The Truth About the 12-3-30 Workout – The good, the bad, and alternatives

I tried the 12-3-30 workout for a month. 

Here are my results, and everything you need to know about this workout.

treadmills in a gym
Photo by Ryan De Hamer

Is it a game-changer? Or is it all just hype? And can you do it if you don’t have a treadmill? 

Keep reading to learn all this and more about the 12-3-30 workout, from benefits, risks, and whether or not it worked.

What is the 12-3-30 workout?

The 12-3-30 workout is a workout shared by Lauren Giraldos. All you need is yourself and a treadmill!

It involves setting the incline to 12, setting the speed to 3, and walking for 30 minutes. Giraldos stated she did so about 5 times a week and lost 30 lbs in all.

Lauren Giraldos also claimed she does not diet or count calories.

What does the 12-3-30 workout claim to do?

The 12-3-30 workout claims to shed inches off your waist, and melt the fat right off in as little as a month.

Some even claim that their glutes are more toned and larger (think peach bottom).

What are the benefits of the 12-3-30 workout?

As stated above, the workout claims to reduce fat, increase muscle mass, and shed inches off the waist.

How true is this?

First of all, walking itself has amazing benefits.

Even the silly little walk trend that had also gone viral has great benefits both physically and mentally. So what makes the 12-3-30 workout different? It’s all in the incline.

Trying out the workout for a month, I will say, it is an endurance type of training. I did it 5 times a week and after the first session, my calves were burning. The 12% incline truly has an impact.

Putting your body under a session of stress such as this can be beneficial to you, as any form of exercise is a form of healthy stress on the body.

However, I did notice that it is easy to get injured in this workout without the proper information.

How to do the 12-3-30 safely

The 12 percent incline will activate the glutes, calves, hamstrings, and core to support the body on this uphill climb. 

Make sure you are rolling your feet, following a marching motion, relaxing the shoulders, and keeping upright. Without proper form, this workout has the potential to hurt the heel and hamstrings greatly. 

Ensure your heels hit and roll, or your calves and heels will hurt a lot after a single session.

Additionally, do not skip a warm-up or cold down, as not warming up can lead you to injury during the workout. Not cooling down can lead to overly sore muscles and tightness.

Can you do this workout if you don’t have a treadmill?

Yes and no.

The incline and speed is something that would be difficult to replicate without a treadmill machine enforcing these on you but there are alternatives and ways to mimic it!

Walking outside uphill is a free way to get the incline, so long as you try to keep your speed at a steady march for 30 minutes. There may even be additional benefits to moving down a hill, as you work out different muscles in this motion.

You may also do calisthenics, like burpees, jumping jacks, and high knees, which use bodyweight movements, and get the heart rate up without needing a treadmill.

HIIT workouts are another great option that requires no equipment and may actually improve your capacity to run and stamina.

Unpopular opinion, but since the 12-3-30 workout is a combo of incline and speed, without the incline, increase your speed. This will give you results and may actually be easier.

So, is the 12-3-30 work a game changer or is it overhyped?

Honestly, it might be a bit of both. Anything that gets you up and keeps you coming back to a steady routine will have benefits.

The great thing about this workout is that it is a simple routine and a habit you can make. 

I do think it’s a bit of a reach to say that this is a game-changer, but I will say my muscles feel stronger, and I feel like I can run longer on flat ground.

Did I lose weight? Yes! And I did notice more toning of my muscles.

But I truly believe that the point of a workout should be to better the body and improve health and wellbeing. This workout definitely delivered that. 

While it’s ok to want to change our body, this may lead to issues on our fitness journey like low self-esteem, eating disorders, or stress. 

Our bodies are designed to move and we should want to move. As you do so, exercising and eating a healthy diet, we should be on our way to being a version of ourselves that feels great!

Our goal should be to improve what our bodies can do and allow the rest to follow naturally.

The Takeaway

Any form of workout that motivates you to get up and move is a good thing!

The 12-3-30 workout is an endurance form of training that is simple and achievable.

Having proper form, warming up, and cooling down properly can enhance the training and ensure you don’t get injured.

If you cannot do the speed and incline, start lower at a 5 incline and 2 speed and work your way up to prevent injury. We want to build strength safely, pushing ourselves but not injuring.

Fitness is a journey and wellbeing starts from within!

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