Is the 3-2-1-8 method a good workout routine?

Can you achieve a “snatched body” in a few months by combining strength training with Pilates and barre? TikTokers agree.

Natalie Rose, @natalieroseuk, is a U.K.-based Pilates and Barre instructor and founder of Virtual Body by Barre Studio. She took the 3-2-8 exercise viral in 2022 after a short clip on Tiktok teasing the method had racked up more than 1.4 million views.

She captioned a six-second clip on Tikok that had 2.9 million views and promised results in just three months.

According to the Body by Barre site, the fitness expert developed the 3-2-8 technique to help busy fitness enthusiasts get more out of their workouts. The 3-2-8 method is more of a schedule or plan than a specific exercise. It involves weekly strength training exercises plus low-impact barre or pilates workouts. You also take an average of 8,080 steps per day. Rose says the method has several benefits, including weight loss, reduced inflammation, and period cycle regulation.

The search term “328 pilates”, with over 3.3 million views on TikTok and thousands of videos from people attesting to the benefits, has been a popular search. What do the experts think?

What is the 3-2-8 Barre Pilates Exercise Plan?

Rose posted a video on TikTok a few hours after her first video went viral. The video explains the same 3-2-8 bar Pilates method. You are required to perform three weighted exercises, two low-impact Pilates and barre workouts each week, and take an average of 8,080 steps daily.

Rose recommends committing to the plan for three months to reap all the benefits.

  • On the “weighted exercise days,” you want to do an all-body strength-training workout. But you can divide it into upper-body, lower-body, and whole-body movements.
  • At least four to six times a year, you should increase the intensity of your weighted exercises (i.e., add more weight).
  • Active recovery days are when you do two weekly Pilates or barre workouts. Try Pilates or barre exercise at home. She says that these workouts have a variety of benefits, including improved flexibility, reduced inflammation, and core strengthening. Rose says they help with lymphatic drainage, perfect for days when you have a period and are dealing with bloating.
  • She says that if you walk 8,000 steps daily, you will burn 300 extra calories daily.

What personal trainers and medical experts think about the 3-2-8 Barre Pilates workout plan

Nonna Gleyzer is a celebrity trainer, certified Pilates instructor, and Beverly Hills, California-based fitness expert who endorses weight training, Pilates barre-walking, and a combination training method.

It is good to focus on muscle strengthening.

Gleyzer says that weightlifting builds and tones muscles. Pilates and barre workouts increase core strength and flexibility and lengthen the muscles. Cardio increases stamina and boosts metabolism. She says that combining these three techniques allows the body to be targeted in different ways without hitting a plateau.

Elizabeth C. Gardner, MD, is an associate professor at Yale Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, and she says that this emphasis on muscle strength has many benefits.

She says that while Pilates and barre are low-impact (meaning they don’t involve a ton of pounding of the joints), they focus on mobility, endurance, and balance (building the ability to maintain body positions over a long period or to perform resistance exercises in a controlled, slow manner). These exercises complement high-impact cardio exercises and strength training.

You may not get the cardio you need

Gardner says that the plan leaves many details up to the person following it (like the exercises’ length, pace, and intensity). She says there are various specific exercises and workouts that fit the 3-2-8 format.

If you want your workout to be effective and to count towards the recommended amount of activity – 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity and two days of muscle strengthening exercise – according to the current U.S., You will need to choose workouts that meet the parameters of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) ‘s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

She says about the plan, “It does not necessarily include moderate-intensity cardio exercise, which we know is important for optimal health.”

Gardner says moderate-intensity cardio will cause you to feel a little breathless. While you should be able to talk usually, you will notice that it is more complex than walking or sitting at a slow pace.

You can meet the HHS benchmarks for physical activity if you are brisk walking, jogging, or doing other cardio activities of moderate intensity. The plan does not specify this.

She says that a barre or Pilates class may count as an aerobic activity if it is done fast enough. However, some don’t. If your strength-training workouts include cardio (like in a HIIT course), they may help you meet your aerobic activity requirements. Gardner adds that not all strength-training movements are the same.

Beware of plans that promise to regulate your cycle and improve lymphatic drainage.

Gardner confirms Rose’s claim that Rose’s workout method reduces inflammation. She explains that controlled stretches help improve flexibility and reduce muscle and soft tissue swelling.

Gardner says that weight loss depends on many other factors, including the intensity and duration of your workouts and (in large part) the diet you choose.

Gardner is less convinced about the claims made by others regarding menstrual cycle regulation or lymphatic drainage. She says, “I haven’t heard anything about period regulation or lymphatic drainage about the menstrual cycles.

Who Should Try (and Avoid) the 3-2-8 Exercise Plan?

The 3-2-8 format is excellent for beginners and advanced exercisers, as it doesn’t prescribe specific exercises. Dr. Gardner says that its focus on strength training, daily routine, and active recovery makes it a great format that can be modified as an individual’s conditioning improves.

Remember to start slowly if this is your first time exercising or you are returning to it after a break.

Gleyzer agrees: “Start slow and gradually and increase intensity when you become stronger.”

Jacqueline “JT” Lloyd is a Los Angeles-based certified Pilates teacher and ISSA-certified Personal Trainer who teaches online classes at The Pilates class.

She suggests that beginners should start with lighter weights and gradually increase their resistance. You can learn how to do it properly by watching online videos, taking a class, or booking a few sessions with a trainer.

Gardner adds that you should consult your doctor if your heart, lungs, or other health issues could interfere with your ability to exercise safely. Pregnant women should also consult their doctor before beginning or changing their workout routines.

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