Randeep Khatri, a 7-year-old, wakes up every morning at 5 am to start his day with a workout. His father Deepak Khatri instructs him, all the while clicking photos and videos of his son’s performance. The photos will be put up on social media. It’s the 43rd day of his ‘75-Day Hard Challenge’.
The 7-year-old is an enthusiast of social media and picked up the viral TikTok challenge as his daily routine.
Randeep's inspiration behind following the challenge is Ankit Singh Baiyanpuria. His fitness journey, which he shares on various social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube, also got praised by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
With that, Haryana’s youngsters got hooked on it too. Videos of children, men, and women as young as 3 to adults as old as 60 taking up the 75-Day Hard Challenge in Haryana have been taking over social media platforms for the past few months. However, doctors told Decode that the viral challenge may affect people’s health.
Randeep finishes his second workout of the day by drinking fresh buffalo milk from their own farm. To help him achieve his fitness objectives, his father makes sure he only eats food that is grown at home and is organic. Image Courtesy: Ashish Kumar Kataria
Ankit Singh Baiyanpuria, a resident of Baiyanpur, Sonipat, rose to fame on June 27 when he broke the record of ‘75-Day Hard Challenge’ successfully. Originally started by US-based author-entrepreneur Andy Frisella in 2020, the challenge involves going on a strict carb-free diet, performing two 45-minute workouts, drinking a gallon of water, and steering clear of cheat meals and alcohol.
Within months of sharing the videos of his fitness journey, Ankit's Instagram handle has gained a million followers, while his YouTube channel has amassed 1 million subscribers.
Randeep's father, Deepak Khatri, a 30-year-old man who runs a snooker centre in Sonipat, says, "My son has been into running and exercising from an early age. He used to do these exercises, but not daily.
Some days back, while scrolling through his mother's phone, he came across the videos of Ankit, which inspired him to follow the challenge. The family laughed at the young boy when he proposed to take up the challenge. But he was determined.
Every day he wakes up at 5 am, has a glass of water, and does a workout. He then has breakfast and leaves for school. After returning from school, he again does his workout or goes for a walk in the field. “This is his daily routine, and he normally eats food that we cook at home, nothing from outside,” Deepak said.
Although the family was concerned about his health at the start of the challenge, the 7-year-old convinced them. Randeep’s father proudly says that he is the youngest in the village to take on the challenge. “Everyone is following him now,” he adds.
Meanwhile, Randeep has his own ambition. "I want to break the 75-Day Hard Challenge, give equal competition to Ankit, and want to be a runner like Usain Bolt,” he says.
Before starting his second workout of the day, Randeep gets ready to go for a run. Committed to pushing himself to the maximum and improving his level of fitness, he runs in the nearby field to boost his stamina. Image Courtesy: Ashish Kumar Kataria
As the challenge gains momentum with each passing day, the pressure to display unwavering commitment has grown. The fitness enthusiasts are exhibiting their efforts online, showcasing their discipline and regime, with daily posts where they receive appreciation, comments, and likes from the viewers. Many fitness enthusiasts say these appreciations received on social media platforms are helping and motivating them more to follow a healthy lifestyle and follow the challenge with ease.
Prerna Kumar, a 48-year-old woman working as a human resources professional at a corporate company and who lives in Gurgaon, says, "I took up the 75 Hard Challenge a month and a half ago after scrolling through social media. I came across the videos of Ankit. His fitness regime resonated with mine.”
Kumar adds, "What Ankit was doing if it rained was doing the workout at home; he was not obsessed with weightlifting. That is the one thing a gym trainer will ask us to do. I got inspired and started the challenge medium-hard because I wanted to accommodate it as per my body requirements and age".
For the followers of this challenge, sharing videos and progress with internet users has become the norm. Many fitness freaks say that sharing the updates with the online community is helping them boost their confidence and increase their passion to keep going to be fit and healthy.
Prerna shows the chart she has put in her room to monitor her daily routine and track her progress. She believes that having a visual representation of her activities helps her stay motivated and committed to her fitness goals. Image Courtesy: Ashish Kumar Kataria
"I made videos of my daily routine but did not share them because I felt that if I took a break or could not do it, then it would be an insult. After completing 11 days, I gained confidence and felt I would be able to share the videos. I am taking the challenge to monitor myself and achieve discipline and a healthy lifestyle,” Kumar says.
Pooja Kaushik, a 28-year-old content creator who lives in Faridabad, has just had a baby. She too is an ardent follower of the 75 Day Hard challenge. Kaushik says, "I have always been fond of staying fit and following a strict fitness routine. Coming across the video of Ankit motivated me to follow the fitness challenge, as I felt it could keep me intact and bring me back to a healthy lifestyle. It has helped me develop discipline and physical endurance”
She is on the 32nd day of her challenge.
Pooja Kaushik, 28, shares a light moment with her nine-month-old son in between the workout during evening hoursat Faridabad, Haryana. She believes that balancing motherhood and exercise is essential for her overall well-being. Image Courtesy: Ashish Kumar Kataria
However, health experts do not recommend the challenge to everyone. Bhavini Marwah, a nutritionist based in Delhi, says that the 75-Day Hard Challenge is not recommended for a large group of people. “Firstly, due to nutritional needs, whether that is the food we eat, the intake of food that we have, our exercise regime, exercise levels, or the hydration of water that we require, which is a very important aspect of the 75-Day Hard Challenge, all these things are very individualized from person to person. We cannot have one straight approach for all individuals. So I feel that it lacks the basic approach of creating good lifestyle habits".
Marwah says, “A young, growing child needs protein; they need to be outdoors. Their time for rest and repair is very important because they are at the peak rate of muscle growth, whether it is cognitive or physical growth. Their requirements will be very different from those of an older person aged 48 to 50 years.”
For a nursing mother, she says, it is important to give time to her body to rest, regain strength, immunity and provide good nutrition. “She has to be more cautious about food, nutrients, and lifestyle and has to follow a certain pattern of routine so it does not affect her and the baby. Cutting off food and immediately adopting a fitness regime can affect her body and weaken her from within. Everything has its right time to follow and the same goes for this challenge where everyone is trying their hand to hit the target. I would suggest that the fitness challenges have to be accommodated as per individuals' body requirements and age,” Marwah emphasizes.
Hiten Aggarwal, a 42-year-old clinical psychologist based in Gurgaon, says, "This 75-Day Hard Challenge may not be recommended to everyone, and because of its strict regime, it may not be suitable for individuals who have a medical condition. Before adopting a strict fitness regime, a person should at least consult a health professional who can provide them with proper guidance on whether it is safe to adopt fitness trends that they see on social media platforms. It is imperative to seek medical advice before proceeding if there is an underlying illness, as it may cause discomfort on a mental and physical level".
“These fitness trends could potentially lead to overtraining or unhealthy behaviours,” he says.
“These fitness enthusiasts are documenting themselves and then posting the same on various social media platforms, which somehow provides them with a sense of accountability and motivation, but this can also have a negative impact, such as excessive comparison, unrealistic expectations, and mental health issues,” Aggarwal said.
He says that for some the strict regime and documentation of it can cause excessive stress and anxiety.
Neerja Mathur, a 35-year-old therapeutic nutritionist agrees that the ‘75 Day Hard Challenge’ is not for everyone. “The challenge puts a person into a strict regime that limits food-eating habits and daily routine activities to an extent where other activities are not included, which ultimately impacts the mechanisms of the body as well as growth and limits nutrition intake, which results in a shortage of some of the nutrients in the body that are important for growth and development".
“I feel the challenge hugely lacks a basic approach to creating a healthy lifestyle. These Instagram trends can be life-changing, but at the same time, they can be life-threatening. A person cannot go for these challenges without seeing whether they will be helpful or impactful for them or not. Some of the challenges can trouble the health of a person, imbalance the metabolism, or be a factor in risk,” Mathur adds.
“I would suggest a person should go soft with the challenges and put their bodily needs and requirements on the front rather than troubling oneself", Mathur adds.
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