The 12-3-30 workout: What are the pros and cons of this TikTok trend?

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A fitness expert has given us her verdict on the TikTok fitness trend.

One of the biggest fitness crazes to go viral on TikTok this year was the 12-3-30 workout.

What is the 12-3-30 workout?

The 12-3-30 workout is a relatively simple but effective cardio exercise routine that primarily involves walking on an incline using a treadmill. The name refers to the rules: You walk on a 12% incline for 30 minutes and aim for a speed of three miles per hour.

Is the 12-3-30 workout worth a go?

Personal trainer Amanda Place, the founder of Sculptrition, has given us her verdict:

The pros of the 12-3-30 workout

Time efficiency

“It only requires 30 minutes of your day, making it ideal for people with busy schedules. The simplicity of the routine also ensures minimal setup time,” Amanda notes.

Cardiovascular benefits

“Walking on an incline increases the intensity of your workout, which can boost your heart rate and improve cardiovascular health. It’s an effective way to burn calories and promote overall fitness,” she explains.

Muscle engagement

“Walking on an incline engages the muscles in your lower body, including the glutes, hamstrings, and calves. This can help tone and strengthen these muscle groups,” the personal trainer states.

Low impact

The low-impact nature of the workout means it is suitable for those with joint issues or those who are new to exercise.

The cons of the 12-3-30 workout

Limited variation

“While the 12-3-30 workout is effective, it lacks variation in terms of exercise types. Relying solely on this routine may lead to monotony and hinder long-term commitment to fitness,” Amanda warns.

Muscle imbalance

“This workout primarily targets the lower body muscles, neglecting the upper body and core. To achieve balanced fitness, additional exercises are necessary,” the expert continues.


“Over time, your body may adapt to the 12-3-30 routine, causing diminished results,” Amanda explains. “It’s crucial to periodically increase the incline or speed to continue progressing.”

Lack of intensity

“While it’s a good choice for beginners or those recovering from injuries, the 12-3-30 workout may not provide the high-intensity challenge sought by more advanced fitness enthusiasts,” she shares.

Wherever you are with your fitness journey, make sure you start at an appropriate level and gradually increase the intensity. If you push yourself too hard too soon, you may cause an injury.

Giving her overall verdict, Amanda concludes, “The 12-3-30 workout offers a straightforward and time-efficient approach to cardiovascular exercise, providing several benefits, including muscle engagement and low-impact training. However, it’s not without its limitations.

“Ultimately, the 12-3-30 workout can be a valuable addition to your fitness regimen, but it’s important to strike a balance with other forms of exercise to achieve holistic fitness and long-term success.”


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