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Is the “12-5-30” method effective for weight loss?

This cardio exercise called “12-5-30” is accepted in gyms all over the world. Trainers and sports trainers, regular visitors and gym lovers rate this method of fast walking uphill, popularized thanks to social networks.

It will soon be four months since Julie Bernet stopped wearing herself out long sessions stay in shape. Last February, the 18-year-old revealed on social media a technique that some have touted as miraculous for “losing fat while gaining muscle”: “12-5-30” or “15-5-30,” depending. variants.

Now he walks once a week at a pace of 5 km/h for 30 minutes on a treadmill at an incline of 12 or 15%. The quick results of this technique, praised by influencers on Tiktok and Instagram, convinced the student from Poitiers to fully integrate it into her sports routine.

“For the first time I thought I was going to die!” jokes Julie Bernet. “After three minutes I thought I was going to give up. I was sweating so much I had to take a break in the middle.”

“But it’s actually amazing, I saw results after 4 or 5 sessions,” she assures. “And since then I have been recommending it to all my friends, especially those who want to lose weight.”

A challenge available to any audience

This trend, popularized in 2019 an American influencer named Lauren Giraldo, has conquered the French sports halls since the end of the lockdown. “It’s hard to miss in the cardio rooms, everyone is involved,” confirms Kevin Gaillard, sports trainer.

Also a gym manager in Montreuil, he notes that “men who are putting on weight” have embraced it as much as “young women and teenage girls who want to lose weight.”

“The advantage is that it is available to all audiences, from the elderly to top athletes,” he emphasizes. “It’s a good alternative to running when you don’t like to run or can’t.”

“Nothing revolutionary in that!”

Lisa Lhomme, 22, started in spring 2022 in hopes of “melting out” before summer and “feeling comfortable in a bathing suit,” after hearing about it from a lifestyle influencer on Instagram. “At the beginning it’s super hard: it’s hard to catch your breath, but it’s very effective!” comments this self-employed person from Bordeaux, who started the challenge at a speed of 4 km/h before increasing the speed. level little by little.

She says she saw results quickly, two weeks after starting, practicing it twice a week. “It tones, loses cellulite and tones the thighs, calves, butt,” she assures, just like Estelle Bagassien, a communications student in Nantes, who got into the habit of doing it four times a week for many months.

After a few weeks of effort, the young woman claims that she noticed “small changes” that made her daily life easier. “After a while, climbing the stairs and carrying groceries to the 6th floor became much less painful.”

“Nothing revolutionary” about it, says Renaud Longuèvre, a top sports coach and former manager of French athletics teams, who considers the Tiktok challenge “a bit of a joke”.

“On the treadmill or in the mountains, we didn’t wait for social media to do a fast slant walk, social media just gave a name to something that already existed before,” the expert believes.

A combination of cardio exercises and muscle strengthening

However, the coach admits that “12-5-30” is not uninteresting for keeping in shape or losing weight. “As soon as we do cardiovascular activity—whatever it is—we’re expending energy while regulating our cravings. That helps maintain a balanced diet, and the two combined necessarily help reduce body fat, which is fat.”

“Is it useful? Of course! Why not?”, coach Romain Bouzigon also answers enthusiastically when asked about the effectiveness of this method. “I prefer that to someone who will try to do abs in a relentless way to lose stomach,” says the physical trainer, used to working with top athletes.

“It’s quite intense, causing significant metabolic expenditure” – equivalent to just over 300 kcal in 30 minutes. “But the advantage is that it combines cardio and muscle strengthening.”

The back and lumbar muscles are heavily loaded, according to the sports coach, because “the incline of the slope forces a person to be strong in order to stand upright and have an adjusted posture all the time.” But “12-5-30” also works the extensor muscles of the lower body, namely the glutes, thighs and calves.

“However, the key is not to hold onto the handles of the rug!” recalls Lisa Lhomme. “Otherwise it’s useless, it’s like walking straight.”

“Everyone benefits”

The primary interest of this method, for two sports coaches, is thathas the merit of protecting the joints. Unlike running, which can be violent on the bones because of the repeated impact, “fast walking doesn’t cause any impact on the ground,” notes Renauld Longuèvre. “It’s much less traumatic for knees, hips or ankles,” and “it can be interesting for people who have weaknesses at this level or who are overweight,” he adds.

The effectiveness of “12-5-30” will ultimately “depend on the physical condition you are in,” concludes the sports coach. “If sit completely, it can be scary because you can start light at the beginning, for example by adjusting the values,” he explains. “Then gradually increase the weight as you progress. We must always implement progressiveness.”

On the other hand, “if you are more used to the effort, it will sustain you, but it may not be enough”, “you may be looking for a little more intensity”. But even for the most experienced, walking on an incline treadmill can be very beneficial on tired days, after an injury or after a period of inactivity.

The risk of injury is very low if you can play sports. However, the two trainers recommend that you pay attention to maintaining good posture throughout the exercise to avoid the risk of tendinitis.

Jeanne Bulant BFMTV journalist

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