TikTok's 12-3-30 Treadmill Workout Boasts Plenty Of Benefits - Here's What To Know

Another day, another TikTok trend. While it can oftentimes feel difficult to keep track of every new one that pops up, some, like the 12-3-30 treadmill workout, might be worth looking into. Created by influencer Lauren Giraldo, the 12-3-30 trend has amassed over 400 million views on TikTok so far and has likely already infiltrated your local gym. The workout is relatively simple: A person walks on a treadmill set to a 12% incline, at 3 mph, for 30 minutes. 

If you're asking yourself why this particular trend is so popular, it comes down to the balance the workout strikes between being difficult enough to ensure noticeable fitness results while still being accessible for most people. Vanessa Liu, a certified fitness trainer, and nutritionist, told Bustle, "The 12% incline is pretty challenging, so it's definitely an intense workout. Yet, a speed of 3 mph is the average walking speed for most people, so it's a very doable speed." Starting a new fitness routine, especially if you're someone who hasn't been active for a while or ever, can be intimidating, so the simplicity of this workout makes it an easy choice for anyone looking for an uncomplicated way to get or stay active.

As with all workout routines, there are some key benefits and possible results that come from starting and maintaining a 12-3-30 fitness routine (alongside a few potential downsides). It's not right for everyone, but those who do gel with the trend may see some solid benefits.

Benefits of the 12-3-30 treadmill workout

Keeping up a consistent workout routine can be great for your body and mind. From increasing muscle strength to boosting your energy and improving your mood, there is truly no shortage of ways that regular physical activity can benefit you. With the 12-3-30 workout, your cardio endurance in particular can see noticeable improvements. As Liu told Bustle, "In the same way that anyone who's walked or hiked uphill knows you can quickly get out of breath, incline workouts are a great way to increase your heart rate." On top of the increased cardio, the 12% incline ensures that your glutes are getting targeted for the entire 30-minute duration of your workout.

It's important to remember that while, yes, weight loss can also be a side effect of the 12-3-30 workout routine, there is much more to physical activity than shedding pounds. The Mayo Clinic emphasizes just how important physical activity can be to those with chronic health conditions. Diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety, and even depression can all be combatted with regular physical activity. Not to mention, working out boosts your body's level of "good" high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, which can help you not only lower your bad cholesterol levels but also help prevent heart disease and strokes. While losing weight can be the most physically obvious byproduct of fitness activity, it's important to give yourself credit for all of the other good things you're doing for your body by being active.

Potential drawbacks of the trend

Like with all cardio-focused workouts, it can take time to see physical results, which can make it difficult to feel like you're making progress if that's a priority for you. Similarly, if you are someone who is not currently active, the 12-3-30 treadmill workout can be a lot harder than it sounds when you first start. It's important to not over-exert yourself or attempt too much at the beginning of a new workout routine or you can run the risk of burning out, getting demotivated, and even quitting.

Similarly, TikTok (and gym culture as a whole) can be extremely narrowly focused on weight loss as the singular motivation for working out. This can not only be emotionally draining but can also lead to feelings of self-judgment for not embodying standardized ideas of thinness. This can have detrimental effects on your mental health. While the simplicity of the 12-3-30 routine can absolutely serve as a great starting point for a new physical activity routine, many of the TikTok videos surrounding the trend, and fitness in general, have toxic content (remember #WaterTok?).

It's important to remember that your personal fitness goals don't need to look exactly like influencers in order to be good for you. Start small and do what feels right. Lauren Giraldo, who created the 12-3-30 routine, told Good Morning America, "I think it's important that when you're building out your routine it's one that makes the most sense for you. I don't believe in strict guides because we're all different."