Health & Fit This Workout Challenge Will Make You Faster *and* Stronger in Just 4 Weeks
TikTok Made the 12-3-30 Workout Famous, and It Can Help Runners With Stamina and Endurance
We tapped the creator and two trainers to break it down and outline its potential benefits.The 12-3-30 workout has been popping up all over fitness TikTok. The workout, originally created by Lauren Giraldo, actually showed up on her YouTube channel back in 2019 when she was looking for a simple and approachable way to get fit.
Runners want to run. Fair. But you can’t achieve the holy grail of running—in which you’re just effortlessly moving without even thinking—without a solid strength base to keep you cruising.
Yeah, yeah, you know how importantis: The stronger you are, the easier it is to maintain and channel energy to the right places, both of which will make you a more efficient runner. But, in a sport where most workouts consist of merely tying your and maybe programming a , walking into a gym (or just looking at your random at-home assortment of dumbbells, kettlebells, and bands) can feel overwhelming and intimidating.
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That’s whyJess Movold created this 4-week workout challenge based on the strength programming that’s helped her get stronger, run faster, set new PRs, and (most importantly) stay injury-free.
“When you’re working on speed and volume,” she says,“you have to really strengthen your body’s supporting muscles so that you’re able to run more efficiently and stay healthy while putting in those faster miles and longer efforts.”
Throughout the month, you’ll develop power and explosiveness through plyometrics, which teaches you to accelerate quickly and generate turnover on the run; challenge your unilateral stability, which highlights areas of weakness to improve overall strength as you’re leaping from one foot to the other; and work on engaging and strengthening your core and posterior chain, the areas that what keeps you standing tall even fatigue hits on long runs.
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How to do this workout challenge: The key workout of this program is theperformed once per week in addition to your regular running and core work. This strength workout can be done any time throughout the week, just not the day before a hard workout, says Movold.
Friday is an ideal strength-training day since the long run in this training plan falls on Sunday—that gives you a full day of rest before going the distance. But life isn’t always predictable, so it’s perfectly okay to sub your strength training in on one of the other easy or rest days during the week like Wednesday (except for Monday, the day before your speedwork).
The program is completely adjustable to your strength level, so feel free to modify as needed. Start with just your body weight if you’re a beginner; as you get stronger, add weight. If you’re already comfortable with heavy weights and want to challenge yourself further, you can add weight but cut the number of reps (don’t do more reps than what’s indicated for each move to preserve your form), says Movold, or increase the number of sets to add another round.
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To follow along with the calendar above, use this guide:
→ Monday easy runs are 20 to 40 minutes for the first two weeks, increasing to 30 to 50 minutes for the final two weeks.
→ Tuesday interval workouts are listed below.
→ Wednesday is your flex day: You can do 20 to 40 minutes of easy running or an equivalent cross-training exercise such as cycling, elliptical training, swimming, or simply take a rest day to fully recover.
→ Thursday calls forlisted below. Perform the tempo portion at a pace about 25 to 30 seconds per mile slower than your current 5K race pace.
→ Friday focuses on yourwith a short easy run as an option.
→ Saturday is a rest day. Be sure to rest and recover.
→ Sundayare 60 to 90 minutes each week performed at a conversational pace. Below, you’ll find specific hard effort workouts for each week:
- Week 1 Intervals: 15-minute warmup; 6-12 x 400 meters fast; 90-second recovery; 15-minute cooldown
- Week 1 Tempo: 15-minute warmup; 15-minute tempo run; 15-minute cooldown
- Week 2 Intervals: 15-minute warmup; 4-6 x 800 meters fast with 2-minute recovery; 15-minute cooldown
- Week 2 Tempo: 15-minute warmup; 4 x 5-minute tempo run with 1-min jog recovery; 15-minute cooldown
- Week 3 Intervals: 15-minute warmup; 8-10 x 2 minutes hard with 2-minute recovery; 15-minute cooldown
- Week 3 Tempo: 15-minute warmup; 2-mile tempo run, 5-minute recovery jog; 1.5-mile tempo; 15-minute cooldown
- Week 4 Intervals: 15-minute warmup; 3 x 400 to 800 to 1200 meters; 2-minute recovery between all; 15-minute cooldown
- Week 4 Tempo: 15-minute warmup; 2 x 10-minute tempo run with 5-minute recovery jog; 15-minute cooldown
You can find the essential warmup and cooldown routines as well as the core and strength workouts for this challenge below.
Superset Strength Workout
If you love this program and want to take it to the next level, try Coach Jess’ full. It includes five full-length, follow-along strength-training videos available for download on the (try it for free for the first 14 days).
3 Tips to Making Gains in This 4-Week Workout Challenge:
1. Think quality over quantity. “Use this as an opportunity to learn proper form or improve your form and then build strength,” says Movold. Don’t rush through the moves like you’re in a HIIT class and need to move to the next station in 45 seconds. Training these movement patterns correctly is what’s going to translate into your running.
2. Don’t skimp on rest time. Rest can feel like a dirty word to runners, but rushing through your recovery periods won’t help you in the long run.“The point of resting between sets is to let your heart rate come down so you can head back into the next set feeling rested and ready,” says Movold.“You can’t build strength if you’re trying to catch your breath the whole time.” The same is true for rest days: If your body is feeling fatigued, take the day off!
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3. Be flexible with your workouts. Trying to fit all your workouts in one week can feel a little like a game of Tetris. You’re allowed to move things around in a way that works for your life!“If you can only fit your strength training in the day before a harder workout, that’s okay—just scale the weight back,” says Movold.“The point is that these workouts should support your running, not take away from it.”
→, the first workout program from coach Jess Movold, is designed to help you build total-body strength, run faster, set new PRs, and (most importantly) stay injury-free. It’s available on . ????
Try 200+ at home workout videos from Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention, and more onfree for 14 days!
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