Losing fat and holding onto muscle is the primary objective for anyone looking into getting into shape. Factors such as nutrition and training play a huge role in accomplishing this. And supplementation can surely help guide along and even expedite the process.
So, when it comes to getting shredded and losing fat, does one need cardio to do it? The short answer is “no”, but it is not the simplest task to perform. Now granted it would be easy to discuss one’s genetics and how a person can simply lift weights and eat garbage and still be lean, but this is not about those people nor is it about simply getting lean, but shredded (there is a huge difference).
When one says shredded, the mindset should automatically go to seeing muscle striation and veins. Now this does not mean looking like “step on stage” bodybuilding shredded, but simply looking like you watch what you eat and train hard.
Many bodybuilders decades ago never did cardio. They simply lifted in a fashion where they never stopped moving for about an hour. It was its own form of HIIT (high intensity interval training) or even TUT (time under tension) training if you will. Today HIIT and CrossFit have provided many people with shredded bodies without putting any particular focus on cardio alone. They get their cardio from lifting weights. Sure, size will be limited when it comes to muscle but getting leaner is achievable.
Back in the golden era of bodybuilding, super setting or giant setting was the focus. Just consistently beating up the muscle for the duration of the workout, which lead to the heart rate being elevated which in return gave a “cardio effect”, leading to fat loss. They worked with moderate to heavy weight and focused on doing isolated movements and keeping rest minimal. If you already train like this and are not able to accomplish the shredded look, then there is one may area you need to think about – and it’s the most important.
One must look at their nutrition, ALWAYS. If you are not eating enough, your body will simply not hold onto the muscle it needs and your bodyfat percentage will not change much, but you will lose overall weight. This leads to a not so popular body composition. On the other hand, if you eat too much your body will not obtain a leaner look but you could simply add more muscle mass with fat as well. The trick is making sure you are eating the proper amount of protein to help hold onto the muscle (roughly 1-1.5 grams per current body pound), proper carb intake pre and post workout for optimal energy levels and jump starting recovery (making sure you are not overloading the carbs and keeping the brunt of you carb consumption for the day around your workout), and being sensible with the fats you consume, also for energy (healthy fats and keeping the amount in a healthy place per your body weight).
You can accomplish a ripped and shredded body without cardio, but it puts more emphasis on making sure your diet is dialed in. Cardio helps make up for any gaps or lacking in the nutritional department. So, dial it in and start logging your foods as much as you log your workouts.