To reduce gynecomastia or man boobs, there are three basic steps. While each step done in isolation will help, peak benefit will be achieved by doing all three together.
Men who are concerned with their physique usually feel self conscious about their chest. Fat in the chest can be an embarrassing problem for men. Children tease other children by making references to them being feminine if a kid has too much fat in the chest. This concern continues into adulthood, especially if you are faced with a situation like attending a pool party.
It is a myth that people believe strength training exercise, such as pushups, will remove fat from specific parts of the body, including belly and chest fat. Such exercises don’t remove fat in that area, but they can help shape how it looks, even with fat.
You can’t target an area of fat in order to reduce the fat. The only thing that can remove fat from the chest area is aerobic activity that increases the metabolism. The same goes for belly fat and any other part of the body.
So, step one acknowledges that just like their female counterparts, man boobs contain fat. In order to reduce fat, you must do cardiovascular exercise for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Any activity which elevates the heart rate to at least 60% of your maximum heart rate for your age will burn fat and reduce weight.
If you currently engage in exercise at this level, add an additional 60-90 minutes of cardio work each week. Because this will be a lifetime program, it’s important to add a variety of workouts that consider your interests and hobbies. Some men will enjoy group activities of team sports and competitions; others will prefer the isolation of swimming, running, or bicycling. Listening to music, exercising in different locations and using various pieces of equipment will help with the enjoyment level which will lead to better compliance and longer lasting results.
Belly fat is another problem area for men since most men have an apple shaped body. The fat accumulates in the abdomen area more so than in other areas of the body. Fat in the stomach can cause back, knee and ankle problems down the line.
However, doing strength training exercise increases muscle mass and defines the muscles under the fat. The extra muscles help to burn fat, even during a rested state. And increasing your strength and muscle mass will help you better perform aerobic activities and avoid injury.
Some strength training exercises for the chest are pushups, pull ups, and arm curls. Doing 2 to 3 sets of 10-12 repetitions increases strength. Doing less sets and reps with more weight increases muscle mass.
The stomach area is a harder area to target. The traditional sit up or ab crunch is usually uncomfortable to perform and can strain your neck if not done properly. Although both are effective if done right, it is important to keep technique in mind when performing them. Don’t pull on your neck to propel yourself forward. You won’t gain anything from that. Use the ab muscles to do the work.
To tone all areas of the body, yoga or pilates are very effective. Performing one of these will help prevent injury and increase flexibility, which can be lost if weight lifting is done inappropriately.
Combining a regular routine of strength training and aerobic activity is the best way to burn chest and belly fat as well as fat in other parts of the body while increasing strength and endurance.
The final step is chest specific exercises. Building muscle will help with the appearance of your chest by supporting the man boobs to reduce sagging. Even before they go away, man boobs that don’t sag will look better and less pronounced. Muscle burns more calories even at rest than fat tissue which will help you maintain your new physique. Chest presses using dumbbells or gym weights, bench presses (lie on your back and push up the dumbbells or weight bar), flys (bend at the waist and raise the weights to the height of your shoulders and pushups will sculpt the chest area while increasing muscle mass. Start with 3-5 sets of 10 at a comfortable weight. Increase the weights by 5-10 lbs each time you can finish all the sets. Be sure to rest 2 days weekly to allow the muscles to recover and build.