What Is The 12-3-30 Workout - And Does It Work?

If, like us, you’re just a teeny bit obsessed with FitTok (AKA Fitness TikTok), you’ll have no doubt seen someone raving about the ‘12-3-30’ workout.

The viral cardio routine requires just 30 minutes and a treadmill - and no running. Seems almost too good to be true, if you ask us. Almost. 

The concept originated from social media influencer Lauren Giraldo, who shared it on YouTube in 2019, and again on TikTok in November 2020, where a video explaining the workout racked up 12.6 million views and more than 2.7 million likes (and counting).

The hashtag #12330 now has over 224.5 million views on TikTok, with thousands of fans - including the likes of Kylie Jenner - trying it out every day.

The beauty of this workout is that rather than absolutely destroying you into a pool of sweat and tears, it’s based purely on walking on a treadmill. Granted, it does sound easier than it actually is, but its many potential benefits, including the fact that it’s accessible to pretty much everyone, makes it a lot more credible. 

To get the lowdown on whether it actually works, keep on reading.

12 3 30 Workout


The workout follows a simple format: 

  • Set your treadmill incline to 12%;
  • Set your speed to 3mph;
  • Walk for 30 minutes.

However, if you’re from the UK, you need to do things just a little differently. 

In the US, treadmills use miles as their speed metric, but in the UK, treadmill speed is measured in kmph, which means you actually need to set your speed to 4.8. 

We also recommend starting with a five-minute warm-up and a five-minute cool-down, both without any incline. 


The 12-3-30 workout is centred around walking and walking in general is a great form of low-impact exercise. 

According to research, walking regularly at a brisk pace offers a ton of health benefits, including strengthening your bones and muscles, improving your balance and coordination and preventing or managing conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. 

Other benefits of the 12-3-30 workout include:

  • Improving cardiovascular fitness;
  • Improving stamina;
  • Regulating blood pressure;
  • Boosting mood;
  • Burning fat/contributing to weight loss.

In her viral video, Lauren shares that the workout helped her to lose 30 pounds and has given her more confidence to go to the gym.  

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The 12-3-30 workout is a step up from walking in general, as it consists of walking briskly at a steep incline. Because of this, there is more gravity resistance trying to pull you back down, and your muscles - particularly your lower body - have to work extra hard to overcome that added force. This means your heart has to work harder too.

Because it’s an activity that involves just walking, it’s accessible to most people and is a good alternative for those who don’t enjoy running or who are unable to run. 

On top of that, The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends adults should get at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week, meaning doing this 30-minute uphill workout five days a week hits that requirement. Sounds easy enough, right? 

That being said, adding other elements of physical activity is necessary for a more well-rounded routine. Discover more here



You know that saying, ‘slow and steady wins the race’? Well, it rings true with this workout too. Resist the urge to jump in too quickly, and take time to ease in. 

Stretching is key for any workout and, like we said earlier, it's recommended that you do a five-minute warm-up with no incline before getting into 12-3-30.

The same goes for cooling down too. Allotting time to recover after a good sweat optimises benefits and lowers the risk of potential injuries. 

Make sure to approach this workout with extra caution if you’re a beginner and/or suffer with knee or lower back problems. 

What Is The 12 3 30 Workout

The 12-3-30 treadmill workout is an effective aerobic routine that gets your heart rate up, builds strength and may even contribute to weight loss when paired with a balanced diet. However, it’s no magic pill for weight loss or even fitness in general. 

For the best results, stick to 12-3-30 two to three days a week and use the remaining days to engage other muscles through strength and mobility training. 

Nobody knows your body better than you do, so stay in tune with yourself and go at your own pace.