How to Tell if That Viral Workout Trend Is Actually Good for Your Body

How to Tell if That Viral Workout Trend Is Actually Good for Your Body
Contributor: Kate Kraschnefski

There is not much you can’t find on social media these days, and fitness posts are always trending well. Here are just a few that you may have seen:

  • 12-3-30 Method: Where you set your treadmill to an incline of 12% and a speed of 3mph, and then you walk for 30 minutes.
  • The 75 Hard Challenge: Where you stick to a strict set of rules for 75 days, including working out twice a day, drinking a gallon of water & reading 10 pages of a non-fiction book.
  • Working out to prescribed intensities for each song to an entire popular album.
  • The “Ab-dance”: Dancing your way to ripped abs!

There are so many and they get re-posted by the thousands, but do they work?

This is not a simple thing to answer, so rather than telling you yes or no, I am going to suggest some discerning questions you can ask of the workout and come to your own conclusions!

Does this fitness trend suit my goals?

workout trends 12-3-30 method
How effecting are workout trends like the 12-3-30 method? Getty

What are you looking to achieve with your health and fitness? Most trends are geared towards weight loss, so if you are looking to build muscle, doing the 12-3-30 method may be counterproductive. You need to know what sort of exercise you should be doing that will support you in achieving your goals.

Who is recommending the workout trend?

Be careful of who you choose as “fitspo”. Many viral posts are done by people who genetically are super lean and have been training for many years. Be inspired by the workout, but understand we all have unique predispositions to how much body fat we store and where, so it is unlikely that by following the trend you will look like who is presenting it to you. And chances are they are doing so much more in their training regime as well!

What else are you doing with your training?

It is important that we consider our training holistically, rather than hedge our bets on one particular type of workout.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that we should participate in moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes on five days per week, or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for a minimum of 20 minutes on three days per week.

We should also do two strength-training sessions per week, working all the major muscle groups. So unless all dimensions of your fitness requirements are catered for, simply engaging in a trend will not cut the mustard!

12-3-30 method benefits

That is not to say that something like the 12-3-30 method isn’t a great way to hit those cardio minutes.

When it comes to movement and exercise, if it is safe, fun and makes you connect with and love your body a little more, then it is a worthy activity. So enjoy and be inspired by what you discover on social media!

But if you do have specific goals you want to achieve, or want to ensure you are doing enough exercise in your week to maintain great health, it is best to consult a qualified fitness professional for guidance rather than TikTok or Instagram.

Kate Kraschnefski is the head of compliance and training at the Australian Institute of Fitness, as well as a personal trainer, group fitness instructor and nutrition coach.

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