re dubbing it “75 Medium” and making it more our own, keeping the determination and grit and dropping the toxic masculinity and extremities.
We’re here to do our best and see what comes of the process.
Here we go.
75 Hard vs 75 Medium
Here are the rules for the original 75 Hard program—it’s very straightforward.
The rules revolve around five “critical” daily tasks that you must complete every single day for 75 days straight. If you fail, you start over from the beginning.
- Follow any nutrition plan designed for your goals, with zero alcohol and no cheat meals.
- Complete two 45-minute workouts every day, one of which must be outside.
- Drink a gallon of water every day.
- Read 10 pages of an educational or self-improvement book every day.
- Take a progress picture every day.
Here’s our modifications: we’ll still do 75 days, but instead of starting over we’ll keep chugging until we cross the finish line.
- We’re both following calorie-counting diets. I’m trying to focus more on hitting macros than anything else.
- We’re allowing light drinking and “cheat meals” around the holidays and special events.
- Two 45-minute workouts each day. They can both be indoors, because it’s cold here in Colorado.
- Drink a gallon of water every day.
- Read at least 10 pages of any book. Chad and I are both reading fiction currently.
- The progress photos are optional.
My plan is to use the treadmill for one of my workouts, and do weight lifting for my other. I hope to incorporate Beachbody workouts, such as 21 Day Fix Real Time, plus ideas from the Fit By Katy app. I hope to get at least 10k steps a day, or at least get very close.
Chad plans on using weights, yoga and stretching, our training bike, walks with Wally, and our treadmill.
Honestly, our goals are to just stick with this and stay on track. That’s where Chad and I struggle the most, and it’s where the most transformation is needed. We want to follow through.
Hopefully, we get stronger and fitter and eat healthier foods along the way, and get into better shape for ski season. I hope to find more energy and feel that huge sense of accomplishment at the end, plus pride in knowing that we can do (medium) hard things.
Day 1: November 8, 2021. As of publication, we’re officially on Day 8. Let’s keep it going!
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