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22nd Apr 2024

‘I’m a fitness expert, here’s why you may want to avoid the latest viral fitness trend’

Sophie Collins

Fitness 75-day challenge

The 75-Day Hard Challenge has taken social media by storm, attracting millions of views on TikTok

This intense fitness challenge has its participants adhering to strict rules for 75 consecutive days, and promises transformative results.

Amid its popularity, fitness experts at the weight-loss program, Second Nature, have scrutinised the challenge for its potential benefits and drawbacks.

What is the 75-Day Hard Challenge?

Also known as ’75 Hard’, the challenge aims to improve mental well-being and mindfulness through disciplined routines. 

People who participate commit to a set of rigorous rules for 75 days, with no room for slip-ups.

The rules include:

  1. Strict Diet: You must adhere to a diet focused on physical improvement, excluding cheat meals and alcohol.
  2. Dual Workouts: Completie two 45-minute workouts daily, with one session outdoors.
  3. Hydration: Consume one gallon (3.7 litres) of water daily, surpassing the recommended intake.
  4. Daily Progress Photos: Capture daily images to track physical transformation.
  5. Reading: Read at least ten pages of a book daily to enhance mental well-being.

The pros

The 75-Day challenge’s structured approach promises to promote a positive lifestyle change and physical improvement. 

Consistent engagement with the challenge may yield several benefits:

  1. Physical Transformation: Many people report visible physical changes over the 75-day period.
  2. Habit Formation: Daily adherence to the challenge instills discipline and reinforces positive habits.
  3. Self-Reflection: The challenge serves as a reflective period, encouraging participants to evaluate and prioritise their health.

The cons

Despite its allure, the 75-Day Hard Challenge poses potential risks and drawbacks:

  1. Rigid Dieting: Strict dietary restrictions may foster unhealthy relationships with food and promote calorie counting.
  2. Excessive Exercise: Demanding two 45-minute workouts daily may lead to burnout and neglect of other responsibilities.
  3. Hydration Overload: Drinking one gallon of water daily can strain the body and disrupt electrolyte balance.

Should I take part?

Before diving into the 75-Day Hard Challenge, it’s important to weigh up these pros and cons. 

You should consider:

  1. Suitability: The challenge may not be suitable for everyone, especially younger people who are susceptible to its harsh rules.
  2. Long-Term Sustainability: Short-term fitness trends like this may not translate into sustainable lifestyle changes.
  3. Alternative Approaches: Setting realistic, manageable fitness goals can lead to long-term success without the pressure of viral challenges.

Robbie Puddick, a registered nutritionist at Second Nature, wanrs against placing undue pressure on yourself and emphasises the importance of sustainable habits over quick fixes.

“These viral fitness challenges can be a way to give you an initial boost of motivation and inspiration to kickstart healthy habits. 

“But honestly, they very rarely work in the long term and are much more likely to lead to disappointment and the feeling of ‘yet another failure’.  

“Ultimately, it’s about discovering what works best for you and building healthy habits sustainably over the long term. This will retrain your mind, so these behaviours become automatic.  

“So, try to ignore the pressures, quick fixes, and high expectations of social media as they can often cause more harm than good”. 

So, while the 75-Day Hard Challenge offers potential benefits, it’s crucial to approach it with caution and mindfulness about your own situation and whether it is possible to achieve such a stringent plan.

Remember, sustainable fitness habits developed over time are more likely to lead to lasting results and overall well-being.