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Red spade symbols on a black background for 75 HARD™ podcast review article

We Did It! We Completed the 75 HARD™ Challenge. Here’s Our Review of the Program | S2 E1 The Hart of Health Podcast

We did the 75 HARD™ challenge and recorded a podcast about our experience. Here is the transcript:

Jonathan and Joané: (00:03)

Hi, I’m Joané Hart and I’m Jonathan Hart. This is The Hart of Health. A show where we focus mainly on health and self-optimisation. Here, we like to talk about our experiences and knowledge when it comes to health and biohacking. Hope you enjoy the show.

Jonathan: (00:41)

Welcome to this week’s episode of The Hart of Health.

Joané: (00:45)

And on today’s episode, we’re talking about the 75 HARD™ challenge, finally.

Jonathan: (00:53)

Yeah. It took you a while. I’ve been done with this for a while.

Joané: (00:59)

It only took me six months to complete a 75-day challenge. I had to start over a few times.

Jonathan: (01:09)

And for all of those thinking that this is a challenge for health… No.

Joané: (01:13)

It’s not. It is a mental toughness challenge created by Andy Frisella, who is, I think CEO of 1st Phorm, a supplement company. He also has his own podcast called Real AF. He used to have a podcast called the MFCEO. But I think, right now, he’s probably most famous for creating the 75 HARD™ challenge.

Jonathan: (01:38)

Yeah. The only way you can maybe link it to health is by saying that it could give you the mental toughness to accomplish your health goals. But doing it in itself is not healthy specifically.

Joané: (01:52)

I disagree. I think it can be healthy. It depends on how you do it. Yes. We have mixed feelings. We have different opinions on the 75 HARD™ challenge. Jonathan had a different experience than I did.

Jonathan: (02:05)

Joh, it forces you to drink way too much water

Joané: (02:08)

For you. I have no problem drinking that much water.

Jonathan: (02:15)

It kind of in Itself is just showing you that it doesn’t really care who you are. You’ve got to drink so much water: 3.7 litres.

Joané: (02:22)

Or a gallon. You needed to be mentally tougher, you know. Drink that water. Toughen up.

Jonathan: (02:27)

Yeah. But it has nothing to do with health, it’s not optimal.

Joané: (02:31)

It’s not supposed to be. Okay, so if you don’t know about the 75 HARD™ challenge, it’s a challenge that you do for 75 days and there are certain guidelines that you need to follow every day. And if you miss one of them any single day, then you start over from day one. So, if you don’t drink enough water on day 30, you start over. If you forget to take your progress picture on day 74, you start over. So it doesn’t matter where you are. If you skip a thing, you start over, I guess. So the guidelines are:

  1. You have to do two workouts a day that are 45 minutes each. At least one of them has to be outside. It doesn’t matter where the other one is and they can’t be back to back. You have to space them out a little bit.
  2. Then you need to take a progress picture every day.
  3. Read 10 pages of a non-fiction book.
  4. Drink a gallon of water. So that’s 3.7 liters. That’s what Jonathan was complaining about.
  5. Follow a diet. So any diet, um, Andy does not care what diet. Just follow it.
  6. Then, you can’t have any cheat meals or alcohol.

Jonathan: (03:49)

Yeah. For some people, no alcohol will be a real problem. Yeah.

Joané: (03:52)

For us, it’s not really a problem at all. We usually don’t drink anyway. Okay. So, those are the guidelines. Um, Jonathan did not have to start over. He has a lot more self-control than I do. He is a very mentally tough person. Um, the only reason you actually really did this is because I asked you to. I didn’t want to do it alone. I’ve been wanting to do the 75 HARD™ challenge for a really long time. Since I first heard about it, it was probably like a year that I was wrestling with the idea. It seemed pretty daunting, to be honest. And then I wanted to start it on the 1st of January, but I didn’t want to do it alone. And then I asked you to do it with me and you did, because you’re a good husband.

Jonathan: (04:43)

And you thought that it would be too easy if I just did animal-based for my diet. So, you said to make it a real challenge, I’d have to go strict carnivore.

Joané: (04:54)

Yeah. It’s because you were eating animal-based anyways and you needed to challenge yourself a little.

Jonathan: (05:01)

So, that’s why I went strict.

Joané: (05:03)

Yeah. That’s why you went strict carnivores. Um, yeah. That’s the diet that you chose. You had no plant foods, only animal foods, and you enjoyed it. The diet part was not an issue for you.

Jonathan: (05:19)

I know it wasn’t an issue, but it could be, it could have been easier if, you know, you could have biltong with a little bit of spice or you could have some lemon on your fish. It was more things like, when you go to a person’s house or family or whatever, and they were used to you being fine with the little bit of lemon on your fish and you’re like, no, it’s super strict now. So, no plants at all took a while for people to understand, especially because it’s the first time I did it for 75 days instead of just normally a month. Yeah. Like in the past, I’d only been strict carnivore for 30 days.

Joané: (06:00)

Yes. This was the longest stretch that you had.

Jonathan: (06:03)

So 75 days of zero plant intake.

Joané: (06:08)

Hey, well I think it did, you will. My, well, my diet changed every time I redid it. The first time I had to start over with 75 HARD™, it was because I passed out and didn’t take a progress picture that day. So I had to start over the next two times because I screwed up with my diet part of it. Diet is very hard for me to stick to, like I am a food addict. Like I knew that it was going to be tough. Um, that is okay. So then I realised after the third time I had to start over to not set a calorie goal because… no… So the third time I had to start over with 75 HARD™, I decided I’m going to go for a low-carb, animal-based diet. So I ate mostly animal foods. I ate cheese, meat, butter, eggs, and then I would have dark chocolate. Like I decided dark chocolate was fine. So that was pretty much most of what I ate. So it was a low-carb diet, not going above 100g of carbs, um, and sticking to mostly animal foods. And then yeah, that made it a lot easier to stick to 75 HARD™. And then the process went pretty much smoothly from there. Um, the workouts, what did we do for the workouts?

Jonathan: (07:30)

I think we got stuck doing similar workouts

Joané: (07:34)

When we were doing 75 HARD™ together? Yeah.

Jonathan: (07:37)

I don’t know. I feel like, in order to make it easier, you should try to bring in as much variety as possible. If you bring in the variety, then the only problem is that it’s time-consuming. Like if it’s the same workout every day over and over, it gets very monotonous. And that’s where I’d also say: “Okay, you know, is it a good idea to run or do a specific workout routine every day for 45 minutes?” I’m not sure. You know, you might actually get a little bit over and over, like overtraining sort of syndrome occurring

Joané: (08:16)

Unless it’s something like yoga and stretching. That’s not too bad.

Jonathan: (08:20)

Yeah. Unless it’s light. But I’m just saying if someone’s now thinking: “Oh cool. I’ll just do boxing.”

Joané: (08:26)

Yeah. The whole, everyday thing.

Jonathan: (08:27)

For 45 minutes. I don’t know if that is actually healthy.

Jonathan: (08:35)

It’ll make you tough, yes. But is it healthy? Is it optimal? Is it going to be improving your performance every time? Probably not. If you’re not bringing some kind of variety into your training, then I don’t think you’re going to be progressing in your fitness. And I don’t know if it will be healthy in the overall picture.

Joané: (08:56)

For me, workouts that I enjoy doing involve weight training. So exercising with weights and walking. I really like walking. We did some cycling, stretching, yoga. I did some dancing. Yeah. Try to get as much variety as possible. Like obviously repeat workouts, but it definitely did help. Um, I do have my favourites, but yeah, it’s good to cycle. And there are people who want to do the same workout every day to make it extra challenging for themselves. And that is perfectly okay. For me, just the diet portion already challenged my mental toughness a lot. I feel that it wasn’t necessary to just add more to it.

Jonathan: (09:41)

Yeah. It’s definitely not. I definitely don’t disagree if you say it’s tough to do the same workout every day. That is tough. But the question is, is it healthy? We don’t know. And it’s very specific to each individual. And that’s why I said, I don’t know if 75 HARD™ is specifically for health.

Joané: (10:05)

If it’s walking every day, I’m not going to question it, because I feel like that is ancestrally appropriate. Like I believe in running. Maybe our ancestors could have taken 2×45-minute walks back in the day and been perfectly fine and stretched a little, picked up a rock, but they didn’t necessarily pick up rocks for 45 minutes a day, twice a day for 75 days straight.

Jonathan: (10:30)

Yes, exactly. They were probably rest days.

Joané: (10:33)

Yeah, I really enjoy the exercise part for me. That is just a natural part of my routine. Now the going outside part is annoying sometimes, because I’m more of an indoors person anyways, but I love that, because it is forcing me to get out more and get more sunlight. And I’ve loved that part about 7,75 HARD™. You probably get more sunlight unless you like exercising at three or four o’clock in the morning outside when it’s still dark. Um, I think most people will probably get more sunlight exposure from the outdoor exercise part of the 75 HARD™ challenge. Oh, we definitely got more weather exposure.

Jonathan: (11:20)

It doesn’t care if there’s a torrential downpour and like everything’s flooded and there’s water everywhere. You’ve got to do your 45 minutes outside.

Joané: (11:31)

Well, don’t be stupid if there’s a hurricane, just start over. Just start over with 75 HARD™ once that’s over.

Jonathan: (11:38)

No, I’m saying we had those floods where everything was soaking wet. When we still had to do our workouts with 75 HARD™.

Joané: (11:46)

We were exercising in the rain. Yep. And you have until you go to bed to complete. So there was the one night we were outside quite late, feeling a little miserable.

Jonathan: (12:01)

There were a few times when I was like, “Oh no, I’ve got to go out at 10 o’clock at night and exercise for 45 minutes outside.”

Joané: (12:11)

Those were the days your time management probably could have been better. It exposes some of your weaknesses in life, maybe, you know, I think definitely. Um, what else… Taking a photo seems like such an easy and simple thing to do, but it’s just as easy to forget it because it’s so simple and easy. So after the first time that I skipped that and had to start over with 75 HARD™, I just downloaded the app and that made it much easier. Because every day, I can just take it off. And if you forget, the app will remind you and that is really good. So that helps. I recommend that for people who struggle. Or make your own checklist, but definitely have a list.

Jonathan: (12:59)

Definitely helps to have a daily checklist, so that you can see “Okay, cool. I’ve read my 10 pages. I’ve drank my water. I’ve taken my picture and I’ve done my two workouts.”

Joané: (13:11)

Yeah. The no cheat meals. Part of it for me, it is actually quite amazing as somebody who does struggle with binge eating in general and who overeats, being able to say that I’ve gone 75 days without like bingeing or overeating is really amazing. So that part I love about the challenge is like, I know for sure how long it’s been since the last time I overate or binged because that was the last time I had to start over with 75 HARD™. And that is something to feel really proud of because it’s something that I’ve struggled with pretty much since I was a little kid and being able to say that I’ve gone 75 days without cheating on my diet or without bingeing or overeating is epic. It is really amazing. And to say like, and as a really lazy person, being able to say that I have exercised twice a day for the last six months is “wow”.

Joané: (14:16)

Because even though I’ve had to start over with 75 HARD™, I haven’t skipped the reading a single day. I haven’t skipped the two workouts a single day this year. Um, I haven’t skipped the water. So I’ve had a gallon of water every day this whole year, six months, and it’s epic. And I mean, even though I finished with 75 HARD™, I’m going to continue because why do I want to miss the benefits of reading the 10 pages? Because I’m gaining knowledge from it. So I don’t want to stop doing it. Um, I work from home, so it’s easy for me to two workouts a day. It’s not like, you know, I parked my car and walk to the office or walk between offices or anything like that. Like I can easily just sit on the couch the whole day. So I love having that being forced to move my body for 45 minutes, twice a day, to balance out the sedentary lifestyle that I have if I’m just sitting.

Joané: (15:17)

And I’ve even tried to be creative because I have to write as part of my job sometimes. And then I’ll write on my phone while I’m walking outside. So I’m trying to be efficient with it. So I am going to continue with the two workouts a day and I’m basically starting 75 HARD™ from scratch again. Because I want to, because I enjoy it. I feel like I really benefit from it. Like we said earlier in the podcast, I needed the mental toughness challenge. You didn’t really, and I didn’t feel like I’m there yet. I need to toughen up a little more. I need this challenge a little more.

Jonathan: (15:56)

Yeah. I do prefer doing more intense workouts on a day. And then do maybe like two really intense workouts in a week and then take it easier on the other days.

Joané: (16:15)

Where I prefer working out every day. Working out more regularly and yeah, to be clear, the 75 HARD™ challenge is actually part of a bigger program called the Live Hard program. And 75 HARD™ is just like the first part of it. After 75 HARD™, you get Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 that you finish the month before the anniversary of the first day that you started 75 HARD™. I’m starting over with 75 HARD™ and not moving on to Phase 1, which is like a 30-day challenge. Just because in Phase 1, you have to take a cold shower every day. Um, it is winter here. I’m a bit of a chicken plus I’m just worried because I already feel like my body’s already under a little bit of stress. I don’t want to add even more stress to it. So, I just want to do more research on that. And maybe when I feel like I’m not as stressed and I feel like I can add the cold showers because I do have a history of my hormones freaking out a little if I do too much stuff like cold shock and intermittent fasting and exercising a lot and working a lot, I kind of have to be selective about how many stressors I add to my life. And the cold shock I feel is future Joané’s problem.

Jonathan: (17:38)

And that’s one of the reasons why I questioned if 75 HARD™ is purely just for health. It is because of that. You know, it doesn’t matter that your body’s already under a lot of stress. You have to do X, Y, and Z every day. Otherwise, you fail, you know, it’s like, I feel like you could just start over. Yeah. But fail and start from the beginning. So if it was purely just about health, it would be more lenient to like individual needs and look at like “okay, no, wait, you’ve already got a lot of stress on your body.” Um, you know, you shouldn’t do X, Y, or Z, but it’s like, no, it doesn’t matter who you are. You’ve got to do these things no matter what, and it might not be good for some people, like you said, to add extra stress when they’re really sort of at a breaking point when it comes to how much stress their body can handle.

Joané: (18:35)

Yeah. And I mean, that’s the whole thing we’ve mentioned that we keep saying: it is a mental toughness challenge. That’s the thing. A lot of people are against the challenge because they argue that it’s not that healthy for you. And they give all the reasons and it’s like, yeah, we get it for a lot of people. It’s not ideal, like for some people, but even that, if you’re under a lot of stress, both of your workouts could be stretching. I guess you could adapt it to try to reduce the amount of stress that you get. But if you’re going to do it for mental toughness reasons, then you would want to challenge yourself more. I think that’s the whole thing. Like, yes, you can do the version where you just do walking and stretching. Are you going to feel like you really pushed yourself and worked on your mental toughness maybe?

Joané: (19:25)

And then if yes, great. But for me, that wouldn’t have worked. Like if I just stretched and did light walking the entire time, I would have finished 75 HARD™ feeling like I didn’t do it properly for the reasons why I wanted to do it in the first place, which is mental toughness. And for me, I don’t always like hard workouts. Like I can easily go for the easier option because I am lazy by nature, but I really enjoy it. And I thought it was hilarious the other day, you commented that you thought that I needed to toughen up a little more mentally and I thought, well, this is pretty much why I’m doing 75 HARD™ again. And even though I feel like it has helped me a lot, I still have so far to go. And I am excited about starting from scratch and then seeing if I can challenge myself a little more, because I am already kind of used to a lot of the things and I’m excited for the personal growth that will come from the 75 HARD™ challenge.

Joané: (20:30)

And for me physically, health-wise, it’s been great because I’ve managed to lose fat. I’ve managed to lose weight. And I feel like I’m at the body fat percentage that I want to be right now. And I’m 1 kilogram or 2.2 pounds away from my goal weight just after doing the 75 HARD™ challenge. And I’m very excited about that. So, if I measure it from like, if this was going to be a health goal, if I turned 75 HARD™ into a weight loss challenge, then I would say it was successful. If I call it a mental toughness challenge, it was still very successful for me. And yeah, I really love 75 HARD™. I’ll recommend it to people. You, you say what? Well, yeah, if you’re under a lot of stress. Yeah.

Jonathan: (21:21)

I’m basically just saying don’t expect to be healthier at the end of it because it’s not guaranteed.

Joané: (21:25)

You could be healthier. It depends on where you started.

Jonathan: (21:30)

I did say in the beginning that it can give you the mental toughness to achieve your health goals. Yeah.

Joané: (21:35)

Because if you do 75 HARD™, so many things will seem very easy. Like you look at all these 30-day challenges, 2-week challenges, three-day things, and you think: “I’ve done the 75 HARD™ challenge, I can easily do a 30-day challenge.” And it’s such a great confidence boost. You just realise what you’re capable of. Like, you can be the type of person that reads every day. You can be the type of person that works out every day. Like some people might start where they weren’t really active at all before. And you can be the type of person, like I realised, who doesn’t cheat on their diet for 75 days in a row. And it just shows you what you can do. And it’s a great confidence boost for me. It’s helped a lot. And now if I think of any challenge, even a work challenge, I think “Hell yeah, I can do this.”

Jonathan: (22:29)

It definitely shows you not necessarily where your limits are, but that your limits are probably way further away than you think they are.

Joané: (22:43)

Um, definitely. And even for me, I never considered myself to be much of a reader. And before this challenge, if I said I wanted to read a little bit every day, I probably wasn’t going to do it. And the books that I’ve read on 75 HARD™ are books that I’ve had for a while, but never really started reading. And then we started doing 75 HARD™ and I finally started reading them and I actually managed to finish a few and get very deep into the one that I’m currently busy reading. And they’re quite big, thick books.

Jonathan: (23:23)

Yeah. You’ll be surprised how far 10 pages a day will get you.

Joané: (23:27)

Yeah. How quickly you can finish a book by just doing 10 pages a day. So, a lot of people might do 75 HARD™ and the only thing they still continue to do afterwards is the reading portion. So, okay, you don’t want to do the two workouts a day, but you can carry on this reading thing and maybe now you’ll be a reader for life. And just the knowledge that I’ve gotten from reading the 10 pages every day has enriched my life in so many ways and taught me things that will probably help me throughout the rest of my life. So, you’re gaining a lot just from it having to be non-fiction that you are reading.

Jonathan: (24:10)

Yeah. Because I think a lot of people would think it would be too easy if you could read fiction.

Joané: (24:14)

Yes. If you could read fiction, then 10 pages would be too easy, but you are forced to read something that is really going to contribute to your personal growth. Well, hopefully, you’ve picked up some.

Jonathan: (24:26)

Pretty useless nonfiction out there, I guess.

Joané: (24:30)

But there’s also this thing called “shelf help”, where people just read things and then leave it and they don’t actually put the things they learn into action. So I was like, yeah, you can read the non-fiction book, but you still have to apply the knowledge. Yeah. Self-help not shelf-help, I think that’s what they call it, but that was quite funny. So I’m very pro 75 HARD™. In the next phase. I think you have to add power tasks. So that is what is cool about the whole Live Hard program, 75 HARD™ that Andy Frisella has put together. It’s like, it can help you in your business and things like that. So like five power tasks or five actions that you can do in a day that will help you get closer to your goals. So for a lot of people who may have dreams, but they struggle to go over into action.

Joané: (25:25)

Doing this program can maybe force them to start doing that. And then yeah, they might be doing it because they’re doing the Live Hard program, but it is like giving them that nudge that they need. Um, which I like. And then I’m not sure in which phase, but in one of the phases in the future, and that’s the one that scares me the most is that you have to talk to a stranger every day. I can be socially awkward. That’s a little hard, um, you know, and it’s like, it can’t be over the internet or something like that. And you can’t just say “hi”, you have to talk to a stranger. And so, if you don’t have a great social life, if you are in a new city and you don’t really know a lot of people, that part of the challenge could help you with your relationships and social life, or it could just help you get over the fear of talking to people.

Jonathan: (26:17)

Yeah, I think you won’t regret doing 75 HARD™.

Joané: (26:26)

People get different benefits from it depending on what they need and what they need to work on.

Jonathan: (26:31)

You’ll definitely learn from the experience. So I think it’s worth doing, but don’t look at it as, “oh, I’m going to do this thing to, you know, get healthy or whatever.” It’s actually: no, you’re doing it to get a new mindset. That’s the main objective of 75 HARD™. It’s training your mind. It’s honing your mind to become stronger and more resilient and able to face more adversity and be more disciplined.

Joané: (27:13)

Jocko Willink says “Discipline Equals Freedom”. And I really noticed the power of that in my life.

Jonathan: (27:20)

Yeah. And it might sound like a dichotomy, but if you look at the people who are the most disciplined, they look the most free, you know, it’s like, look at Jocko. He seems like a really happy guy who… okay his face doesn’t really… he has got quite a frowning face, but got a good life. He’s got a good life. You know, he’s got sort of like zero stress because he’s got everything, all his ducks in a row. He doesn’t have to worry about a lot of things in his life

Joané: (28:00)

And maybe not zero stress, but he’s managed to lower his stress. By having these routines, it’s like, you don’t have to worry about if you’re going to work out. It’s not a decision you even need to make. It’s just automatic. And when you’re disciplined in so many things in your life you do automatically, then you take the worry away from it.

Jonathan: (28:22)

You need to take away the decision.

Joané: (28:24)

Yes. Because too many decisions can make you anxious and veer off the path.

Jonathan: (28:31)

So it’s just then something that you do. And yeah. That ends up giving you a lot of freedom in your life.

Joané: (28:39)

Yeah. Uh, I love 75 HARD™. If you want to try it, check out Andy Frisella, you can Google 75 HARD™. It will take you to where you need to go.

Jonathan: (28:53)

It is tough, but it is supposed to be.

Joané: (28:57)

Yeah. And I mean, as humans, we should be doing tough things. If you’re doing something that’s way too easy, then you’re not going to grow from it. As Jordan Peterson says, you want to be in the zone of proximal development. You want to push yourself not to the point where you can’t handle it, but you do want to get out of your comfort zone, so that you will grow. So yeah, don’t have insane and unrealistic expectations of yourself, but push yourself a little. 75 HARD™ was a very intimidating challenge for me. So what I did is, before that, I did the Two-Week Chloe Ting challenge. And then, because I thought, okay, I can do a two-week challenge, and if I can do a two-week challenge, then maybe I can do a bit longer challenge.

Joané: (29:49)

After that, I did a 30-day Jillian Michaels workout challenge. And then I thought, okay, I could do a 30-day challenge, maybe I can do 75 HARD™. That’s still quite a big job. It is still quite a big jump, but I just realised: “Hey, if I can do this, then I can probably do 75 HARD™. And yeah, I had to start over two or three times, but it was still worth it. I’m so happy that I did it. And who cares if I started over because in my brain, I saw such great benefits. And thinking for six months, I read 10 pages every day for six months, I moved my body every day. For me, the idea of working out twice a day for a month seemed like too much before I started 75 HARD™. And now it seems easy to me and I can see the progress that I’ve had in my photos and it’s just worth it. So for me, I’m almost grateful for the extra time to work on my mental toughness in a way. So yeah, that is our basic review of 75 HARD™. I’m doing it again. But I will post about that on the website. I’ll write a blog post when I am done. And yeah. Thanks for listening to the podcast.

Jonathan: (31:12)

Yes. I hope you consider giving 75 HARD™ a try. Yeah.

Joané: (31:18)

And check out all the other great people who have done it, their progress online. A lot of people post about it on Instagram, on YouTube, or wherever you go. You’ll find some, yeah.

Jonathan: (31:31)

Don’t listen to the people that put it down. Yeah, they’re just not tough enough to make the cut.

Joané: (31:39)

The one that says: “Don’t do 75 HARD™, it will be way too hard and it’s not healthy for you.” They’re just weak.

Jonathan: (31:47)

Yes. Even if you’re doing something that’s unhealthy for you, it’s only 75 days. So it’s more about proving to yourself that you can push through no matter what.

Joané: (31:57)

And you can do it in a way that doesn’t screw up your health and that it’s still good. But yeah, until next week.