Forget 75 Hard, the 75 Soft Challenge Is a Far Kinder Way to Kick Off the New Year

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The #75Hard challenge took social media by storm in 2021. From TikTok creators to Instagram influencers, many people followed this tough challenge that was said to help you “take complete control of your life”. The challenge, which lasts for 75 days, is a mental and physical feat that was created by Andy Frisella from the Real AF podcast.

In contrast to the extreme nature of 75 Hard, TikTok creator Stephen Gallagher (@stephengfitness) has inspired a new take on the challenge called 75 Soft. Instead of the five steps included in the original challenge (that are designed to push you outside of your comfort zone), the four steps in 75 Soft are much more realistic, making it a great way to kick off the new year.

What Are the Differences Between 75 Hard and 75 Soft?

The main difference between these two challenges is that the steps included in 75 Soft are far more achievable and they don’t include an emphasis on how one’s body will look at the end of the 75 days. 75 Hard, on the other hand, is largely about changing your body. Here are the differences between the two.

75 Hard includes fives rules and each is quite specific on how it will challenge you over the coming weeks.

  • Follow a diet: The diet can be anything you choose, whether it’s Whole30, vegetarian, plant-based, pescatarian, gluten-free, Paleo, no sugar, low-carb – you choose, but there has to be a physical improvement in mind.
  • Two 45-minute workouts; one has to be outside: There are no specifics about the workouts, how intense they need to be, or the type. You could do a strength-training workout at the gym, then take a 45-minute walk outside. You can run outside for 45 minutes, then take a yoga class. You can even work out longer than 45 minutes. You choose, but the outdoor workout has to happen, whether it’s raining or -10 degrees out. The point is that you can’t always control the weather, just like you can’t always control things in your life.
  • No alcohol, and no cheat meals: No cheat meals means if you say you’re giving up sugar, you can’t have one tiny piece of chocolate, or else you need to start back on Day 1. The point is to teach you how to stay focused on the goals you set.
  • Take a progress picture every day: Looking back at the photos will help you see how far you’ve come and keep you on track if you want to give up.
  • Drink over three litres of water per day: This will teach you that sometimes, the simplest tasks can be the hardest to do.
  • Read 10 pages of a book (audiobooks don’t count): This has to be a nonfiction book, so you can learn something and grow your mind.

In comparison, 75 Soft is far less detailed but still provides a framework for some healthy changes you can make in your life over a 75 day period.

  • Eat well and only drink on social occasions
  • Train 45 minutes a day, taking one day per week off exercise for recovery
  • Drink three litres of water a day
  • Read 10 pages of any book every day

The 75 Soft challenge takes life into consideration. It’s not always possible to achieve two separate 45-minute workouts per day, but one is far more doable. While 75 Hard doesn’t allow for “cheat meals”, the former encourages you to eat well and try to leave drinking alcohol for social occasions.

75 Hard is incredibly restrictive and also asks you to take progress photos every day to keep you on track. This behaviour is incredibly triggering for many people and exacerbates the belief that how you look is an indication of your health.

If you’re keen on taking the 75 Hard challenge to kick off the new year, please do! If that feels far too restrictive for you, but you’d like to focus on your health in other ways, consider giving 75 Soft a go. It might help to have a gentle framework around your health goals to spur you on. Good luck!

Make sure to consult your doctor before making any major changes to your lifestyle.

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