Fiona Outdoors logo My independent guide to the best of Scotland outdoors

Low intensity cardio: The newest Tik Tok trend

Written by Fiona

June 15 2022

There are plenty of fitness trends, such as crossfit and HIIT, and now a new trend is emerging thanks to its huge popularity among fitness Tik Tok influencers: It’s the 30/12/3 workout.

The 30/12/3 trend is a simple concept: On a folding motorised treadmill complete 30 minutes at 12 incline and 3 speed (that’s 12% gradient and 3mph).

Whilst low intensity cardio is by no means a new concept, Tik Tok often puts forgotten techniques and exercises into the spotlight for people to discover. The 30/12/3 workout has seen huge popularity, with #12330workout amassing 84.2 million views and videos on the topic frequently reaching 500,000 likes. 

So, with its new lease of life and clear favour among the Tik Tok fitness community, we look at why low intensity cardio is the newest Tik Tok trend?

A deeper look into the 30/12/3 trend

The 30/12/3 regime has emerged as a great alternative to traditional high intensity cardiovascular training. The duration, speed and incline all contribute to half an hour of exercise, burning on average around 400 calories according to Healthline.

This has been the selling point for thousands of viral Tik Toks, presenting it as a similar alternative for those who are averse to running and pointing to 30/12/3 instead of a 5k or 30-minute run. 

The trend has also grown as people look for ways to exercise without getting bored. With an audience used to unlimited sub-30-second videos, running without stimulation can be the main obstacle for many.

However, with low intensity 30/12/3 training, it gives people the ability to use streaming services on their phones or tablets to keep them entertained, as recommended by Tik Tok athletes.

These key factors have seen the 30/12/3 trend grow on Tik Tok as it becomes a staple in millions of workouts globally. But what are they key benefits of low intensity exercise? Is the 30/12/3 giving users the less-demanding alternative they crave?

Benefits of low intensity exercise

Low intensity exercise has a history of being used in physiotherapy and injury recovery as it is easier on the body and specifically, knee and hip joints [as per MayoClinic].

This means that people who aren’t using it for recovery can increase the frequency of their exercise and burn more calories more often without the detriment of joint pain and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Another key benefit is being able to operate below your maximum heart rate. Runners will often hit the top 80-90% of their heart rate towards the end of a run, especially when trying to target a personal best or a new distance [as per Healthline]. However, low intensity exercise should keep users in the much more comfortable 60-70% range, without having to sacrifice a large number of calories.

Incline walking is also a great option for people who are new to the gym and want to build their fitness slowly. The 30/12/3 can be built up to by starting with 15/6/2 for example, to gradually improve fitness and provide a low intensity and accessible entry-point for new gym goers.

How to maximise your results

As with any new exercise, a variety of external factors will contribute to the effectiveness and of its implementation. 

Firstly, consistency is key. Introducing treadmill incline walking and committing to it for months and not days will yield the best results. To help with consistency, you can introduce it gradually alongside any workouts you are already doing to ensure you don’t overcommit and burn out early on.

Secondly, your food should support your exercise. While burning more calories is the goal for fat loss, reducing the intake to match is essential. For example, burning an extra 2500 calories a week but eating an extra 3000 calories a week will hinder your progress and even send you backwards. Prioritising clean and nutritious food will only improve your results and ensure you are making the most of the 30/12/3 low intensity trend. 

Combining consistency and a good diet will ensure that you can reap all the rewards of the 30/12/3 workout and successfully make the most of Tik Toks newest health and fitness trend. 

The health and fitness landscape is constantly evolving, and it can be easy to get caught up in new research, trends and ideas. However, they are often rooted in science that has been proven for years. The 30/12/3 trend is a new concept, but it is built on readily proven low intensity exercise theories that have been proven to benefit users, burn calories and keep fit!

When attempting a new exercise regime, be sure to introduce it safely and gradually, and refer to your GP for any health risks or concerns. 

More Like This


Review: Rab Cinder Kinetic cycling waterproof jacket and Cinder Cargo Bib Shorts


Review: Columbia Mazama Trail Waterproof Jacket


Review: Whitby Gear Monocular


Review: The North Face Women’s Vectiv Exploris II Mid Futurelight Boots


Review: Berghaus Vorlich Gore-Tex waterproof jacket


Review: Scarpa Mescalito TRK Planet GTX hiking boots