Ready to kickstart your 75 Soft Challenge?

One of the best paths to success if by tracking your progress, day by day and pen to paper. In fact, studies show you’ll be 3 times more successful when writing down your goals than simply thinking them.

In this article, we’ll share the 75 Soft Printable Tracker (free PDF!) that we used to complete the program. It’s far more than just a daily tracker of the four activities, because we also include spaces for you to record your before and after stats, books read, workout programs completed, as well as a calendar to help you stay on track.

What we love about the 75 Soft Challenge is that it helps people commit to creating healthier habits while being more forgiving than it’s predecessor, the 75 Hard Challenge.

We’ll share what both challenges are, help you pick which is best for your goals, and get you started with the printable immediately.

75 Hard Printable Checklist

75 Soft printable checklist: daily progress tracker

Ryan and I have done both the 75 Hard and 75 Soft challenges, with a few years in between and a lot learned.

Each time, what really helped us was this tracking worksheet. We think it’s the best out there, and the one we personally used.

Nothing felt better than marking a huge “X” after each activity, and best of all was marking off each successful day.

There’s strong psychology and science supporting this. A Harvard Business School study found that physically writing down your goals makes you 3X as likely to complete them. And each time you complete a task, your brain releases a small amount of dopamine. This is why you feel a surge of elation every time you mark off a to-do list task.

In other words, you’re on the right path!

To get your 75 Soft Challenge printable, simply enter your email address and the free PDF will land in your inbox immediately. Good luck!

For a recap of the rules, how it was created, recommended (and free) workout plans, and our own experience on which we prefer (75 soft vs. 75 hard), keep on reading!

75 Soft Printable Checklist - Ryan and Alex Duo Life

The 75 Soft Printable Checklist (PDF)

Download and get instant access to our free printable 75 Soft Challenge tracker and bonus body measurement chart.

How the 75 Soft Challenge was born

The 75 Soft Challenge was popularized by bloggers and Tik Tok’ers in response to the intensiveness of the 75 Hard Challenge.

It all started with podcaster Andy Frisella, when he interviewed James “The Iron Cowboy” Lawrence. Lawrence shared how mental fortitude was even more important than physical toughness when he completed 101 Ironmans in 101 days.

(An Ironman is an ultra-triathlon made up of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, followed by a full 26.2 mile marathon. So do that all in one go, and repeat every day for 101 days!)

Lawrence told Frisella that mental toughness can be exercised like the body, so in his 2019 book, Frisella creates the 75 Hard Challenge to enhance your mental toughness, grit, self-belief and ultimately, self-worth.

The reception to the 75 Hard Challenge blew up on social media, both the good and the bad. We first saw it when a member of our workout BODGroup, Francia, started posting multiple workouts a day and sharing her progress. So we joined her.

We share the 6 rules of the 75 Hard Challenge below, and it’s grueling, time-consuming, and unforgiving — as in, you miss a day and need to restart at Day 1.

In response to this, and the concern that you’re supposed to follow a strict diet of your choice for the 75 days, led to the creation of 75 Soft.

How to Do The 75 Soft Challenge

First, let’s share the rules for both the 75 Hard and 75 Soft challenges, to be completed over 75 days:

75 Hard Challenge Rules

  1. Follow a diet of your choosing
  2. Exercise twice daily at 45-minutes each, with one of your workout sessions completed outside
  3. Snap a progress photo
  4. Drink 1 gallon of water
  5. Read 10 pages of a book (ideally a personal development book)
  6. If you miss a day, start back at Day 1

75 Soft Challenge Rules

  • Eat well in general and avoid alcohol except for social occasions.
  • Exercise once for 45 minutes each day, with one day of active recovery each week.
  • Drink 3 liters of water daily.
  • Read 10 pages of any book each day.

Mostly attributed to the blogger behind The Pohhu Experience and StephenGFitness on Tik Tok, 75 Soft modifies 75 Hard in a few ways.

Mainly, they reduce work out time by 50% and don’t require you to work out outside. Water consumption is reduced by 20% to 3 liters from a gallon, and alcohol is allowed for social occasions. Also, progress photos aren’t required.

Finally, the biggest difference for us, and the main reason why we love the 75 Soft Challenge, is that you don’t have to give up and start from the beginning if you mess up. We love this because sometimes “messing up” isn’t in your control. What if you get injured, there’s a hurricane outside, or it’s your grandmother’s birthday and you drink wine?

Of course, even if you do “mess up” and it’s no one’s fault but your own… who cares and why lose all of your positive momentum to start back at Day 1? I guess that’s where the mental toughness and grit comes up, but that might not be worth losing your longterm, healthy habits.

What are the 4 rules of 75 Soft

Here is how we approached our 75 Soft Challenge, rule by rule.

1. Eat well in general and avoid alcohol except for social occasions.

We are 100% for this, and would even hope that most of your meals also happen socially (ie. not just by yourself).

We’ve spent years researching nutrition and have spent just as long experimenting on ourselves. It gets complex, but we think that food writer Michael Pollan puts it best when he says simply, “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

Thought we’d say something more complicated? Trust us, we could, but all in all, having a focus on vegetables, cooking real foods that your great-great-great grandparents would recognize, buying organic/grass-fed/etc. when you can, and buying high-quality, local ingredients will bring you far. And absolutely no soda, ever.

Plus, we also do quite a bit of intermittent fasting and extended fasting, which makes us feel great each time.

If you’re looking for a great cookbook, it’s hard to do better than The Blue Zones Cookbook. It’s the one we have in our kitchen and recommend it to all of our family and friends.

As far as alcohol goes, we recommend avoiding sugar where you can and change this to special occasions only. We think social occasions is too forgiving, as those could easily happen every day as long as you rope in a friend.

In 2023, we started following a more structured diet plan based on our real-time metabolism measurements. This is cutting-edge technology, and we’re huge fans. To see what we did, check out our 3-month metabolic flexibility study using Lumen metabolism trackers.

2. Exercise once for 45 minutes each day, with one day of active recovery each week.

We say this in our 75 Hard Challenge Printable article, but what we recommend, no matter what, is to follow a workout program with a calendar. To us, it doesn’t matter if your workout is 30 minutes as long as you’re not DIY’ing it at the gym or with random YouTube videos.

You’re doing this 75 Soft Challenge to kickstart healthier habits and perhaps to lose weight and get stronger. Well, do yourself a favor and focus less on the clock and more on following an excellent workout program.

We share a few of our favorite streaming workout programs here, which all come with periodized workout calendars and nutrition programs at a low price, or at least follow one of our free programs like the 12-week dumbbell workout plan or bodyweight program.

3. Drink 3 liters of water daily.

Three liters is the equivalent of 100 ounces of water, or about 80% of a gallon.

Multiple times, including when we’ve done the 75 Hard Challenge, we drank 1 gallon of water a day. It is hard, but the more water you drink, the more your body wants it.

Moving it down to 3 liters makes it a bit more manageable. This is one of the most important things you can do for your health.

As we share in the article, “Drinking a Gallon of Water a Day,” more water means more weight loss, detox, reduced risk of injury and arthritis, and better mood and focus. Don’t skip this one!

4. Read 10 pages of any book each day.

A holdover from the 75 Hard Challenge, we also love this one. When we started with 75 Hard Challenge years ago, this is one of the newer habits that we maintained after the challenge. For us, it’s so enjoyable to read before bed, and we prefer a mix of personal development and fun, relaxing books.

For some book ideas to better your health, here are a few top picks:

That’s it! Those are the four rules of the 75 Soft Challenge. Still, it’s a tough one but at least you’ll have your handy tracker sheet to take it day by day.

Do We Like 75 Hard or 75 Soft More?

After following both 75 Hard and 75 Soft, I honestly think we prefer an approach in the middle. 75 Medium, anyone?

Just kidding, but there are good aspects in both.

When we did the original 75 Hard Challenge, we modified it to fit our lifestyles a bit better… aka we already softened it. It didn’t take away from the challenge of it all, but mainly, we didn’t punish ourselves when we failed a day. That’s why we like the 75 Soft Challenge more.

As fitness coaches for a decade, we’ve seen lots of folks “fail” at their 21-day, 50-day, etc. workout plans. It’s hard, and life happens. We always recommend that they pick up from where they started.

So while we like that the 75 Soft allows for some failed days, we tend to agree with 75 Hard’s daily progress photos. They’re incredibly motivating, and in the 75 Soft Printable, we include biweekly progress reports that include photos, measurements, and weight tracking.

Overall, both challenges are excellent. It’s definitely hard to get the two required workouts in with 75 Hard, especially with one outside, but both are excellent options given your goals and time restrictions.

75 Soft Printable Checklist - Ryan and Alex Duo Life

The 75 Soft Printable Checklist (PDF)

Download and get instant access to our free printable 75 Soft Challenge tracker and bonus body measurement chart.

Closing THoughts on 75 Soft

Congratulations on committing to the 75 Soft Challenge, and well done on finding a tracker worksheet that will bring you that much closer to success.

No matter how many days you go, 50, 75, or 175, remember that instilling healthy habits like the ones from 75 Soft can last a lifetime. For workouts, we highly recommend these 8 workout programs on BODi. Or, for a free option, download our 12-Week Gym Workout Plan for Beginners or our printable Resistance Band Exercise Chart (3-month workout calendar included).

Let us know in the comments how your first days go, what questions you have, and how we can help. Trust us, we’ve been there, and we hope that you — and hopefully your accountability buddy — can cross that finish line.

Good luck!

Cheers to your transformation! For more helpful resources, such as our Bodyweight Workout Plan or the 30-Day Ab Challenge, head over to our Work Out At Home page.

As Seen In Feature Bar Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Hey we're Ryan and Alex

The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”

After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.

The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship as a couple.

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