Hey Angels and Alphas,
Ever since famous TikTokers first posted about the 12-3-30 workout in the late part of last year, it’s been making the listings as one of the most popular ways to slim down.
TikTokers say it’s a game-changer that help people lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds in a usually short amount of time. Claims have also been made that people on this type of training regime don’t really need to watch what they eat… and accredit all their weight-loss success to this workout.
The formula is simple: jump on a treadmill, turn the incline up to the max, and walk at 3 miles per hour for 30 minutes. Repeat this about 3-5 times a week, or just as often as you can.
But does this workout actually have any merit to it? Is there any research backing the effectiveness of this type of training when it comes to weight loss? And could the 12-3-30 workout actually help you lose weight?
Let’s find out.
FIRST OF ALL, IS IT SAFE?
First thing’s first… are you actually going to injure yourself if you jump directly into this type of training? Walking uphill might not sound that difficult, but a 12 percent incline is pretty steep. To put this in perspective, think of the Barr Trail, which ascends Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs. It has an average incline of 11%, which is pretty steep for a mountainside.
If you’re someone who is new to exercise, you’ve never had a walking routine, or you’re living with a chronic condition such as heart disease, the 12-3-30 might not be the most optimal choice for you right away. Even if you’re in shape, starting any form of vigorous exercise and doing it many times per week can set you up for injuries such as shin splits, sore knees, plantar fasciitis, and more.
That’s why it’s important to gradually build up to this level of intensity, regardless of what exercise regime you’re starting.
CAN THE 12-3-30 WORKOUT HELP WITH WEIGHT LOSS?
When you’re walking on a high incline, you’ll be engaging more of your hamstring and glute muscles as you’re pushing yourself against gravity. That will make for more of a cardio challenge. It will also come with more calorie burn than just walking on flat ground. In this sense, this workout can indeed be a great way to slim down.
But if you’re trying to lose weight, your diet would actually be the most important factor instead of exercise. Walking is notorious for making people hungrier, causing them to eat more. In fact, the belief that exercise on its own can lead to weight loss is one of the most common weight-loss myths that could actually lead you to overestimate the amount of calories you’re burning at the gym.
SO HOW SHOULD WE DO THE 12-3-30 WORKOUT?
The key to this workout is warming up, so aim to be able to walk for 60 minutes at least 4 times a week or 30 minutes a day for 2-3 weeks without trouble… before you actually attempt this type of training.
Then slowly and gradually build up your incline. You can think of 1 minute at 2%, then 3%, then 5%, and so on. If that’s too difficult, you can cycle between intervals such as 30-60 seconds at 2-3% and 0% until you feel comfortable enough to level up again.
Ideally, you want to be using and developing various muscle groups so you can get fit and avoid injury. Instead of doing the 12-3-30 workout over and over, you should try to mix up your routine with other forms of cardio, strength training, bodyweight training, and more.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS…
To lose weight, you need a multipronged approach, so don’t ditch the essential elements of the weight-loss equation in favor of a fad workout.
The 12-3-30 treadmill workout is a pretty great way to get in a vigorous cardio workout without adding the impact of running, and it makes training on treadmills a little more interesting. That being said, it’s not a magic pill that will get you fitting in your favorite pair of jeans or sculpt your dream body.