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Everything You Need to Know About 12-3-30, the Walking Workout That Helps People Lose Weight Fast

Burn fat fast with this expert-endorsed walking workout.

So, you want to lose weight fast – without having to pay a personal trainer or sign up for a class? One of the most popular workouts for weight loss doesn't require a gym membership or an expensive fitness pass. In fact, all you need is a treadmill and a pair of sneakers. The 12-3-30 workout has millions upon millions of views on TikTok for a reason – it works. Here is everything you need to know about the 12-3-30 treadmill workout.

Lauren Giraldo Created the 12-3-30 Workout


When she was 24, Lauren Giraldo made the 12-3-30 treadmill workout go viral. It involves setting the treadmill to a 12% incline and walking at 3 miles per hour for 30 minutes. She first shared the treadmill routine in a 2019 YouTube video, uploading it to Instagram and TikTok in 2020, where it went viral. In the clips she claimed that it helped her lose 30 pounds.

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She Was Intimidated By the Gym


"I used to be so intimidated by the gym, and it wasn't motivating," Giraldo explained in a 37-second TikTok video. "But now I go, I do this one thing, and I can feel good about myself."

She Calls It a "Game Changer"

"Game changer honestly. Have you tried my treadmill routine?" she captioned another post.

She Struggled to Run


Giraldo explains that her struggle to run on the treadmill let her to seek an alternative. "I'm not a runner, and running on the treadmill was not working for me," she told "I started playing around with the settings, and at the time, my gym's treadmill had 12 incline as the max. The three miles per hour felt right, like walking, and my grandma had always told me that 30 minutes of exercise a day was all you needed. That's how the combination started."

Most Fitness Experts Are On Board with the 12-3-30

fit african american woman hiking up runyon canyon at sunset

While some viral workouts aren't exactly endorsed by fitness experts, there is little controversy surrounding the 12-3-30. In fact, there is scientific evidence supporting it.

Walking Slower on an Incline Burns More Calories Than Running on a Flat Surface

Beautiful woman traveler climbs uphill with a dog on a background of mountain views. She is with a backpack and in red clothes.

Walking on an incline burns more calories than walking fast or even running on a flat surface, which is why many experts suggest upping your incline. A 2013 study even found that walking on a 2 to 7 percent incline increased heart rate by almost 10 percent when compared with running on a flat surface.

Our Resident RDN Also Agrees

Sporty woman tying shoelace on running shoes before practice. Female athlete preparing for jogging outdoors. Runner getting ready for training. Sport active lifestyle concept. Close-up

"Walking is an excellent way to get started in exercise," agrees Body Network's Resident RDN, The Diet Diva, Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LD/N, ACSM-CPT, a Board Certified Sports Dietitian and a co-author of the Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies. If you don't want to jog/run, elevating the incline on the treadmill is a great way to get your heart rate higher, she adds.

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You Might Want to Start at a Lower Incline, She Says

Woman using incline threadmill in modern gym. Incline threadmills are used to simulate uphill walking or running and deliver additional workout benefits to users.

"However, be careful with how much and how long you do the incline. Start with just a few degrees for a few minutes. Bring it back down for a few minutes and raise it again, repeating several times in interval style. I have seen people get injured by doing too much incline too quickly and not letting their body acclimate to it."

💪🔥Body Booster: You don't have to start with 30 minutes. Try doing a 12-3-15 instead.

Leah Groth
Leah Groth has decades of experience covering all things health, wellness and fitness related. Read more