The 75 Medium Challenge: Your Complete Guide

The 75 Hard challenge is a well-rounded fitness and wellness program that involves five daily tasks that must be completed to a T for a full 75 days. There are rules for diet, exercise, water drinking, reading, and documenting your body’s transformation. 

Although the 75 Hard challenge is an incredible program for those with the time, energy, discipline, and fitness level to commit to such a rigorous feat, the 75 Hard program is often too aggressive and intensive for beginners or busy people.

The 75 Medium challenge is designed to be a more approachable and tenable alternative to 75 Hard.

In this article, we will discuss how to do the 75 Medium challenge and the differences between the 75 Medium challenge rules vs. the 75 Hard challenge.

We will cover: 

  • What Are the Differences Between the 75 Hard Challenge and 75 Medium?
  • How to Do the 75 Medium Challenge

Let’s get started!

A person flexing their biceps.

What Are the Differences Between the 75 Hard Challenge and 75 Medium?

Here are the major differences between the 75 Medium challenge vs. 75 Hard challenge:

Rule 1: Diet for 75 Medium Vs. 75 Hard

The 75 Medium challenge rule for the diet is similar to that for the 75 Hard challenge, but there is more leeway for deviations.

The rule for the 75 Medium challenge diet is to pick any diet of your choice, be it vegan, the Mediterranean diet, Paleo, the ketogenic diet, Whole30, the Zone Diet, etc. The choice is yours. 

The 75 Medium challenge diet rule is to follow whichever diet you have chosen 90% of the time. This means that there is some latitude in “cheat“ meals or days where you can deviate from your diet without needing to start over completely.

With the 75 Hard challenge, there are absolutely no concessions made for a single ”cheat” food or meal from your diet or misstep.

If at any point during the 75-day Hard challenge you do not follow your chosen diet to a strict T, you are required to start the entire 75-day program from day one, even if you are well on your way through the 75 days, or even on the very last day of the challenge.

The 75 Medium Challenge rule for the diet is much more reasonable and in line with how most nutrition professionals suggest that people approach their diet and eating habits. 

A person eating bruschetta.

Having a little bit of flexibility and a small amount of permissiveness to either indulge in special treats every now and then or eat something outside of your “permitted” foods gives people mental and practical grace that can ultimately improve dietary adherence.

If your diet is so strict and you cannot make a single concession without restarting the 75 Hard program, there’s a chance that you’ll feel defeated and abandon ship completely if something comes up and you do need to deviate from your usual fare.

This is certainly one of the benefits of the 75 Medium challenge vs. 75 Hard.

Following your diet 90% of the time still requires discipline and dedication, and it’s important, to be honest with yourself and not allow that 10% window to creep up and take on a more significant portion of your overall eating.

To help you stay honest with the 90% dietary adherence, you can think of the 90/10 split in terms of “cheat foods” with daily calories or a periodic “cheat day” during the 75 Medium program.

For example, if you eat 2,000 calories per day on whatever type of diet you are following, you can have 200 calories of “cheat” foods off of your diet plan. 

For example, if you are following a vegan diet, you might have a small Greek yogurt parfait. Alternatively, you can follow your diet perfectly for 9 days, and then every tenth day of the 75 Medium challenge, you can have a cheat day and deviate from your diet.

It’s up to you, but try to be mindful of the fact that 90% adherence is still quite high, so stick to your diet as much as possible. The better you stick to your diet; the more impressive your results will be—physically and mentally.

As with the 75 Hard challenge, you are not allowed to drink alcohol during the 75 Medium challenge. 

If social drinking is important to you, consider the 75 Soft Challenge, which does have leeway in the diet rule to allow for social drinking.

A person running on a dock.

Rule 2: Exercise for 75 Medium Vs. 75 Hard

Another major difference between the 75 Medium challenge rules vs. 75 Hard is that the exercise requirement is half as intense.

You are to do one 45-minute workout every day of the program.

With the 75 Hard program, the aggressive exercise rule stipulated that you have to do two 45-minute workouts per day every day.

Furthermore, although you can freely choose the type of exercise you do, at least one of your workouts must take place outside, no matter what the weather is.

Rule 3: Water Consumption for 75 Medium Vs. 75 Hard

With the 75 Hard challenge, the water drinking rule is to drink at least one gallon of water per day. This is the equivalent of 128 fluid ounces. 

Depending on your body size, this can be significantly more water than the 75 Medium challenge rule for water drinking, which is to drink the number of fluid ounces of water that is equivalent to half of your body weight in pounds per day. 

For example, if you weigh 160 pounds, you would drink 80 ounces of water daily. This is the equivalent of 10 cups of water.

One of the benefits of the modification of the water drinking rule in the 75 Medium challenge is that it is scaled for your body size. Drinking too much water can increase the risk of hyponatremia, so if you are a smaller person, aiming to drink half your body weight in ounces of water is a safer and more realistic alternative.

With that said, people who have a larger body size may end up actually needing to drink more than a gallon of water to adhere to the 75 Medium challenge water rule. 

Essentially, because a gallon is 128 fluid ounces, if you weigh more than 256 pounds, you will actually be drinking more water during the 75 Medium challenge than you would be during the 75 Hard program.

A person reading a book, one of the 75 medium challenge rules.

Rule 4: Reading for 75 Medium Vs. 75 Hard

The 75 Hard challenge rule for reading is to read a minimum of 10 pages of a nonfiction book per day.

Although it is encouraged that you choose self-improvement or self-development books, you could choose a book on any topic, as long as it is non-fiction and not some form of literature, poetry, fantasy, etc. 

Furthermore, you must read a physical book; listening to audiobooks does not satisfy the requirement.

The 75 Medium challenge rule for reading is to read or listen to 10 minutes of self-development content every day. 

This can be a physical book about personal development (improving your financial status, mindset, habit-forming, health, fitness, spirituality, mindfulness, relationship building, etc.), or you can choose to listen to an audiobook or podcast. 

Other forms of media that you read also count (magazines, Internet web pages, etc.) as long as the content falls under the self-development or self-improvement umbrella.

A person drinking water.

Rule 5: Body Photos for 75 Medium Vs. 75 Hard

The 75 Hard challenge program places a strong emphasis on the physical transformation that you should experience over the course of the program.

Although people who successfully complete the 75 Medium challenge also experience impressive before and after body transformation, the emphasis on documenting every single step of the journey through photographic evidence is less of a priority. 

Rather than needing to take a photograph of your body every single day of the challenge, the 75 Medium challenge rule for photos is just to take a photograph on day one of the challenge and on the final day, day 75. This will give you a record of your “before“ and “after“ without having to obsess over the day-to-day minute changes that occur.

Rule 6: Meditating for 75 Medium vs. 75 Hard

There’s actually an additional rule for the 75 Medium challenge that is not present in the original 75 Hard challenge.

This unique 75 Medium challenge rule is to meditate or pray for five minutes per day. 

As with the 75 Hard challenge, the 75 Medium challenge aims to get your mind in a healthy place and hone your mindset to be one of discipline, gratitude, and peace. The thought is that meditating or praying will help get rid of the negative cobwebs or mental chatter that may bring you down and pollute how you feel.

A person meditating.

How to Do the 75 Medium Challenge

You must follow the 75 Medium challenge for 75 days, completing each task every day of the 75-day program.

Here is how to do the 75 Medium challenge:

  • Pick any diet you want and follow it 90% of the time. Do not drink alcohol.
  • Drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day.
  • Read or listen to 10 minutes of personal development content each day.
  • Take a photo of your body on Day 1 and Day 75 of the 75 Medium program.
  • Meditate or pray for 5 minutes a day.

Overall, the 75 Medium challenge is a great alternative to the 75 Hard challenge and can serve as a good stepping stone for people who have an interest in the 75 Hard program but don’t have the time or physical fitness level yet for such a rigorous and time-consuming challenge.

Successfully completing the 75 Medium challenge is still a super impressive feat and should yield fabulous benefits for your physical and mental health.

Plus, after you build the momentum, discipline, and healthy habits from the 75 Medium challenge, you will be that much more prepared to take on the 75 Hard challenge if you so choose.

You’ve got this!

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Photo of author
Amber Sayer is a Fitness, Nutrition, and Wellness Writer and Editor, and contributes to several fitness, health, and running websites and publications. She holds two Masters Degrees—one in Exercise Science and one in Prosthetics and Orthotics. As a Certified Personal Trainer and running coach for 12 years, Amber enjoys staying active and helping others do so as well. In her free time, she likes running, cycling, cooking, and tackling any type of puzzle.

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