The 75 Hard challenge is the latest viral TikTok trend that can allegedly harm its participants, but what does the program entail and why can it be so detrimental?
What is 75 Hard?
The latest fitness trend to hit TikTok is the 75 Hard challenge created by author, podcaster, and motivational speaker Andy Frisella.
The challenge was published in 2020, and claims to be a “transformative mental toughness program.” Participants must follow a diet with no cheat meals nor alcohol, complete two 45 minute workouts, read at least 10 pages of a nonfiction book, take a progress picture, and drink a gallon of water each day, or they will need to restart the challenge.
After a few TikTok users who decided to take on the program began posting their progress online, 75 Hard quickly went viral. While it first became popular through users sharing their transformations, now the challenge is receiving heat online after a TikToker claimed it had negative effects on her health.
Over 100,000 people have completed 75 Hard, according to Frisella’s website. “It’s gaining a lot of momentum and a lot of steam, and the reason is that it works,” Frisella said in a 2020 episode of his podcast, in which he outlines the six rules that must be followed daily to complete the 75 Hard plan. “What would it be worth for you to know when you said you were going to do something you were actually going to follow through?”
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A Participant Claims She Ends Up Hospitalized
Michelle Fairburn posted she was going to start 75 hard on July thirteenth. A few weeks later, the TikToker fell ill, and needed to go to the doctor to get checked out. The TikToker was experiencing nausea, indigestion, and muscle weakness, among other symptoms.
Fairburn’s doctor’s recommended she lower her water intake, as it is possible to over-hydrate and experience symptoms such as nausea, muscle weakness, and headaches. The fitness fanatic eventually found out she was sodium deficient from all the water she was consuming. Fairburn’s symptoms landed her in the hospital, where she alleges doctors had to slowly raise her sodium levels.
Fellow TikTokers cautioned other users to take all the hype from online fitness challenges with a grain of salt. Nutritionists and fitness specialists are warning social media users that 75 Hard glorifies working out too much yourself and puts too much stress on consuming large amounts of water.
While it is hard to imagine one can consume too much water, it is absolutely possible. Harvard Health recommends the average person needs around four to six cups a water a day, which is roughly only a quarter of a gallon. However some individuals have been cautioned to always listen to their bodies, and do what is best for them in the end.