What Is The 12-3-30 Treadmill Workout That's Going Viral On TikTok? And Could It Be The Most Effective Workout For Weight Loss?

TikTok is the hottest place for all the trends in fitness, cooking, fashion, and more. One of the recent workouts that has been a hot topic on the social media platform is something called the 12-3-30 treadmill workout. So what is it and is it effective for fat loss?

By Gina Florio2 min read
woman treadmill

We've seen some pretty crazy trends on TikTok in the last year, from the controversial pink sauce to the disaster that is NyQuil chicken. But every once in a while, TikTok delivers something useful in the trending section, like the 12-3-30 treadmill workout, a cardio session that promises to speed up weight loss and improve cardiovascular capability. If you haven't heard of it before, is it worth trying? And does it really help with fat loss?

What Is the 12-3-30 Treadmill Workout That's Going Viral on TikTok?

The 12-3-30 treadmill workout was originally shared by social media influencer Lauren Giraldo, who shared her incredible 30-pound weight-loss journey on Instagram in 2020. She says she was "at a low point and the gym was always an intimidating environment," so she decided to play around with a challenging workout on the treadmill that would be fun but helpful with fat loss.

"I think it’s important that when you’re building out your routine it’s one that makes most sense for you. I don’t believe in strict guides because we’re all different," she says in her video.

The workout is simple: you put the incline on the treadmill at 12, you set the speed at 3 mph, and you walk for 30 minutes. The workout has become so popular on TikTok that the hashtag #12330 has more than 122 million views. People are swearing by it and claiming that it's the best cardio for fat loss.

Lauren is thrilled at the popularity this workout has achieved because she wanted it to be accessible to anyone and everyone, regardless of their current ability or fitness goals. But is it really an effective workout for weight loss?

Is the 12-3-30 Treadmill Workout Effective for Weight Loss?

There's no doubt that the 12-3-30 treadmill workout is a great cardio workout, and that's because it's LISS (low-intensity steady state) cardio. In a world where HIIT (high-intensity interval training) cardio has been all the rage for the last several years, LISS hardly gets the credit it deserves because it's a really useful and effective type of cardio that doesn't have the potential side effects that HIIT can.

I've been a trainer and weight-loss coach for almost 10 years and one of the most common denominators of women who come to me with complaints about not being able to lose weight efficiently is that they're doing far too much HIIT cardio, which leaves them feeling extremely exhausted, more likely to overeat, and even moody and cranky. That's because high-intensity workouts can sometimes work against women, especially depending on where they are in their menstrual cycle. Many of my clients are shocked to hear that LISS cardio can be just as useful, if not more than HIIT. LISS is a cardio session that lasts longer but it only requires low to moderate intensity so you don't feel wiped out after the session like many people do after a HIIT session, which is by definition much higher intensity.

I speculate that many women have had big success with the 12-3-30 workout because it's a very effective LISS section. My best recommendation is to pair it with regular strength training. If you're lifting weights or doing resistance training three times a week and pairing it with a few 12-3-30 treadmill workouts each week, while also maintaining a high-protein calorie deficit, you're almost guaranteed to shed fat at a fast pace.