Does the 12-3-30 Workout trend deserve the hype?

Finding a routine that is both effective and motivating can be difficult. TikTokers’ 12-3-30 treadmill workout is a kick-butt routine that has personal trainers on board.

Lauren Giraldo launched the 12-3-30 treadmill exercise in 2019. The trend continues to grow, especially since she uploaded a clip touting the benefits of the Workout for 2020. Since then, hashtag #12330 has garnered an impressive 98.9 million views on TikTok.

Is the 12-3-30 Workout worth the hype and practical? What you need to understand — and how to adjust the Workout depending on your fitness level.

What is the 12-3-30 Workout Program?

Apply these settings on the treadmill:

  • Increase 12 percent
  • Speed 3 Miles per Hour
  • Time 30 minutes

That’s all!

Giraldo attributes her 30-pound weight loss to the 12-3-20 Workout. She says that after two years, she has been able to keep the weight off with the 12-3-30 exercise about five times per week.

Her 2020 video inspired people in the #12330challenge (37.2 million views), where gymgoers are challenged to perform this Workout five days in a row.

What personal trainers are saying about the 12-3-30 Workout

According to Heather Hart, a certified exercise physiologist by the American College of Sports Medicine and a Road Runners Club of America running coach based in Myrtle Beach (South Carolina), this Workout is dynamic. The incline component is a great way to increase the intensity of this Workout while maintaining its low-impact status.

This also involves multiple body parts. Hart says walking uphill targets your posterior chain muscles (glutes and hamstrings) and the low back and calf muscle groups more than walking downhill.

Don’t let the fact that it is a walking exercise fool you. It will be intense for most people. This advice comes from Jordan D. Metzl, MD, an expert in sports medicine at the Hospital for Special Surgery, New York City. Even though this is a fast-paced walk, the 12-percent grade makes it a moderate to high-intensity exercise.

Hart explains that people with all fitness levels can also try the 12-3-30 Workout if they do not experience pain or are restricted by medical conditions. As Dr. Metzl says, however, beginners might need to help maintain the speed and incline for 30 minutes. Hart recommends that if this occurs, you start with a lower angle (8 percent), a slower pace (2 miles per hour), and fewer minutes (20 minutes).

She says that you can work your way up to the 12-3-20 formula as you become more confident. There’s no “magical” reasoning behind 12-3-30.

Metzl says the best way to make this exercise worthwhile is to do it consistently. He says that the best workouts are those people do consistently. The holy grail for any activity is to do it consistently, day after day, year after year.

The U.S. The Department of Health and Human Services suggests that American adults spend 150-300 minutes per week doing moderate-intensity cardio or 75-150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise. Metzl says that depending on how fit you are (and if this is a moderate or high-intensity workout), the 12-3-30 treadmill exercise routine can be done 3 to 5 days per week.

Who should try (and who should avoid) the 12-3-30 Workout

Hart and Metzl agree that the 12-3-30 Workout is the cardiovascular activity everyone needs for good health. Metzl says that because the Workout is low-impact and can be customized for people of all fitness levels, and has a low impact (for those with joint problems). If the 12-3-30 is too challenging, to begin with, you can adjust it to suit your level. Injury can result from going out too fast or too long.

Hart advises that you should not do the exercise if your joints hurt while you are walking uphill.

If you have any injuries or health issues that could limit your ability to exercise safely, you should consult your doctor about the best Workout. Also, you can tailor your Workout to fit your fitness goals.

You can read more about it here:

This low-impact Workout is safe and suitable for all fitness levels and ages. If you find it too challenging, to begin with, reduce the intensity of the Workout by decreasing the speed, the incline, or the time.

No treadmill? Do not worry! Hart and Metzl claim that any hill can be added to the cardio machine. Find a higher elevation in your area and continuously walk up the mountain. Hart says that once you’ve reached the top of the hill, go back down and repeat the process for as long as desired.


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