What Is The 75 Hard Challenge? & Is It Worth A Shot?

By Olivia Emily

5 months ago

The internet’s latest obsession is actually incredibly tough

Fancy a challenge? The internet is obsessed with the super-intense, notoriously difficult 75 Hard challenge. Here’s exactly what all the fuss is about.

What Is The 75 Hard Challenge?

The 75 Hard challenge is a 75-day long challenge encouraging participants to develop resilient habits necessary for a successful life. Spanning diet, exercise and mental agility, it’s notoriously tough, and demands participants restart the entire challenge if they break any of the rules.

As 75 Hard’s creator, Andy Frisella, explains on his website, ‘This is not a fitness challenge. 75 Hard is a transformative mental toughness program. If you’re looking for a new fitness program or challenge, this is not it. This is a program that can change your life … starting from the inside.’ He goes on to add: ‘This is not your next “internet challenge”… Think of this as an ironman for your brain.’

‘Most people mistake it for a weight loss challenge, but it’s not – it’s a mental toughness challenge,’ says one TikTok user, Simone. ‘Your mind is going to want to look for excuses not to not show up everyday with all of these rules. It’s really about succeeding over your own excuses. The goal is to win over your own mind that’s trying to keep you small.’

@simonerampf_fitness Replying to @Sandy..Amr #75hard #75hardchallenge #75hardjourney #75hardprogress #womensfitnessmotivation ♬ Euro$tep – West

Who Created It?

Motivational speaker Andy Frisella invented the 75 Hard challenge.

What Are The Rules?

The 75 Hard challenge has five rules, and everything must be done everyday:

  1. Follow a nutrition plan of your choice – but no alcohol or cheat meals are allowed at all
  2. Do two 45 minute workouts, at least one of which should be outdoors
  3. Drink a gallon of water – that’s 3.8 litres for any Brits reading
  4. Read 10 pages of a non-fiction, business or self-improvement book
  5. Take a progress picture

Can You Adjust The Rules?

As Frisella writes, ‘NO… Because that’s the entire problem. You are trying to compromise and adapt things to suit your needs before you ever even start. When you make a small compromise to yourself, it engrains that decision pattern in your life. You subconsciously tell yourself that is OK, and without knowing, create a pattern of compromise across every single area of your life. That compromise nerfs off the sharp edges of what could be an exceptional life.

‘You can do this,’ he adds. ‘So don’t start off on the wrong foot by compromising.’

Who Is It For?

While the 75 Hard challenge is most popular among men who enjoy the gym and Frisella’s style of motivation, the challenge is for anyone looking to improve their mental resilience. Frisella writes on his website that over 1 million people have completed the challenge – and we imagine that’s only the people who have actually signed up on his website.

@aislingpng The 75 Hard challenge begins #75hard #pcos #hypothyroidism ♬ I wish you would – Taylor搬运工

What Are The Results?

On his website, Andy Frisella describes 75 Hard as ‘the only program that can permanently change your life, from your way of thinking, to the level of discipline you approach every single task in front of you with.’ He also says the challenge will help participants improve the following traits: confidence, self esteem, self worth, self belief, fortitude, grittiness.’

Obviously, we can’t prove if these claims are true, but many social media users have shared their experience with this challenge, with results ranging from weight loss to mental strength.

One user who completed the challenge, Brandon Such from Oklahoma, wrote on Instagram: ‘The last 75 days were rough, some cardio workouts outside in below freezing temps, some gym workouts after a 13 hour work day and everything in between. Was it convenient? Fuck no. Did it completely change me physically and mentally? Fuck yes. Was it worth it ? 100% fuck yes.’ He ended his caption with a pledge to ‘live hard’ now that he has completed the 75 Hard challenge.

Over on TikTok, @MissGreenEyes shared in a viral clip that the 75 Hard challenge helped her shed 21 lbs. Meanwhile, another user shared her before and after photos, gushing, ‘I am shook. I’m actually blown away at the changes in my body. I can’t wrap my head around it. But not only that, my mental health has improved so much. Everything is so much clearer to me now.’

@shannengunning 75Hard Before and after pics are finally here!!! #75hardchallenge #gym #fitness #gymtok #fitnessjourney #75hardresults #gymmotivation #75hard #75hardjourney #75hardcomplete ♬ original sound – shannen

Is It Worth It?

In short, no, the 75 Hard challenge isn’t worth trying. As Federica Amati, head nutritionist at Zoe, told Vogue: ‘It sounds like a rehash of dozens of other diet culture programmes that aim for hard and fast results at the expense of happiness and long-term benefit. Having an all-or-nothing mindset is not helpful for most of us. Sustainable healthy dietary habits are built through consistency, not perfection.’

If you’re looking for a significant change in your life, you might be tempted into trying the 75 Hard challenge for a ‘reset’. But, as celebrity trainer Luke Worthington tells Vogue, ‘a challenge like this doesn’t account for people’s current levels of activity, health background, history with exercise, emotional relationship with food, body type, age or even access to equipment/coaching. Applying such a ‘catch all’ criteria to a hardcore challenge will mean the failure rate is high, plus the chances of injury for those who may not be used to such an intensive regime are significant.’

In short, do you think you’ll make it 75 days without even one little treat? Or one rest day? And, more importantly, should you have to restrict yourself like this in order to prove that you’re mentally resilient? If your answer is ‘yes’, consider what happens after the 75 days are up – or do you never get to indulge ever again? If your answer is ‘no’, come join us over here in the majority.

Introducing: 75 Soft

Rebellious social media users have been adopting a competitor challenge to 75 Hard, which is all about gaining the mental resilience Frisella talks about, but in a more approachable manner. It was invented by The Pohhu Experience, who struggled with the rigour of 75 Hard. ‘Initially I made it for myself back in 2019 inspired by the popular 75hard challenge,’ he writes. ‘Back then I wanted a challenge to kick myself back in gear with better habits as I felt myself slipping away putting health/fitness on the back burner. 75hard wasn’t realistic at that moment in time for me, but I still wanted something to pull me back into the right direction, and so #75soft was born.’

The rules are as follows, for everyday:

  1. Eat healthier, whether that’s following a specific diet plan or just incorporating more nutritious foods into your diet. Again, no alcohol, but you’re allowed to drink and eat one free ‘cheat’ meal on celebration days, like Christmas, birthdays, weddings, etc.
  2. Work out for 45 minutes, or twice for 20 minutes each. One day per week is active recovery.
  3. Drink three litres of water
  4. Read 10 pages of any book – audiobooks count

‘This challenge isn’t supposed to be sustainable,’ Pohhu writes. ‘It’s a challenge to push you to your limits. To show you what you’re capable of. It’s the essence of being consistent and patient. You’ll definitely be making fat loss and muscle gain progress during these 75 days, but that’s not the main point. The goal is to show you what you’re capable of, so after the 75 days you can create a plan that you can sustain for the long term to continuously make progress towards your goals year to year.’