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75 Hard Challenge: The Latest Fitness Trend Explained—Hype or Help?

75 Hard Challenge: The Latest Fitness Trend Explained—Hype or Help?


The 75 Hard Challenge has taken the internet by storm, promising dramatic physical and mental transformations in just 75 days. But before you jump in headfirst, let’s unravel what it is, its potential benefits and drawbacks, and whether it truly lives up to the hype.

What is 75 Hard?

Created by entrepreneur Andy Frisella, 75 Hard isn’t just a fitness challenge; it’s a self-described “mental toughness program.” For 75 consecutive days, participants must adhere to six non-negotiable rules:

  • Diet: Follow any chosen diet, but no alcohol or cheat meals.
  • Exercise: Complete two 45-minute workouts daily, one outdoors.
  • Hydration: Drink a gallon of water.
  • Progress pictures: Take one daily.
  • Reading: Read 10 pages of non-fiction.
  • No excuses: One slip-up restarts the entire 75 days.

Understanding the 75 Hard Challenge

Photo: @dave.getsfit/Instagram

#1. No excuses, no days off

At its core, 75 Hard is a 75-day mental toughness challenge that demands strict adherence to its rules. The central tenet is the commitment to completing two daily workouts, each lasting 45 minutes, with one being an outdoor session regardless of weather conditions.

#2. Hydration is key

Participants are required to consume a gallon of water every day. Staying adequately hydrated is not only essential for overall health but is also a cornerstone of the challenge, emphasizing discipline in maintaining this habit consistently.

#3. Read 10 pages

Another non-negotiable aspect of 75 Hard is daily reading. Participants must dedicate time to read at least 10 pages of a non-fiction, self-help, or personal development book each day. This promotes continuous learning and mental growth throughout the challenge.

#4. Stick to a diet plan

The challenge necessitates following a diet or nutrition plan of your choice. Whether it’s a specific eating regimen or a commitment to avoiding certain foods, the focus is on developing discipline in making conscious dietary choices.

#5. No alcohol or cheat meals

In alignment with its commitment to discipline and consistency, 75 Hard prohibits the consumption of alcohol and any deviation from the chosen diet plan. This strict approach aims to reinforce healthy lifestyle habits and eliminate potential setbacks.

Check out the benefits of 75 Hard…

Photo: @philhaynes87 via @menshealthmag/Instagram

#1. Mental toughness and resilience

By pushing participants to complete daily workouts, adhere to a strict diet, and engage in consistent self-improvement through reading, 75 Hard cultivates mental toughness. Overcoming obstacles and completing the challenge instill a sense of resilience that extends beyond the physical realm.

#2. Establishing healthy habits

The challenge encourages the establishment of daily habits, such as regular exercise, adequate hydration, and continuous learning. These habits, when sustained over 75 days, have the potential to transform into a long-term, healthier lifestyle.

#3. Community and accountability

75 Hard has gained popularity through social media, creating a community of individuals sharing their journeys. This sense of accountability and camaraderie adds a motivational aspect to the challenge, as participants inspire and support each other throughout the 75 days.

Here are the potential drawbacks and concerns…

Photo: @andrew__hetherington/Instagram
  • Sustainability: The rigid structure and “all-or-nothing” approach are unsustainable for many. Breaking the rules can lead to discouragement and quitting altogether.
  • Individualized needs: The program doesn’t consider individual health conditions, fitness levels, or dietary needs.
  • Mental health: The intense pressure and potential for failure can trigger negative self-talk and anxiety, especially for those with pre-existing mental health concerns.
  • Unqualified information: The program lacks guidance from licensed healthcare professionals or nutritionists.

Should you try it?

75 Hard may appeal to those seeking a rigorous challenge and strict routine. However, it’s crucial to prioritize your health and well-being.

Consider these alternatives

  • Consult a healthcare professional: Discuss your goals and get personalized advice.
  • Find a sustainable routine: Choose a flexible fitness plan and healthy eating habits you can maintain long-term.
  • Focus on progress, not perfection: Celebrate small wins and avoid harsh self-criticism.

Featured image: @anthonyjoshua/Instagram

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