The TikTok-Viral '75 Hard' Challenge Is A Seriously Intense Wellness Reboot (2024)

If there’s one thing I love, it’s a challenge. But some are a little more extreme, especially when it comes to kickstarting a health and wellness journey. You’ve likely seen the 12-3-30 treadmill workout and Dukan Diet trending on social media, for instance. But today’s viral obsession is: the 75 Hard challenge.

If you aren’t familiar, this 75-day plan boasts to “permanently change your life,” starting from the inside out with a special focus on mental toughness and commitment, says Gina Newton, CPT, a certified personal trainer and holistic body coach. Unlike other nutrition plans or fitness regimens, 75 Hard is less about specifics and focuses more broadly on self-improvement with six arbitrary “rules,” she explains.

With 1.3 million hashtags for #75hard and over a billion views on TikTok, it’s natural to wonder if 75 Hard is safe, effective, and worth your time. “Some people thrive on rules and this sort of strict challenge, but if reading the rules sends you into an emotional frenzy, it may not be the best challenge for you,” says Cara D’Orazio, CPT, a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and founder of C.G.M Fitness, Inc.

Meet the experts: Cara D’Orazio, CPT, is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and founder of C.G.M Fitness, Inc. Gina Newton, CPT, is a certified personal trainer and holistic body coach.

Intrigued? Keep scrolling for everything you need to know about 75 Hard—including the rules, benefits, and potential risks.

What is the 75 Hard challenge?

The 75 Hard challenge was created in 2019 by Andy Frisella, a public speaker, entrepreneur, and podcast host. At its core, the system is slated as a “transformational toughness program” that combines elements of nutrition, fitness, and self-improvement, explains D’Orazio.
 It’s not a specific diet or exercise plan, but rather an “Ironman for your brain,” per the 75 Hard website, that focuses on five main pillars:

  1. Nutrition
  2. Movement
  3. Self-evolution
  4. Hydration
  5. Mental discipline

To break it down a bit more, Frisella explains that he developed the challenge for mental toughness and discipline.

“The goal is to become immersed in healthy eating and fitness so they become a part of our everyday lives,” says D’Orazio. According to the methodology, if a participant can stick out 75 days of the challenge, they can then apply the mentality to other life situations, ultimately making them less apt to quitting, she explains.

So why is the challenge so popular, you ask? “The 75 Hard has garnered interest because it can look like a ‘quick fix,’” says Newton. “For 75 days you follow the outline of the requirements and there are many examples from those who have done it showing substantial and/or significant weight loss and physical transformation,” she explains. According to the challenge website, over a million people around the world have successfully completed 75 Hard.

75 Hard Rules

The 75 Hard challenge consists of the following six non-negotiable rules which are intended to be complete for 75 days straight.

  1. No skip days. The key format of the challenge is that if you skip a day, or any of the rules, you *must* start over. Even if you miss one of the five following tasks on a given day, you must restart to day one, says D’Orazio. “This was intended for the sake of not tweaking or compromising the rules, as this can open the door to quitting,” she says.
  2. Follow a diet. Stick to a diet with zero alcohol and no cheat meals. The diet itself is up to you and can vary depending on your goals, but whether it’s intermittent fasting, keto, plant-based, or paleo, the challenge requires you to follow a set and strict meal plan for 75 days straight, says D’Orazio.
  3. Complete two 45-minute workouts a day, one of which is outside. Rain or shine, 75 Hard requires one 45-minute workout in the morning, and one 45-minute workout in the afternoon. It’s up to you which workout is outside, but the rules state one must be outdoors, explains D’Orazio. “The purpose of this is to get people to commit and not throw in the towel even if conditions aren’t perfect,” she says.
  4. Drink a gallon of water. This one is pretty self-explanatory, but 75 Hard emphasizes hydration and requires a gallon of water a day.
  5. Read 10 pages of nonfiction. In the name of inspiration, education, and self-improvement, you’re tasked with reading 10 pages of nonfiction a day, says D’Orazio. And nope, it *cannot* be an eBook or audiobook. It must be a physical copy.
  6. Take daily progress pictures. Get your camera out because the challenge requires a daily progress pic, says D’Orazio. The full-body photo is intended to track progress and maintain accountability.

Benefits Of 75 Hard

  1. Accountability. Because 75 Hard is strict in its rules and structure, it can hold you accountable for its entirety, says D’Orazio. “When the going gets tough, it can help those who would have probably quit stick to a routine,” she says.
  2. Structure. Given the simplicity of the rules, the structure is easy to follow and understand, says Newton. The consistent structure can also provide a sense of direction and encourage healthy habit-forming behavior like hydration and daily movement, she adds.
  3. Holistic approach. The program entails both physical and mental commitment, so it can provide a more holistic or well-rounded approach to wellness, says D’Orazio. As Frisella has previously mentioned, 75 Hard doesn’t sell itself on a single idea or magic solution to health and well-being. Instead, the concept is to reboot your lifestyle and encourage optimal nutrition, daily fitness, and self-improvement.
  4. Customizable. Unlike other challenges or diet plans, 75 Hard offers an element of choice, depending on your goals, says Newton. You choose the diet that best suits you, the non-fiction book you like to read, and the exercise you most enjoy. As long as you’re sticking to the six general rules, the specifics are up to you.
  5. Physical endurance. Whether you’re looking to gain strength, boost cardio, or lose weight, working out twice a day for 75 days straight will improve your overall fitness, says Newton. Not to mention, it fulfills the US Department of Health’s recommendation of 75 to 300 minutes of exercise per week, adds D’Orazio.

Is 75 Hard Safe?

Like anything, safety of the 75 Hard challenge depends on the individual, says D’Orazio. “If the individual is new to fitness, the two 45 minute workouts back to back may be too much in a day, and I truly feel one to two days of rest per week is crucial to avoid injury,” she explains. People with heart conditions, chronic illness, or existing injuries should also always consult with a healthcare provider before embarking on the challenge, she adds.

On top of that, 75 Hard can be a major shock to the system if you’ve never actively or routinely focused on nutrition, hydration, and/or fitness, says Newton. “Listen to your body and change course when you need to, you won’t get in trouble,” she explains. If the plan becomes too hard to follow and you want or need to stop, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you’re weak, your body just isn’t quite ready for it, she adds.

Remember that safety is most important. If you’re extremely fatigued and/or have persistent aches, pains, or injuries, stop the challenge and talk with a doctor, says D’Orazio. And if weather conditions are treacherous, stay inside for both workouts, she adds. No challenge is worth an injury.

It’s also worth noting that those with a history of disordered eating should be cautious with the 75 Hard challenge, says D’Orazio. The program's strict diet regimen, exercise habits, and progress photos could be triggering, especially if you miss a day or rule, she explains. Instead, focus on sustainable lifestyle modifications and find a workout you enjoy.

Possible Risks Of 75 Hard

  1. Your mental health may take a toll. This challenge is an all or nothing mentality and the average person may not have the time or resources to commit to the six rules for 75 days straight, says D’Orazio. “Psychologically, it can be damaging to get past day 50 and have something unavoidable happen in life, and need to start all over again,” she explains. The challenge also perpetuates perfectionism and can lead to negative self-talk or feelings of inadequacy if you don't make it through all 75 days, adds Newton.
  2. Extreme lifestyle changes aren’t necessarily sustainable. It may be difficult to overhaul your life and maintain several new habits at once, says Newton. “I don’t think it’s worth it or sustainable,” she explains. You may see results during or after the challenge, but the six rules aren’t necessarily feasible in the long-run and could harm your idea of self-worth and progress, she explains. “I am an advocate for long-term solutions to health, not quick fixes.”
  3. There’s an increased risk of injury. Working out twice a day with no rest days can increase your risk of injury, whether you’re new to exercise or not, says D’Orazio. In fact, research shows that rest days give your body time to repair, rebuild, and strengthen itself between workouts.
  4. The lack of flexibility can cause burnout. The 75 Hard challenge preaches rigid adherence to the six rules and any slip requires you to start over. As a result, the negative reinforcement or pass/fail criteria can add unnecessary stress, guilt, and burnout, says Newton. “People need to be kinder to themselves, not harder on themselves.”
  5. Progress pictures aren’t the only way to measure success. Studies show that placing an overwhelming amount of importance on body image can lead to anxiety, depression, and body dysmorphia. “The photos only show the outside and not what’s happening on the inside which is where the transformation really starts,” says Newton. If the pictures make you feel discouraged, toss ‘em.
  6. It promotes negative diet culture. Although you’re allowed to select the diet you chose to follow, the concept of cheat days can be problematic, says Newton. “I wish the word ‘diet’ was removed from our nutritional vocabulary and the term ‘cheat meals’ would go away,” she explains. Instead of insinuating that you’re “bad” for enjoying certain types of food, it's better to view food as fuel and focus on balance, she adds. If you’re concerned about nutrition, talk with your doctor or a registered dietitian.

Bottom line: The rigidity of 75 Hard may be unsustainable for most—and both D’Orazio and Newton suggest proceeding with caution. If you’re looking to kickstart a health and fitness journey, consult with a doctor, registered dietitian, or certified personal trainer to find the best plan for you.

The TikTok-Viral '75 Hard' Challenge Is A Seriously Intense Wellness Reboot (1)

Andi Breitowich

Andi Breitowich is a Chicago-based writer and graduate student at Northwestern Medill. She’s a mass consumer of social media and cares about women’s rights, holistic wellness, and non-stigmatizing reproductive care. As a former collegiate pole vaulter, she has a love for all things fitness and is currently obsessed with Peloton Tread workouts and hot yoga.

The TikTok-Viral '75 Hard' Challenge Is A Seriously Intense Wellness Reboot (2024)


What is the 75 Hard Challenge on Tiktok? ›

and for 75 days. you must abstain from alcohol, follow a strict diet with no cheap meals. exercising twice for 45 minutes a day. one being outside, drinking 3.7 liters of water a day.

What is the 75 day hard challenge? ›

It can be a diet of your choice, but it must be structured and you must follow it consistently each day of the challenge. Drink a gallon of water every day. No cheat meals or alcohol for the full 75 days consecutively. Exercise twice a day for 45 minutes each time, with at least one session happening outside.

Why is the 75 Hard Challenge bad? ›

No challenge is worth an injury. It's also worth noting that those with a history of disordered eating should be cautious with the 75 Hard challenge, says D'Orazio. The program's strict diet regimen, exercise habits, and progress photos could be triggering, especially if you miss a day or rule, she explains.

Is 75 Hard legit? ›

The bottom line is that the 75 Hard is extremely high risk, and has no proven benefits. “Wellness” challenges like the 75 Hard might seem harmless — what's a few weeks of strict diet and exercise, right? — but that couldn't be farther from the truth.

How many pounds do people lose on 75 Hard? ›

Some individuals have shed 10, 20, or even 30 pounds during the 75 days. However, it's essential to recognize that weight loss is a highly individualized process, and factors like starting weight, body composition, and adherence to the challenge's principles play a crucial role.

What to eat on 75 Hard? ›

Incorporate fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes into your meals. Hydration and Supplementation: Staying hydrated is paramount during the 75 Hard challenge. Water supports energy levels, digestion, and overall well-being.

Can you drink alcohol on 75 Hard? ›

What are the rules of 75 Hard? The five rules are as follows: Follow a nutrition plan of your choice–no alcohol or cheat meals allowed. Do two 45-minute workouts each day, one indoors and another outdoors.

Can you drink soda on 75 Hard? ›

Yes, since it doesn't have sugars, a diet soda is okay. It doesn't count toward your water intake though.

Does walking count for 75 Hard? ›

Here how 75 Hard works: For 75 days straight, you must: Exercise twice a day for 45 minutes each session. (Note: A walk counts.)

Is sugar allowed in 75 Hard? ›

75 Hard Challenge Rules

Follow a diet: The diet can be anything you choose, whether it's Whole30, vegetarian, plant-based, pescatarian, gluten-free, Paleo, no added sugar — you choose, but there has to be a "physical improvement" in mind.

Does coffee count as water intake 75 Hard? ›

Drink A Whole Gallon Of Water Every Day

But consider this: if you're like most people, you struggle to remember to drink just two or three 8 oz glasses of water during the day. Coffee doesn't count, either. It must be water. To ensure you get the whole gallon in, you must be mindful and start drinking early in the day.

Can you do two walks for 75 Hard? ›

I developed 75 HARD specifically to work for everyone regardless of physical fitness activity. You have to do 2 workouts a day ... and I don't specify what they need to be so that you can do whatever you need to do based on your fitness level. It could literally be as simple as going for two 45-minute walks.

What does the 75 soft challenge consist of? ›

Gallagher outlines the “rules” of the 75 Soft in his viral TikTok: Eat well and only drink on social occasions. Train for 45 minutes every day, 75 days without a day off, and one day for active recovery every week. Drink three liters of water a day.

What is the weight loss challenge similar to 75 Hard? ›

The 75 Soft Challenge is a more accessible and sustainable alternative to the popular 75 Hard Challenge that started on TikTok. Key rules include daily workouts, balanced nutrition, hydration, mental wellness habits, and accountability.

What is the 75 Hard Challenge but shorter? ›

75 Soft is simply a watered-down version of 75 Hard. The rules for 75 Soft are less strict and include: Eat well and only consume alcohol during social occasions. Work out for 45 minutes per day (with one day of active recovery each week)

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