Fitness instructor Megan Roup will not be participating in the 75 Hard Challenge this year, or any other for that matter. It’s not because she doesn’t feel up to it or doesn’t want to, though. It’s for specific wellness reasons that she thinks you should be attuned to if you’re considering buying into the program.
First of all, let us walk you through what the challenge entails. According to Forbes, the program, created by Andy Frisella, stipulates that you do the following for 75 days in a row:
Diet. You don’t have to choose a certain one, any diet will do.
Workout for 45 minutes straight twice a day. At least one must take place outside.
Document your progress with a photo each day.
Drink 1 gallon of water per day.
Read 10 pages of a book of your choosing.
O.K., so it definitely earns its title—it’s a challenge to be sure. Maybe you have been wanting to try it for a while now, or maybe you’re new to the idea. Either way, Roup has some things for you to consider before jumping in.
Here’s what she has to say:
Restrictive diets aren’t a good idea
In her early 20s, the founder of The Sculpt Society tried a variety of diets, which led her to understand the harm they can cause. Restrictive diets “tend to be a slippery slope into disordered eating behavior and a negative body image,” she explained in a recent Instagram post.
Over-exercising is not going to help you achieve your goals
“Working out twice a day for 45 minutes at a time isn’t necessary,” she explained. “I’m all about committing to less, so that you can show up more.” Rather than adopting such an intense regimen, Roup argues you should commit to shorter workouts—five or 10 minutes per day—that allow you to stay consistent and build a habit “that will take you way past 75 days.”
Rest days are necessary
At the least, “You should be taking one rest day,” she said. She usually opts for two per week. “Your body, your muscles need that rest to repair and replenish,” she explained. “If you’re not getting it, you’re doing such a disservice to all of the hard work you’re already doing.”
75 days isn’t long enough
Rather than going all out for 2 1/2 months, you should be aiming for “a habit and a lifestyle change,” she remarked. Fitness habits shouldn’t be something you pick up for a set period of time. Instead, they should last you the rest of your life. You should be building “a sustainable habit” that “you enjoy and look forward to.”
One regimen doesn’t fit all
Not everyone should be following the same fitness and lifestyle regimen. “You have to cater to your needs and your goals,” Roup said. Your exercise should be dependent on your personal lifestyle, and in particular, your hormone levels and the amount of sleep, nourishment and water you get each day.”