Curious About the 12-3-30 Workout? A Trainer Weighs In on the Routine That's Gone Viral

Katherine McLaughlin
·2-min read
Woman using incline threadmill in modern gym. Incline threadmills are used to simulate uphill walking or running and deliver additional workout benefits to users. Woman is wearing black yoga pants andrunning sports shoes.
Woman using incline threadmill in modern gym. Incline threadmills are used to simulate uphill walking or running and deliver additional workout benefits to users. Woman is wearing black yoga pants andrunning sports shoes.

Ever since the COVID-19 lockdown, without access to a full gym and endless equipment, I've been looking for effective and simple ways to get in a good workout at home. I've been relying heavily on social media for routines and guidance, and I've found some of my favorite workouts this way. When I kept hearing about a "12-3-30" workout across nearly every corner of the internet, I was at first confused, then eager to learn more about this viral trend.

The 12-3-30 workout was created by influencer Lauren Giraldo, and while she first introduced it on YouTube more than a year ago, the workout didn't gain such intense popularity until Giraldo posted a TikTok about it in late 2020. The 12-3-30 workout is done completely on the treadmill and consists of setting the machine's incline to 12 percent, turning up the speed to three miles per hour, and walking for 30 minutes. The routine gained popularity in part because Giraldo credited it as one of the driving forces behind her weight-loss journey.

But is the 12-3-30 workout safe and effective for the average person? "Because of its simplicity, this workout routine makes it an easy habit to start and be consistent with," Lindsay Ogden, an NASM-certified personal trainer and small group training experience manager at Life Time, told POPSUGAR. However, Ogden cautioned that, if you have any type of injury pain, such as hip or knee problems that could be aggravated by an incline, it's best to steer clear of this workout.

Even if you have no limitations, the 12-3-30 workout probably shouldn't be the only form of exercise you do. Ogden explained that, in an "ideal situation," a person would incorporate resistance training, stretching, and cardio into their workout routine, performing each type of training roughly three times a week. A treadmill workout - or even a walking workout done on a natural incline, such as hills in your neighborhood - could certainly be a part of that, but try following this trainer-developed workout plan to learn how to better structure your week and achieve your goals.