Since health and beauty influencer Lauren Giraldo first shared a video of the 12-3-30 workout on YouTube in 2019, it has gained significant attention on various social media platforms. In the past two years, numerous versions of the workout have garnered billions of views on TikTok.

The 12-3-30 workout is a challenging cardio routine that is attributed by its creator and users to aiding in weight loss, cardiovascular health, and muscle development. 

Brittany Simon, a certified personal trainer with the International Sports Sciences Association (ISSA) and owner of ReckFit Total Body Fitness in Scottsdale, Arizona, notes that the workout’s health benefits may include improved cardiovascular health and reduced body fat.

Continue reading to discover more about the 12-3-30 workout.

What is 12-3-30 Workout

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According to Simon, the 12-3-30 workout primarily targets the muscles in your posterior chain (which include your glutes, hamstrings, low back, and calf muscles) through a challenging, yet low-impact cardio routine. This workout requires a treadmill that can be adjusted to an incline of 12 and a minimum speed of 3 miles per hour.

To begin the workout, warm up by walking at a leisurely pace on a slight incline of less than three for five to 10 minutes. Next, walk for 30 minutes at a pace of 3 miles per hour. It is recommended to avoid holding onto the handrails to maintain proper posture and maximize your energy expenditure, as doing so may hinder the workout’s full benefits.

When compared to other popular fitness trends like the 75 Hard Challenge, the 12-3-30 workout is known for its simplicity and has amassed a considerable following on social media platforms like TikTok. It has encouraged many individuals to share their success stories, particularly with regards to weight loss.

Benefits of 12-3-30 Workout 

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Reduces Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

Studies indicate that incline walking, which simulates the effects of uphill walking, can offer several benefits. In addition to expending more energy and burning more calories compared to walking on a flat surface, incline walking can also elevate your heart rate and support healthy blood pressure.

Tones Muscle 

The human body comprises two types of muscle fibers: slow-twitch and fast-twitch. Fast-twitch muscle fibers are prone to fatigue quickly (during high-intensity, short duration activities), whereas slow-twitch muscle fibers are associated with endurance (during low-intensity, long duration exercises) because they are less likely to tire out. By engaging in sustained aerobic exercise, the 12-3-30 workout targets these slow-twitch muscle fibers.

Promotes Fat Loss

CDC recommends 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity per week with 2 strength training activities. Maintaining 60-70% of max heart rate burns fat. To calculate max heart rate, subtract age from 220. During the 12-3-30 workout, you should be able to maintain a conversation. Repeating the workout over time with a balanced diet may improve endurance and reduce body fat.

May Improve Mood

Exercise, including the 12-3-30 workout, can improve mood and is impactful for those with mental health conditions, such as depression. Endorphins released during exercise have a positive impact on emotional state, mood, attention, and social interactions, according to research.

Workout Simplicity

Dr. Prestipino says that in addition to its physical benefits, the 12-3-30 workout is fast, efficient, and only requires access to a treadmill at home or in the gym. It is a low-impact workout that is gentler on the lower extremity joints, such as the hips and knees, as it does not include jumping, running, or twisting motions.

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Risks of Workout 

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Like any form of physical activity, it comes with some risks if not performed correctly or if a person has pre-existing conditions. Here are some potential risks of the 12-2-30 workout:

  • Injury: The high-intensity nature of the workout can increase the risk of injury, particularly if proper form is not maintained during the exercises. It’s important to use proper form and start with a lower intensity before gradually increasing it to prevent injuries.
  • Overuse: The workout can also put a lot of stress on the body. Overuse of the workout can lead to muscle soreness, fatigue and increase the risk of injury.
  • Exacerbating pre-existing conditions: People with pre-existing conditions such as heart problems, joint problems, or high blood pressure should consult with their doctor before starting the workout. The nature of the workout may not be suitable for everyone and may exacerbate certain conditions.
  • Hypoglycemia: If you have diabetes and are taking medications to lower your blood sugar levels, the 12-2-30 workout may increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). You should talk to your doctor before starting the workout if you have diabetes.
  • Fatigue: The workout can lead to fatigue, particularly if you are not used to this type of exercise. You should start with a lower intensity and gradually increase it over time to prevent fatigue.


In conclusion, the 12-2-30 workout is a high-intensity interval training workout that offers a variety of benefits for those who incorporate it into their fitness routine. However, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with the workout, particularly if proper form is not maintained during the exercises, if a person has pre-existing conditions, or if the workout is not suitable for an individual. 

Always remember that a healthy and balanced workout routine should include a variety of exercises that target different muscle groups, including cardio and strength training, and also include rest days.

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