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People Swear by the '3-2-1' Method for a Slim Waist: 'Changed My Life'

An expert shares the slimming benefits of the viral routine.

Working hard at the gym to sculpt an hourglass figure is a goal many of us strive to achieve. Even though slimming down the waistline can seem like an uphill battle at times, it's always motivating to see real-life success stories of individuals who have accomplished exactly that by following a viral trend. Take the 3-2-1 workout method, for instance. People on TikTok are raving about this fitness plan to build a slim waistline. Does the 3-2-1 method live up to the hype? Read on to learn all about it, and when you're done, don't miss the 7 Best Ways To Burn 500 Calories, According To Personal Trainers.

What is the 3-2-1 workout method?

woman doing gut-burning exercises with dumbbells outside

Simply put, this workout method is a structured routine that brings together strength training, Pilates, and cardio. By following the 3-2-1 regimen, one of the variations on the platform calls for you to perform three days of strength exercises, two days of Pilates, and one day of cardio/conditioning. Each of these three elements comes with its own benefits that can help you slim down your waistline, says Tyler Read, BSc, CPT, the founder of and a personal trainer who has been involved in the health and fitness world for the past 15 years.

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How can the 3-2-1 method help you sculpt a slim waistline?

The first aspect of this routine is strength training, which will fill up three of your days. According to Read, strength training is efficient at helping you build muscle, melt fat, and enhance your posture.

"Strength training helps build muscle, which can increase your metabolic rate. When you focus on full-body workouts or core-specific exercises, you can develop a more defined midsection," says Read. "By increasing muscle mass, you also boost your resting metabolic rate, which means you burn more calories even when you're not working out. This can contribute to fat loss, including around the waist." In addition, strong core muscles can boost your posture, which can make your waistline look leaner.

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Next up, let's chat about Pilates, which you'll perform twice a week. "Pilates focuses on the core, including the abdominals, back, and pelvic muscles. A stronger core can lead to a tighter, more toned waistline," explains Read. "Pilates is known for creating long, lean muscles without adding bulk, which can help in achieving a slim look."

And lastly, the benefits of cardio/conditioning can't be denied. Performing cardio-based exercises is a productive way to torch calories, which can reduce your overall body fat, including unwanted fat in your waistline region. "[In addition,] Cardio improves heart health and endurance, which can make it easier to perform well in strength training and Pilates," Read adds.

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People on TikTok can't get enough of the 3-2-1 workout routine.


The weekly split that transformed my life! Follow this 3-2-1 strength x pilates method to fall back in love with your training plan and results. Once you start, youll never look back! Comment below it youre doing the 321 split #321method #321methodworkout #girlsthatlift #gymgirl #workoutvideosforwomen #dumbbellworkoutforwomen

♬ original sound – Ed Westwick

TikToker and strength and Pilates coach, Courteney Fisher (@justtcocoo), broke down her 3-2-1 weekly split and pointed out that this method "changed my life." She continued to write in her caption, "Follow this 3-2-1 strength x Pilates method to fall back in love with your training plan and results. Once you start, you'll never look back!" In another video, Fisher stressed, "The 3-2-1 method will change your body and relationship with exercise … expect to see results within just a few weeks!"

Fisher's split consists of three days of strength training (lower-body, upper-body, and full-body), two days of Pilates (mat and reformer dupe work), and one day of conditioning (HIIT intervals/sprints).

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TikToker and strength coach Sarah Ryan (@sarahryanfit) posted a video noting the 3-2-1 hourglass method is her "favorite way to train." Ryan shared another clip explaining what the 3-2-1 method is all about. Ryan wrote, "'How can I slim my waist while working on my glutes?' 3-2-1 method." Her weekly split is a bit different and focuses on three lower-body sessions, two upper-body sessions, and one sprint and core session. One TikTok user replied to Ryan's video and wrote, "I just hit my 11th-week streak with you. Looooove this program."

As if the 3-2-1 hype wasn't already strong, even more TikTokers are sharing their honest thoughts and progress. TikToker @chelseyfromladder wrote in a video, "POV: you started the 3-2-1 workout method and saw more results in the last month than you have in the last year." Another TikTok user, Ruby Haywood (@rubyfromladder), wrote in a video, "A fitness tip I wish I knew sooner … The 3-2-1 method is the BEST for building an hourglass figure."

If that's not enough to get you motivated to start the 3-2-1 workout method, know that this routine can be done right in the comfort of your own home! All you need to do is carve out a little workout space, roll out your mat, grab your weights, and get started.

Alexa Mellardo
Alexa is the Mind + Body Deputy Editor of Eat This, Not That!, overseeing the M+B channel and delivering compelling fitness, wellness, and self-care topics to readers. Read more about Alexa
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