TikTokers who take part in the 75 Hard Challenge say the intense workouts have strengthened their bodies and minds, but it’s not for everyone.

The #75Hard hashtag has over 1 billion views on TikTok.Screenshots from TikTok

  • On TikTok, a five-step diet and exercise challenge has gone viral over the past year.

  • The 75 Hard Challenge includes reading, eating and fitness tips designed by the CEO.

  • A fitness expert told Insider that the test is based on “extremes” and may be too strict for some.

On TikTok, the 75-day diet and exercise regime goes viral, with creators documenting the task as they complete it day after day.

The #75Hard hashtag currently has over 1 billion views on the platform.

The program was developed by Andy Frisella, CEO of a nutritional supplement company. 1st Form International. It involves spending 75 days adhering to five rules: eat a structured diet (which can be any diet of your choice), do two 45-minute workouts a day, one of which must be outdoors, drink a gallon of water a day, read 10 pages of “educational non-fiction” per day and take daily “progress photos”.

This mode has earned a reputation for being especially intense on the Internet, as the rules are much more extensive and detailed than the rules for other popular short-term exercises such as 30 day abs challenge or 30 day plank.

Short and intense exercises often go viral on social media but experts said that “Fancy” weight loss regimens can be ineffective and even dangerous because they create “unrealistic expectations” for fitness and body transformation.

The 75 Hard test underwent a similar analysis. While some members say they have benefited from it, others say the trend is promoting “diet culture” and making people feel like they have to complete a task for the trend.

The trainer told Insider that the aspects of the challenge are unnecessarily extreme, and while it can produce flashy results for some people, for most it can cause burnout instead of progress.

TikToker, who completed the task, said posting it on social media helped her hold her accountable.

Frizella’s program became popular on TikTok at the end of 2021, when its creators usually post fitness content. daily video to document their progress. Creators who show their physical and mental improvements after the test, often passed popular.

A video posted in March by a couple who said they lost 45 pounds together after finishing ’75 Hard’ with 35 million views and 4 million likes on the platform.

Sydney Benjamin, a 26-year-old woman from California, told Insider that she passed the “75 Hard” challenge in December 2021.

Although some elements of the task were particularly difficult for her, such as having to exercise outdoors every day regardless of the weather or finding time to complete all tasks when her schedule was full, she said that overall she enjoyed the program and would recommend her to everyone. other.

“I was very pleased to complete this and my body probably felt better than ever in my entire life. I felt like I could do almost anything,” she said.

Sidney Benjamin Progress PhotosSidney Benjamin Progress Photos

Photographs of Sidney Benjamin’s progress.Sydney Benjamin.

Benjamin, who has 427,000 TikTok Followers, added that filming the experience on the platform provided additional motivation. “If I hadn’t documented this on TikTok, I don’t think I would have finished it because there were like 400,000 people looking at me trying to complete it and personally I feel like I would disappoint myself and other people. if I hadn’t finished it,” she said.

The challenge sparked a mixed response on TikTok.

Unlike many Another popular exercise trends that promise weight loss as the main result, original by Frisella Blog post of the February 2021 challenge, said the “75 Hard” challenge was designed to boost “mental resilience” and encourage people to “take control” of their lives, not to mention weight.

However, some viewers of Benjamin stated that they disagreed that she completed the task.

“I got a lot of negativity like ‘This is really bad for you’, ‘You promote diet culture and fad diets’ and I feel like if they knew my intentions behind this it would be a different story. said Benjamin, who told Insider she was trying to lose weight but was determined not to start over if she missed a day so she wouldn’t fall into an “unhealthy” mindset.

In his blog post, Frisella indicated that participants must follow the rules for 75 consecutive days, and if they fail to complete all five steps on any given day, they will have to start the challenge again from day one.

Benjamin told Insider that she thinks the challenge could become “toxic” if people feel like they have to start it over and over again.

Some TikTokers have spoken out against being challenged on TikTok with similar criticism. One A March video from a user who said the challenge was “too intense and perfectionistic” currently has 200,000 views and 16,000 likes on the platform.

Frisella did not immediately respond to an Insider request for comment.

Experts say extreme diet and fitness changes can lead to failure and hinder real progress.

According to Noam Tamir, founder and CEO of TS Fitness in New York City, while the “75 Hard” challenge may produce compelling results, it’s more likely to cause frustration and burnout due to being too strict.

“I think for some people it might be great, but for most of us it’s not that great,” he said. “They created this idea based on extremes and I’m all for being sustainable.”

For example, two 45-minute workouts per day can be beneficial for experienced athletes, but intense workouts can do more harm than good for fitness newbies.

“Ninety minutes of movement is good, but if you’re doing two high-intensity workouts a day, it’s an easy way to get hurt or overdo it. And rest days are very important,” he said.

Instead, he recommends creating a workout schedule that you can consistently stick to to develop good habits. Just one workout a day two days a week is enough to build muscle mass– the strength coach previously told the Insider.

Similarly, according to Tamir, the diet and hydration components are arbitrary and overly restrictive. A gallon of water a day can be too much for some people and not enough for others, and some diets can be unhealthy, overly restrictive, or unbalanced, he says.

Work on a healthier diettry adding an extra serving of vegetables to every meal, or swap out one processed food a day for a more nutrient-dense alternative, a nutritionist previously told an insider.

“I am not a supporter of diets, I am a supporter of proper nutrition,” Tamir said. “The problem with many fad diets is that only a few people stick to them and the rest don’t learn anything when it’s over.”

The requirement to take photos of progress is more likely a marketing strategy than a reporting tool, he said. While photos can motivate members (and their social media audience), they can put too much pressure on aesthetics rather than actual self-improvement.

Finally, daily photos and the requirement to start over if you miss a day can backfire and create feelings of guilt and self-punishment that can prevent you from exercising and living a healthy lifestyle in the long run.

“What people don’t see is how many people fail. I like to measure progress by what has the biggest impact on your life, and that could be how strong you feel or how much better your mental state is,” Tamir said.

To learn more about stories like these, check out the Insider Digital Culture team reporting here.

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