I’ve always been a big fan of challenging myself, in fitness, academics, and life.
In recent years, however I’ve learned to reign that in and not get too caught up in constantly striving to be “better” than yesterday. But really, where is the fun in that?
Kidding, I’m all about self-acceptance. But, I’d be lying if I said I still didn’t LOVE a challenge.
At the end of 2019 I put together a 7-week challenge for myself where I worked out, hard, 5 x a week and ate WELL. I made sure to get enough protein but I didn’t focus on cutting anything out. For me, it’s about eating whole foods the majority of the time. That’s simply my lifestyle.
However, if you don’t have a program for your workouts or your diet, you have no way of tracking your progress. And for the sake of this self-challenge, I wanted to track my progress. So I made a detailed workout program for myself (as I always do) and loosely tracked my protein intake.
I really enjoy looking at sculpting my physique with training and diet as my own personal science experiment, it’s fun for me. This type of commitment and dedication to a goal inspires me to push through days where I’m feeling unmotivated and directionless. I LOVE the shift in mindset that challenges and regimented training delivers, above all else.
At the end of the 7-weeks I felt GREAT! Since I incorporated small increments of cardio (about 10-15mins) a couple times a week I felt leaner and in better shape.
To be honest, I loved the buzz that I get from setting a goal for myself and then getting after it! This challenge made me think…THINK about MAYBE competing again sometime in the future.
Ultimately, I decided that I feel best when I’m pushing myself out of my comfort zone–and not to extremes. Competing is by all measures an extreme. And I’m really happy with simply getting out of my comfort zone.
I knew that I wanted to start another challenge, which was tailored to my goals and needs. I just wasn’t sure when, or how.
This week I came across the #75hard challenge which originated from Andy Frisella’s desire to cultivate mental toughness. I found this great article on medium that breaks it down, check it out. There is a podcast that goes with Frisella’s challenge which I’ll link here.
Every year I come across a lot of challenges as Spring nears. I enjoy this renewed energy that we get, collectively, as new seasons approach.
The #75hard challenge involves working out 2x per day, reading at least 10 pages of self-help content daily, following a diet with 0 cheat meals, drinking a gallon of water a day, and taking a progress picture every day.
To be clear, I will not be doing this challenge. I will be making my own. But, I thought the concept behind it was awesome.
Challenges get a lot of flak for being unsustainable. What people don’t realize is, of course they’re unsustainable–they’re CHALLENGES so inherently they are going to be difficult and require you to push through to see a desired end-result.
That being said, challenges are meant to inspire you to bring some of that UMPH back into your daily routine. They’re meant to show you what you’re made of and just how much you are truly capable of doing. Of course we cannot sustain this type of energy year-round.
But take the 75hard challenge for instance, maybe you come out and now working out 1 x per day doesn’t feel as hard. Drinking half a gallon of water is easy peasy, tracking progress with photos becomes second nature, and reading self-help content regularly becomes one of your favorite hobbies.
You’re not sustaining the intensity you approached the 75-day commitment with. But, you are taking what you’ve learned and the new habits you’ve made and improving yourself long-term.
Behavioral adaptations that come from challenges SHOULD BE sustainable. Whereas challenges themselves are not.
Of course it’s not sustainable to go 75 days without a single “cheat meal” (I don’t use that terminology) and honestly, working out 2 x day can be dangerous. But hey, that’s why you have to know yourself and DO YOUR RESEARCH. You should also hire a coach, it’s more than worth it.
So, I implore you to take inspiration from challenges. That doesn’t mean blindly follow them because they seem life-altering. When you’re ready to make changes and see results, be smart about it. There are no quick fixes. Research, use your intuition and common sense. Get creative with it!!! Make your own.
Follow mine 🙂 or simply follow along for inspiration! I will be coming up with a challenge for MYSELF. Be weary that this is tailored to ME where I’m at and for where I’m going.
In my next post I will be breaking down my own challenge, and I’ll be documenting my progress throughout.
Keep up with me and absorb my UMPH through osmosis by simply witnessing the BUZZ that hums through my bones and the FIRE that lights up my eyes when the horn goes off, the race begins and its KRIS vs KRIS.
Thanks for reading xx.