There have been plenty of TikTok challenges since the launch of the app in 2016. Even some major corporations have started challenges, including Guess and American Eagle. While most challenges on the app are meant to be fun and lighthearted, others can help to elicit social change, or even to set personal goals for yourself.
One such challenge is 75 Hard.
It’s more than just the latest in a never-ending string of social media trends. Instead, 75 Hard is a 75-day program designed to challenge your mental and physical fitness. The rules are strict, and if they aren’t followed exactly, you have to start the challenge over.
So, what is the 75 Hard Challenge, and how can it benefit you?
The Basics of the 75 Hard Challenge
The rules of the 75 Hard Challenge are simple but demanding. While you are likely to see physical results from the work you put in, it is designed to be a mental toughness challenge lasting 75 days. If you’re interested in giving it a try, the rules are as follows:
• Follow a diet. Specifics aren’t that important, but you are not allowed to have alcohol or any “cheat meals.”
• Workout twice a day for at least 45 minutes each.
• Drink 4 liters of water each day.
• Read 10 minutes of nonfiction every day.
• Take a five-minute cold shower.
• Take progress photos each day to hold yourself accountable.
• Perform random acts of kindness or talk to someone in person daily.
While it might sound doable on paper, this is a mental toughness challenge for a reason. Misstepping even once means you fail the challenge and have to start over. There are no excuses and no shortcuts for completing the program. It is meant to be challenging to test your fortitude and willpower. It doesn’t matter if you’re already on a diet or doing another exercise program. You can still work this challenge into your daily routine.
Obviously, you should talk with your doctor before starting any sort of diet or fitness challenge. 75 Hard isn’t necessarily meant to be a lifelong change. But, it’s a way to prove to yourself that you have the mental toughness to get in shape and take your thoughts captive.
What Should You Expect to See?
When you’re following a diet and working out twice a day, you’ll likely notice some physical results. According to Andy Frisella, the creator of the challenge, 75 Hard isn’t about losing weight or gaining muscle. He suggests that the “physical transformations that occur are just the byproduct of the mental transformations you will make.”
The goal is to get yourself in a healthier state of mind and see physical changes as a result of that. For example, the challenge doesn’t explicitly say what you can and can’t have on your diet, other than no alcohol or cheat meals. It’s up to you to learn how to have a better relationship with food. Maybe that means no more drive-thrus or late-night snacking.
You might also see as you change your diet and keep working out that you are losing weight and gaining muscle. Many factors play into building muscle, including:
• Experience with training
While you can certainly observe a transformation in 75 days, building muscle can take months, which is why the initial challenge should be used as a springboard to an overall healthier, more dedicated lifestyle.
What Are the Benefits?
We probably don’t need to explain why the 75 Hard Challenge is more beneficial than the “Savage” dance on TikTok. But, if you’re going to commit to something this intense for 75 days, it’s important to not only understand that you’ll likely see results, but that there are potential long-term benefits to programs like these.
Essentially, 75 Hard can work as a lifelong motivational tool. When you recognize your own mental fortitude, you start to realize that you can use it in other ways, whether that’s as a motivation to stay in shape forever or to work toward other major life goals.
75 Hard can also help to boost your mental health. After all, you’re “training” your mind to complete the challenge every single day. Studies have shown that mental and physical health are related. So, by taking better care of your body, you are taking better care of your mind, too. Regular exercise can boost your energy and make you feel happier. It can also reduce your stress and feelings of anxiety or depression.
No matter your reason for jumping on board with 75 Hard, it’s best to do so without having specific expectations in mind. Set your focus on what you need to complete, one day at a time, and you may just be surprised by the result you achieve. So much so, that the changes and benefits can motivate you to make permanent positive lifestyle changes.