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The 75 Hard Challenge: A Comprehensive Guide

What is the 75 Hard Challenge? What are the 75 Hard Challenge rules? Read this guide to discover everything you need to know about this demanding program.


If you are a regular social media user, there’s a good chance you will have come across the hashtag #75Hard, perhaps accompanied by a book cover or progress photo. After all, the hashtags ‘#75Hard’ and ‘#75HardChallenge’ have been viewed over a billion times on TikTok alone. But what is the 75 Hard Challenge, what does it involve, and is it right for you? This article provides you with all the information you need to know about this popular program.

A fantastic additional tool for self-growth is the Headway app, providing concise summaries from leading non-fiction titles to help you crush your goals and grow with ease. Whether you want to build a strong family, improve your negotiation skills, or work on mental wellness, our app can help you realize your goals. To get started, download the Headway app and begin your seven-day free trial today.

Key points

  • The 75 Hard Challenge is a transformative mental toughness program that aims to improve your mental fortitude and change your life forever. It is not a fitness challenge though it does include a significant exercise element.

  • The five daily rules of the 75 Hard Challenge are to follow a structured diet, complete two 45-minute workouts (one must be outside), drink a gallon of water, read ten pages of non-fiction, and take a progress picture.

  • The 75 Hard Challenge has numerous potential benefits, drawbacks, and risks, so you must consult with a healthcare professional before starting this challenging program. 

What is the 75 Hard Challenge?

Created in 2019 by entrepreneur Andy Frisella, the 75 Hard Challenge is a transformative mental toughness program. Frisella himself stresses that it is not a fitness challenge — though it does involve a substantial exercise aspect — but a program to permanently increase your mental toughness and permanently change your life, not just your body. 75 Hard is about developing the skills you need to have complete control over your life and enjoy better success. It aims to show you how to improve the following traits:

  • confidence;

  • self-esteem;

  • self-worth;

  • self-belief;

  • fortitude;

  • grittiness.

According to the website, 75 Hard has been completed by over 100,000 people worldwide, and it can help you to:

  • completely change how you think and act;

  • build incredible relationships with important people in your life;

  • discover how to manage your day to accomplish more and stop spending time on meaningless tasks;

  • make significant career strides and be proud of your job;

  • feel total confidence in yourself and your actions;

  • discover how to be honest with yourself and get the self-awareness to keep on course;

  • gain independence and the skills to own tasks and projects;

  • get in the best physical shape through your mental transformation.

What are the rules of the 75 Hard Challenge?


The 75 Hard program involves completing five simple daily tasks for 75 days. However, there is no room for compromise or substitution. If you fail to complete a task at any point, the program states that you must start over from the beginning (even if it is Day 74).

Top tip: There is a 75 Hard app where you can set daily reminders, monitor your progress, and reflect on your experiences.

Rule #1 — follow a structured diet

Firstly, you must follow a structured diet that aligns with your goals and follow it strictly for the length of the program. This means no excuses, deviations, alcohol, or cheat meals are allowed. The diet can be whatever you choose. For instance, you might wish to follow a vegetarian, vegan, paleo, or Atkins diet. 

This daily task aims to foster extreme discipline that can be extended to all aspects of your life. It will also help with improving your physical shape and health.

Rule #2 — complete two 45-minute workouts (one must be outdoors) 

The second task requires you to undertake two 45-minute workouts every day, and one of these must be outdoors, no matter the weather. If you miss a workout, you must start the program over again. The workout you choose to complete is not important as long as you are moving your body with the purpose of improving. For example, you can run, walk, practice yoga, or lift weights. 

This step teaches you to control what you can and get things done instead of making excuses, and this invaluable skill can benefit all parts of your life.

Rule #3 — drink a gallon of water

Drinking a gallon of water is extremely good for you and benefits both your physical and mental health. This task teaches you some discipline, and while simple tasks can often prove the most challenging, you must ensure you complete them. 

Rule #4 — read ten pages 


This step requires you to read something educational and non-fictional that can help improve a part of your life. For instance, it could be about career growth, personal development, or building confidence. The rule is that you must read at least ten pages daily, so by the end of the challenge, you will have absorbed at least 750 pages of educational content. This step teaches you about building habits and allows you to improve your skills and gain total control over your life. 

This task is fairly strict in that audiobooks do not count, as you must physically read ten pages. However, while you cannot adjust the challenge’s rules to replace physical books with book summaries, the Headway app is a fantastic additional tool for your self-growth journey. Our app is designed for people with a passion for growth, and we help you reach your goals to become the best possible version of yourself. 

To get started on the subscription-based Headway app, you customize a growth plan based on your goals, and then we provide you with all the knowledge and skills needed to crush those goals. We offer 15-minute audio and book summaries from some of the leading non-fiction titles, Challenges, insights, and more, so you can work on personal development no matter how busy your schedule is. For instance, perhaps you want to be more productive, more successful at work, or improve your overall happiness. No matter the goal, Headway has you covered. 

Therefore, while you still need to read ten physical pages a day to complete this rule, the Headway app is the perfect accompaniment to personal development and self-growth that can be used throughout the 75 Hard Challenge and beyond. 

Top tip: If you want to read more about improving and harnessing your mental skills, check out our blog article on ‘The pathway to effective thinking.’


Rule #5 — take a progress photo

This final task involves taking a progress photo of yourself every day. While it may make you uncomfortable, that is the task’s point. While a simple rule, it forces you to push through discomfort and realize that every detail is important, no matter how small they appear. This is key to success.

The rules of the 75 Hard Challenge summarized

Rule #1

Follow a structured diet

Rule #2

Complete two 45-minute workouts (one must be outside)

Rule #3

Drink a gallon of water

Rule #4

Read ten pages

Rule #5

Take a progress photo

Potential benefits of the 75 Hard Challenge


There are numerous potential physical and mental benefits to this mental toughness program, such as:

  • you can improve your health and reduce the likelihood of particular diseases by following a structured and healthy diet;

  • your body and overall fitness can benefit from regular exercise;

  • drinking water is fantastic for our health and can improve mental clarity, skin health, metabolism, and more;

  • reading educational content on a daily basis can improve your knowledge and brain health;

  • taking a progress photo can prove motivating;

  • building healthy and sustainable habits;

  • helping you to skip alcohol;

  • its customizability makes it more personal and suitable for you.

Potential drawbacks and risks of the 75 Hard Challenge

While the 75 Hard Challenge has many potential benefits, there are also several potential drawbacks. These include:

  • the strict rule about zero cheat meals can make it hard to stick to and could lead you to develop an unhealthy relationship with food;

  • the program fails to teach you how to overcome slip-ups or cut yourself some slack as it focuses on complete perfection, so it may negatively affect mental health;

  • as there is no specific diet or fitness regime specified, people may struggle to create an effective routine;

  • the 75 Hard Challenge is time-consuming and can take up several hours a day to complete all tasks;

  • the program is not supported by scientific research;

  • people who have previously suffered from an eating disorder may find the program unhealthy;

  • it provides you with an extreme lifestyle change for a set period, so unless you work out how to maintain it in the long term, you are likely to fall back into old habits;

  • 75 days of physical activity without rest could put you at risk of injury;

  • the program has no focus on family time; 

  • taking daily progress pictures can cause obsession over your body image and breed low self-esteem;

  • the program’s creator, Andy Frisella, is not a scientist, fitness coach, or any kind of expert in the health and fitness spheres.

What do the experts say about the 75 Hard Challenge?


Experts have been extremely vocal about this program, some supporting the challenge and others expressing caution. Here are a handful of expert opinions about the 75 Hard Challenge:

  • Certified strength and conditioning specialist, Jake Boly, comments that the program could help people build better habits, which can also be transferred into life after completion of the program. 

  • Dr. Haapanen believes that small steps in life change behaviors are best and are more realistic and fun, as opposed to the drastic and extreme changes of 75 Hard. 

  • Certified personal trainer and nutrition coach Stephanie Thomas argues that the program may be suitable for someone who is already active but may not be appropriate for a beginner.

  • Kelley Kitley is a licensed women’s mental health expert and clinical social worker. She believes the program could benefit people trying to make significant behavior changes. Kelley is particularly interested in the reading aspect as it helps keep you grounded and motivated. 

  • Thomas Hildebrant, a physician and Director of The Centre of Excellence in Eating and Weight Disorders at Mount Sinai, expresses more concern. He argues that the average person does not have the time to commit to the program without making a sacrifice elsewhere in their life. Furthermore, he argues that there could be negative psychological side effects for some people, such as those with eating disorders or people that internalize their failures.

  • Julie Landry, the founder of Halcyon Therapy Group, thinks the program could be mentally draining and damage your relationship with food.

  • Rachel Miklya, a certified personal trainer and registered dietitian, argues that the 75 Hard Challenge is unsafe as it is physically demanding and unsustainable for most people. She believes that people undertaking two hard workouts every day will likely suffer an injury. Even if the workouts are of appropriate intensity, exercising for 75 days without rest is demanding of your body and can cause burnout.

  • Dr. Sabrina Romanoff, a clinical psychologist and professor believes that the progress photo aspect of the program may create unhealthy, obsessive thoughts and an excessive fixation on your physical appearance.

Is the 75 Hard Challenge right for you?

When considering the 75 Hard Challenge, ask yourself the following questions to decide if it is the right option for you:

  • How will 75 Hard help my current eating and exercise habits?

  • What do I want to achieve apart from completing 75 Hard?

  • Is this program unrealistic for me, or can I maintain it long-term?

  • What is my plan once I complete the program?

  • How does my healthcare professional feel about my potential participation in the program?

  • Have you ever suffered from an eating disorder, addiction to exercise, or body dysmorphia? If so, the program is most likely unsuitable for you. 

  • Do you have the time and commitment needed to complete 75 Hard?

Top tips for crushing the 75 Hard Challenge


If you think the 75 Hard Challenge might be right for you, you must consider your safety. Here are a few tips to ensure you have a safe experience:

  • Choose an appropriate diet. As the program doesn’t specify a particular diet, you must choose one that is science-backed and healthy. Fad, very restrictive, or weight-loss diets should be avoided.

  • Drinking a lot of water can dilute your electrolytes, so consider adding electrolyte powders to your water to avoid this risk.

  • Adopt a safe approach to the exercise aspect of the 75 Hard Challenge. Therefore, avoid focusing on two intense 45-minute workouts and instead ensure one is a recovery-based one, such as by taking a walk or doing restorative yoga.

  • While the program strictly allows no room for error or excuses, you must listen to your body’s needs. If you are unwell or burnt out, you must take this seriously rather than forcing yourself through the daily tasks.

  • Consult the advice of experts, such as your nutritionist and healthcare professional. They can help you determine the best approach for you to tackle this challenge as an individual to ensure it benefits your abilities and goals.

Use the Headway app for nurturing self-growth

The 75 Hard Challenge is a highly demanding and rigorous program focused on building mental fortitude to transform your life. One of its five daily tasks involves reading a minimum of ten pages of non-fictional and educational content. While the Headway app is by no means a substitute for this step, it is a beneficial addition to help nurture self-growth and personal development.

By signing up for one of our subscription plans, you will receive daily summaries, insights, and key knowledge to reach your goals and become more successful. Transform your life today and download the Headway app to start your seven-day free trial and embark on your self-growth journey.


What diet should I do for 75 Hard?

The 75 Hard Challenge lets you choose a structured diet of your choice. Choosing one that is science-backed and healthy rather than fad diets, very restrictive diets, or ones based on weight loss is best.

Is the 75 Hard Challenge healthy?

Experts have differing opinions over 75 Hard. Numerous concerns have been raised, such as its unforgiving mindset, the potential to damage your relationship with food, and possible effects on those with eating disorders or body dysmorphia. Therefore, you should consult a medical professional before committing to the program.

Can you skip a day of 75 Hard?

The program involves hard challenges and states that you must start over from the beginning if you skip a single task or day. However, you should also listen to your body and take a break if necessary, as ultimately, your health is more important than completing a challenge.

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