Getting Lean Without Cardio Included In Your Fat Loss Workout

By | April 4, 2017

Weight Training Getting Lean

It is possible to get lean without cardio if you are doing weight training or bodyweight training. If you intend to use weight training only as your exercise method for leaning out you’ll find some tips lower down in this article to help you design an effective program.

But first, it’s important to make sure that you’ll be able to reach your goals well if you keep cardio out of your fat loss workout program. Some people insist on not doing cardio when training to get lean in order to prevent muscle loss, minimize training exhaustion and save time at the gym.

They believe that weight training alone is a much better workout option for getting lean because weight training also burns calories and gives the additional benefit of strength gains and muscle maintenance. Despite the logics in these arguments, I think it’s important to properly decide for yourself if the exclusion of a cardio routine is a good approach for you based on your body type, fitness level, and individual goals.

Doing Cardio Is A Matter Of How Much You Need It

If you don’t want to include cardio in your workout to get lean, then you don’t have to unless you need to. What I mean is, cardio is not mandatory for getting lean, but based on your situation and the results that you want, it may be necessary to include cardio in your fat loss workout plan.

Everyone has different goals and our bodies respond differently to nutrition and training. Some people could create a moderate calorie deficit, lift weights a few days a week and lose weight at a very good rate to get lean. But other persons may not be able to burn calories efficiently enough to properly reach their fat loss goals with only diet and weight training, especially if they have a lot of fat to lose.


Getting maximum fat loss results is very important for many people who want to get lean. You can increase your fat loss results by cutting back on more calories in your diet but there is a limit to how low you can go with calories.

Slashing too many calories from your diet can lead to many consequences that can slow down or even halt your progress in losing fat. That’s one of the reasons a good effective fat burning workout should be integrated with your nutrition plan to help burn more calories to lose fat at an optimum rate without reducing your calorie intake too low.

Weight Training Plus Cardio For An Optimal Workout To Get Lean

The recommended and optimal workout program for getting lean is a combination of weight training and cardio. This combination will give you all the health, fitness and aesthetic benefits you can get from an exercise program. However, based on your goals you may not need to do both.

Cardio On Gym Machine

Neither weight training nor cardio per se’ that make you lose fat. They will help you create a caloric deficit. It’s the caloric deficit that makes you lose fat. And the fact is, you can lose fat by just creating a calorie deficit with your diet only.

However, the additional benefits that weight training and cardio produce on the body for aesthetic, fitness and health improvement are very important. They also help you get maximum fat loss results by burning more calories in addition to your nutritional calorie reduction. So weight training and cardio when combined create an optimal workout program to get lean.

Getting Lean Without Cardio

But the truth is, weight training by itself when done right can provide most of the benefits that cardio produces. Plus it maintains and builds muscle which is one of the only benefits that you cannot get from cardio. Therefore, if your goal is just getting lean to improve body composition, then weight training alone can get the job done with the right program design.

Once you have a good weight training workout plan in place combined with a well-structured nutrition plan and you are making good progress it’s fine to leave cardio out of the mix if you don’t want to do cardio.


While the right type of cardio will help maximize fat loss and provide good health and fitness benefits, it’s not a do-or-die requirement if your goal is mainly getting lean and you are lifting weights.

The right weight training program will burn calories and help maintain your muscles which are all you need from a workout program to get lean. So if you are getting the right fat loss results that you want from lifting weights, then you can get lean without cardio. However, if you happen to reach a fat loss sticking point or want to accelerate your results you can always reintegrate cardio into your program.

If you intend to use weight training only to get lean without cardio here are some tips to help you create an optimal program.

  • Include primarily compound, multi-joint, basic free weight exercises.
  • Increase the density of your weight training to do more work in less time.
  • Do all your training with progression and variation.
  • If you decide to include any amount of cardio always do your strength training before you do your cardio workout.
  • Include a post workout shake that includes protein and carbs within thirty minutes after completing your workout.
  • Keep the weight heavy. Training with light weights and large reps for fat loss is a mistake. A good recommendation is training between 8-12 reps.

If you want to create a good weight training workout program to get lean without cardio I recommend downloading the guide 5 Principles of radical fat loss.

5 principles of radical fat loss cover


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