There is a big controversy among trainers regarding whether cardio training is actually necessary in burning calories for fat loss and heart health or if weight training can handle it all on its own.

This debate is so full of mixed opinions that I wanted to give you some food for thought on the subject.

Can we out cardio altogether?

Weight training at the right pace and with the right program can effectively work to eliminate the need for cardio training. But why would you want to skip cardio altogether, you ask?

There are many people, like myself, who have debilitating conditions such as MS, arthritis and others that may make it impossible to perform an effective cardio workout due to lack of coordination as well as the inability to walk, use the training ropes or work on a cardio machine.

There are also people who just plain do not like cardio training.

The answer is yes – with weight training

So, can you get in top condition without cardio?

Absolutely. I have personally accomplished this with MS so I know it can be done.

With the many studies that have been conducted on the subject there is proof that after weight training the metabolism can be increased for up to 36 hours post-workout. You would now be burning more calories after your workout even while sitting on your couch!

This effect lasts 36 hours so you can see what a huge difference that makes in your daily calorie expenditure over that day and a half.

Cardio increases fat burning capacity

When you figure out that on a monthly rate, it becomes even clearer how regular weight training will successfully increase your calorie burning and thus fat burning capacity.


Compared to cardio training, where you might get an extra 40-80 calories burned after a moderate paced session, depending upon intensity and duration of the cardio workout, weight training can burn 10 more calories per hour. On a 36 hour time frame of ongoing calorie burning, at let’s say 10 calories per hour, it trumps cardio for consistent fat burning.

Lean muscle is what you want

In order to generate a high amount of post-calorie burn from a cardio workout, you’d have to be doing it for a very long duration of time. People who are capable of doing marathon cardio sessions typically don’t need to be concerned with fat loss anyway.

Weight training, on the other hand, enables you to build more lean muscle mass which serves as a calorie burning furnace in your body.

More muscle, better metabolism

Therefore, the more muscle you have on your body, the higher your basal metabolic rate which is important in staying or getting lean and the better the calorie burning results you will obtain 24/7.

This rate is how many calories you would burn if you lied in bed all day and did nothing.

And, as long as you continue to stimulate the muscles and feed it the proper amount of protein and amino acids, these muscles will remain fairly long-term which proves to be an effective continuing strategy for losing body fat.

Super sets

When you add a circuit, drop set or super set training program with the goal of a cardio effected workout, you need to limit the rest between sets to no more than 30 seconds and less if you are able to handle it.

This will raise your heart rate to a cardio workout level and induce the fact burning aspect of weight training.

Pacing is everything

It is more the pace in which you go through your workout more than the actual exercises that matter in this form of training. The end result…heart rate elevation and fat burning.

Once you come to terms that cardio training through the use of treadmills, bikes, elliptical trainers, etc. are not the only way to ensure heart health, fat loss and high level conditioning you will learn that weight training can accomplish all of your fitness goals.

Connect with Expert David Lyons

WatchFit Experts change lives!

And they can do the same for you.


Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans