The idea behind the 12 - 3 - 30 is that you set your treadmill to a 12 degree incline with a speed of 3 miles an hour and walk for 30 minutes. This particular routine came off of social media first in 2019 and again in 2020.
This workout focuses on walking, not running so for many people it is a much better option, especially if you don't do well running on treadmills. Although walking is considered a moderate activity, when doing it on the treadmill with the 12 percent incline and at three miles per hour, it becomes much more vigorous for people. The 12 percent grade is a fairly steep incline especially as most mountain roads only have a six to eight percent incline.
When a person walks at an incline compared to flat ground, they encounter more gravity trying to pull them down and your leg and butt muscles have to work harder to overcome the gravity. Consequently, your heart works harder turning it into a cardio challenge. It was found that when people use an incline of between 2 and 7 percent, it causes the heart rate to increase by 10 percent compared to being on a flat surface.
The 12 - 3 - 30 workout is a great way to increase the intensity of walking, making it a better workout. It is considered a good alternative to running especially if someone wants a more intense workout than just straight walking and it is straight forward. The 12 - 3 - 30 tells you everything you need to know. In addition, if one does this workout five days a week, it meets the government guidelines for the minimum amount of recommended exercise. It is recommended one not do this workout more than two or three times a week.
Although the 12 - 3 - 30 workout offers a good cardio workout, it does have some drawbacks one should be aware of before choosing it. It puts some stress on your lower back due to the amount of incline and it is possible to damage your hamstrings and calves if you do not do proper warmup every time. In addition, if you have issues with your knees, you could stress your knees too much.
Furthermore, this workout has you walking uphill all the time rather than walking both up hill and down hill as you would when walking outside. If you walk on an uneven ground, your balance is challenged, and you work your lower legs more than on a treadmill. When you walk outside, you get sun (vitamin d), fresh air, and changing scenery.
it is strongly recommended that one eat something that contains both quality carbohydrates and protein about 45 minutes before beginning the workout so you are properly fueled up. Do not jump into the workout too quickly. Instead take time to do some pre-exercise stretches as a way of activating your glutes, calves, hamstrings, and hips. When you start working out on the treadmill, begin at 0 percent grade (flat) for the first two or three minutes as a way of warming up before moving on to the 12 percent incline. Then once you are done with the 30 minutes, take time to properly cool down. Don't forget to include stretching and giving your heart a chance to slow down.
Although this workout is good, it should not be used as your only exercise as it does not help other leg muscles fully develop as they would using other exercises. In addition, it is best to mix up various workouts to keep your motivation up and reduce boredom. Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.