- The viral 12-3-30 workout is good, but there are better ways to spend your workout time.
- Rowing and sliding are easy ways to combine cardio with resistance training to build muscle.
- Don’t shy away from strength training—it’s less intimidating and healthier than you think.
Step away from the treadmill – seriously, the latest TikTok trend isn’t going to give you abs, grow your butt, or help you get the tone of your dreams, no matter what influencers tell you and show you.
The “12-3-30” workout, otherwise known as the “hot girl workout,” is a zombie workout trend that’s trying to kill you from your gym sessions. Since around 2019, the so-called “viral” routine has resurfaced every few months on various social media platforms. The gist of it is that you spend 30 minutes on a treadmill set at three miles per hour at a 12% incline.
What you need to know right now is that the 12-3-30 trend is just another version of the endless cardio machine trends that make false promises based on the myth that you need to exercise to lose weight or look good. . Such exercises typically target women, often playing under pressure to look a certain way: thin but not sickly, toned without looking bulkywith magazine-worthy thigh gap but inexplicably also dumptrack booty.
Don’t get me wrong: walking is great for you, and you should. A fast pace good for health. Walking on a slope is good for getting your heart rate up and can get you into a healthy sweet spot Low intensity cardio called Zone 2.
If you really love being on the treadmill at a full three miles per hour at a full 12% incline for 30 minutes and that motivates you to hit the gym, then follow your bliss. Put on your favorite podcast or playlist and go to town. No judgement—the best exercise is the one you actually enjoy and will continue to do. It probably isn’t for most people.
I’m not interested in arguing that this exercise is bad (it’s good) or debating whether or not it is holding the handles negates the benefits of the trend (expert says … meh?).
I’m just tired of talking about it. Exercise 12-3-30 is like a maybe a date you can ask again because they had no serious red flags, but no real chemistry either. Why settle for less?
Your time and energy are valuable, and whether you have specific fitness goals or just want to be healthier, you deserve a workout that loves you.
Here are three alternative exercises that you can do with the same amount of time and effort, approved by personal trainers and fitness experts. I’m not your mom, but you can tell they’re more fun and more rewarding for your health and fitness. I just want you to make good choices, honey.
Rucking can get your heart rate up and help you build muscle without the gym
Don’t be fooled by the tech bro hype or Navy SEAL calls: rucking is simply walking with weightand you do it every time you visit the library or try to cram a pretentious Trader Joe’s load into a small backpack.
The main advantage of rucking is that it incorporates resistance training into your cardio, which is great for your health and also for building muscle. Regardless of how muscular you think you want to look, lean muscle mass is essential for longevity and a healthy metabolism.
As a bonus, you get more out of running than other forms of exercise because you don’t have to go to the treadmill for cardio equipment or walk with your gym buddies.
To whom start playing, try loading a backpack with 15 to 30 pounds (you can use books, water bottles, etc.), fitness writer Michael Easter previously told Business Insider. You may not even need the full 30 minutes, as a 15-minute run can be a great entry-level workout.
Rowing is an underrated exercise for cardio, core and total body strength
Everyone rushes to jump on the treadmill or stair stepThe real VIP for a 30-minute or less cardio session is the often-overlooked rower.
Rowing is also an aerobic exercise that helps build muscle Make it one of the most effective total-body workouts you can do by working your core, legs, back and arms, TS Fitness personal trainer Noam Tamir previously told BI.
You can keep the fun going by trying different workout splits or trying to beat your previous stats, he said.
As with any exercise program, it’s ideal to have a trainer or coach when you start to make your workouts effective and avoid unnecessary injury risks.
However, you can try rowing alone without too much risk, if you remember that it is primarily a leg exercise, avoid pulling too early with your hands and keep your elbows close to your body.
Lifting weights is easier than you think
Well, hear me out. I know The weight room can be intimidatingthe idea of throwing big barbells might not be your jam, and you’re afraid of doing something wrong and bending your back.
But weightlifting is definitely the best bang for your buck at the gym. This may help you live longer. This may help you lose weight, if you like. If you want to build muscle, get stronger or develop a more athletic physiqueThere’s no better way than taking the really heavy stuff.
Lifting weights is for everyone, and learning how to do it effectively and correctly is a lot easier than you think. Feeling strong is also a great boost to your mood and confidence.
The best way to start is to work with a trainer or personal trainer, even if it’s just a few sessions to get the basic movements down. Good form (meaning performing the correct movement pattern and engaging the correct muscle groups) is critical to getting the most out of your workout and preventing injury.
However, if for whatever reason (again, no judgment) you can’t afford a trainer, there are plenty of exercises that require minimal technique and are relatively low risk of confusion that you can start.
Goblet squat Strengthen your legs and core: Do these while squatting, holding a weight like a dumbbell at chest level and keeping your torso upright.
A farmer carries performed by lifting a weight (such as a dumbbell or a kettlebell) in each hand and walking, working the entire body at once.
The upper pressure is a classic compound movement that brings the weight above shoulder level to strengthen the upper body. Avoid arching your back.
Don’t overdo your workout, start light and build up over time.
It’s a good goal if you have no idea how to get started two to three workouts per week, three sets per exercise, eight to 12 reps per set, depending on how heavy you want to go. You’ll be in and out of the gym in less time than you spend on the treadmill, and you might even be excited for your next workout.