75 Hard is The Challenge You Don’t Want to Accept.
75 Hard is an extreme challenge.
Extremes are popular right now, along with ‘challenges’ by celebrities and quacks that promise life ‘transformations’ through tough-love.
I can see how people would go for these sorts of things; we all like a challenge, especially right now when we’re sort of bored and need to mix stuff up. And everyone wants to transform at least some part of their life, am I right?
But when the challenge is potentially dangerous and driven by someone unqualified who is looking to sneakily sell you something, that’s where I need to step in with some truth bombs.
And here I come.
75 Hard and Andy Frisella.
75 Hard is a program developed by a random named Andy Frisella. Andy is a motivational speaker, entrepreneur, and supplement company owner. He believes that ‘mental toughness’ is the way for all of us to live a better, more productive life.
That “every single thing you do is built on your discipline and ability to keep your own promises to yourself.”
Frisella is 1000% into tough love. About 75 Hard, he said: “This is not a physical challenge. It is a mental challenge, designed to develop all of the characteristics you lack in life that have landed you where you are at.”
In other words, his program is gonna toughen you up, you effing pathetic weakling.
Because, “I did this … and I know you can too.”
Oh thanks, guy. Because if you did something, everyone should be able….oh wait.
The entire 75 Hard website is a hard-sell motivational speech about why you need to start his program RIGHT NOW. Reading it, I felt like I was listening to a salesperson at a used car lot.
But like I said before, some people find motivation in being challenged, so let’s take a look at what 75 Hard actually entails.
The claims that Andy makes about 75 Hard are as follows:
• Make huge strides in your career & have a job that you are proud of
• Feel completely confident about yourself and your actions
• Learn how to manage your day, so you can get more done, and quit wasting time on meaningless things
• Develop amazing relationships with the people who matter in your life
• Gain independence and the ability to take complete ownership of projects & tasks
• Completely overhaul the way you think & act
• Learn how to be honest with yourself and gain the self-awareness to stay on track
• Be in the best physical shape of your life as a result of the mental transformation you have made
And here is our first issue: life really isn’t that simple for most of us.
People have complex issues that impact every facet of their lives, and these issues aren’t overcome by a program like 75 Hard.
It reminds me of the ‘just eat less and move more’ approach to weight, which isn’t helpful or effective for a lot of people because it just doesn’t take into account the fact that weight – and life – are really a lot more complicated than that.
If discipline was truly the answer to all of our problems, then nobody would have weight issues. Nobody would have a job they hate. Nobody would be homeless. Everyone would have confidence, great relationships, tons of money, and all the happiness.
But that isn’t real life, because, well…real life.
Something tells me that Andy hasn’t heard of the social determinants of health, and he doesn’t care about them either, as long as he can sell you something and spread his brand all over the place.
What is 75 Hard?
The program 75-days long, which Andy says is the right length of time to ‘permanently change your life.’
According to him, at least. There’s no real science backing that up, FYI.
The 75 hard rules are as follows:
You must follow a diet.
And it can’t have ‘cheat days’ or alcohol. Both are forbidden on the program.
The diet portion, according to everything I read on Reddit, is the most confusing part of this plan. This is because there aren’t any real guidelines about which diet to follow, or what a cheat day entails, for that matter.
The 75 Hard site says you need to follow a ‘meal plan,’ but that could mean any structured diet of your choice.
Online, I saw a large percentage of people doing calorie restriction, macros, and keto as their ‘diet.’
The internet is also full of people saying that “Andy literally said one M&M is cheating and to start over,” and, “I made a sugar-free cake for my birthday and hopefully that’s not a ‘cheat'” and “my daughter is doing the program with me!” all of which make me cringe.
Yes, even if you’re on Day 74 and you have 1 M&M, you have to go alllll the way back to Day 1.
My issue with this whole 75 days thing is that what we eat doesn’t in any way determine our worth, our mental grit, or our identity. But in a program like this one, we’re made to feel as though it does…because that’s what diets and ‘challenge’ programs like this one do.
They set us up to fail, and then when we do, we feel like garbage.
You must drink a gallon of water every day.
This makes no sense. Everyone’s hydration needs are different, so I’m not sure why he’s prescribing almost 4 litres of water a day as a rule. It’s a ton of fluid, too – which can be dangerous to some people.
It’s also ridiculous, as other fluids like soup and coffee, and even some foods such as watermelon, count as hydration too.
But Andy doesn’t do actual science, he just does bro science.
You must do two 45 minute workouts a day.
One of which must be outside, no matter what. Even if it’s 100 degrees out.
Frisella doesn’t care if you’re a single mom with young kids, his recommendation in that case is to keep an eye on them by working out in your driveway.
He also doesn’t seem to care about the fact that for some people – especially those who are going full-tilt – a 90 minute workout every day for 75 days is potentially dangerous.
But only weaklings get hurt, right?
Even if you do your workouts as walks or other low-impact activities, some people have very real excuses why they don’t have time to work out that much, such as having to work shifts or take care of their kids.
And if you haven’t worked out in 50 years, Andy doesn’t want to hear it: ”Where you are too “out of shape” is actually mentally. And you and I are going to work on that together over the next 75 days.”
Right. Andy sounds like a nice guy.
You must read 10 pages of a book.
Eh, nobody is going to think this one is bad.
You must take photos of yourself every day to track your ‘progress.’
Frisella specifically says that this isn’t a weight loss challenge, yet he sticks this rule in there. Can you see mental toughness ‘progress’ in a photo of your body?
No you can’t.
So what’s the point of the photos?
After the 75 days, you add two more rules to the list:
You must take a daily 5-minute cold shower.
Why is this all so random? It’s like a three year old picked these irrelevant rules out of a hat.
You must practice random acts of kindness.
There is no rhyme or reason why any of these rules exists, and there is no explanation of why each one of them leads to any of the claims listed above.
This is the same guy who, in a piece on Medium, said this:
I want to win at everything I do in life.
Not just win, but DOMINATE.
Whether I’m building a 9-figure business or just playing a hand of poker …
… I want to scorch the fu**ng Earth.
I want to be so obscenely hard working and relentlessly focused that I don’t just achieve my goals.
I murder them.
I want to destroy my competition by making sure I’m the absolute best. I want to run up the score on them: 100–0.
Because I believe that’s what it takes to succeed in life: grit, perseverance & relentless aggressiveness.
The will to do whatever is necessary to get the life you want.
Dude. Chill out, because when you’re playing with peoples’ lives and telling them to do things that can be dangerous to both their physical and emotional health, there’s potential for real damage.
It’s not about ‘scorching the earth’ with your ‘relentless aggressiveness.’
Why the heck is everyone listening to this person who basically insinuates that you that if you can’t complete this extreme challenge, that it says something about who you are as a person?
Using this challenge with its arbitrary, meaningless ‘rules’ as a measure of how tough and successful you are, is ridiculous.
Don’t be a follower. Just because a person with zero qualifications said they transformed their life doing X, Y, and Z, don’t just jump on it. We’re all different, and not everyone is made for this sort of thing.
Just because some dude says they got 6-pack abs after 75 days doesn’t mean that everyone will have those results…or that they’re actually happy…or that their habits are even healthy.
But creating an ‘us vs them’ mentality, and suggesting that someone is weak if they can’t hack these 75 days, is terrible and totally amateur.
Like, really. He should know better than this, but clearly he doesn’t.
And don’t be fooled by Andy’s apparent generosity – he might give out the basics of 75 Hard for free, but he wants you to subscribe to his podcast, buy his book, and download his app, all of which make him money.
- You are not a failure for eating M&Ms, or any other food, for that matter.
- Working out for 90 minutes a day for 75 days in a row can be dangerous.
- This program can seriously trigger anyone with a history of or a predisposition to an eating disorder. Don’t even go there.
- This program is apparently vomiting its grossness all over TikTok, so what’s it teaching our kids?
- There is no explanation as to the reason behind these rules. How does drinking a gallon of water and taking a cold shower increase mental toughness, really? Because it’s a habit that Andy thinks you need? WHY.
- If this is a ‘mental toughness’ program, why do we need transformation photos of our body every day (or at all)?
Don’t feed the machine that is Andy Frisella and 75 Hard.