The 12-3-30 treadmill workout is the latest fitness trend to go viral on TikTok (and no, you don’t even have to be a runner)

If you’ve managed to make it to the gym lately, well done. You might have spotted a new trend sweeping through the treadmill section. Namely, the 12-3-30 workout. 

And if you’re not a regular at your gym? It’s likely that you’ll have seen the trend taking off on TikTok. The hashtag #12330challenge already has a whopping 42.5M views, and it seems like every fitness influencer is giving it a go. 

It’s easy to see why the workout has become so popular. It follows three simple rules: set the treadmill incline to 12%, the speed to 3 mph, and walk for 30 minutes. Hence the name: the 12-3-30 workout. Also, walking on a treadmill somehow feels less intimidating than running – not to mention, easier on the knees and (potentially) less dangerous. 

But where did the 12-3-30 workout actually come from? And – more importantly – does it actually work? GLAMOUR spoke to celebrity personal trainer and founder of Be The Fittest, Tyrone Brennand, and Meggan Grubb, a wellness expert and founder of the Beyond app, to get the low-down. 

What is the TikTok 12-3-30 workout?

Although it feels like the 12-3-30 workout has appeared out of nowhere, it actually originated with social media influencer Lauren Giraldo, who shared it on YouTube in 2019 and again on TikTok in November 2020. 

In her TikTok, Lauren called the workout a “game-changer,” and explained that “literally all you need is a treadmill. You put it on an incline of 12, a speed of three, and walk for 30 minutes as many times you can a week,” before adding that she does it five times per week. 

She added, “I used to be so intimidated by the gym and it wasn’t motivating. But now I go, I do this one thing, and I can feel good about myself.”

You can watch the TikTok, here: 

TikTok content

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

Since Lauren’s video dropped, it’s garnered 2.7M views and has encouraged plenty of TikTok users to try the trend for themselves. One in particular, @bliss.ohh, points out that Lauren uses a treadmill that measures speed in miles per hour, while many UK treadmills use kilometres per hour.

If your treadmill uses km, she recommends setting your speed to 4.8/9 kilometres per hour. You can see her TikTok, here

Is the 12-3-30 workout effective? 

According to Tyrone Brennand, the 12-3-30 workout has pros and cons. He explains that “on the one hand, it is a good workout to inspire people to start working out – it is simple to follow and doesn’t take up a lot of time. It can be engaging and motivating for beginners in the gym. 

“A lot of people don’t know what they want from their session and this is a great way to burn some calories, improve cardiovascular fitness levels and also work and tone your legs.”

“However,” Tyrone adds, “the workout has its limits. This workout cannot be solely relied upon to improve fitness and strength levels and should definitely not be the only workout you do. If you do the same workout repeatedly, you run the risk of plateauing. Ideally, you need to change the speed and intensity of these workouts – otherwise, you will not improve.”