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Is the “75 Hard Challenge” Right for You?

If you’ve been on fitness TikTok at all lately you have probably seen people talking about the “75 Hard Challenge.” As it gains traction, you may want to give it a try. But what is it exactly and is it right for you? 

What is 75 Hard? 

The fitness challenge was created in 2019 by entrepreneur Andy Frisella, a podcaster and CEO of the supplement company 1st Phorm. Frisella doesn’t consider it a fitness challenge, but rather a “transformative mental toughness program.” 

The program is as follows: 

For 75 consecutive days, participants must do the following every day:

  • Follow a diet. While it can be a diet of your choosing, the diet must be a structured eating plan with the goal of physical improvement

  • No alcohol or meals outside your chosen diet are allowed

  • Complete two 45-minute workouts

  • One of these workouts must be outdoors

  • Take a progress picture.

  • Drink 1 gallon of water

  • Read 10 pages of a non-fiction book (audiobooks not included).

One of the biggest factors is that there are no alterations allowed. If you miss any of your daily goals, your progress resets to day one.

Why Some People Love It 

You’ve probably seen on social media, a lot of people are trying this challenge and sharing its benefits. Some people have lost weight, others have been able to increase their stamina or feel like they have improved their overall health. 

Some people really like this challenge because it helps them push their limits and ignite a fire for developing a healthier lifestyle. 

This challenge is difficult, so being able to stick with it is a great accomplishment. 

Why Some People Hate It

The biggest issue with this challenge is that it is a short-term lifestyle change that isn’t very sustainable. 

No breaks from your diet, no rest days, and if you have one day when you miss something, you have to start from day one all over again. Two 45-minute workouts every day is also very difficult, given most people cannot fit that into their schedules. No rest days or breaks from the diet is worrisome because rest is important for the body and some diet breaks are good for people’s social, emotional, and mental health. 

One question I always like to ask a personal trainer wherever someone mentions a fitness challenge, short-term diet, or cleanse is “And then what?” What’s the plan after this challenge is over? While completing 75 Hard is great, what happens on day 76? For some people, they will drop their diet and scale back on their workouts. This would make sense after 75 days of no rest because the body needs time to heal and relax. 

Is it right for you? 

The 75 Hard Challenge is not for everyone. While you can pick your own diet, sticking to it perfectly, along with 2 - 45 minute workouts every day is a lot. The body needs rest and most people only have a little time in their everyday routine to make it work. 

If you are starting from a place of not doing any workouts, easing your way into exercise may be better. It is also important to consult your doctor before starting any type of new fitness program or challenge.

However, if you are somewhat active and are looking for a challenge and a way to push yourself, this could be good for you, but your workouts should be varied, mixing strength, cardio, and flexibility, so your body can have variety and not become worn down with repetitive movement patterns. 

Other options

Stemming from the 75 Hard Challenge, there is also the 75 Soft Challenge, which is as it sounds, a “softer” version of 75 Hard, and may be more beneficial for some people. 

For most people, a “challenge” isn’t really needed at all. Instead, incorporating healthy lifestyle practices slowly and over time. For example, if you want to start exercising, going for a walk every day is a great first step. From there you can build and incorporate other types of workouts. Or if you want to start eating healthier, make one healthy swap to begin. Once you’re used to that change, make another one, and so on. 

Overall, this challenge is not for everyone. Personally, I find that for most people, life is hard enough - you don’t need to put yourself through a mental and physical challenge to get healthier. Your health and fitness are for life and need to be sustainable. If a challenge is something that motivates you, go for it! But if it’s not something you will enjoy or will end up feeling bad about if you miss a day, then easing yourself into healthier habits may be best. 

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