Shop early for the holidays and get free* US express shipping

The 75 Day Hard Challenge is Crazy: We Made it More Approachable

The 75 Day Hard Challenge is Crazy: We Made it More Approachable

If you’ve opened your phone recently, you’ve probably come across a friend or influencer trying something called the 75 Hard Challenge. 

On TikTok, the hashtags #75HardChallenge + #75Hard have ended up in front of a few eyes—roughly 803 million actually

It’s safe to say that 75 Hard has made a splash on social media, but what does the challenge involve, and should we even bother?

75 Hard has earned plenty of backlash from experts stating that the whole thing is “problematic,” to say the least. Regardless of the warning labels, hoards of people are still jumping on the bandwagon, posting before and afters, and sharing tips for conquering this harrowing challenge. 

Some have even coined terms like “75 Medium” and “75 Soft,” which we believe are excellent substitutes for working on healthy habits.

So, is the 75 Hard Challenge right for you? 

Honestly? It depends, so let’s answer some of your burning questions about the challenge and find out:

  1. What is the 75 Hard Challenge?
  2. Is the challenge safe? 
  3. Is modifying the challenge cheating?

BONUS: we’ve included our version and milder alternative to the 75 Hard Challenge, promoting wellness in a less, well, resolute way. Check it out here.

What Is The 75 Hard Challenge?

75 Hard was created by entrepreneur and influencer Andy Frisella.

The challenge is positioned as a program to build mental toughness and abides by the following rules for 75 days: 

  1. Follow a diet. Any diet. Frisella is not a personal trainer, dietitian, or clinical therapist, so he insists you consult a professional about whatever nutritional program you choose. But, he does stress that you can’t have a single cheat meal or drink any alcohol. 
  2. Workout twice a day for 45 minutes. One of these workouts must be outside. 
  3. Drink a gallon of water daily.
  4. Read 10 pages on nonfiction daily. Audiobooks don’t count, and the book must fall into the personal development category. 
  5. Take progress pictures daily. 

If you don’t follow any of the five rules, you must start over from day one. 

Seems harmless, right? For some, yes. A lot of people live their lives this way already. 

Some people love fitness challenges like 75 Hard. They’re exciting, give you purpose and structure. Those who enjoy participating in Ironman races, marathons, and the like may be particularly inspired by the 75 Hard Challenge. There is a definite draw for those who like to push their limits, but 75 Hard is not for everyone.

Suppose you’re new to fitness or overhauling your lifestyle. In that case, the 75 Hard Challenge will probably not live up to the habit-forming benefits it promises.

Is The 75 Hard Challenge Safe?

75 Hard fails to consider the specific lifestyles, fitness levels, and nuanced dispositions of many individuals.  

Can it be completed safely? Yes.

Do you need to listen to your body, fuel yourself properly, and prioritize rest based on your individual needs? Also, yes. 

Let’s break down the safety of 75 Hard rule by rule. 

1. Follow a Diet

Most registered nutritional professionals are not fans of “diets,” and 75 Hard leaves the diet rule up to interpretation. 

Although the recommendation for consulting a physician is there (which we highly recommend), it’s still up to the individual to structure the diet portion of the challenge themselves. 

Many diets are restrictive, unreasonable, and sometimes just unhealthy. Plus, the no cheat meal condition implies eliminating specific foods and groups that are considered “bad for you.” 

Kati Morton, a licensed therapist, specializing in eating disorders, suggests in an article with Refinery 29, choosing intuitive eating strategies as your “diet” for 75 Hard. This approach involves listening to your body and eating what you crave in appropriate amounts. 

Any fitness challenge with requirements related to nutrition is not to be taken lightly. 

Make sure you’re getting your information about nutrition from credible sources, and you’re fueling your body with healthy foods to keep up with the demands of the challenge. 

2. Workout Twice a Day

If you’re trying to build a habit of exercising consistently, throwing yourself into two 45-minute workouts a day is not the way to make that habit stick. 

Even for very active people before starting 75 Hard, two long workouts a day can still be challenging to manage. 

When you’re looking at a 75-day stretch, exercising that much is a good way to overdo it. The 75 Hard Challenge rules don’t mention anything about active recovery or any post-workout recovery for that matter. 

A good approach is to count active rest, such as yoga, stretching, walking, or steady-state jump rope as forms of exercise to add to your daily goal. By using this strategy, exercising twice a day may be doable for many people.

Remember, if you’re starting fresh with fitness, you don’t want to push yourself too hard from the get-go. You can end up really hurting yourself. 

Research shows that rest days are essential for recovery and performance. The American Council on Exercise recommends them. 

3. Drink a Gallon of Water 

We aren’t going to harp too much about drinking water because we fully support staying hydrated. 

However, this 75 Hard rule is an excellent example of how the challenge doesn’t consider the individual needs of its participants. 

Barbie Boules, RDN, and founder of Barbie Boules Longevity Wellness says, “four liters [a gallon] is a ludicrous amount of water.” 

Boules also insists that “this is way too generalized and could be a dangerous amount for some people.”

Instead of trying to drink a gallon of water, take half of your body weight and drink that many ounces of water. Someone who weighs 200 pounds doesn’t even need to drink the total 128 ounces in a gallon of water.

But remember, if you’re sweating a lot during your workouts, you will need to drink more water throughout the day. 

4. Read 10 Pages of Nonfiction

We find no genuine fault with this rule; in fact, we love it. Given that it’s a small amount of reading, it’s perfect for starting to build a habit

It’s worth noting that listening to audiobooks or podcasts is perfectly fine for achieving this daily goal. You’re still learning. 

5. Take Progress Photos

We’re on the fence about this aspect of 75 Hard. 

For some, progress photos can be very motivating. For others, they can be equally triggering. So we recommend using your judgment for this one. 

We think it’s also worth calling out this 75 Hard Challenge rule because it contradicts the claim that this challenge is about mental toughness and not physical appearance. If the challenge focused on mental improvement and wellness, physical changes to your body would be irrelevant. 

Is Modifying The 75 Hard Challenge Cheating?

According to Frisella, yes. By his rules, any modification is cheating. 

Here’s what Frisella has to say:

“If you modify the program just to say you completed it, did you really succeed? No. That’s the problem with your whole life… you constantly modify your plans & goals so you can say you completed them. By doing that, you never achieve what you’re actually capable of, and you’ll end up feeling worse about yourself because you know deep down you cheated.” 

Well, we think differently. 

Listen to your body. Do what’s right for you. Stay consistent, and you will see progress. 

If you manage to drink 80 ounces of water on some days, that’s still a win. 

On other days, if you manage to move your body for any amount of time—that’s also a win. 

If you want to listen to an audiobook while you cook, that’s another win.

There’s nothing wrong with using the 75 Hard Challenge as a set of loose principles for living well. If and when you need to modify, don’t be hard on yourself. 

Our Version of The 75 Day Hard Challenge: WEJUMP60

As promised, we put together a milder version of 75 Hard, which we called WEJUMP60. 

Our challenge is 60 days focusing on movement, growth, and joy with attainable expectations. 

Here are the rules: 

  1. Make your own meals. It doesn’t matter what it is you cook. No foods are off-limits. No diets are involved. Eat colorfully. Use the 60 days to experience the joy of cooking your meals. 
  2. Move your body for 60 minutes a day. It doesn’t have to be all at once. It doesn’t need to be a workout. Break up the time in a way that works for you. Go for walks, jump rope, and take stretch breaks throughout your day. It all counts. Fit exercise in when you can and prioritize active recovery. 
  3. Drink water every day. Ideally, take half your body weight and drink that many ounces of water. At the very least, drink water every day. 
  4. Keep a weekly journal about how you’re feeling. Take time once a week to reflect on all of your hard work. Get creative. Identify any mental, physical, and emotional improvements as you progress. This challenge is about all aspects of wellness. 
  5. Dedicate at least 10 minutes a day to personal development. It can be reading, listening to motivational podcasts, meditating, writing, taking an online course, or starting a new hobby. If it brings you joy and it helps you grow, it counts.  

Optional bonus rules: 

  1. Try one new Crossrope app workout every week. Jumping rope is fun and helps improve your mental sharpness. If you can make time for a jump rope workout, you won’t regret it. 
  2. Share your WEJUMP60 journey with us on social media. If you feel comfortable sharing your progress with the world, we’d love it if you’d tag us in your posts. 

If you miss one day, that’s okay. You’re human. If you miss more than two consecutive days, you have to start over from day one.

75 Hard Challenge alternative option

We’ll be sharing more info about the challenge on our social channels in the coming weeks, and we’d love to have you join us! Make sure you follow @crossropejumpropes on Instagram for updates. 

Over To You…

What are your thoughts on the 75 Hard Challenge? Have you tried it? Let us know in the comments below.

Also, let us know if you plan on taking the WEJUMP60 challenge with us! We can’t wait to see all the great things you’ll accomplish. 

Happy Jumping!

Related Articles