What Is The 12-3-30 Workout? (& Does It Work?)

By Charlie Colville

8 months ago

TikTok's latest fitness trend is here


Looking to get back into the swing of fitness this winter? If you’re struggling to get started, fear not – the internet, as always, has the answer. The latest exercise trend taking over screens (with over 80 million views on TikTok) is the 12-3-30 workout, a low-impact cardio routine that only requires a treadmill. Here’s everything you need to know.

What Is The 12-3-30 Workout?

‘The 12-3-30 workout is a relatively simple but effective cardio exercise routine that primarily involves walking on an incline using a treadmill,’ says Amanda Place, a personal trainer and founder of fitness platform Sculptrition. ‘The idea behind this workout is to achieve a more efficient and effective cardiovascular workout compared to regular flat-surface walking, while also engaging and toning various muscle groups.’

Amanda tells us that the name of the work refers to the three parameters that make up the workout, namely:

  • 12: You walk at a pace of 12 percent incline
  • 3: You aim for a speed of three miles per hour (4.8 kilometres per hour)
  • 30: You walk for a duration of 30 minutes
@oyindafitnessTrying 12-3-30 I recommend it I enjoyed it 🙏🏾♬ original sound – Oyinda_fitness

What Are The Pros Of This Workout?

The main benefit of this workout is its time efficiency, says Amanda. ‘It only requires 30 minutes of your day, making it ideal for people with busy schedules. The simplicity of the routine also ensures minimal setup time,’ she explains. It’s also very convenient in that it only requires use of a treadmill, which are typically readily available in gyms.

It’s also a great introductory workout. ‘Unlike high-impact exercises, such as running or jumping, the 12-3-30 workout is low-impact,’ explains Amanda. ‘This makes it suitable for individuals with joint issues or those who are new to exercise.’

In terms of health benefits, Amanda notes how: ‘Walking on an incline increases the intensity of your workout, which can boost your heart rate and improve cardiovascular health. Walking on an incline also engages the muscles in your lower body, including the glutes, hamstrings, and calves.’ This makes the 12-3-30 workout effective when it comes to burning calories and toning the muscle groups mentioned above.

Any Cons?

As for the cons, the biggest are the lack of variation and intensity. ‘While the 12-3-30 workout is effective, it lacks variation in terms of exercise types,’ warns Amanda. ‘Relying solely on this routine may lead to monotony and hinder long-term commitment to fitness.’

It’s also been noted that this type of workout can become less effective over time. ‘Your body may start to adapt to the 12-3-30 routine, causing diminished results – making it crucial to periodically increase the incline or speed to continue progressing,’ explains Amanda. ‘While it’s a good choice for beginners or those recovering from injuries, the 12-3-30 workout may not provide the high-intensity challenge sought by more advanced fitness enthusiasts.’

Amanda also tells us that the workout shouldn’t be the only one you do, as it can promote muscle imbalance: ‘This workout primarily targets the lower body muscles, neglecting the upper body and core. To achieve balanced fitness, additional exercises are necessary.’

Final Thoughts

Still on the fence about trying it out? ‘Overall, the 12-3-30 workout offers a straightforward and time-efficient approach to cardiovascular exercise, providing several benefits, including muscle engagement and low-impact training. However, it’s not without its limitations,’ summarises Amanda. ‘To maximise its effectiveness, it’s advisable to incorporate variety in your fitness routine and ensure you’re challenging your body adequately.

‘Ultimately, the 12-3-30 workout can be a valuable addition to your fitness regimen, but it’s important to strike a balance with other forms of exercise to achieve holistic fitness and long-term success,’ she concludes.

Featured image: Mike Cox, Unsplash