75 Hard: the latest health trend
Oh, the irony in how I am writing this article about a fitness trend while I have been in my chair for the last so many hours. And, I am so sure, if you’re reading this, you too are either lying down on your couch or sitting somewhere! While we crib about our sedentary lives, there are people out there who are aiming to turn their health upside down, for the good, in just 75 days. Yes, I am talking about the trending 75 Hrad challenge. The latest health trend that has taken over Instagram and TikTok and how!
What is the 75 Hard Challenge all about?
The 75 Hard challenge was the brain-child of Andy Friella, a well-known podcaster and CEO of the supplement company 1st Phorm. The website of this challenge states that it is not actually a fitness challenge but rather a “transformative mental toughness program.”
It’s a rigorous challenge that requires determination and intense hard work. It will put you in an uncomfortable spot to improve the overall quality of your life. The 75 Hard challenge claims that its benefits go beyond the basic weight loss and body transformative benefits. It is a challenge that will ensure an improvement in your physical and mental well-being and also the way you perceive yourself.
Rules one must follow
Anyone who takes up this challenge will have to abide by a few rules ─ easy to understand but not easy to keep up with. As the name suggests, the rules of the challenge are to be followed every day for 75 consecutive days. For one and a half months, you need to:
- Follow a structured diet that will help you transform physically. During the course of this challenge, no alcohol and cheat meals are allowed. Yes, none at all.
- This challenge requires you to work out twice every single day. Each session should be of 45 minutes and one of the daily workouts should be outdoors.
- Drink four litres of water every day.
- Take a progress photo of yourself to keep track of changes you can observe in your body.
- Read 10 pages of a book every day. However, this can only be non-fiction books ─ basically, self-help books that help you improve yourself.
One thing to note is that there is hardly any scope for flexibility in the challenge. Frisella says, “You will be tempted to try to change things a little to suit you and your ‘special lifestyle’. But that right there is the root of every problem in your life,” says Frisella. Furthermore, you cannot skip any day in between. If you miss a day or an unable to follow any rule on a given day, you will have to start from zero again. So, the level of determination required to sail through has to be unmatched.
Potential benefits of 75 Hard
From a very early age, we are all told about the multi-fold benefits of a good diet, regular workouts, hydration, and reading. This program aims at leveraging these benefits by putting the participants in a long loop of consistency, allowing them to form life-altering, healthy habits that will last a lifetime.
If determination and will are your strong suits and you manage to complete the 75 Hard program, you will have read 750 pages at least, you’ll find yourself well-organised with your diet and workouts, and you will evolve into a healthier and disciplined person. The 75 Hard program claims to improve your:
Potential downsides of 75 Hard
While everything that the program suggests and promotes is healthy in itself, experts are not too sure whether the inflexible and strenuous implementation will be beneficial in the long run. Though routine and organisation are beneficial, following a stiff daily timetable that does not allow any variations can lead to severe burnout and a decline in motivation to continue. If we take real lives into account, where there are family gatherings, events, extra hectic working days, and sick days, such a rigid routine isn’t practical. In the long run, we need sustainable habits or else we will jump back to our old habits in no time. Also, the fact that one fails the challenge and has to start from zero again can make it a never-ending loop for some.
Also, things like working out twice every day, out of which one workout needs to be outdoors, don’t seem very practical either. We’ve also learnt that for effective results, we need to give our bodies adequate rest to recover for workouts. Exercising every day can lead to severe injuries and tears. Furthermore, following a strict diet with no room for junk or fun food can also lead to developing a strained relationship with food.
The bottom line is that yes, the elements of the challenge are really healthy and will help you develop habits that you can carry forward in life for optimum physical and mental well-being. However, in my opinion, you don’t have to follow such strict and restrictive regimes to form healthy habits. Maybe try ’75 Moderate’ or ‘75 Easy’ instead of 75 Hard. Sure, following a healthy routine for 75 days will help in building habits for the long term, just remember to cut yourself some slack and allow some flexibility.