there is no shortage Fitness advice online. Fire up Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok and with a few taps or swipes of your finger, an influencer might yell at you to go to the gym. If you’ve ever explored the depths of the internet searching for training plans, chances are he’s come across the 12-3-30 protocol.
But the 12-3-30 workout isn’t just a passing trend. As of this writing, #12330workout has over 325.3 million views on his TikTok. This treadmill workout takes just 30 minutes to complete and is touted as the “best way” to shed fat and strengthen your lower body. If you see a line of people walking up a steep hill in the treadmill section of your gym, chances are they’re part of this TikTok trend.
No need to tell you that not everything you read on the Internet is true. So we asked the experts if this trend is just social media hype, or if it’s actually worth his 30 minutes of time and effort.
What is a 12-3-30 workout?
What made 12-3-30 training famous? Lauren Girardot, a lifestyle social media influencer. The idea is that he walks for 30 minutes at a speed of 3.0 miles per hour on a treadmill set at an incline of 12.0 degrees. She says she lost 30 pounds doing this workout five times a week.
Is 12-3-30 training effective?
The answer to this question depends greatly on what your fitness goals are. If you’re looking to get off the couch and take a step forward, 12-3-30 might be the place to start.
Says starting a fitness journey can be complicated and confusing Bobby Maximus, Former UFC fighter and fitness personality. PERFECT FITNESS Many find him finding a routine an impossible task, but you don’t have to be perfect to get started. The 12-3-30 method provides an easy way to get started. “The secret is right there in front of you,” he says. “Put the treadmill on the incline and just walk.”
If you’re looking to burn fat, this workout might just be the extra cardio you’ve been looking for. Walking, especially on slopes, increases your heart rate and burns calories, depending on your fitness level. At least, it will get you going, and it’s worth it regardless of your experience or conditioning.
However, if you want to build muscle mass and strength, a treadmill alone won’t get you there.You can (and should) incorporate cardio like 12-3-30 into your routine to help with heart health and recovery, he says. Eric Song, CSCS. But spending most of your time in the cardio section of the gym won’t improve your strength. To reach these goals, you need to add strength training.
What are the benefits of 12-3-30 training?
It may not be for everyone, but the 12-3-30 workout offers undeniable health benefits. First and foremost, any cardio is good for your heart. Incorporating aerobic exercise into your daily routine “improves heart health, lowers the risk of heart disease, and helps with fat loss,” Song says.
Another great feature of the 12-3-30 is its low impact. This means that running and jumping will not put a lot of force on your joints. Good news if you’re healing from an injury or already have joint pain.
This workout is generally accessible to most people who can walk. All you need is a treadmill. Treadmills are often found at local gyms and community centers. Even if you don’t have access to any of them, you can still walk outside during the same hours. “What I love about this is that anyone can do it. Totally he’s 100% inclusive,” says Maximus. “Fitness should be for everyone.”
Not everyone is ready and willing to jump into disciplines like strength training, crossfit, and MMA right away. Walking is something most people do every day. Add incline and increase intensity for a great workout that almost anyone can do.
12-3-30 How often should training be done?
Let’s get this conversation back on target. If your goal is to maintain baseline fitness and improve heart health, it states that doing 12-3-30 three to five times a week could be a good routine. Purcell DaggerNike Run coach and fitness trainer.
You don’t have to do this every day if you’re trying to gain muscle mass. Song incorporated cardio into his routine, such as his twice-weekly 12:33:30 workouts, before his third cardio, which included sprints and high-intensity workouts. I suggest adding an exercise session to give it some variety. Incorporating different intensities changes the muscle fibers and energy systems you use, providing valuable versatility in your training.
What are good alternatives to 12-3-30 training?
Speaking of variety, changing your cardio routine has some great benefits. Continuously repeating high-intensity aerobic sessions can limit how often you train, says Duggar. High-intensity workouts take longer to recover, so you may need more days after a tough session. Plus, overdoing a more demanding cardio training style can increase your chances of injury, he says. Combining levels of aerobic effort can keep you consistent and safe.
A 12-3-30 workout can be incredibly difficult for some, and a (admittedly steep) walk in the park for others. There is no “one size fits all” in fitness, and 12-3-30 is no exception. But don’t give up if you think it’s too difficult. The good thing about this workout is that you can easily change the intensity.
You can switch between higher and lower criteria depending on your fitness level. If the incline feels too high, set the treadmill to 10 to start. If you’re having a really hard time getting through the full 30 minutes, cut the timer down to 15 minutes. Adjust as needed, advises Duggar.
If you’re looking to get on a treadmill, the old “dreadmill” nickname isn’t for nothing. There are other cardio machines that can help you achieve similar goals as a 12:3:30 workout. Duggar suggests trying a stair-climbing machine for a similar effect. Or, if you want a more full-body workout, work your upper body on both his Rowing machine and his Assaulting bike. Keep the intensity low during the same type of sessions.
About Conclusion 12-3-30
If the 12-3-30 protocol is the only way to get to the gym, give it a try and make it part of your fitness program. After all, it’s a way to get up and start moving.
That said, depending on what your goals are, 12-3-30 may or may not be the most efficient way to reach them. The treadmill won’t help you build muscle mass or strength, but it will help you lose fat. While this protocol is a good place to start building up your cardio, mixing intensities from time to time to train different heart rate zones and muscle fibers will provide greater benefits.
All in all, if you just want to move your body to stay fit and stay consistent at 12-3-30, go for it. Start with this and keep walking as you work your way up the fitness ladder.
Cori Ritchey, NASM-CPT, is the Health & Fitness Associate Editor for Men’s Health and a Certified Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor. You can find more of her work on HealthCentral, Livestrong, Self, and more.
Men’s Health’s Fitness Editor, Brett Williams is a NASM-CPT certified trainer, former professional footballer, and technical reporter who divides his workout time into strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. His work can be found at Mashable, Thrillist and other outlets.