First off, I don’t want to mislead you. There is no ‘secret’ exercise that will magically make your man boobs go away. HOWEVER, let’s take a look at a few strategies that we can employ that have a good chance of helping you to get rid of man boobs:
- Increase testosterone with strength workouts focusing on lifting HEAVY for low repetitions
- Increase your body’s levels of fat-burning human growth hormone (HGH) by doing several High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts per week
- Eating less (combined with training more) to create a calorie deficit – and gradual fat loss, week after week.
The Importance of Testosterone
Although general opinion suggests that you cannot ‘spot reduce’ fat, actual experience shows that hormone levels play a large role in where we accumulate fat.
Just look at the differences between men and women. Women’s higher estrogen levels make them accumulate fat in their breasts, hips, and butt. Men, on the other hand, tend to gain fat in the stomach.
More specifically, body builders who abuse steroids (basically overloading their bodies with synthetic testosterone) eventually cause the body to produce excess amounts of the female hormone estrogen. This leads to fat accumulation in the breasts, also called man boobs or gynecomastia.
So, since injecting testosterone obviously isn’t the way to go, we need to maximize our testosterone levels, NATURALLY.
Lifting heavy weights in the 4-8 repetition range can help the body release greater amounts of testosterone.
Increasing Testosterone With Heavy, Compound Lifts
As far as testosterone release is concerned, nothing beats movements like the squat and deadlift. Your body is forced to move A LOT of weight, and muscle groups are maximally activated from head to toe.
So, ideally, you would want to buy an Olympic weight set, get a couple sessions of coaching on proper form (crossfit trainers are great for this sort of advice), and do 2-3 general strength workouts per week consisting of the following sorts of movements:
- Deadlift or Squat
- Horizontal Pushing Motion (Dumbbell Bench Press, Dumbbell Incline Press, etc.) or Vertical Pressing Motion (Dumbbell Overhead Press, Military Press)
- Horizontal Pulling Motion (Dumbbell Rows, Weighted Body Rows) / Vertical Pulling Motion (Weighted Pullups)
- [To keep your body balanced, perform horizontal pushing motions on the same days as horizontal pulling motions, vertical press on the same day as vertical pulls]
OK, But What If I’m On A Budget?
Coaching – Proper form is essential to preventing injury, but you can learn most of what you need to know by checking out YouTube – there are several EXCELLENT deadlift form videos there, for example.
Equipment – It is pretty hard to beat an Olympic weight set. Even if that’s all you have, you can at least do deadlifts, which many agree are the ULTIMATE strength movement – especially for hormone activation. Check out Craigslist for deals, these sets can often go for around $100.
If that doesn’t work for you, experiment with sandbag training. Get an old army surplus duffel bag, buy a few bags of pea gravel and throw them into the dufffel, and practice lifting that. You can do A LOT with this simple piece of equipment, and it shouldn’t cost you more than $15 or so.
As for the pushing and pulling motions, here are a few excellent options – remember you can add weight as you gain strength by throwing some pea gravel into your backpack.
- Horizontal Pressing Motions – (Decline Pushup – place your feet around 2 feet off the ground. For more difficulty, try it on a DIY suspension trainer (do a Google search for several excellent tutorials).
- Vertical Pressing Motions – Handstand pushups (once you have developed pushup strength), sandbag overhead press, jackknife pushups (check YouTube for details)
- Horizontal Pulling Motions – Body row on DIY suspension trainer (elevate feet for more difficulty)
- Vertical Pulling Motions – Pullup (no pullup bar? throw a rolled up towel over a beam), weighted Pullups (tie some weight through your belt)
How to Get Rid of Man Boobs – HIIT Training to Boost HGH and Burn Fat
HIIT consists of doing short, intense intervals of exercise followed by short rests. One option is one minute exercise, one minute rest, repeated several times.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Fat Burning HIIT Jumprope Workout – After a few minutes of warming up, alternate one minute of high knees sprinting with one minute of slower, double leg hops. Continue for 10-15 minutes.
- Burpees Intervals– Burpees (do a YouTube search for instructions) are a PHENOMENAL total body conditioner. Alternate 60 seconds of burpees with 60 seconds of easy jumping jacks, for a total of 10-15 minutes.
- Sprint Intervals – Alternate 60 seconds of intense running with 60 seconds of easier walking, for a total of 10-15 minutes.
Again, these are just a few ideas. Feel free to increase or reduce work and rest periods as you see fit.
Doing a few workouts like this every week will boost fat-burning HGH. Follow each workout with a brisk 20 minute walk to take advantage of your body’s fat burning state.
There are many approaches to dieting for fat loss, and some work well for certain people and not for others. For starters, I would like to suggest a simple idea:
Eat until you are no longer hungry, NOT until you are full!
Eating a little less, while upping your activity with the workouts we just covered, will help you to gain muscle while gradually losing body fat, INCLUDING that excess male breast tissue.
So, here are three ways to attack your goal and get rid of man boobs:
- Boost testosterone and muscle mass with heavy strength training
- Increase levels of fat-burning HGH with HIIT interval training
- Eat less to create a calorie deficit