Our social media feeds are constantly bombarded with new fitness trends – be it the 12-3-30 treadmill workout, the plank dance challenge, or the Hot Girl Walk. With so many fads surfacing, it can be tough to discern the effective ones from the mere gimmicks. The latest sensation taking the fitness world by storm is the 3-2-8 routine. Despite my initial skepticism towards workout crazes, the 3-2-8 method caught my attention with a staggering 224.6 million views on social media. Claimed to leave individuals feeling toned and powerful within just three months, I decided to delve deeper into this viral fitness trend. So, let’s break down the highly acclaimed 3-2-8 method and explore whether it lives up to its hype.

What Is the 3-2-8 Method?

Introduced by Natalie Rose (also known as @natalieroseuk), a Pilates and barre instructor based in the UK, the 3-2-8 method entails a workout structure rather than a set routine that prescribes specific exercises to perform. This method is split into three components to be completed throughout a week: three days of weight training, two days of Pilates or barre, and an average of 8,000 steps daily.

For the weight training days, Rose emphasizes the importance of progressively increasing the intensity (whether by boosting the weight or the number of reps) every 4-6 weeks for optimal results. The goal is to engage in full-body strength training workouts, which may be divided into a full-body day, an upper-body day, and a lower-body day. Regarding the Pilates or barre sessions, these are intended for active recovery days and during menstrual cycles, focusing on low-impact, low-intensity exercises. Lastly, to complement the method, aim to walk an average of 8,000 steps a day for a cardio boost with minimal impact. Let’s delve into the breakdown of these three sections and the strategies to accomplish them:


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♬ Keeping Your Head Up (Jonas Blue Remix) [Radio Edit] – Birdy

Three Weighted Workouts per Week

Don’t be daunted by the term “weighted.” It doesn’t imply you need to turn into a gym fanatic and tackle heavy-duty squats. Simply incorporate a pair of weights that you are comfortable with, starting with compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups at once, such as squats, deadlifts, lunges, and shoulder presses. These exercises, whether performed at home or in the gym, provide significant benefits, especially when time is scarce. Strength training not only enhances metabolism (resulting in continued calorie burn post-workout) but also boosts strength and self-assurance. If you’re new to weightlifting, start gradually. If you find the reps too easy, you might need to increase the weight.

Two Days of Pilates per Week

In case you missed it, Pilates has made a remarkable comeback, and for good reason. This low-impact workout focuses on core strength, flexibility, and mind-body connection, with avid supporters including celebrities like Jennifer Aniston and Hailey Bieber. Rose highlights other advantages of Pilates, such as reducing inflammation, enhancing mobility, strengthening deep core and pelvic floor muscles, and facilitating lymphatic drainage. The best part? You can easily adapt Pilates at home with just a mat and instructional videos available on platforms like YouTube.

Walk up to 8,000 Steps per Day

Many experts regard walking as one of the most beneficial exercises that should take precedence over gym sessions or high-intensity interval training. Cue the Hot Girl Walk – an excellent way to clock in your steps, bask in some sunlight, listen to your favorite podcasts, and nurture your mental well-being. Besides calorie burn, walking offers various health advantages, including potential mood improvement, immune function enhancement, and fostering creativity.

We all encounter days filled with work commitments where movement falls by the wayside. This is where an under-desk treadmill can come to your rescue. Though it may come with a price tag, an under-desk treadmill can be a valuable tool to help you achieve your daily step goal when outdoor walks seem unattainable due to time constraints or unfavorable weather conditions. Utilize it while attending to emails, taking work calls, or catching up on your latest Netflix binge.

The Final Verdict

Undoubtedly, the 3-2-8 method offers a comprehensive blend of diverse workout styles that is easy to follow. It provides ample guidance for structuring your weekly workouts while allowing flexibility in execution (such as choosing the days for strength training and Pilates, the specific exercises to include, and methods to achieve 8,000 steps). What sets the 3-2-8 method apart from other fitness trends is its advocacy for daily movement and recovery, making it ideal for individuals looking to begin weightlifting or venture into group Pilates classes to boost their confidence.

Given that a singular workout plan may not suit everyone, you have the liberty to personalize the 3-2-8 method to align with your body and lifestyle. If your body signals a need for a complete rest day, whether on a weighted workout or Pilates day, listen to it and resume when you feel ready. Ultimately, tailor the routine to suit your individual needs and preferences.


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