How to make the 12-3-30 protocol, popular on TikTok, on the treadmill | workouts

The social network TikTok is a real trendsetter on the internet. From trendy song choreography to cooking recipes, the platform often produces web viral. And sports and the fitness world are no different. Recently, the 12-3-30 protocol became the sensation of the moment in the app, as in the video below, also shared on Instagram. The fashion exercise consists of a treadmill workout with incline at 12%, speed at 3 miles per hour (equivalent to 4.8 km/h) and duration of 30 minutes. Users perform the challenge and post videos in which they appear sweaty after training. But what do the experts say?

THE I Athlete talked to orthopedist and sports doctor Adriano Leonardi, exercise physiologist Diego Leite de Barros and personal trainer Matheus Vianna, who explained that training is not for beginners and answered some other questions: is the protocol a good exercise option? What are your benefits? And your risks? Does it help you lose weight?

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As Leonardi points out, all exercise has health benefits, as long as it is well prescribed and periodized. In order for the training to be well used and the objectives to be achieved, the practitioner must also be aware of other aspects, which include alternating with other types of training, adequate nutrition and professional monitoring, always combined with a more consistent long-term project. term.

We can understand (the 12-3-30 protocol) as a traditional treadmill training option, which works with variations in incline, speed and time. All treadmill workouts work with these same variables. In this protocol, a very high incline, a low speed and a moderate time were selected.. It can be a good option if the person is able to use this slope, which is quite non-standard. If the person does not have any type of restriction and if you manage to walk for thirty minutes, it will have benefits and a significant caloric expenditure, but it depends a lot on who the practitioner is. – describes the physiologist Diego Leite de Barros.

For those who want to exchange miles for kilometers and make a Brazilian version, experts do not recommend 3km/h practice. Because it is a considerably lower speed, the walk becomes very light and the loss of intensity is significant. Thus, the ideal would be to use the equivalent in kilometers (4.8 km/h) or to configure the treadmill for 4 km/h, where the loss is less significant and the final result more proportional to the original challenge.

Benefits of the 12-3-30 protocol

Personal trainer Matheus Vianna shows how to program the treadmill for the 12-3-30 protocol

Personal trainer Matheus Vianna shows how to program the treadmill for the 12-3-30 protocol

Personal trainer Matheus Viana shows how to start 12-3-30 in the video above, programming:

  • Treadmill for incline by 12%;
  • Speed ​​of 3 miles per hour (or 4.8 km/h);
  • From there, just maintain a steady pace of walking for 30 minutes.

The professional points out that this walk with the inclined treadmill resembles activities such as trails with ascents and runs with stretches of slope. No wonder the muscles worked during training are similar. Due to the higher slope, which requires greater muscle strength, the most worked physical valences are:

  1. Force;
  2. Cardiovascular conditioning: Leonardi reports cardiovascular gain in about six weeks after starting the practice;
  3. The musculature of the entire kinetic chain of lower limbs:
  • Posterior thigh muscles: they are the most demanded because of the slope;
  • Abdominal core;
  • Low back;
  • Gluteus medius;
  • External hip rotators;
  • Quadriceps;
  • Leg forelegs;
  • Calf.

Risks, care and periodicity

Tilt: 12 degrees; Speed: 3 miles per hour; Time: 30 minutes — Photo: Matheus Vianna

In order to be inserted into the exercise routine in a safe way, it is important to consult and follow up with professionals in the area, such as cardiologists and sports doctors, as well as the person must already have a certain level of cardiovascular conditioning to practice it. This is not an activity recommended for beginners, but for those who already train and are looking to increase their intensity and face something more challenging..

– It is an exercise that comes from a modinha created by an influencer, so it is a new type of training. Every new sport deserves an evaluation by the sports doctor. There is a risk of cardiovascular overload, that is, the cardiovascular system may not be prepared for such a great intensity. In addition to the cardiovascular system, we can also overload the locomotor system – says Leonardi, who adds: – If the person already trains, is followed up with a cardiologist, knows their heart rate well from training or has already had an ergospirometry and knows what the thresholds to be able to do the training, is a good option of cardiovascular exercise. Now, for those who don’t train, it can overload the heart and cardiovascular system too much, which can lead to problems such as arrhythmia and even cardiorespiratory arrest.

In addition to medical monitoring, Physical Education professionals can instruct practitioners to perform the exercise correctly and will be responsible for taking into account the particularities of each one. As the protocol is a general determination, it does not take into account some individual variables such as pre-existing injuries, weight and the physical conditioning of the person exercising, which generates a margin of error. The physical educator will be responsible for managing this margin of error and ensuring proper practice.

The activity is safe as long as there is guidance on its practice, weekly frequency to be done, pre-workout preparation and previous conditioning level. For example, it is different to use this activity twice a week or five times a week. – Matheus points out: – Despite being a motivating training, we must pay attention to the degree of muscular demand that the activity requires. If we think of people who are already active and in a high level of fitness, it’s an excellent activity to increase intensity, but the high degree of repetition can do more harm than help.

As it is a high-intensity exercise, which demands a lot from both the cardiovascular system and the locomotor system, it is necessary to respect a certain frequency to avoid overloading the body. Leonardi indicates that Ideally, this training should be performed once a week, at most. Anything above that carries a high risk of injury, especially lower back and limb injuries, and cardiotoxicity, muscle damage to the heart that compromises blood pumping to the rest of the body.

Main risks of the protocol:

  • anterior ankle impingement overload, since the ankle works at maximum extension;
  • knee overloadespecially if the practitioner already has some type of muscle wasting or weakness;
  • hip overloadfor people with femoroacetabular impingement, as the hip will work in greater flexion;
  • spine injuries, because of the high slope.

Personal Matheus Vianna demonstrates the 12-3-30 protocol on the treadmill — Photo: Personal archive

A 12-3-30 training session burns 350 to 500 calories, depending on the individual characteristics of the practitioner.. It’s a significant caloric expenditure, especially compared to the expenditure of a light walk on flat ground, which is close to 250 calories. However, for those who seek weight loss, it alone does not work miracles. It needs to be an integral part of a strategy that alternates strength and aerobic training, in addition to a balanced diet, so that the desired result is achieved. After all, in order to lose weight, there needs to be caloric expenditure, that is, it is necessary to spend more than what is consumed.

– With the incline, the walk becomes more intense and demanding. There is a significant caloric expenditure for a walk and it will help to lose weight, if the person does this within a balanced process over time – explains the physiologist Diego.

Sports doctor Adriano Leonardi says that there must be an alternation of different types of training in a search for sustainable weight loss.

– This workout is characterized as high-intensity training. The problem is that until 30 minutes, the energy substrate used at high intensity is carbohydrate, so the person will not burn their own fat as much. It is different from a person doing a HIIT, in which he rests and burns fat during training, especially if it exceeds 30 minutes, or if he does a prolonged exercise of low or medium intensity – Leonardi teaches: – It must be periodized and alternated with other exercises, according to the person’s objective. If you want to lose weight, you have to put on weight training and low-intensity aerobic training..

Adriano Leonardi is a sports physician and orthopedist specializing in sports traumatology and knee surgery. He is a member of the Paulista Society of Sports Medicine (SPAMDE), where he was director from 2018 to 2020.
Diego Leite de Barros is a physical education professional specializing in Exercise Physiology from the Federal University of São Paulo (Unifesp). He is a physiologist at Hospital do Coração (HCor) and a member of the Taktos Sports Medicine and Traumatology Group. Since 2009, he has been the technical director and founder of DLB ​​Assessoria Esportiva.
Matheus Vianna He holds a degree in Physical Education from Universidade Estácio de Sá, a postgraduate degree in Human Performance Science from UFRJ and a master’s degree in the diagnostic imaging department (DDI/EPM/UNIFESP). He accumulates experience in the areas of injury rehabilitation and performance.

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