The Viral 3-2-8 Pilates Method: The Most Popular New Workout

Check out the viral 3-2-8 pilates method's breakdown to see if it comes up to the hype.

FitTok seems to introduce a new exercise fad every other week. Examples include the plank dance challenge, the 12-3-30 treadmill workout, and the Hot Girl Walk. Sorting out the fads that are worthless from the ones that are genuinely worthwhile can seem difficult. Which fitness fad is now popular online? The viral 3-2-8 Pilates method. Despite the fact that I never get into a fitness fad without doing my research, my interest was sparked by the videos’ 224.6 million views (and counting). In just three months, it is expected to create benefits and “leave you feeling snatched and strong,” according to its developer. Check out the viral 3-2-8 pilates method’s breakdown to see if it comes up to the hype. 

What is the viral 3-2-8 Pilates method?

viral 3-2-8 pilates method

The viral 3-2-8 Pilates method was developed by Natalie Rose (AKA @natalieroseuk), a Pilates and barre instructor based in the UK. It is more of a structure for a workout than a set plan that specifies which exercises to do and when. It consists of three components that must be finished over the course of a whole week: two days of Pilates or barre, three days of weight training, and an average of 8,000 steps each day. 

For the weighted workout days to be effective, you must gradually raise the intensity (i.e., use more weight or perform more reps) every 4-6 weeks. Rose said that while a full-body strength training session is what you should aim for, it may be broken up into a full-body day, an upper-body day, and a lower-body day. The idea behind the two days of Pilates or barre is to do them on active recovery days and days when you’re menstruating. The exercises are designed to be low-impact and low-intensity. Finally, to round off the strategy, walk an average of 8,000 steps every day to increase your low-impact cardio. 

Not to add that the approach excels in all areas. Women must lift weights to develop and maintain their muscles and bones. Pilates is a form of low-intensity strength training that works smaller muscle groups that aren’t used in compound lifts. We are all aware of the many advantages of walking for our physical and mental health. 

Consider it this way: If you strength train five times per week and get your recommended daily amount of steps, you almost certainly will improve your overall muscle mass and lose weight. 

Check Out: How to Get Abs in a Week: A Beginner’s Guide

For further information on the approach, see:

viral 3-2-8 pilates method
  • On the “weighted workout days,” a full-body strength training program is what you want to perform. However, you can divide it into an all-body, lower-body, and upper-body day.
  • At least every four to six weeks, you should gradually increase the intensity of your weighted workouts (i.e., add additional weight to your exercises).
  • Those are active recovery days for the two low-impact Pilates or barre workouts each week. Exercise at the barre or Pilates at home. Numerous advantages of this kind of exercise include less inflammation, increased flexibility, and core strengthening. They also help with lymphatic drainage, which is beneficial when you have bloating and are on your period.
  • You can burn an additional 300 calories each day by walking an average of 8,000 steps every day.

Strength Training

viral 3-2-8 pilates method

Let’s begin with strength training first. It would be difficult to find a fitness or health expert who would advise against including resistance training in your wellness routine.

After all, strength training has several advantages besides helping you get ripped. In addition, strength training can:

  • Melt fat
  • Increase calorie burning and metabolism
  • Support weight management (or weight loss, with the appropriate food program in addition)
  • Increasing bone mass is crucial for healthy aging since, starting at age 40, we begin to lose 1% of our bone mass annually.
  • Boost cognitive performance
  • Endorphins can help you feel better.
  • Encourage self-worth, self-assurance, and a sense of success.

Simply said, strength exercise has too many positive mental and physical effects to ignore. The viral 3-2-8 Pilates method could advance your fitness routine (and general well-being) if you don’t frequently engage in exercises that provide resistance from your own body weight or the likes of kettlebells and dumbbells.

Also Read: How to Target Your Glutes at the Gym

Pilates and Barre

viral 3-2-8 pilates method

These two low-impact workout techniques, according to Danielle Burdick English, a certified Pilates and barre instructor who teaches at Speir Pilates and Equinox, are extremely accessible while still being difficult. Everybody can benefit from them, she says, noting that they can boost the range of motion, strength, flexibility, balance, stability, core strength, and posture.

You can go on an adventure of your choosing here using the viral 3-2-8 Pilates method. You can give anything from a mat Pilates video to a barre burn class to a Pilates reformer session a try. The use of the machine, according to Burdick English, who frequently instructs reformer sessions, “is essentially resistance training designed to target specific muscle groups in an extremely efficient manner.” 

She continues by saying that it goes incredibly well with regular weight-based exercises. Pilates, which focuses primarily on the smaller muscle groups, “really fills in the gaps that standard strength training can neglect.”

Burdick English acknowledges that she could be partial given her upbringing, but she wholeheartedly supports incorporating Pilates and barre into your exercise routine. Pilates enables you to do any physical activity more effectively.

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8,000 Steps Per Day

viral 3-2-8 pilates method

One of the easiest and most satisfying exercises is walking. Benefits like the following have been attributed to even brief but regular walks:

  • Lessening the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle for your health
  • Better mental and physical health and more energy
  • Improved digestion
  • Prevention of cognitive aging

Once more, the viral 3-2-8 Pilates method recommends taking 8,000 steps per day on average. But does this number really possess any magic? While 10,000 steps per day is a frequently recommended target, it turns out that taking fewer steps per day can still have significant benefits.

According to a March 2023 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, persons over 20 who merely walked one or two days a week for at least 8,000 steps had “substantially lower all-cause and cardiovascular mortality risk.” For individuals who lead inactive lifestyles and/or lack the drive to exercise, cue the mic drop.

According to preventative cardiologist and Bayer Aspirin partner Suzanne Steinbaum, DO, who frequently “prescribes” mild exercise like walking to her patients, “these results are so important and impactful.” By lowering stress, boosting vitality, and, as this study demonstrates, preventing heart disease, walking can be a simple approach to enhancing your health and well-being. Dr. Steinbaum explains that this research demonstrates that even a few times per week of walking “could potentially add 10 years to your life.”

It May Not Have Sufficient Cardio

viral 3-2-8 pilates method

The CDC advises individuals to receive at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity cardio or 75 minutes of intensive cardio each week, despite the study’s encouraging results. The viral 3-2-8 Pilates method checks the box for two days of strength training, which is something they also advise. Nevertheless, it can be worthwhile to get your 8,000 steps by taking a strenuous hike, using an incline on the treadmill, or performing an additional cardio session once or twice each week.

The Menstrual Health Claims Do Not Have Convincing Evidence

viral 3-2-8 pilates method

Rose asserts that the viral 3-2-8 Pilates method will control your menstruation, but Dr. Goodall McDonald doesn’t agree. (Since it hasn’t been researched and assessed in a therapeutic context.) Despite this, the OB-GYN does not fully dismiss Rose’s approach as a component of a generally healthy lifestyle. “She’s on the right track, though I’m not sure that her particular exercise recipe needs to be as closely followed,” she says. Since exercise is cumulative, the advantages are essentially the same whether someone exercises for 45 minutes three times per week, 2 hours and 15 minutes once per week, or 30 minutes five days per week.

The viral 3-2-8 Pilates method may not be difficult enough, which is one potential drawback. You’ll eventually require more than three days per week of strength training if you have significant fitness goals. Unless you specifically choose a low-impact cardio workout like rowing or swimming, the workout also does not guarantee any action that increases your heart rate, such as cardio or HIIT. You need to choose a variety of activities because they might be so customized.

The Takeaway

viral 3-2-8 pilates method

There is no doubt that the viral 3-2-8 Pilates method is a well-rounded, simple-to-use combination of many workout types. It provides you with just the right amount of direction to organize and plan your weekly workouts, while also allowing you to be flexible with how you carry them out (for example, which days you do strength training exercises versus Pilates, what types of strength training and Pilates techniques you use, and how you get your 8,000 steps in). The viral 3-2-8 Pilates method differs from other FitTok fads in that it encourages daily action while also emphasizing recovery, and it can boost confidence if your objective is to begin weight lifting or progress to taking group Pilates classes. 

Since there is no such thing as a “one-size-fits-all” exercise program, you might wish to modify the viral 3-2-8 Pilates method to suit your physique and way of life. For instance, if your body is indicating that it needs a full rest day, whether it coincides with a day of weight training or Pilates, pay attention to it and resume your routine when you are ready. The bottom line is to modify the regimen to suit your needs.

The viral 3-2-8 Pilates method is unquestionably one of the greatest TikTok ideas now trending in the fitness space. This is particularly true if you have a tendency to stick with just one type of exercise and might use a fresh framework to mix things up—and even more so if you’re not already very active.

The combination of circuit training with explosive movements and heavier weights three times per week, low-impact strength training twice per week, and walking 8,000 steps per day, according to Burdick English, “absolutely creates a very strong, capable, healthy, and balanced body.” “Your body deserves to move in whichever way it likes. I also appreciate comprehensive strategies like the viral 3-2-8 Pilates method that enable individuals to train in various disciplines simultaneously.