Phase 1 Live Hard: Tips To Sharpen Your Mindset

After completing Andy Frisella 75 Hard program and seeing the life changing results that came from it, it was only natural to keep things going by completing Phase 1 of the Live Hard mental toughness program. In this podcast episode, Rob Cressy is joined by his accountability partner Brendan Pettit as they share their Phase 1 of Live Hard experience and tips to sharpen your mindset.

  • What was their mindset like for this 30 day phase compared to when they were doing 75 Hard?
  • What were the challenges they encountered and how did they overcome them?
  • What were the benefits of Phase 1 Live Hard?
  • What was it like taking a 5 minute cold shower every day?
  • How important was their routine to completing the challenge?

I created both a video and podcast version so you can deep dive into this if you’d like.

If you are interested in becoming the best version of yourself then this episode will share the habits, routines, and lessons learned from our Phase 1 of Live Hard experience. You can also check out our tips & lessons learned from each of the other Phases of the Live Hard program: 75 Hard, Phase 2Phase 3Live Hard Results overall

You can also connect with us:

What is Phase 1 Live Hard?

As part of Phase 1 of the Live Hard program, every day for 30 days you do these 8 tasks with zero compromise.

  • Workout twice a day: 45 minute indoor workout, 45 minute outdoor workout. You can choose whatever fitness program or workouts you want.
  • Follow a diet with no cheat meals and no alcohol. You get to create the diet for yourself.
  • Read 10 pages of a personal development or non-fiction book. Something that makes you better. Note: Audiobooks do not count.
  • Drink a gallon of water.
  • Take a progress picture every single day.
  • 5 minute cold shower.
  • Add 3 critical power list tasks (in addition to your 5 normal power list tasks).
  • 10 minutes of dedicated visualization.

Mindset difference between 75 Hard and Phase 1?

With 75 Hard I didn’t know what to expect when I started. For the first 1/3rd of it I counted down the days, and my goal of finishing the program seemed so far away. This mindset did not serve me. It wasn’t until I was able to reframe the experience and embrace the journey, which happened on Day 24, that everything changed. Then I started to look forward to the opportunities instead of seeing it as a struggle. That is what helped me finish strong, increase my confidence, and complete the program.

With Phase 1 of Live Hard I started from the mindset that there is a 100% chance I am completing this. There was zero doubt in my mind. The goal was no longer to finish. Instead it was to sharpen my sword. To see what I could learn about myself over the 30 days. Because of this I walked with a different hop in my step because I was confident in what I was doing the entire time.

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5 Minute Cold Showers

When I found out that Phase 1 included a 5 minute cold shower my reaction was a grunt. UGH. It was the vocal sound my bitch voice makes. It’s the same reaction that many people have when you tell them about it. They say things like “I could never do that.” Despite this I knew my mindset had to be right about the cold showers.

Cold Showers Mindset

The first thing I did was ask myself “What would Jocko Willink do?” Would he tip toe into the shower and act like a bitch about it or would he go in like a lion and be a champion about it? He’d go in like a lion and roar, so that’s exactly what I did.

To help myself not focus on the freezing cold water I would listen to music during my shower. I had a specific Good Vibes playlist that got my juices flowing. I’d sing and dance in the shower, all while trying to be oblivious to the cold water. I did this every single day for 30 days and it was super beneficial. It allowed me to create a positive experience in a situation that was very uncomfortable.

Taking the 5 minute cold showers also taught me to own the conversation with myself. This is a narrative that is applicable to so many elements of 75 Hard and Live Hard, but especially with this task.

When I completed my cold shower?

Knowing that taking a cold shower is very uncomfortable I wanted to make sure to get it done as early in the day as possible. I didn’t want the thought lingering with me all day. I’d rather rip off the band-aid. Because of this I was taking my cold shower in the morning after working out.

Once I got into the shower I brought my phone in with me. I set a timer for 5 minutes and 30 seconds. I did this because I’d start my shower with 10 seconds of warm water to get wet. Then I’d turn it to as cold as it could get (I live in Chicago so it damn near shot icicles out the faucet). Within 10-15 seconds it would get to freezing, so I was always ahead of my 5 minute target.


One thing that taking a 5 minute cold shower for 30 days will teach you is gratitude. Gratitude for warm water. 100% of the times the cold shower was cold and uncomfortable. When my timer went off on my phone it was like a sound from the heavens. I’d turn the water to warm and promptly close my eyes and smile while being flooded with bliss. For the rest of the day I’d be super thankful for everything I had because I knew what it was like to not have warm water.

From that point on my day was all downhill. I’d gotten the hardest part done and now it’s time to make things happen. The cold shower built an impenetrable shell of confidence around me. Complaints and negativity would bounce off me because none of them were harder than the cold showers.

3 Additional Power List Tasks

On the surface adding three additional power list tasks seems easy. I found this to be the hardest of any of the action items that were added from 75 Hard. The reasons is because of the no compromise nature of the Live Hard mental toughness program.

Before the program I was already doing my Power List Monday through Friday so adding three additional items on those days was no problem. However, on the weekends I wasn’t as consistent with my Power List. No biggie, right? Ya, except for when Phase 1 rolls around and you’ve got to fill out 8 Power List tasks on both Saturday and Sunday.

The weekends are when there is a lot of other stuff going on. There is more inconvenience which makes it harder. The challenge I had to overcome is what to put on my weekend Power List that had intention. I asked myself, “What can I do to move myself or my business forward?” What I learned to do is focus on the micro. Often times we over dramatize what has to be on your Power List. Sometimes it’s responding to a few messages on LinkedIn that you’ve been putting off or giving that person a call back that you’ve been meaning to. Those start to add up and build momentum when you do them day after day (especially on the weekends).

Better position to succeed

Putting 8 tasks on my Power List instead of 5 put me in a better position to succeed. It expanded my potential and standard of action. I proved to myself that I could do more. This has been one of the things from the Live Hard program that has stayed with me. Once I saw what could be accomplished there was no going back.

10 Minutes of Visualization

One of the things I enjoyed most about Phase 1 of Live Hard was the 10 minutes of visualization. I already buy into this way of thinking and being so adding it as a daily practice was welcomed. I would complete my visualization as part of my outdoor workout.

I found that I became more inspired. I created a vision board album on my phone that I would go through to feel into what I am creating. That way I flood myself with the emotion of having it.

When you combine this with everything else you are accomplishing on the Live Hard program you become a rocket ship. Not only are you executing on a high level but you are thinking bigger at the same time. This is another thing that stayed with me after the program and continues to be an important part of my life.

Tips for completing Phase 1

As I completed each Phase of the Live Hard program I learned new things about what it takes to be successful. Here are a few tips that can help you on your Phase 1 Live Hard journey.

Work from a position of strength

One of my keys to success in 75 Hard and Live Hard challenges was to work from a position of strength. That meant completing over half my tasks before 8 am. From the second I got up in the morning I was thinking about completing Phase 1. This focus allowed me to get ahead of my day, which allowed me to have a positive energy. I wasn’t concerned about not completing the tasks for the day or needing to do things late at night because by 4 pm I was done with everything except eating a healthy dinner. This also took the excuse of “I don’t have enough time” off the table.

Write everything down

It pains me to see a post from someone in the 75 Hard or Live Hard community that says “I forgot to…” You should take forgetting off the table. The way I did that was by writing down all of my Phase 1 tasks on my 10x Planner. That way I had a constant reminder of what I still needed to accomplish. I would not go to bed until I double checked that I completed all of my tasks. And yes, double checked. My commitment to completing this program was that strong. Even though I knew I completed everything, I still wanted to be double certain. Leave nothing up to chance.

The 75 Hard app did not exist when I completed the program. None the less, I would still write everything down. That way I am not constantly checking my phone, which could take my focus away. If anything I would do both the app and writing everything down.

Every day is hard

There are no easy days in the Live Hard mental toughness program. That’s what makes it the greatest skills development program in the world. When you accept that every day is hard you are able to focus on the task or moment in front of you. Rinse and repeat for success. Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better.

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What did I learn from Phase 1?

Having already completed 75 Hard you already know what this program is about. You’ve earned your confidence, pushed through discomfort, built discipline, and understand prioritization. You know that every day you must live in action with intention. With Phase 1 it was about sharpening my sword. Getting better in all areas. Here are a few things that stand out.

You have to show up every day

With the Live Hard program you have to pay your dues every day. You have to show up and earn your confidence. This mindset and way of being translates to all areas of your life. Show up every day with no compromise and growth will happen.

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Own the mental conversation with yourself

From dealing with the discomfort of cold showers to creating Power List tasks on the weekends to working out twice a day when you don’t feel like it, the Phase 1 continues to teach you to own the mental conversation with yourself. Your bitch voice isn’t going away but you can choose how you respond when it shows up. Do you give it a voice or do you live in action and shut it up? When you cultivate this mindset No becomes a trigger for Yes.

Lifestyle design

Similar to 75 Hard, with Phase 1 Live Hard you learn about lifestyle design. What are the things you do that serve you that you want to keep in your life? Visualization and 3 additional Power List items are two that stand out. The way you become the best version of yourself is by designing the habits, routines, and mindsets that allow that to happen.

Phase 1 Live Hard Results

When I completed 75 Hard it was a relief. It was such a rollercoaster journey that I was happy to have accomplished my goal. With Phase 1 I already knew I was going to complete it so it became about optimization. When I completed Phase 1 I rejoiced at the accomplishment, but the day after I felt like I lost part of my identity. I missed not being on the program. The sharpness you have when you are on the program is unlike anything I’ve experienced before. And that’s how I know I’ve grown and the program is worth it. You know what the best version of yourself looks like and what it takes to make it happen.

I want to thank Andy Frisella for leading by example and creating 75 Hard and Live Hard program. This program changed my life and it can you too.

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If you are a high performer looking to take your personal growth and mindset to the next level and you are looking for a coach to support you in that process then I’d love to chat with you. You can sign up for a free 30 minute session with me HERE or join my free private facebook community.