My Insane 30 Day Challenge (part 2) – No News or Internet, Plus Daily Workouts and a Ton of Writing

chimp at a typewriter
It’s March and that means many things. But for me, it’s time for another one of my insane and pointless 30 day challenges.

18 months ago I did one of these and I found it incredibly, erm, what’s the word? Oh yes… challenging. If you want to check it out, and the follow up articles such as this, and this, go ahead. I’ll wait here.

But this one is a little different.

Each week this month I will attempt a new challenge. Four of these will last 7 days, and the other will span 30 days (from February 23rd until March 22nd).

The five challenges are as follows;

1. Complete news blackout (already 9 days into this)

30 days – commencing February 23rd

No news is good news right?

With the tabloids talking utter horse shit and social media spreading the muck all over your face at every given second – it’s no wonder that many of us are completely fed up with news these days.

It’s negative. It’s repetitive. It’s all terrorists, money and random crap that nobody cares about.

I’ve had enough.

I really don’t care who ‘Jihadi John’ is or what country ISIS is claiming to infiltrate next. It’s all headline baiting nonsense and they know it. But they also know how much the news corporations love their click bait articles and ad revenue. They know that by making these ridiculous claims and over the top execution videos, their hate and terror will spread around the world quicker than herpes at a porn convention.

Our little addicted minds lap it up.

News and social media is 90% crap, 8% irrelevant, and 2%…

‘This woman filmed her dog as it ran around in the park… you’ll never guess what happened next’.

Bunch of arse!

2. Train twice a day for 7 days

7 days – commencing March 2nd

If you spend any time on bodybuilding forums, you’re probably already familiar with the term ‘Broscience’. No? Ok then. Basically, it means that someone will say something online, and before you know it, it will spread around and everyone will start believing it to be true.

The internet is full of bad advice and misinformation. Some of the most commonly held ‘truths’ in the health, fitness and bodybuilding niche include;

Your body cannot process more than 30g of protein in one sitting.
You must eat within 60 minutes of your workout to take advantage of the ‘golden window’.
There are ‘clean’ foods and ‘dirty’ foods.
To grow muscle you have to stick in the 6-8 rep range.

And the one I’m interested in right now…

You can’t train every day.

I’ve read the science, and I’ve seen guys train every day and make some incredible strength gains as a result.

Now, it’s impossible to grow a large amount of muscle by training every day (especially without ‘help’), but by listening to my body and being smart – I believe a day off should only be taken if you need it, not by making an arbitrary decision based on what someone says online.

We’ll see.

3. Write a new article every day (and publish them all)

7 days – commencing March 9th

I like momentum. The longer I do something, the better I get at it. The idea of this challenge is to get myself back into the writing habit as quickly as possible. I have tons of ideas for articles and once I start knocking them out, I should get back into the groove.

Or I start churning out utter crap. Who knows.

I’m not sure if I plan to publish these every day that week, or if I end up sending some off as guest posts or some other method – but I promise, you will get to read all seven.

I might even start experimenting.

4. Spend 7 days away from my laptop (limit smartphone use to essential only)

7 days – commencing March 16th

This is going to hurt.

Laptops are amazing. They really are.

Just last night my screen froze, and as always, my heart skipped several beats and I spent the next 30 seconds in crazy panic mode while (IM)patiently waiting for it to boot up again.

Fortunately, everything was fine. It was one of those moments when technology slaps you in the face and reminds you who’s boss.

But let’s take back that power. One of these days the machines will rise up and we would be far better equipped to deal with these malevolent bits and bytes if we’re not cowering in the corner in the throes of the inevitable tech-addiction withdrawal.

So yeh… like that. Let’s test the waters and see what happens when I power my laptop down and go ‘old school’ for the week.

5. Eat 1 meal a day for 7 days

7 days – commencing March 23rd

Bizarrely, this should be the easiest challenge yet. It’s all about intermittent fasting.

Even though a lot of people will think I’ve finally lost the plot here, the benefits of fasting are numerous. Body fat just melts away. Blood pressure and cholesterol levels decrease. Insulin sensitivity goes up, and overall energy and mood go through the roof.

Last summer I fasted for several weeks and I lost over 2 inches from my waist. Some days I ate just one meal, others I ate 2 or 3 but I set myself a maximum eating window of just 6 hours.

However, with only one meal to play around with, the goal is to load it with as much food as possible. I can usually get to around 1800 calories before it feels like my stomach is about to explode, but even this is several hundred below my maintenance levels.

I expect my waist to drop by ½ inch that week.

And for those who worry about starving… don’t, it takes anywhere between 72 to 96 hours without food for your body to completely use up its energy/liver reserves and initiate panic mode. Until that point, it’s just your mind playing tricks.


I will write about my experience with each of these challenges and the usual stuff about what I learned and any interesting insights, pros and cons etc that I discovered along the way.

If anyone is interested in joining me for any of these, please do so.

If you have done something similar before – let me know what happened.

If you think I’ve gone insane (again) – well, sorry about that. 🙂

Question – what are your thoughts about the news? Do you read/watch regularly or do you actively stay away? Let me know in the comments.

To get free updates on these challenges, click here.

About Jamie

Jamie is a guitar teacher and writer who hates the typical 9-5 existence. After quitting his job to enter the world of guitar tuition, he created this blog to document his thoughts and struggles as he takes on societies norms armed with nothing more than his cheeky wit and undeniable charm - Give his Facebook page a like, add him on Twitter or follow his Google+ page and he will repay you with even more awesome words!


  1. Your writing challenge rocks – are you going to publish here on on other sites also?

    The while intermittent fasting thing is awesome – the fear about you starving to death is hilarious. I get THE SAME questions every year during Ramadan:

    ‘I couldn’t do it’
    ‘How do you survive without ANY food for 14 hours?’
    ‘You’ll lose too much weight’

    …. and none of that actually happens.
    Razwana wahid recently posted..Competitions are for your customers, not for youMy Profile

    • Hey, I think it depends on what the article is about, the tone of it and whether it’s any good. I expect some of them to be for here, but I have no idea right now.

      It’s nuts isn’t it.. people tell me they can’t skip breakfast because they’ll feel sick. “I would literally die if I didn’t eat breakfast”.

      Yeh, I’ll literally give you a slap, because you’re a fool.

      Nah I can’t be too critical. I’m a person who must eat the whole of everything once it’s been opened. I can’t function properly knowing there is still food to be eaten.

  2. Love the challenges you are setting for yourself! I’m curious -for the news blackout, will you be avoiding all social media as well? I find that fb, twitter, and instagram can be such time suckers for me. I already avoid the news-it is always filled with negative stories and I really dislike that. I would prefer to remain unaware! I started a no sugar diet 3 days ago and that has been extremely challenging! Anyways, best with the challenges.
    kristi recently posted..I have a secret…My Profile

    • Hi, I won’t be avoiding all social media. Unfortunately I will be using some of it to promote this article 😉

      But My time spent of FB is definitely lower than it used to be. I tend to use it to communicate now, not mindlessly read statuses and all that. I’ve already seen various headlines accidentally, so it’s a minefield – but to be honest, the big news stories always filter their way through somehow, so unless I unplug from the grid totally and live in a cave, I don’t think there’s much I can do about that.

      I also forgot to mention in the article that I do check the football results, but I do so via a website that just lists the scores, no news or writing of any kind, ie BBC Sport or something like that. Even general sports news is out of bounds for me (most of it is bias drivel anyway).

      Good luck with the no sugar challenge. You should feel better for it in a few weeks.

  3. Hey Jamie,

    Woah that’s a pretty intense challenge – I thought my no sugar challenge in February was going to be tough but kudos to you…you’ve taken the 30 day challenge to whole other level – Good luck, looking forward to the updates!

    All the best,

    Amit Sodha recently posted..How I Quit Sugar – And How You Can TooMy Profile

    • Hi Amit, any challenge is tough if it’s changing a habit you’ve had for a long time. I don’t know if I could give up sugar completely..

      Seems a bit crazy for me 😉

  4. Lei Lani lucero says:

    wow. The premise (teaser) in the email had me set for drastic changes – but to have you logically lay out each of your challenges, along with the ‘why’ for each one, it sounds very doable for us normal humans. Now I am thinking what my challenges should be. Thank you, Jamie, for laying it out there, in black and white, and having us follow along on this journey with you!

  5. Hey Jamie, Nice blog you got here. I like the idea of mixing it up with the smaller 7 day challenges also. good luck with them all!
    EngineerSuccess recently posted..Enjoy the Plateau – Take Some Time to Enjoy your AccomplishmentsMy Profile

  6. Stephanie says:

    I personally find new challenges, just to keep it interesting. As far as the news, I completely stopped having anything to do with it about two years ago. It is all just panic inducing brain masturbation for those who are too stupid to think for themselves. The way I see it, if something major happens I will find out eventually. Honestly though, I still don’t really care.

    • Hey, Stephanie. That’s my view. If something important happens, I’ll find out.. so there is no point trying to look for it.

  7. Hey Jamie,
    just got to read few of your ideas and liking it, in fact I have already started experimenting few of them!
    Will try these out for sure 🙂

  8. I really like your blog, keep bloging like this.

  9. You’re crazy man!

    But in a good way.

    That’s going to be an awesome confidence builder, once you complete all of these ridiculously awesome challenges.

    Inspirational, yet insane.

    The perfect match. 🙂
    Mark Messick recently posted..Life-or-Death ChallengeMy Profile

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