What To Know About The 12-3-30 Workout Method

Beginning as a social networking app where users could share lip-syncing videos for fun, TikTok has evolved into one of society's primary sources of information and trend-setting. Videos that go viral on TikTok, which has over one billion monthly active users, can kick-start crazes across every field, from beauty to cooking to fitness (via Wallaroo Media). 

In particular, several popular workout methods have emerged on TikTok and gone on to change the way that many people exercise. While experts approve of some TikTok trends and reject others, fads like the 75 Hard Challenge, the Weighted Hula-Hoop Challenge, and the 600 Calories in 60 Minutes Challenge have left a mark on the global fitness scene (via Tech Digest). TikTok even helped revive rollerskating, bringing the low-impact, retro workout back into the mainstream. 

Another popular trend to surface from the platform is the 12-3-30 method, which involves two exercise staples: walking and a treadmill. The workout routine seems simple enough in TikTok videos and has the seal of approval from millions of users. But those who have tested it report that the workout is harder to achieve than it looks. And if you are going to incorporate the 12-3-30 method into your exercise routine, there are a few things you should know.

What is the 12-3-30 trend?

The premise of the 12-3-30 method is quite simple. You start by setting your treadmill to an incline of 12%. Then you walk at a speed of three miles per hour for 30 minutes (via EatingWell). While walking on the treadmill is hardly revolutionary, this specific workout was developed by YouTuber Lauren Giraldo. Addressing viewers in her TikTok video, Giraldo shared that the 12-3-30 workout helped her to stop feeling intimidated about exercising at the gym. She also revealed that the treadmill routine contributed to her 30-pound weight loss.

Speaking to Cleveland Clinic, exercise physiologist Katie Lawton, MEd., confirmed that the routine is more difficult than it looks because of the steep incline. She suggested starting on the flat and gradually working your way up to a steeper incline while making adjustments in regards to "your health, your fitness, and how you're feeling." 

There are several benefits of this workout method, including the fact that it's a cost-effective and accessible fitness routine (via Prevention). It's also low-impact, making it a suitable option for those with issues relating to their feet, ankles, knees, and hips. Alissa Tucker, personal trainer with the National Academy of Sports Medicine, told Prevention that the routine leads to cardiovascular health benefits and "will also help strengthen the muscles in the lower body." While experts have confirmed these benefits of the trend, there are also a few potential disadvantages to be aware of.

What are the cons of the 12-3-30?

The 12-3-30 workout method offers an accessible and low-impact exercise routine, but there are some drawbacks. Health explains that the trend may lead to strains in the hamstrings and calves if you don't properly prepare your body for it. The routine can also aggravate existing issues in the knees and ankles, or lead to an injury in these areas if you attempt the workout without strong enough muscles in your hips, thighs, and core. To safely follow the trend, ensure that you have straight posture and aren't leaning forwards onto the treadmill or curving your spine backward (via My Imperfect Life). Failing to walk on an incline with the correct posture can cause stress to your spine, hips, and knees.

Like other gym routines, the 12-3-30 method also doesn't offer the benefits of outdoor exercise, including fresh air and sunlight. Experts recommend incorporating the workout into your routine in conjunction with other exercises to decrease your risk of getting bored. Other workouts that have been proven to be effective for weight loss and overall good health include cycling, swimming, yoga, and weight training (via Healthline). Additionally, you may get better results by varying up your exercise routines as you'll be working a wider range of muscles. 

Overall, the 12-3-30 trend has advantages and disadvantages and can be a great addition to your exercise regimen when integrated with other workouts.