Long time readers of this blog know that I’m a huge fan of Andy Frisella’s 75 Hard program. I’ve added the tasks from the program into my daily routine, and many of them have become habits. So it excited me to learn about Live Hard – the yearlong version of 75 Hard. I’ll share some thoughts and tips (there are no shortcuts – shortcuts defeat the purpose of the program) along with all the details about the program below.
Overview of Live Hard:
Live Hard is basically 75 Hard plus three additional phases that must be completed within a year. In fact, the program is structured so it will end exactly 365 days after you begin it. Here’s a table that shows the components.
|Phase||75 Hard||Phase 1||Phase 2||Phase 3|
|75 Hard Tasks|
|Additional Tasks for Each Day||None||None|
|Notes||This is the official start of the program and the only phase that is 75 days.||You can start this right after doing the 75 Hard Phase or take a break.||You must wait at least 30 days after completing Phase 1 before starting this.||You must start this phase exactly 30 days prior to the 1-year anniversary of starting 75 hard.|
So as you can see, “hard” is probably an understatement for this program. But if you can get through it, you’ll see a massive positive change. It’s okay if this program intimidates you – I find it crazy and insane, but am looking forward to trying it. So let’s take a closer look at each phase.
75 Hard itself is tough enough. As mentioned in my review of 75 Hard, I had been working on my own 30-day challenge when I first learned of 75 Hard. So I added these elements into my existing program. At first, I found the water to be the toughest part, and it took me a week and a half to work my way up to drinking a gallon day. Now it’s become a habit. I used to have a 1-liter water bottle that I fill up three times each day, then up to 800 ML on my 4th filling (which put me slightly above a gallon). Now I’m testing out a one-gallon bottle which so far, has worked out nicely. My tip on the water is to pace yourself throughout the day and try to drink all your water before you drink anything else. I’ll often start my day off with a cup of tea (which doesn’t count towards the gallon) on cold days, and those are the days I have the most problems with completing that task. On those nights, I find myself completing the last 1800 ML within two hours of going to bed. I don’t recommend taking in so much water late at night as your body will want to rid itself of some of it, which will cause you to wake up at night.
Another tip is to use a checklist to track your progress and check things off as soon as you complete them. I’ve had times where I couldn’t remember whether I completed something as I didn’t mark it down right away, so I ended up doing it again to be sure.
My final tip is that you may need to work yourself up to this program. I know Andy advises against this, but I believe that something is better than nothing. Even P90X has a pre-program to prepare yourself for the full program. Just make sure that if you take this approach, you have a solid date to start (no more than two weeks out) that you’re committed to, or you won’t benefit from the program.
Phase 1 adds in three critical tasks, a five-minute cold shower, and 10 minutes of visualization. The three critical tasks come from Andy’s Powerlist program where you select five tasks each day that you must complete to win the day. These tasks can be anything from working out, to calling a client, to reading an article on a topic to help you with your goals. They have to be things that you can complete within a day and should not be generic goals such as getting in shape or getting rich. Here are some examples of what I’ve used:
- Watch the next video from the course on advanced SEO topics and take notes.
- Complete final edits for chapter 32 of The Beautiful People.
- Update permalinks format of blog to make it more SEO friendly.
- Reach out to two friends with marketing experience to review my marketing plan.
- Review 404 error logs for JVF.com and fix at least 20 broken URLs.
A tip for this is to get these done early in the day. While you’re allowed to work on these items until you go to sleep, some of the items on your list may need to be done during normal business hours.
The cold shower is the one item in the entire program that I know I’ll struggle with. I’ve taken cold showers unintentionally and have not enjoyed them. I remember taking one during a retreat when I was in college. It was during the winter which made it worse. I made it through it and started sweating when I came out and dried off. It was a weird experience. A tip for this is to work your way up to it while you’re doing 75 hard. So as you complete your shower, turn the hot water off and start trying to do 30 seconds, then a minute, then two minutes, etc… until you get up to five minutes.
My only tip on the visualization is to not do it at the end of the day, especially if you’re tired. I’ve been trying to work this into my daily routine and often fall asleep when I do it late. But I agree with Andy that this is a powerful exercise.
This phase is interesting as it’s 30 days of 75 Hard. Compared to what we’ve seen so far, it should be pretty easy, right? Well, Andy throws a twist in it – you need to take at least 30 days off between Phase 1 and Phase 2. This probably sounds great, but it actually makes it harder for you. During those 30 days, you get used to not doing it, so it makes it a challenge to start up again. My tip is to time it so that you end Phase 2 a week or two before starting Phase 3 so that you can go into the next phase with momentum – you will need it.
Phase 3 adds in a random act of kindness and talking to a stranger in addition to the tasks from 75 Hard and Phase 1. These two tasks are good habits to have and things I’ve been trying to work into my daily routine. Having a conversation with a stranger will help you get out of your shell. For some of us, this is pretty easy and could potentially result in us expanding our network. The trick here is that it has to be in person – no social media. Now with COVID-19 on the rise again, this is a little more challenging because it’s not like you can easily strike up a conversation in the grocery store or after church. At least not up here where I live – we’re encouraged to do our shopping and move along.
Also, I live in Massachusetts where we have blizzards and it’s often not possible to leave your house – we have blizzards where only essential vehicles are allowed on the road. So this means that I run the risk of not being able to complete this task between December and late March.
The random act of kindness is the task I’m most excited about. It could be as simple as paying for the coffee for the person behind you in line, running an errand for someone unable to leave their house, volunteering to help kids, etc….
So there you have it. I will provide periodic updates on my progress so please keep checking back. Also, if you’ve done either 75 Hard or Live Hard, then I invite you to share your experiences in the comments.