Want a Movie Star Chest? Follow This Diet and Exercise Plan
How to Get Rid of Man Boobs
Great racks are few and far between. Maybe it’s a great barbell rack in your morning CrossFit class. Or a rack of ribs that’s ever-so-perfectly glazed for Sunday football with the guys. But a high-quality rack of the chest, type? Well, not exactly the kind of compliment most guys are looking for. Man boobs — otherwise known as gynecomastia — is a real issue. Although it may be fun to poke at a buddy who has some excess fat on his chest, the condition actually affects half of all men, to one degree or another, according to research published in the Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine.
“When a man has man boobs, there is always a breast gland present as well as fat,” says Medical Doctor Elliot Jacobs, a cosmetic plastic surgery specialist in New York City. “The ratio of each type of tissue varies from individual to individual, and there is no such thing as just pure fat on a male chest.”
When most of us refer to man boobs, we’re generally talking about excess fat in the chest, which might result in the need for a training bra. Right. We know you don’t want that. Nobody wants that. The good news: for the most part, we know that excess body fat can be vanquished by a healthy dose of diet and regular exercise. This generally means dedication to a strength training and cardio routine, as well as making life changes that might require you to ditch all the sugary foods filling out your diet. But let’s get the science out of the way first.
What Is Gynecomastia?
Your Essential Chest-Building Exercises
Six-Week Plan For A Firmer Chest
The Workout – Weeks 1 & 2
The Workout- Weeks 3 & 4
The Workout – Weeks 5 & 6
Foods That Help Banish Man Boobs
What Is Gynecomastia?
Gynecomastia most commonly occurs when a man has high levels of estrogen and his estrogen-to-testosterone ratio is out of whack, says Jacobs. It’s commonly diagnosed during the teen years because of a hormonal imbalance, but older men with the condition generally need a more detailed evaluation, which can include blood testing to identify the underlying cause.
Aside from visual enlargement, which can be in one or both breasts, symptoms of gynecomastia may include tenderness to the touch and minor breast abscess (this condition is extremely rare). It’s also highly important to identify the difference between gynecomastia and male breast cancer, which only occurs in 1 in every 1,000 men. Cancer is generally only present in one breast, and can be associated with retraction of the nipple, enlarged lymph nodes and dimpling of the skin, according to the American Cancer Society.
Gynecomastia can develop as a side effect of certain prescription drugs, but for many men, the cause might have something to do with the supplements they’re taking. Jacobs said many may not realize there are pro-hormone ingredients that have adverse effects.
While some cases of gynecomastia can go away on their own if hormones stabilize, most require doctor consultation and medication or surgical intervention. “Seek consultation immediately,” advises Jacobs. “Seek a board certified plastic surgeon who has demonstrated significant interest and experience in treating the problem. It can be a difficult and demanding operation and needs expert surgery to get the very best results with minimal scarring.
“There are no pill, hormones, injections, creams, massages, etc, that will remove established gynecomastia,” Jacobs added. “If one has gynecomastia, the decision tree is quite simple: live and adjust to it or consider surgery, which can directly target the excess tissue and physically remove it.”
But if it turns out you’re not suffering from hormone imbalances, and your problem is you simply want to fill out your T-shirt like your favorite action hero, then we’ve got some work to do.
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Your Essential Chest-Building Exercises
So we’ve established man boobs are bigger than just poking fun of a buddy at the gym. And if you’re hitting the gym to work on diminishing the size of your chest, take caution says Jacobs. “Realize, the excess fat and breast tissue lie on top of the chest muscle. If the chest muscle increases in size via exercise, the excess fat and breast tissue are merely pushed further outwards. Thus, even if an obese or overweight man loses a significant amount of weight, his overall breast size may diminish a bit (the fat component decreases) but the established breast tissue will remain.”
Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t put your best foot forward in the chest department. You can absolutely tone your pecs and feel prouder of those beach muscles. Here, Rebecca Kennedy, Peloton master tread instructor, gives us her essential exercises for a rock-solid chest.
Note: Depending on your goals, you’ll want to adjust your weights and rep scheme accordingly, Kennedy says. “For building muscle, stick to a four to eight total rep scheme at 65 to 85 percent of your 1-rep max,” she suggests. “Want to focus on that max lift? Stick to maximum three sets of three reps at 85 to 100 percent of your ultimate weight.”
Wide Grip Barbell Bench Press
Start on your back, lying flat on a bench holding a barbell with an overhand grip, hands wider than your shoulders. Breathe in; lower bar slowly toward chest. Push bar back to start for one rep.
Single Arm Dumbbell Chest Press
Start on your back, lying flat on a bench holding dumbbells in each hand at chest level with palms facing thighs. Breathe in; press one dumbbell directly above chest. Slowly return back to start for one rep. Repeat on opposite side.
Dumbbell Chest Fly
Start on your back, lying flat on a bench holding dumbbells directly above chest with palms facing in. With a slight bend in arms, lower weights down to sides until they’re almost at level with your torso. Exhale and push back to start for one rep.
Place one end of the barbell into landmine, grabbing the opposite end. Start with feet shoulder-width apart, holding barbell close to the shoulder, elbow close to your side. Engage your core and press arm straight up to full extension. Lower back to start for one rep. Repeat on opposite side.
Start in a high plank. Keeping elbows close to the rib cage, lower body in a straight line toward the floor. Push through palms back to start for one rep.
Start in a high plank with palms planted wider than shoulder width. Lower body toward right hand, then press back to start for one rep. Repeat on opposite side.
Medicine ball Chest Pass
Start with feet in a staggered stance with medicine ball against your chest facing a wall. Rotate your hips toward the wall and throw the ball at the wall with both hands. Catch the ball on the rebound for one rep. Repeat, switching forward foot with each rep.
Suspend body from gymnastic rings with arms locked out. Lower body until upper arms are parallel to the floor. Engage triceps and press back up to start for one rep.
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NOBULL Men’s Training Shoes
Run, climb, slide, grind, lift; you can do it all with these versatile training shoes from NOBULL. With a seamless upper that’s super durable for everything from rope climbs to box jumps and an outsole lug pattern designed for easy transition between indoor and outdoor workouts, you’re covered no matter what the day’s effort looks like. Oh, and they’re stylish as hell, to boot.
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WOD Nation Pull-Up Assistance Bands
You want a strong, chiseled chest? First, you’re going to need to get familiar with pull-ups. Second, if you’re committed, you’re going to need to ensure you’re not skipping sessions. The right resistance band can cover both. Tie these to a pull-up bar, for assisted pull-ups, pack them in your bag – because you’re not packing dumbbells – for easy travel workouts and use them to work on mobility and increased range of motion.
$9.94 at Amazon.com
Hypervolt Vibrating Massage Device
If you spend all of your time training and none of your time recovering, you’re doing something seriously wrong. This tool from Hyperice is essentially a hand-held vibrating foam roller that will completely transform your post-exercise routine. With three different speed settings that deliver up to 3,200 percussions per minute, the device promotes circulation and improves range of motion to help accelerate warm-up and recovery.
$475.00 at Amazon.com
Kettlebell Kings Cast Iron Kettlebell
Versatility is an important aspect of consistency and if you’re going to have one piece of at-home training equipment, etch in a kettlebell to the top of your list. Torch calories with kettlebell swings and start building total body strength with compound moves like goblet squats and kettlebell snatches. Important things to look for in a kettlebell: durable construction and an easy, firm grip. Choose a weight that is challenging for swings.
$69.99 at Amazon.com
Harbinger Weightlifting Gloves
Of course, training comes with sacrifices. But you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice your hands. Spending a lot of time gripping barbells, dumbbells and pull-up bars will guarantee you a handful of calluses, but you can protect your palms, and hopefully improve your grip, with the right pair of gloves. Harbinger offers Stretchback mesh between the fingers and back of the hand for better flexibility without the extra padding that compromises your grip.
$12.95 at Amazon.com
ProSource Multi-Grip Chin-Up/Pull-up Bar
You’re not just going to target your chest. Your goal is to ditch fat and build lean upper body muscle. You’ll need a heavy-duty pull-up bar in your doorway. ProSource’s bar holds up to 300 pounds of body weight and it’s perfect for squeezing in a bodyweight workout at home, adding a deficit for push-ups or flipping it over to crank out dips.
$26.53 at Amazon.com
Reebok “Power Through” Tee
You might need a shirt for the workouts when it feels like The Reaper is coming. You may not have time to leave a note before you perish into the dark place. But it is important that your training partner knows, that you’ve got the mentality to handle the struggle — whether it’s in this life or the next.
$20.00 at Reebok.com
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Your Six-Week Workout Plan for a Firmer Chest
Want to take this to the next level? That’s what Corey Rouse is here for. In this six-week workout plan, you’ll be able not just to build chest muscle, but also get your heart rate up. The goal? “I want you to feel more confident,” says Rouse. “With this plan, you’ll increase the amount of weight you can move with your upper body while increasing overall endurance.”
What You’ll Need: Essential items you can find at your gym, like dumbbells, a bench, and barbells.
Choosing the Right Weight: Don’t get ahead of yourself and come out of the gate trying to lift the world, one curl at a time. “Evaluate your overall performance after each set to decide whether the weight is too easy or too difficult before going to your next set,” says Rouse. “My golden rule: If you can’t get to six reps with the weight you’ve chosen, then you’re lifting too heavy. You want things to be challenging, yes, but also manageable.”
Progress: Throughout the month, the rep schemes shift and loads increase twice. If you’re ready for the shift, go with it. But if you feel like you’re taking on too much, too quickly by adding to the baseline set throughout weeks one and two, lift smart. You’ll also see that there are days where we suggest tackling straight cardio. If the treadmill is your thing, get after it. Go at your own pace, and make sure to tag @AskMen in any of those swellfies as you watch the gains happen.
High Knees: Start with feet hip-width apart and hands at sides. Aggressively punch knees up as you pump your arms as fast as possible.
Blast-Off Push-Ups: Start in a high plank. Keeping elbows close to the rib cage, lower body in a straight line toward the floor. Push through palms back and explode off ground, snagging some air. Land in starting position for one rep.
Split Jacks: Start with feet in staggered position, right in front of left. Simultaneously jump back right foot and forward with left, swinging right arm forward and left arm back for one rep. Repeat on opposite side.
Single Arm Dumbbell Bench Press: Start on the back, lying flat on a bench holding dumbbells in each hand at chest with palms facing thighs. Press one dumbbell directly above chest. Slowly return back to start for one rep. Repeat on opposite side.
Dumbbell Bench Press: Start on the back, lying flat on a bench holding dumbbells in each hand at chest with palms facing thighs. Press dumbbells directly above chest, extending arms. Slowly return back to start for one rep.
Dumbbell Bent-Over Row: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells at sides. Bend knees slightly and tilt forward at hips, back flat, arms straight, hands under shoulders. Bend elbows and lift dumbbells toward chest, keeping arms close to the body. Return to start for one rep.
Incline Dumbbell Chest Fly: Start on back, lying on bench angled at 45 degrees holding dumbbells directly above chest with palms facing in. With a slight bend in arms, lower weights down to sides until they’re almost at level with your torso. Exhale and push back to start for one rep.
Dumbbell Chest Fly: Start on the back, lying flat on a bench holding dumbbells directly above chest with palms facing in. With a slight bend in arms, lower weights down to sides until they’re almost at level with your torso. Exhale and push back to start for one rep.
Hand-Release Push-Ups: Start in a high plank. Keeping elbows close to the rib cage, lower body in a straight line toward the floor. Lift up hands, then place back down. Push through palms back to start for one rep.
Burpee: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend down, place palms on floor in front of feet. Jump feet back, landing in a push-up position. Do one push-up, then immediately jump feet back up to hands. Stand up and hop, lifting arms overhead for one rep.
Medicine Ball Chest Pass: Start with feet in a staggered stance with medicine ball against chest facing the wall. Step forward, throw the ball at the wall with both hands. Catch ball on rebound for one rep. Repeat, switching forward foot with each rep.
Mountain Climber: Start in high plank position. Raise right knee toward chest, keeping foot flexed and back flat. Return to the start; repeat with left leg for one rep.
Box Jump: Start with feet at hip-width distance about a foot from the box. Throw hands backward to load spring in jump and sit back into squat-like position. Swing arms overhead to gain momentum; jump with legs extended to the top of the box. Land with both feet fully on the box, hip-width apart, knees soft. Bring hips into full extension, stand tall to complete the jump. Step down from box one foot at a time for one rep.
Bodyweight Pull-Ups: Hang from a pull-up bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Pull body up until chin clears the bar. Lower back to start for one rep.
Ball Slams: Start with feet at hip-width distance holding a med ball. Reach way overhead with a ball, and deliberately slam the ball down to the floor with max force. Squat down to retrieve and return to start for one rep.
Goblet Squat: Start with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, cupping dumbbell or kettlebell close to the chest. Push hips back, sit into a squat, bringing thighs below parallel toward the ground. Push through heels to return to start for one rep.
Spider Plank: Start in a high plank. Bring right knee to tap right elbow, then return to start. Repeat on opposite side for one rep.
Squat: Start with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Push hips back, sit into a squat, bringing thighs below parallel toward the ground. Push through heels to return to start for one rep.
Rowboats: Lie face-up with arms and legs extended, resting on the floor. Keeping abs tight, lift hands and feet to meet over the torso. Lower back to start for one rep.
Dumbbell Incline Press: Start on back, lying on bench angled at 45 degrees, holding dumbbells in each hand at chest with palms facing thighs. Press dumbbells directly above chest, extending arms. Slowly return back to start for one rep.
Hammer Dumbbell Press: Start on the back, lying flat on a bench holding dumbbells in each hand at chest with palms facing in. Press dumbbells directly above chest, extending arms. Slowly return back to start for one rep.
Reverse-Grip Tricep Pushdown: Stand facing pulley machine, holding bar attachment with an underhand grip at shoulder height. Lower bar until arms are fully extended by sides, keeping elbows close to sides. Return to start, only moving forearms, for one rep.
Dumbbell Skull Crushers: Start lying on a bench holding dumbbells resting on chest, palms facing in. Extend arms above the chest, bringing dumbbells to eye level. Keeping biceps in place, bend at the elbow and lower weights to either side of the head. Squeeze triceps and return to full extension for one rep.
Ring Dips: Suspend body from gymnastic rings with arms locked out. Lower body until upper arms are parallel to the floor. Engage triceps and press back up to start for one rep.
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The Workout – Weeks One & Two
The Workout – Weeks Three & Four
Note: In this week, you’ll notice the sets and reps decrease, under the guise that you’ll be going up in weight. If you feel like you need more time to work at your starting weight — that’s fine, take it. Instead, you can use these rep scheme suggestions for weeks five and six
The Workout – Weeks Five & Six
Note: Again with the increase. These are your heaviest weeks. You’ve made the progress, now it’s time to see the gains. If you feel like you need more time to work at your starting weight — that’s fine, take it.
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Foods That Will Help You Lose Your Man Boobs
It’s no secret that any good workout plan can only take you so far. If you’re serious about losing weight, toning up and slimming down, the real work happens in the kitchen. While abs may be made in the kitchen, the dissolving of moobs? Not so much. What you eat actually has little to no effect on breast fat tissue, according to Jacobs, but overall breast size may diminish a bit with the right diet. “Guys often try modifying their diet, and when their breasts do not decrease, they throw up their hands in frustration,” says Jacobs.
Instead of giving up or being bogged down by the details, focus in on the bigger picture, encourages Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, and founder of the Whole Body Reboot. Want to get your eating on track? Start with eating breakfast and then have a meal every three to four hours, he suggests. Want to kick things up an extra notch? Try incorporating these eight super foods that are scientifically proven to help boost metabolism:
Why You Should Eat It: Cacao has been shown to promote blood circulation, stimulate digestive enzymes, suppress appetite, and even regulate blood sugar levels, according to one Iran University study. It’s also high in magnesium, which helps biochemical reactions necessary for an efficient metabolism, says Villacorta.
How You Should Eat It: Try mixing cacao powder into your hot chocolate or using the nibs as a fun topper to Greek yogurt or chia pudding.
Why You Should Eat It: This grain-like seed is high in fiber, contains essential amino acids, and calcium. All key components necessary for an efficient metabolism. “The high fiber and protein have a high thermic effect, meaning your body burns more calories digesting it,” says Villacorta. “Having a high thermic effect means higher metabolism.”
How You Should Eat It: Try putting a 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa on top of your salad to give it an extra boost of protein and make it more filling.
Why You Should Eat It: New evidence shows the active ingredient of green tea, catechin, may speed up metabolism. Green tea also contains caffeine, a known stimulant, and antioxidants that help maximize metabolism.
How You Should Eat It: Try choosing green tea in lieu of other sweetened beverages during the day.
Why You Should Eat Them: Rich in iron and high in fiber, leafy greens are loaded with good-for-your-gut nutrients.
How You Should Eat Them: Salads, sautes, you name it. Just be careful how you dress your greens. The last thing you want to do is turn a healthy salad full of color into a fat bomb by topping it with high-fat, high-cal vinaigrettes.
Why You Should Eat Them: Hot peppers are well known for giving your metabolism an extra boost. More specifically, chili pepper’s naturally occurring chemical known as capsaicin. Research reveals that capsaicin can increase energy, increase lipid oxidation, and reduce appetite. In fact, adding half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper to meals helped normal-weight young adults burn about 10 more calories over a four-hour period, compared to eating the same meal but without the pepper, according to a study from the National Institutes of Health and the McCormick Spice Company.
How You Should Eat Them: If you’re not game to chow down on them as-is, chili peppers are a main ingredient in some of your favorite hot sauces. Add some to dressings or a morning egg scramble.
Why You Should Eat Them: Loaded with B vitamins, protein, iron, and chromium, eggs are a powerhouse food loaded with critical vitamins and minerals that play a key role in an optimal metabolism. “Protein has a high thermic effect, meaning your body burns more calories digesting it,” says Villacorta. “Having a high thermic effect means higher metabolism.”
How You Should Eat Them: Whether it’s breakfast or dinner, eggs can be eaten alone, put into soups, or cracked in a stir-fry. Pair ’em with avocado, and it’s a match made in heaven. (Take a look at these other Fatty Foods That Promote Weight Loss.)
Why You Should Eat It: Chia seeds have a trifecta of those healthy fats, along with fiber and protein to keep you feeling fuller longer.
How You Should Eat It: Chia seeds can be added ground or whole to your favorite morning smoothie, yogurt, salad, or oatmeal. Feeling adventurous? Mix together a quarter-cup of the seeds in one cup of liquid to make a chia pudding, let it sit for a minimum of 20 minutes to soak through, and top with chopped fruit.
Why You Should Eat It: They’re loaded with B vitamins and zinc, which boosts testosterone levels and ultimately increases metabolism and calorie-burning muscle development in both men and women. “The B vitamins also act as coenzymes, or the ‘helper’ compounds that assist in the activation of our metabolism,” says Villacorta. “Diets rich in B vitamins create an environment optimal for a speedy metabolism.”
How You Should Eat Them: There’s no meal that beans don’t fit into, if you think about it. Try infusing breakfast with a Mexican flair by adding black beans to your omelet with a side of salsa or making your own vegetarian-friendly black bean burgers, likes these easy double bean burgers from How Sweet It Is.
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Source : Emily Abbate Link