What Is The 75-Soft Challenge?

The 75 Hard Challenge was designed to push its followers to their physical and mental limits in an effort to develop a healthier lifestyle. Die-hard adherents have sworn by the 75 Hard’s efficacy – others have had less positive things to say. As Newton’s Third Law dictates – for every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction.

The 75 Hard Challenge would not spend its time in the limelight alone, so a new challenger has emerged: the 75 Soft Challenge. It’s the “lite” version of the 75 Hard Challenge, easing up on the requirements. By that we mean: it’s designed for people who don’t have time for two 45-minute workouts every single day.

Below, we are going to take a look at what this challenge has on offer for those looking to push their routine a bit.

Let’s get into it!

What Is the 75 Soft Challenge?

What is the 75 Soft Challenge?

If you haven’t heard of the 75 Soft Challenge or its big brother, the 75 Hard Challenge, we envy you because that probably means you don’t spend as much time on TikTok as we do. 

Like many other social media scourges, both the 75 Soft and 75 Hard were developed and spread with the best of intentions. Unfortunately, they’ve both grown so much in popularity that it can be tough to gauge what they’re actually about.

So, what is the 75 Soft Challenge?

The 75 Hard Challenge is a daily lifestyle improvement routine that forces you to adopt good habits and get in better shape. It’s kind of like being held at gunpoint in a dark alleyway by an oversized, muscle-bound, steroid-infused gym bro who forces you to change your lifestyle on the spot, with no regard for your personal feelings on the matter. 

The 75 Soft Challenge is similar, but rather than a gym bro, it’s an Instagram brand ambassador, and instead of a gun, it’s a bowl of potpourri. 

Indeed, the 75 Soft is the decaf to the 75 Hard’s espresso. It features the same core ingredients (i.e., a set of rules and limitations), but they’re not quite as overpowering and hardcore. You’ll still get that same feeling of accomplishment without any of the chronic back pain.

How Does The 75 Soft Work?

Like the 75 Hard Challenge, the 75 Soft is a daily routine to improve your lifestyle. Unlike the 75 Hard Challenge, it probably won’t hurt your lifestyle thanks to its flexible, easy-going structure. 

The 75 Soft Challenge was created in response to the 75 Hard, and, as a result, it features a similar ruleset (which we’ll cover shortly). For 75 days, you’ll develop healthy habits such as staying hydrated and including various strength-building activities in your routine. 

The Rules of the 75 Soft Challenge

Despite being much more laissez-faire in its approach to daily wellness, the 75 Soft Challenge still has a handful of rules you’re expected to follow. None of these rules are as intensive as the ones found in the 75 Hard Challenge, but they may still give you trouble, especially if you prefer ice cream to vegetables and sleep to physical exercise. 

Rule #1: Eat Well and Only Drink On Special Occasions

As fun as it is to spend your days trapped in a drunken haze, most people will agree that too much booze can seriously harm your body and mind. Still, a drink here and there on the weekend won’t hurt you (much).

Following the Soft 75 Challenge means abstaining from drinking except on special occasions or weekends. It also means avoiding unhealthy foods, though what constitutes unhealthy for you will depend on your specific dietary needs (and opinion). 

Naturally, this has led to some confusion among the health and fitness community. As dietary guru Cara Harbstreet points out, “eating well” can mean different things to different people. You’ll have to use your judgment here when deciding which foods to eat and which ones to avoid while partaking in the challenge. 

See more: our guide to an optimal runner’s diet

Rule #2: Train for 45 Minutes Per Day

The 75 Hard Challenge dictated that you should work out twice a day, every day, for forty-five minutes. It also stipulates that at least one of your workouts should occur outside because, apparently, you weren’t sweating enough already. 

Beyond these requirements, however, the Hard 75 doesn’t specify which exercises you should do, and the Soft 75 is no different. Unlike its edgier older brother, the Soft 75 only asks that you exercise once per day, with one day dedicated to “active rest” (more on that in a bit). So long as you stick to this routine, you can perform whichever exercises you want. 

Rule #2.5: Save One Day for “Active Rest”

“Active rest” is what you get when you give a couch potato a set of barbells and some running shoes. Essentially, the term refers to an exceptionally relaxed exercise, whether going for a jog, pilates, or lifting light weights. 

For what it’s worth, we think any exercise is better than none at all, but don’t let the gym crowd hear you repeat that. 

Active rest aims to ensure that you remain active without overexerting yourself. This allows you to still get your 45 minutes of exercise a day without wishing you were dead.

Rule #3: Drink 3 Liters of Water Per Day

In the pantheon of refreshing liquids, water ranks pretty high up. This stuff has been around since time began, and it’s never gone out of style.

Despite the goodness that comes with every fresh glass of water, plenty of people would much rather indulge in a can of Coke or a mug of beer. It’s for these people that this rule of the 75 Soft Challenge exists. 

You see, water is not only refreshing, but it’s also necessary for our survival. A lack of water can lead to fatigue, headaches, and a weakened immune system. Conversely, getting enough water is proven to improve your confidence and make you much more attractive. 

With the 75 Soft Challenge, you only have to drink 3 liters of water daily. That’s still a big ask for someone subsisting on Coke Zero alone, but it’s perfectly doable. 

Rule #4: Read 10 Pages of Any Book Per Day

It may surprise you to learn that books were once our primary source of entertainment. In an age before Netflix and YouTube, books reigned supreme as our means of communicating ideas with the wider world.

Still, plenty of value can be found within the pages of a good novel. Whether you find yourself more drawn to fiction than non-fiction (or vice versa), books still hold immense power, so it’s worth reading at least one in your lifetime. 

The 75 Soft Challenge recommends reading at least ten pages of any book daily. Unlike the 75 Hard Challenge, which dictates that you only read inspirational non-fiction, the Soft 75 lets you get away with reading whatever you want. So, if you’ve wanted to read the Game of Thrones books for a while, now you’ve got the perfect excuse. 

Pros and Cons of the 75 Soft Challenge

No health regimen, workout routine, or lifestyle challenge is perfect.

The 75 Soft Challenge is no exception. While many people would point to the 75 Hard Challenge as being far more detrimental to your health in the long run, the 75 Soft has its fair share of pitfalls you may find yourself falling into. 


  • Flexible ruleset 
  • Alcohol-friendly
  • Less time-intensive
  • Robust, dedicated online community
  • Makes you think about your lifestyle
  • Helps you grow as a person


  • Relaxed ruleset may be tough to stick to
  • Requires substantial dedication
  • Lack of challenge for some people
  • Vague eating and workout suggestions

Feedback on the 75 Soft Challenge

At this point, it’s pretty clear that both the 75 Hard and 75 Soft challenges are divisive, and both have plenty of things to like – and plenty to contest. In general, however, health experts and dieticians seem to favor the Soft challenge more, if only because of its less demanding nature.

Many still have qualms about the challenge’s lack of structure or daily commitment, but it remains fiercely popular.

Should I Try the 75 Soft Challenge?

Whether or not this challenge (or any fitness and health challenge) will work for you depends entirely on one person: you. For these challenges to be effective, you’ll need to go in with a clear vision and set of goals. You’ll also want to ensure you’re mentally prepared for the road ahead.

Unfortunately, there is often a stigma surrounding those who fail to complete the challenge. You may feel pressured to continue, even if the challenge isn’t working for you. The important thing to remember is that you’re doing it for yourself and no one else. And if it’s not working, you can and should let it go. 

If history is anything to go by, this is not the last we’ve seen of these challenges. Time is a flat circle, after all. So, if you’re worried about missing out, don’t be – there will always be a dedicated community of 75ers. 

Author Profile

Michael Paulson

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Michael is a frequent contributor, which is a miracle to us as he quite literally runs for days with the rest of his time. An ultra marathon specialist, Mike is the kind of guy who posts a 30K Morning Run on Strava before we’ve had our breakfast and prefixes it with the smart-assery: “Guess I wasn’t feeling it today.” He runs like he writes: slow with bits flying everywhere.
Michael Paulson

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