"I do a 12-3-30 workout every week and that's all I've learned" (2023)

I've always been skeptical of viral TikTok workouts like12-3-30 Workout.After all, anyone with an account can create them, so their merits are often not backed by science—even the crazy ones. The 12-3-30 workout (64 million views so far) appears to be different, though.

Rather than destroying you in a puddle of sweat and tears like most trends that have gone viral (such as the 60-minute 600-calorie challenge), it's based entirely onwalking on a treadmill.itDoSounds easier than it is, but the fact that it's available to just about everyone and isn't controlled by any dangerous parameters like calories burned or time spent seems more believable to me.

after seeking confirmationfour fiveAmbassadors and Celebrities PTJenny Francis-TownsendIt's (usually) safe, and then, I decided to set myself my own 12-3-30 workout challenge: once a day for a week. Here's what happened, and what Francis-Townson had to say about it.

What is a 12-3-30 workout?

It was created by social media star Lauren Giraldo and follows a simple format:

  • Set the treadmill incline to 12%
  • Set your speed to 3mph
  • 30 minutes on foot

Giraldo is based in the US, where treadmills use miles as a speed indicator. However, if you're in the UK, treadmill speed is measured in kmph, so you'll need to set your speed to 4.8.

You should also start with five minuteswarm upand five minutescool down, neither of which has any tilt.

12-3-30 What are the benefits of exercising?

Francis-Townson tells us that this trend definitely has its place. These are the most notable benefits of Trending:

  • it islow impact
  • it buildslower body strength
  • It helps improve cardiovascular health
  • it burns fat
  • it strengthens bones
  • it improves balance
  • it improves stamina

12-3-30 Is Exercise Safe?

Safety is the reason most TikTok workouts don't work for me, but I don't think walking is as dangerous as some other workouts, and Francis-Townson is on the same page.

“Any exercise we do has risks, but walking — even a brisk walk — is a safe activity for most people without too much trouble or concern,” she told me. "In fact, you're walking this steep uphilltreadmillIt's also much safer than doing it outside on uneven ground when you risk tripping.

She does have some words of warning, though. "Walking for 30 minutes on a very steep incline puts a lot of stress on your lower back. If your posture isn't solid, or your core muscles aren't strong enough to support you at all times, you'll find that your lower back is taking the brunt of the pain , which can cause problems and pain.

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"If you're not used to repetitive walking or running, you'll also find that you experience pain in your knees, ankles or calves due to the overuse and repetitive nature of this movement."

To make sure this doesn't happen,She recommends exercising once or twice a week(While I exercised every day for a week, know that it was all in the name of research. It was neither smart nor sustainable.)

Also, if you know you have joint problems, take it easy on your own incline—a 30-minute walk can still be rewarding, no matter the speed or incline.

12-3-30 Who is exercise suitable for and who should avoid it?

Applies to:

  • People who have a solid fitness base and want to "fit into the world"
  • Individuals who are prone to injury/joint pain and would benefit from low-impact exercise

Care should be taken with:

  • beginners because "it's definitely a challenge and puts a lot of stress on your body," Francis Townsend said.
  • those already suffering fromkneeor lower back problems

5 things I learned from my daily 12-3-30 workout

1. Interactive workouts make time go faster

    This isn't news, but it turns out that 30 minutes on a treadmill isn't for me. The first two days were fine, but by the third day I was fully recovered and really dreading another 12-3-30 workout. Still, as Francis-Townson told me, it's perfect for anyone looking for a decent amount of distraction while sweating. No reps to count, no equipment to keep an eye on between sets, nada.

    "I do a 12-3-30 workout every week and that's all I've learned" (4)

    Fortunately, Francis-Townson says that one or two 12-3-30 workouts per week, along with other forms of exercise, are actually more effective. "When it gets boring, you start making excuses not to do it," she explains.

    'There's no need to do this every day. I recommend doing it once or twice a week along with other strength training and bodyweight exercises. Great news for anyone in the same boat as me.

    2. Even low-intensity exercise can be harmful if overdone

    Obviously, for anyone with joint problems, spending time on the treadmill doing something like burpees makes more sense - walking instead of resting is actually beneficial and builds joint and bone strength - but Know that the old adage "too much of a good thing" applies.

    I've never really had joint problems before, but halfway through my fourth 12-3-30 workout, my ankles started feeling uncomfortable and sore. Francis-Townson said this may be due totrainerI'm wearing, or just too much of the same exercise.

    "I do a 12-3-30 workout every week and that's all I've learned" (5)

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    "It could be that your shoes aren't designed for this type of repetitive motion," she says. "It could also be that you're only using the muscles in your ankle so you don't normally use it very much. We have a lot of muscles and tendons that run from the leg to the foot and going uphill for a long time puts a lot of stress on us.

    During this challenge, I did a lot of long runs in the Adidas Ultraboost sneakers (though not consecutive days), so I think the pain is mostly from doing the same exercise over and over again. Rest is key - more on that coming soon.

    3. Walking isn’t necessarily “easy”

    "I do a 12-3-30 workout every week and that's all I've learned" (9)

    If there's one thing to take away from this article, it's that the 12-3-30 workout isn't as easy as it looks. Of course, doing it seven days in a row like I did was harder, but even the first class surprised me. I was sweating profusely. like, withhigh intensity interval trainingGrade sweating. I'm also so hungry after every workout that I eat enough to feed a small village.

    Francis Townsend assures me that this is to be expected: "You will definitely notice that you are hungrier because you are using too much energy by exercising for a long time without rest. You are also using your leg muscles. Taking it to the extreme and creating micro-tears in a similar way to what you do in strength training means your body needs to repair, which itself takes energy.

    The first session becamefasted cardioSince I finish before work at 7:30am (applause for me), I find it hard to eat early in the morning, but from the next day I make sure to drink bananas and coffee for energy. It certainly helps, But I actually doubled my typical serving size for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

    what did i eat I've been through eating issues, and now I'm a firm believer that food is more than fuel. It's there for enjoyment, so for that, I eat whatever makes me feel good at the time. Sweet potatoes are a staple, as are chicken, salmon, and nuts—all of which I love and are packed with protein to help my muscles recover.

    4. Timing your workouts can really help

    Being an optimist, I decided to try on the third dayweight trainingAfter my 12-3-30 workout. It's safe to say it wasn't my best. I can barely do 5 reps with a weight that I usually get 10-15 reps at.

    Francis Townsend explains why: "If you wantStrength TrainingIn addition to this type of workout, I recommend doing resistance training first and then using a 12-3-30 workout as a finisher, or making sure to eat before your workout to give yourself extra energy.

    After my all-out 12-3-30 workout, I basically have nothing left.

    A lack of hydration may also play a role, Francis-Townson added. "You lose a lot of fluid during cardio like a 12-3-30 workout, so be sure to drink more than usual."

    5. Need rest days, even for low-impact exercise

    Experts claim that 12-3-30 workouts can help improve your endurance, but, to be honest, I feel the exact opposite—the workouts get harder and harder as the week progresses. Francis-Townson said it was only because I wasn't taking anyoff day.

    "It's a high-intensity workout," she begins. "In order to build endurance, you need to give your body time to rest and recover, so that it can recover stronger and more durable." If you want to use your 12-3-30 workout to build endurance, take a few days of rest between each workout is crucial.

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    The results of it? Almost every problem I've had comes down to not taking a break. So if you're keen to try your hand at 12-3-30 workouts, it's worth taking time off work. Like I said, I took up the challenge to gain some serious insight, not to keep going the same way.


    Is the 12-3-30 workout enough? ›

    Scientific research from 2020 shows that exercising around 300 minutes a week can lead to weight loss and a reduction in body fat.4 The 12-3-30 workout, unfortunately, doesn't quite meet that standard—even if you do it every day (which the experts don't recommend; more on that in a minute).

    How many times a week should you do the 12-3-30? ›

    Many fitness fans are going all-in on 12-3-30—with some even doing it every day. Floyd-Jones warns against this and recommends sticking to the 12-3-30 workout two or three days a week max.

    How long does it take to see results with 12-3-30? ›

    After 30 days, I noticed a big difference in my body and overall wellness. My legs felt and looked stronger and I shrunk a size in jeans.

    How much weight can you lose in a month by doing 12-3-30? ›

    Due to her influence, many have started taking her lead and the results were quite surprising. Those who have tried it out claim to have lost around 20 pounds in a month and are now calling it the 12-3-30 lifestyle. So, what is this workout all about and does it really work? What is the 12-3-30 workout?

    What happens if I do 12 3 30 everyday? ›

    The takeaway. The 12-3-30 treadmill workout is an effective way to increase aerobic fitness, burn calories, boost your mood, and improve your heart health while engaging muscles in your lower body. Combined with a healthy diet and calorie deficit, it can also promote healthy weight loss.

    Does 12 3 30 actually burn fat? ›

    It helps improve cardiovascular fitness. It burns fat. It strengthens bones. It improves balance.

    Does walking on an incline burn belly fat? ›

    Using the incline on the treadmill effectively burns belly fat, even if it's a 30-minute walking workout at a moderate pace.

    How many calories do you burn in 12 3 30? ›

    Weight loss and health benefits

    Bassett estimated a person who weighed 150 pounds would burn 283 calories per “12, 3, 30” workout. In comparison, walking at that speed for 30 minutes without the incline would burn 113 calories, he said.

    Does incline walking burn fat? ›

    Walking on an incline causes your body to use more energy, which leads to more fat being burned. Additionally, walking on an incline is easier on your joints than running, making it a safer and more effective way to burn fat.

    Does incline walking burn fat or build muscle? ›

    Incline treadmill walking is a great way to shed body fat when paired with the right weight loss supplement and diet plan. It's an aerobic exercise that will also get your heart rate up and improve blood flow throughout the body.

    What is the best incline for weight loss? ›

    Best workout on treadmill to lose weight
    • Start with a flat incline or at 1%
    • Warm up for 5 minutes with a brisk walk.
    • After 5 minutes, increase the incline to 12%
    • Keep the speed the same and walk for another 30 minutes.
    • After 30 minutes, reduce the incline back down to flat or 1% for your cool down.
    Aug 24, 2022

    Why does 12 3 30 burn so many calories? ›

    The steep, 12 percent incline forces your body to work harder than walking on a flat surface, which will burn more calories, she says.

    Does 12 3 30 tone your legs? ›

    If you want to tone your legs and build more strength in the lower body, the 12-3-30 workout can help. “Incline walking is great for your leg muscles, helping to develop muscular endurance and strength, particularly in your glutes, hamstrings and calves,” explains Folusha.

    How to lose 20 30 pounds in 3 weeks? ›

    Here are the 10 best ways to quickly and safely drop 20 pounds.
    1. Count calories. ...
    2. Drink more water. ...
    3. Increase your protein intake. ...
    4. Reduce your refined carb consumption. ...
    5. Start lifting weights. ...
    6. Eat more fiber. ...
    7. Follow a sleep schedule. ...
    8. Set reasonable goals and stay accountable.

    Is walking at an incline better than running? ›

    When it comes to the muscle-strengthening benefits of incline walking vs running, in most cases, as long as the incline is at least moderate, incline walking trumps running. Incline walking is essentially a form of resistance training because walking up an incline requires contending against the force of gravity.

    How many calories does 12 3 burn? ›

    Everyone's body is different, so the number of calories you burn during the 12-3-30 workout will vary from my experience. However, when I did the 12-3-30 workout, the treadmill readout said I burned about 195 calories.

    How to lose belly fat? ›

    Here's how to whittle down where it matters most.
    1. Try curbing carbs instead of fats. ...
    2. Think eating plan, not diet. ...
    3. Keep moving. ...
    4. Lift weights. ...
    5. Become a label reader. ...
    6. Move away from processed foods. ...
    7. Focus on the way your clothes fit more than reading a scale. ...
    8. Hang out with health-focused friends.

    Is it better to walk outside or on a treadmill? ›

    Walking outside is a great way to burn calories efficiently, as outdoor walking involves the use of more muscle groups than stationary walking. In addition, it takes much more effort to propel your body forward using your own weight and strength, whereas treadmills help you to move forward with little effort.

    Is walking incline better then walking flat? ›

    One study found that compared to walking on a flat surface, participants burned 17 percent more calories at a 5 percent incline and 32 percent more calories at a 10 percent incline. If walking on the treadmill is already part of your fitness routine, increasing the incline is an easy way to maximize your next workout.

    Does walking on incline count as exercise? ›

    Incline walking is a versatile aerobic exercise that delivers both strength and endurance benefits with a lower impact on your joints as running or jogging.

    Is Incline walking better than flat walking? ›

    Increases activation of lower leg muscles

    Research shows that walking on a medial incline ramp activates the peroneal muscles significantly more than walking on a normal or flat surface. These findings support the use of incline walking to strengthen the peroneals and help people with weak ankles ( 5 ).

    What does 12 3 30 target? ›

    For starters, the 12/3/30 method is a total lower-body workout, says Haley Gott, a certified personal trainer. "It's a great way to activate multiple muscle groups in your legs," she adds, including your quads, your hamstrings, your glutes, and your calves.

    What exercise burns the most calories? ›

    According to Healthline, running burns the most calories. A tried and true exercise that requires little more than your legs and the open road, running burns just over 800 calories for a 155-pound adult per hour.

    What is a good incline on a treadmill? ›

    What's the best incline to run on a treadmill? Depending on your physical and cardiovascular health, experts usually say around 1-2% incline is best. If you're looking for more of a challenge or an advanced runner, you can move it up to 5-6% and beyond. Running on a treadmill incline has many benefits.

    Is incline or speed better on a treadmill? ›

    Since the majority of people run differently, depending on whether they're on flat ground or uphill, referring to your treadmill for amount of calories burned isn't a helpful measurement. Instead, focus on running at a controlled, strong pace uphill to maximize your workout and activate the largest muscles.

    What is the best speed on a treadmill for fat loss? ›

    Generally, 4 to 6 mph is the average jogging speed. You can increase the speed or add more minutes to make this workout harder. For an easier version, increase the incline by 0.5 percent each minute. Repeat until you've reached a 4 to 5 percent incline, then work in reverse.

    What is the best speed on a treadmill to lose weight? ›

    Invest the Time. To maintain your weight, you'll need to walk on a treadmill at a moderate pace of 3.5 miles per hour for no less than 150 minutes per week. Or you can walk at vigorous pace of 4.5 miles per hour for 75 minutes per week. To lose weight, you'll need to walk for a longer amount of time at either pace.

    Does the TikTok 12 3 30 workout work? ›

    What Experts Think of the '12-3-30' TikTok Treadmill Workout. The viral “12-3-30” workout involves setting a treadmill to 12 percent incline at 3 miles per hour and walking on it for 30 minutes. Experts say that the workout provides good exercise, but it doesn't offer unique benefits versus other cardio routines.

    How do you lose love handles? ›

    17 Simple Ways to Get Rid of Love Handles
    1. Cut out Added Sugar. Share on Pinterest. ...
    2. Focus on Healthy Fats. Filling up on healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, nuts, seeds and fatty fish can help slim your waistline. ...
    3. Fill up on Fiber. ...
    4. Move Throughout the Day. ...
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    6. Lift Weights. ...
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    How to make the 12 3 30 workout harder? ›

    Breaking the time into chunks of walking intervals is a simple way to make it easier — or harder. For those who need to modify the workout, do one minute at level 12 at 3 miles per hour, and then do two or three minutes at level 5 at 2.5 miles per hour. Then, alternate between these two levels until you hit 30 minutes.

    Is Incline walking better than squats? ›

    Incline Walking vs. Squats: Which Is Better For Glutes? Squats take the cake (no pun intended) over incline walking for building a bigger butt. Squatting places the glutes through a large stretch under heavy loads, increasing muscular tension.

    Does walking fast or on an incline burn more calories? ›

    For every 1% of uphill grade, a 150-pound person burns about 10 more calories per mile (an increase of about 12%). That means that at a 10% grade, that 150-pound person burns more than twice as many calories per mile as they would walking on flat ground.

    Is walking better than running for fat loss? ›

    Walking may burn more fat for fuel, but running burns more total calories, which will contribute to greater weight loss in total.

    What incline is most effective? ›

    A 10 percent max incline is good and available on most low-budget treadmills. Fifteen percent is even better. But why not consider going all out with a 40 percent max incline? More incline means more calories burned.

    What incline number is best? ›

    Depending on the brand and model, they range from 1-40% percent incline. Although the ideal incline for most people is between 1-7%, stepping out of your comfort zone for a 20%+ incline workout is a good idea from time to time.

    What incline walk is most effective? ›

    Bhusri suggests walking at 3 mph at an incline between 16 and 18 percent. In general, "the greater the incline and the longer the period of time spent exercising on that incline, the faster you'll see results."

    How many times a week should I do 12 3 30 to lose weight? ›

    So, depending on your fitness level (and whether this workout is moderate or high intensity for you), doing the 12-3-30 treadmill routine about 3 to 5 times per week meets those benchmarks, Metzl says.

    Does overthinking burn more calories? ›

    You will in fact burn more energy during an intense cognitive task than you would vegging out watching Oprah or whatever,” he says. But in the context of the average person's overall energy expenditure, the difference in calorie burn from one mental task to another is a tiny amount, he adds.

    How to burn 400 to 500 calories a day? ›

    12 Best Exercises To Burn 500 Calories In 30 Minutes
    1. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) ...
    2. Zumba/Dancing. ...
    3. Kickboxing. ...
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    How many months does it take to tone legs? ›

    You can see small results in even two to four weeks, after you begin a leg workout. You will have better stamina, and your legs will look a little more defined. But all in all, depending on your fitness levels, it does take three to four months for any remarkable difference.

    Will walking everyday tone my thighs? ›

    Walking is particularly effective for toning your legs and bum, she adds. “The muscles you use when walking include your calf muscles, thighs and buttocks, so these areas will become more toned and shapely.” However, walking may not tone all areas of the body.

    Can I realistically lose 50 pounds in 3 months? ›

    The National Institute of Health recommends setting realistic weight goals and that is to say that losing 50pounds in 3 months is neither a realistic nor an achievable weight goal. The National Institute of Health recommends trying to lose about 5% to 10% of your total body weight in a period of six months (6).

    Does drinking water help you lose weight? ›

    Water can be really helpful for weight loss. It is 100% calorie-free, helps you burn more calories and may even suppress your appetite if consumed before meals. The benefits are even greater when you replace sugary beverages with water. It is a very easy way to cut back on sugar and calories.

    How fast can I realistically lose 30 pounds? ›

    Setting a realistic time frame

    Generally, most health experts recommend aiming for about 1–3 pounds (0.5–1.4 kg) of weight loss per week, or approximately 1% of your total body weight ( 33 , 34 ). Therefore, it may take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to lose 30 pounds safely.

    How many calories does 12 3 30 actually burn? ›

    Weight loss and health benefits

    Bassett estimated a person who weighed 150 pounds would burn 283 calories per “12, 3, 30” workout. In comparison, walking at that speed for 30 minutes without the incline would burn 113 calories, he said.

    Is Incline walking good for losing weight? ›

    Due to the higher level of posterior chain muscle engagement, high calorie burn, and high heart rate of incline walking workouts, they're some of the most effective ways to lose weight and increase your fitness level quickly.

    How many times a week should I do 12-3-30 to lose weight? ›

    So, depending on your fitness level (and whether this workout is moderate or high intensity for you), doing the 12-3-30 treadmill routine about 3 to 5 times per week meets those benchmarks, Metzl says.

    Does 12-3-30 tone your legs? ›

    If you want to tone your legs and build more strength in the lower body, the 12-3-30 workout can help. “Incline walking is great for your leg muscles, helping to develop muscular endurance and strength, particularly in your glutes, hamstrings and calves,” explains Folusha.

    Does 12 3 30 build muscle? ›

    Tones Muscles

    The 12-3-30 workout focuses on these slow-twitch muscle fibers, which can be activated through sustained aerobic exercise. Adding an incline to a workout may help reap some muscle-building benefits, especially for those people who are new to exercises that challenge their muscles to work hard, says Simon.

    What's the best incline to lose weight? ›

    Best workout on treadmill to lose weight
    • Start with a flat incline or at 1%
    • Warm up for 5 minutes with a brisk walk.
    • After 5 minutes, increase the incline to 12%
    • Keep the speed the same and walk for another 30 minutes.
    • After 30 minutes, reduce the incline back down to flat or 1% for your cool down.
    Aug 24, 2022

    What incline and speed is best for weight loss? ›

    Treadmill Workout To Help Maximize Calorie Burn
    1. Step 1 – Walk for 3 minutes at a speed of 3.5 mph, and set the incline at 0%. ...
    2. Step 2 – Increase the speed to 4 mph for 2 minutes, keeping the incline at 0%. ...
    3. Step 3 – Reduce the speed to 3.5 and walk briskly for 3 minutes with the incline at 4%.

    Does walking on an incline get you in shape? ›

    Adding hills or inclines to a walking workout can increase your heart rate, calorie burning, and activation of the hamstrings, glutes, and calf muscles. Exercising on an incline also allows you to train for a realistic terrain.

    What are good workouts to pair with the 12 3 30? ›

    For a well-rounded fitness routine, Robinson recommends pairing the 12-3-30 workout with other exercises, such as strength training, yoga or Pilates. Almost anything is welcome so long as you're mixing it up. “Your body will plateau if you're only doing the same thing for weeks or months at a time,” she says.

    Can you hold the treadmill in 12 3 30? ›

    Try to avoid holding onto the treadmill while walking, as it reduces the benefits of the workout. “If you feel like you need to hang on, you probably should consider changing the incline or speed,” notes Lawton. Use good form, with a bit of a lean to your body as you stride. “You want a really good arm swing, too.

    Is it bad to hold onto the treadmill while walking on incline? ›

    Holding on to the treadmill cheats the lower back out of doing work, weakening the all-important core muscles. Tall people who hold on are even more at risk for leaning forward, and exercising with a slumped posture. View a tall person from the side who's clinging to the machine and note their poor posture.


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