The #12-3-30 Workout Is Blowing Up On TikTok... We Consulted An Expert


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Without sounding a lil’ braggy, we’re ALL over BeautyTok. Seriously, we live and breathe the hacks, product reccos, and tutorials. However, recently, a FitTok hack infiltrated our feed. You might have seen it already, it’s the treadmill routine that’s praised relentlessly for its fat-burning effects. Although TikTokers seem to love it, it’s also garnered its fair share of criticism. So, of course, we called in a fitness expert to help us determine whether it’s the real deal or a whole lotta BS!

@happyandhealthyolivia A weight loss game changer #liss #12330 #12330workout #weightloss ♬ Happy Vibes – GNL

What it is: The 12-3-30 workout is a simple treadmill routine: you set the incline to twelve, the speed to three miles per house, and then walk for thirty minutes. Many TikTokers also add a 30-day challenge element to the workout for maximum results.

                                                                                                               @styleangel Not doing the 12:3.30 wokrout aint 🅿️ #weightlossjourney💪🏼 #12330workout #fatlosstips #12330challenge #weightlosscheck #weightloss #absworkout ♬ Under The Influence – Chris Brown

The hype: The hashtag #12330 currently has over 133 million views, which is more than half of the US population – how crazy? But, TBH, it makes sense. It’s a workout that only takes thirty minutes and consists of a low-impact exercise, AKA walking. Most importantly, it takes that scary gym doom out of the equation – it’s approachable and achievable. Plus, it’s kinda hard to argue against a 30-minute gym sesh, so it makes it easier to be consistent. All right, FitTok… We see you!

The backlash: Among the thousands of videos claiming this fitness hack is life-changing, others call its bluff. Their line of argument? Gym bunnies remain firm that there are no hacks regarding fitness or weight loss, and while it’s a great, approachable workout, it’s not superior to other forms of cardio. They credit any weight loss results to a consistent workout routine… nothing else.

@ttaylorolsenfollow to stay on fit tok♬ original sound – Taylor Olsen

We tried it: You didn’t think we’d do this write-up without trying the workout, did you? Okay, so first up, ensure your treadmill is in miles. If your treadmill is set to kilometers, set the speed to 4.8.

@twobrokechicks_ Podcast: Two Broke Chicks #australia #12330 #12330workout #workoutchallenge #podcast #funny #bestie #fittok ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show

Our verdict: Honestly? We loved it. We did it every day for one week, and by the time Sunday rolled around, we had already noticed an improvement in our fitness and felt less bloated and more energized. It definitely gets your heart rate up, and the sweat is real. We also combined this routine with 30 minutes of weight lifting, which we did pre-12-3-30. Plus, in the second half of the week, we increased the speed daily for an extra mental and physical push. Seriously, hop on the treadmill, listen to a podcast, and the 30 minutes fly by.

The Expert’s Opinion on the 12-3-30 Workout

@so_narly 1 month update 🤍 let’s be accountability partners! 💪🏽 #12330challenge #12330workout #treadmillroutine #bodypositivitytiktok #somethingyoulearned ♬ Work Out (Talkbox) – Adam Tahere

Okay, so obviously, we had to get an expert’s opinion on this, so we got in touch with Sport and Exercise Scientist Taylor Hamilton.

When we asked Taylor if he supports the 12-3-30 trend, he said, “Firstly, I think it’s great that there is a trend that encourages a baseline fitness exercise.” However, he did add that “Long story short, this isn’t revolutionary in the fitness industry. What the “trend” is asking you to do is to work out for thirty minutes a day (which we all know is great for consistency) in a low, “fat-burning” heart rate zone. This means we aim to be between 50% and 70% of our maximum heart rate to keep us utilizing our aerobic system.”

If you’re questioning why the incline comes into the equation? Taylor explains, “This is a little trick to get you in that zone in the least complicated way. Setting one speed for everyone wouldn’t work as some people find walking easier than others, so the incline helps the walker reach that heart rate much easier, and then it’s a direct respondent to your own weight and fitness ability.” Copy that!

Is the 12-3-30 Workout A Fad?

@mileyreynolds Jk I love 12-3-30 #12330workout #gymtok #abs #12330challenge ♬ оригинальный звук – _malifisenta007_

Now for the real tea… Is this workout just a fad? Taylor confirms, “There’s no new science here. Most trainers and sports professionals ask their clients who aim to lose weight to keep a constant calorie burn throughout the week rather than just three hours of personal training in the gym. The standard response to this is to aim for 10,000 steps a day.”

He continues, “Now, as the boom of social media allows most people access to trainers on a mainstream level, we’ve seen trainers ‘selling their secrets’ and repackaging them as a new trend.” However, he notes, “Most of these principles have been used for years and will be for decades to come; in this case, basic calorie burning in an aerobic state has been repackaged as the 12-3-30 trend.”

@emelieemonye I lost 6 pounds in my first 4 days! #12330workout #12330challenge #maturingisrealizing #maturinginthegym #laurengiraldoworkout ♬ original sound – Risky

What Else Can You do to Maximize the Benefits of the 12-3-30 Workout?

“Aiming for fat loss as a goal can be tricky,” says Taylor. He explains, “Because the most successful method is boring and unglamorous. If there were a secret to guaranteed fat loss, we wouldn’t need half of the fitness industry, and I would be a millionaire a few times over.”

He says, “A great heart-rate-based walking or low aerobic state (calorie burn), coupled with an accurate calorie intake, will lead to fat loss, full stop. How you burn and ingest those calories is up to each person.”

Bottom Line: Is the 12-3-30 Workout Worth the hype?

Contrary to popular opinion, Taylor says, “I always applaud a fitness fad. If it leads even one person to become healthier, it’s done a great job!” You’ve got to admit he has a valid point. Although, he adds, “I don’t see this as a fad but more of a rudimental guideline for people to start learning about good heart rate zones and calorie deficits.”

Finally, he concludes, “My only recommendation would be to buy a basic heart rate monitor or smartwatch to measure your aerobic workouts as most people will be very surprised at how little they really do daily.”

So basically, try it out, and if you enjoy it, then stick at it. If you can, add other exercises to the mix to make sure you’re maximizing on your goals, and remember, there’s no quick fix to fitness, but having a consistent routine is a great place to start.

Would you try this workout? Let us know in the comments below.