What is TikTok’s 12-3-30 Workout?

Photo posted by @laurengiraldo on Instagram

If you have been on TikTok recently it is full of exercise ideas that range from hard to fun. But if you have stumbled upon the 12-3-30 workout trend, you might want to pull on some leggings, put your headphones on and give it a try.

The concept originated from social media influencer Lauren Giraldo, who shared it on YouTube in 2019 and again on TikTok in November 2020. Her video explaining the workout racked up nearly 12 million views and more than 2.7 million likes. Giraldo is not the only one who swears by the routine. Search “12-3-30 workout” on YouTube, and you will see tons of rave reviews praising it as a great way to lose weight and feel excited about exercise.

But is the 12-3-30 worth the hype?

What is the ‘12-3-30’ workout? 

The workout has an easy-to-follow formula that involves just two settings on a treadmill, done for a time of 30 minutes:

Incline: 12.0

Speed: 3.0

Giraldo said in her TikTok video she typically does the workout five days a week.

Photo posted by @goodmorningamerica on Instagram
What Are the Pros of the Workout?

The 12-3-30 walking workout is a great low-impact exercise, says exercise physiologist Janet Hamilton, CSCS and running coach with Running Strong in Atlanta. Regularly walking at a brisk pace offers a ton of health benefits, including strengthening your bones and muscles, boosting your balance and coordination, and preventing or managing conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The routine is also manageable enough that you are less likely to get frustrated and give up, which you might be tempted to do with tricker workouts. When something is simple to do, you are more likely to stay consistent and keep doing it. 

Are there any cons? 

The 12-3-30 is not without risks. “Any time you walk up that steep of a grade, that’s a lot of load on your lower back,” explains Hamilton. The workout also demands a lot of your hamstrings and calves, she says, so you could potentially strain these muscles if you jump into the routine without properly preparing your body. People with knee problems would likely struggle with the 12 percent grade but they can adjust the incline as needed. 

What is a Similar Workout Without a Treadmill?

If you do not have access to a treadmill, the simplest way to mimic the workout outdoors is to walk for 30 minutes on a hilly route. Alternatively, bicycling, tennis, swimming and walking or running outdoors will give you a similar, steady cardio workout.

Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, with your progress from this workout. 



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