What is the 12-3-30 Workout?

Posted On Dec 10, 2021 By Lisa Traugott

A person walking on a Bowflex treadmill.

Have you heard about the 12-3-30 workout? It’s super easy and making the rounds on TikTok. Originally created by Lauren Giraldo, you set a treadmill to incline 12, speed 3 and walk for 30 minutes.

This workout is effective because the speed is easy (3 is the speed of walking) but it still provides a good fitness challenge. By walking a steep incline you are using your own body weight against gravity. This makes your glutes, hamstrings and calves work harder.

Any workout done on a treadmill will offer benefits. Walking is the go-to exercise for beginners because it is lower-impact and offers a ton of health benefits from strengthening your bones and muscles to reducing stress and helping with weight loss.

Treadmill walking helps to increase your lung strength so you can breathe easier. Regular exercise promotes good blood flow throughout our body with helps your brain to function better. It also gives a mood boost. Have you ever heard of a ‘runners high’? You don’t actually need to run to experience it. Walking helps to release endorphins which lowers anxiety and feelings of depression.

A person on a treadmill.

You also get an extra boost in calories burned. A 150 lbs. woman burns about 100 calories walking on flat ground for 30 minutes. By walking a steep incline that same woman burns about 210 calories. Walking revs up your metabolism, which helps you burn more energy.

For more advanced runners and fitness enthusiasts, it’s a good workout for recovery days. If you typically run on a flat road it can give your muscles the variety of doing a hill workout. In addition to working the leg muscles, you will strengthen your core by activating the muscles in your lower abdominals.

When you are walking, let your arms swing lightly at your sides and try to avoid holding the rails. If you must hold the rails for balance, use a light touch instead of leaning heavily over them, as this could through off your body alignment.

If you are a beginner, start twice a week and build up your endurance. Listen to your body. While 12-3-30 might work for your favorite influencer on TikTok, it might be more manageable for you to try this in just 10-minute increments three times per day. If you have issues with lower back pain or knee troubles you will probably want to reduce the incline, especially if you are just starting.

Consistency is key. Whether you try this workout or create your own, treadmills are a great option to fit fitness into your routine.


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A fit woman using a Bowflex treadmill.