Typically, fitness challenges come and go, but this one, which has been going around for several years, seems to be here to stay.
Called #75HARD, this popular TikTok challenge isn’t just about burning body fat and building muscle; its creator, American entrepreneur and podcast host Andy Frisella, calls it a “mental toughness test.” It is expressed as.
It is said to push the limits of the human condition through 75 days (as the name suggests) of a strict diet and intense exercise.
And two women who participated in the scheme spoke to FEMAIL about their experiences: why they wanted to start the scheme, what was the most difficult part and the final outcome.
Jojo Brown, a 39-year-old social media content creator from London, has taken on the challenge twice, along with her friend Ginger, a 38-year-old healthcare worker.
As for why they decided to do this, both women told FEMAIL that they were inspired to do it because they “like to look for challenges.”
Ginger added: “This has been talked about for a long time, and Jojo and I kept talking about it. So we were like, ‘Hey, why don’t we try it?’
Also, a big part of it was seeing how many people were failing.
According to Jojo, “The biggest thing I observed was how many people keep failing and have to try again after a certain day (like day 40).
“I just wondered, ‘What makes this so difficult?’
“So if you have a three-month window and you’re still interested in something after three months or you’re still talking about it, there’s a clear incentive to do it.”
The two found themselves talking about the program repeatedly over the course of a year, and finally “decided to set a date and get started.”
According to Jojo, “We decided on a date. So we did it over the summer, from about June to the end of August.”
What is #75HARD?
New fitness trends come into fashion every year, but #75HARD has been around for a surprisingly long time.
The program, created in 2019, has been popular with influencers on platforms like YouTube as well as regular social media users on TikTok and other platforms.
Participants will push their limits with rigorous training (twice daily, one of which must be done outdoors).
They must also follow a diet that Frisella describes as “clean eating.”
This includes meals such as low-carb chicken and fish-based dishes, and some include high-carb days, it explains.
The creator of the program promises that participants will be able to make great progress not only physically, but also mentally by participating in his program.
In fact, the regime’s logline is “How to take complete control of your life in just 75 days.”
“There’s nothing worse than rolling through life in the passenger seat,” Frisella said on her website.
“You wake up in the morning, go to work, and just drift through your day with no direction or drive,” he added.
“Then I drive home, flip through my favorite TV show, go to bed, and repeat the cycle the next day.”
He goes on to say, “We all spend the week together, so I find myself trying to kill time until the weekend…so I can relax, unwind, and have fun at the end.”
“But weekends have no meaning, and there’s no real reason to enjoy them…and just like the weekdays, the weekends start running together.”
Along with this emptiness comes self-doubt, he says, noting that “mental struggles turn into physical struggles.” I don’t exercise as much as I used to because it doesn’t make sense. ”
Supporters of the #75HARD movement must adhere to five basic rules during the program.
These include physical and mental challenges. This is a bit of a departure from your average fitness regime.
Some challenges, including #75HARD, require participants to exercise twice a day for at least 45 minutes per session, one of which must be done outdoors.
The strict diet must be followed for 10 weeks, but there is debate online about whether cheat days are allowed or not.
Although this strict diet does not prescribe a specific meal plan, it prohibits the consumption of many foods and drinks.
These include chocolates, cakes and soft drinks. In addition to certain foods being prohibited, alcohol is also not allowed.
However, consuming other types of fluids is strongly recommended, with participants instructed to drink 4 liters of water per day.
While many of the physical aspects of things may seem familiar to those who regularly participate in fitness programs, there is one big difference with #75HARD.
Devotees not only need to stimulate their bodies, but also their minds, and are instructed to read at least 10 pages of self-help and self-growth books every day.
It is strongly prescribed that believers read non-fiction; fiction literature is not permitted.
For participants to track their progress, they must take daily progress photos throughout the challenge.
This is said to reveal dramatic physical changes at the end of the 75 days.
The program itself seems very difficult, but there is one caveat that makes it even more difficult.
#75HARD must be run for 75 consecutive days.
Simply put, if participants make one mistake on any day, they have to go back to day 1 (imagine how frustrating it would be if they failed on day 74!) .
The funny thing is, this may seem almost impossible, but hearing from people who have done this challenge (twice!) makes it easy to believe that you should try it, especially if you incorporate some of their advice. seems much more attractive.
The first really difficult thing for JoJo was giving up sugar.
With a sweet tooth, she was often offered baked goods and found herself having to refuse treats on a regular basis.
However, during her second attempt, she realized that the biggest problem, along with tracking all her habits, was taking a photo every day.
She said, “I didn’t want to do it anymore.” When she was literally halfway through, she thought, “I don’t want to take any more pictures, I don’t want to write anything, I don’t want to track anything.”
So in the end, the second time was the hardest. I don’t drink either, so it was easy for me to quit. ”
Ginger completed 75 days on her first attempt and 45 days on her second, and was pleased with how much she accomplished.
One of the most difficult aspects was fitting in twice-a-day training, as she often works very long hours.
She told FEMAIL: “At work, I sometimes work shifts of up to 12 hours, which means I get up very early and get home very late.
“I also have fatigue issues so I would really struggle with that, but the WhatsApp group has been a blessing in disguise to literally have JoJo telling me to keep going.”
However, another difficulty was “the people around me.” [her]’.
Ginger explains: “A lot of people thought I was going to fail with alcohol. Even from Day Dot, they were like, ‘You’re not going to last long because you’re going to want to drink.’
In the end, the amount of peer pressure led her to ask people to stop, stating, “It was mentally tough, but once everyone stopped, it didn’t really matter.”
Being such a difficult challenge, it had its downsides, but Jojo and Ginger talked about it on FEMAIL.
According to Jojo, she suffered from migraines for the first two weeks of the challenge, but got through it, suggesting it “might have been too much.”
She also said that you need to be aware of your limitations when undertaking a fitness endeavor like this.
JoJo said, “I can understand why some people are writing about how it’s toxic and dangerous, because I see how people get into that kind of mindset.” [of pushing through despite the pain]. ”
She continued: “I think if you have issues with diet or body dysmorphia or things like that, you need to realize that it can be an issue for you, because this could be a trigger. I know it’s there…”[as] For some people, it can be an excuse to start up old negative habits again. ”
“That’s something people really need to be aware of,” Jojo said, noting that some people make unhealthy and unsustainable dietary choices.
Another potential downside that Ginger pointed out is high water intake.
She explained: “I’m 5 feet 9 inches.” I’m a curvaceous, strong person, and…for me [the four litres a day] It wasn’t a struggle.
“But if you have someone who is smaller…for example, someone who is 5 feet tall and drinks 4 liters of water, that’s not good for them. Through research, we know that we actually think that I am.”
Another thing that both JoJo and Jinger mentioned was that everyone thought they were both trying to lose weight.
Ginger said, “I’m bigger than Jojo, so for me people will say, ‘Great,’ but if Jojo needs to lose weight, they’ll say like Jojo. But we’re both really I was doing it as a fitness challenge.”
When it came to taking on the challenge, Jojo said, “If you’re going to do it, you need to be informed.” So read and understand other people’s experiences, try to be aware of who you are and how you respond to challenges. . ”
About doing it the second time, she said: “If you’re going to do it a second time, understand that you won’t get the same results.” And what’s hard about it may feel completely different. ”
she continued. “My body didn’t react the same way…so the first time I lost weight, I actually slouched quite a bit, but the second time I didn’t.”
“So never expect everything to be the same all the time.”
Ginger added, “I feel the same way.” Please read it carefully. The results are not the same. The funny thing is, when I was reading, I read a book by a guy who said that doing it during the winter made it even harder. [which made the outdoor exercises more difficult]. ”
She also pointed out that it’s worth it Be prepared for people’s reactions and reactions to you.
“They’re not always positive,” she said. “And you have to live up to your own expectations…I think that’s a big challenge. And it really highlights what you’re probably struggling with.”