Social media personality Lauren Giraldo originally posted her “12-3-30 workout” — which she credits with helping her feel less intimidated by the gym — to YouTube in 2019, but the workout continues to gain followers as a viral TikTok video posted in November 2020 garnered more than 2.7 million likes and 12.6 million views.
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What is the “12-3-30” workout?
Giraldo’s workout is guided by three settings on the treadmill:
- Incline: 12
- Speed: 3
- Time: 30 minutes
According to Giraldo’s TikTok video, she does the workout approximately five times per week and it helped her drop 30 pounds. “I obviously noticed the changes in my body, but I was most happy with the changes that I felt mentally,” she said. “I was proud of myself every day for getting on the treadmill and having my ‘me time’ for 30 minutes. I feel accomplished every time I do it.”
For Giraldo it served another important purpose: getting her comfortable stepping foot in the gym. “The thing about 12-3-30 is it made the gym so much less of a scary place. I feel confident in the gym now, and I sometimes incorporate weights and other exercises into my workout,” she said.
At first, Giraldo couldn’t make it the full 30 minutes. “I definitely had to work up to the 30 minutes. I couldn’t get through it without losing my breath and started out by taking a break after the 10 or 15-minute mark,” she said.
Want to give it a try? Follow these guidelines for a safe and effective workout
“(Giraldo) did well, but most people never make it there because they will get an overuse injury and will be taken out of the game. It’s a great goal, but it’s just not realistic for most of the population,” said Cardone. “If you just do one activity — we don’t have to bash just this one — but whatever activity, if you keep doing it day in and day out, it’s just a set up for injury.”
So instead of jacking that incline way up, here is the safe way to try Giraldo’s workout:
- Don’t be fooled by the treadmill: “People think the treadmill is so safe; it’s not outdoors, it’s a soft, forgiving surface. But it’s not that different from walking up a hill; you’re not protecting yourself that much more by being on a treadmill as opposed to being out on a road,” warned Cardone. “Thirty minutes walking up a mountain, it’s pretty tough when you think about it. People feel a little overconfident about the treadmill.”
- Adjust the numbers to meet you where you’re at. “Don’t incline so rapidly, maybe don’t even start at 30 minutes; 3 mph is reasonable, but maybe slow down your duration of workout and incline to work up to that,” suggested Cardone. “Start flat on a treadmill, and do 0-3-30. Once that is comfortable for you, then start inclining, don’t go to 12 right away. Over 3 weeks start slowly progressing your incline, maybe 10-20 percent per week.”
- If you’re new to fitness, start on flat ground. “If someone is outdoors and starting their workout program, whether it’s walking, jogging, interval training, don’t look for a hill,” said Cardone. “First, tolerate flat and once you’re doing that then you if you want to add some hills into your workout fine, but don’t go looking for hills at the start of a program.”
- Gradually increase incline: “Slowly progress your incline, start at the lowest setting and it’s a gradual increase, like any other workout in terms of increasing mileage or intensity,” said Cardone. “This workout starts at a 12-degree incline, so I’d say go at 4-degree intervals. So gradually increase it over a 3-week period to get to that 12 degrees.”
- Don’t do it every day. “Almost whatever the routine is, the general rule is there should be a recovery day or at least alternating with some other activity in order to try to avoid overuse injuries,” said Cardone. “I wouldn’t discourage people from doing some sort of activity most days of the week, just not the same activity. Have a recovery day where you are doing some sort of alternate activity, maybe that might be the elliptical trainer, a bicycle or in the swimming pool, whatever you have available.”
- Supplement with strength and stretching. The bent posture of walking uphill places stress on your low back, Achilles tendon, calf muscles, plantar fascia and hamstring muscles, said Cardone. “Those are stubborn problems and people don’t want those kind of injuries, once they kick in, they are tough to treat,” he said. He suggested doing core-strengthening exercises as well as stretching those areas specifically to help reduce your risk of injury while walking or running.
- Consider something lower impact. If you are just getting into fitness, Cardone advised starting with lower-impact workouts. “Bicycling, elliptical trainer, swimming, cross-training type activities, are even safer. Those are great activities to start a workout routine and build up your cardiovascular endurance; you’re not doing a lot of impact, it’s a little more forgiving on the joints and also on muscle tendons,” he said. “So maybe do the treadmill 2 or 3 days a week and the other days these other activities; that is going to keep people out of trouble.”
Source: The ’12-3-30′ walking treadmill routine helped 1 woman lose 30 pounds (msn.com)