What is it and why I decided to try it

Eufemia Didonato

In the midst of quarantine, it seemed as though the 75 Hard Challenge took over my social media. Especially on TikTok, I saw video after video of users giving this mental toughness challenge a shot. I was immediately intrigued and looked up what the challenge was all about. The 75 Hard Challenge was created by fitness guru Andy Frisella. He wanted to make a challenge that would show people what effect 75 days straight of discipline could have on yourself. It’s important to note that you should consult your physician or health care provider before starting 75 Hard or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs and to not start if they advise you against it.

The challenge consists of sticking to five main pillars for 75 days straight:

  1. You must drink one gallon of water a day. 
  2. You must pick a diet and stick to it, with no cheat meals (also, no alcohol).
  3. You must workout twice a day for 45 minutes, and one of the workouts must be done outdoors. 
  4. You must read 10 pages of an entrepreneurial or self-help book each day.
  5. You must take a progress picture each day.

On the surface, this may seem like more of a physical fitness challenge, but Frisella strictly rejects this idea. While it’s true that switching to these habits will most likely have a physical effect on your body, this challenge was crafted purely to test mental toughness. The point is to prove to yourself that you will stick to the guidelines no matter what — absolutely no excuses or modifications. The catch is that if you don’t completely abide by these guidelines even just for one day or have one slip up, you have to start over. 

I decided to do this challenge for a few reasons. First, because I’m a very competitive and driven person that loves to challenge myself. I am already very active and try to lead a healthy lifestyle, so it seemed like a somewhat realistic challenge I could abide by. Also, after months of online school and quarantine, it began to feel hard to feel accomplished or achievement in anything — life felt like it was just floating by and dragging me with it. Attempting a challenge like this that requires a lot of planning and commitment, and it honestly gave me a sense of purpose again. 

I’m not going to lie, I completely underestimated how hard this would be, and it is kicking my butt. I failed on day 10 and after starting over, failed again on day 12. I’m now on my third attempt and really hoping the saying “the third time’s the charm” will be the case for me.

But even within the short amount of time in those failed attempts, I’ve gained so much. I pushed myself on days I didn’t want to, and I finally felt like I was accomplishing something. Each day I completed the challenge truly felt like a win. 

This challenge, and any type of fitness challenge, may not be right for you and your needs. The most important thing is that you listen to your body and only do what feels right to you! But to anyone who is considering trying this challenge, I highly recommend you do. It will not be easy, and there will be days when you question why you even wanted to do it in the first place, but every single day, you will feel like a badass for proving to yourself that you can do challenging things. To all those who are going to join me and attempt this challenge — you got this!

Contact Jackie Amendola at [email protected].

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