How To Get Rid Of Man Boobs & Lose Chest Fat: The Best Exercises For Moobs

QUESTION: I’ve successfully been using your workout and diet recommendations over the last year and have now reached a point where my body is finally starting to look good enough for me to show off. There’s only one thing stopping me… man boobs (aka moobs).

It’s weird. Even though I’ve built a noticeable amount of muscle mass everywhere (including my chest) and have lost a decent amount of fat from my stomach, my chest still isn’t flat or as lean as the rest of my body… especially the lower part of it around the nipple.

I was wondering what I need to do to lose this fat and get rid of my moobs? What are the best exercises? Should I do more decline presses and flyes? Should I do more cardio? Or do I need something else altogether?

ANSWER: I automatically like any question that involves a problem that has its own cute nickname. Moobs! It sounds like an adorable Disney character. Which I guess is kind of ironic considering that it’s probably the ugliest, least-adorable physical characteristic a guy can have.

And if you’re reading this right now, you probably know it all too well. Chest fat is not pretty. It’s the kind of thing that can make a guy’s body look bad no matter how lean, ripped, toned, jacked (or whatever other adjective you prefer) he is.

Let’s figure out how to get rid of it once and for all…

What Is Causing Your Man Boobs?

In order to figure out how to get rid of your man boobs, the first thing we need to do is figure out what exactly is causing them to exist in the first place.

There are 4 possible answers:

Cause #1: Chest Fat

Here’s what everyone automatically assumes the cause is, and in many (but far from all) cases they are correct. And that is simply fat. As in, body fat. As in, the same type of fat located on any other part of your body (e.g. your stomach).

In this case, it’s located on your chest which just so happens to be a really unsightly place for it due to the fact that the softer, rounder, puffier appearance it creates begins to take the shape of something more closely resembling a woman’s breast rather than a man’s chest, especially since the majority of that fat is stored on the lower portion around and below the nipple.

Cause #2: Loose Skin

Up next we have the unfortunate side effect of cause #1. See, when you have a significant amount of body fat on ANY part of your body, and you then successfully lose that fat (yay!), you’re going to be left with some degree of loose skin the majority of the time (boo!).

So, if you had a lot of chest fat at some point and then lost it, there’s a chance that the loose skin now left in that area has taken on the appearance of saggy looking breasts/moobs.

Cause #3: Gynecomastia

Next we have what can really be considered the official technical term for man boobs… gynecomastia. The main difference however is that gynecomastia is NOT fat or skin. It’s actual breast tissue that occurs in men as a result of testosterone and estrogen levels being a little (or a lot) off.

This is why gynecomastia most often occurs naturally (and commonly) in boys during puberty (when hormone levels are wacky) and in older men (when testosterone levels are declining). Similarly, gynecomastia is also a common side effect of steroid and drug use (and certain medications as well). And, least frequently but still possibly, gynecomastia can sometimes be a symptom of a more serious underlying health issue. In the other cases, it’s completely benign… except for its ugliness.

Cause #4: A Combination Of The Above

It’s certainly possible for your man boobs to be a combination of gynecomastia and fat. Or fat and loose skin. Or loose skin and gynecomastia. Or all three of them.

So, those are the 4 potential causes.

Now for the solutions…

There Are Only 2 Ways To Get Rid Of It

Despite there being 4 different potential causes, there are only 2 potential solutions to this problem:

  1. The Chest Fat Solution
    If your moobs are caused by chest fat, you’re in luck. This is by far the easiest to fix. All it takes is… creating a caloric deficit and losing some body fat. That’s it. Our genetics predetermine the pattern in which we store fat on our bodies when we gain it, and where we burn it from when we lose it. This cannot be changed. So, to lose chest fat (or any other fat from any other body part), the one and only thing that will ever work is simply losing fat from your body as a whole. At some point, it will be lost from the specific area you want it to be lost from the most. Details here: How To Lose Fat and The Best Way To Lose Weight Fast
  2. The Loose Skin and Gynecomastia Solution
    Surgery
    . Unfortunately, that’s it. Surgery is the one and only way to get rid of significant loose skin, and the one and only way to get rid of gynecomastia. (Note that in the rarer cases of gynecomastia being caused by some type of drug or medication, stopping it may sometimes be enough.)

But Wait!! What About Chest Exercises?!?!

Ohhh right, chest exercises! Of course! I knew I forgot something! Silly me. Okay! Are you ready?

The absolute best exercises for burning chest fat and losing your moobs as fast as possible are…

None.

Yeah, that’s right, none.

That’s just not how it works.

You see, exercises like the bench press, flyes, push-ups and so on will target the pectoralis muscle, and that muscle is located underneath whatever fat, loose skin and/or gynecomastia you may have.

So if you want a bigger and/or stronger chest, weight training exercises like these (and countless others) will be lovely for that, assuming they are properly used within an intelligent overall workout routine and combined with a diet plan designed to support it (you know, like my Superior Muscle Growth program).

HOWEVER, they will do nothing whatsoever to the fat, skin and/or breast tissue covering it.

The idea that it will is a concept known as spot reduction. And by “concept,” I mean “myth.” Try as we might, it’s just not possible to target and burn specific areas of body fat (or skin, or breast tissue).

Which means, just like how all of the crunches and sit-ups in the world will have no effect on the belly fat covering your pretty six pack, all of the lower chest exercises in the world will only be targeting the chest muscle located under whatever is causing your man boobs. Not the cause itself.

Now, sure, gaining more muscle in that area may indeed improve the overall appearance of your chest, potentially more so for some than others. However, unless a caloric deficit exists, any fat in that area will remain just the same. And, unless surgery takes place, loose skin and gynecomastia will also remain just the same.

So, while weight training has the potential to make things look some degree better and/or make the problem some degree less noticeable, the problem itself will unfortunately still be there unless one of the aforementioned solutions take place.

23 thoughts on “How To Get Rid Of Man Boobs & Lose Chest Fat: The Best Exercises For Moobs”

23 Comments

  1. You might also want to look at cleaning your body of pseudo estrogen compounds from things like BPA (Bisphenol A), phthalates, and Soy, which contains high levels of plant estrogens (phytoestrogens). These compounds mimic estrogen in the body and have the same effect as increasing estrogen levels.

    From the Wikipedia page on Gynecomastia:

    “Disturbances in the endocrine system that lead to an increase in the ratio of estrogens/androgens are thought to be responsible for the development of gynecomastia.”

    I take DIM (Diindolymethane) and I3C (Indole-3-Carbinol) and I noticed a hormonal shift when I started them.

  2. Great article as always Jay!! Let me tell you , i have been following your routines religiously and it has so much to do with diet if you want to get rid of fat anywhere. Thanks again Jay for the tips.

    • If it’s fat, losing fat will be the key just the same. If it’s loose skin, surgery is still the solution. And if it’s a lack of muscle… building bigger glutes will be key (and will also help in both of the other cases as well).

    • Divorce or job change are the two most effective ways of getting rid of a huge ass — both for the employee/employer and husband or wife

  3. Yay new article!
    Even if the topic is not related to me I always enjoy reading you.
    I recently got Superior Muscle Growth and it’s awesome!
    Inb4 useless comment

  4. Make sure you’re not treating high blood pressure with the potassium-sparing diuretic SPIRONOLACTONE (Spiro for short). There are other diuretics used for high BP that work as well without this issue. Spiro destroys testosterone – hence an imbalance between T and estrogen. It works so well in tanking T levels that it’s used in the transgender community for that very reason. The good news is that if a person has Gyno due to this drug, it almost always reverses itself – as well as T levels eventually return to pre-spiro levels after a few months.

  5. How do I determine when I have lost enough weight ( fat) before I can start to bulk? I have lost down to 190. I am 6’2″. Still have lot of belly fat. And some chest. I am 50yrs. However look skinny fat. Thanks

  6. Good article!

    I still wish you’d print your book – I hate pdfs… Can’t easily jot stuff on them. I think people would pay the extra cost for it. Just saying. Keep up the great work!

    Dan

  7. Hey bro,

    For the last 7 weeks I’ve been dieting and going to the gym (was originally 11 stone 5 pounds), I’m now 10 stone 5 pounds (I’m 5 ft 7), which is a great start for me (I want to lose at least another 9 pounds). I have as they call them “moobs”. I’ve researched the best ways of how to get rid of them, from people saying to do chest presses, flyes, push ups and dips to people saying do a mixture of cardio and muscle building.

    My current schedule is –

    Monday – HIIT
    Tuesday – Arms
    Wednesday – REST
    Thursday HIIT
    Friday – Legs
    Saturday HIIT
    Sunday – I play football (Soccer if you’re from other parts of the world haha)

    So my question is, is Cardio and high intensity workouts the best solution? I try to do DB bench presses and flyes and they don’t seem to work my chest muscles AT all for some odd reason.

    Sorry for the long post :p

  8. Great article. I’ve had this problem in the past and it really, really hurt my self-esteem. So much, in fact, that it resulted in depression and social isolation. If you have it, there’s probably not a quick fix, but it is certainly possible to get rid of it, no matter how big the moobs are. What I did, and what I would recommend, is this:

    – Lower body fat to a healthy percentage of 12% or so. If obese, do it gradually, not quickly, to give the skin time to adapt. If weight is lost too quickly, there’s a smaller chance that stretched skin tightens up.

    – If the issue persists, find a surgeon with a lot of male breast reduction surgery experience. If the problem is fat, liposuction is the best option. If glandular tissue or excess skin is present, real surgery is needed.

    – Surgery will result in scar tissue, this is unavoidable. However, it is possible to minimize scar formation with silicone gel or silicone sheets. After surgery, cover the wound with silicone for at least 6 months.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2918339/

    – If scar tissue is still present to an unsatisfactory degree after silicone treatment, consider permanent medical makeup to camouflage the imperfection. These medical tattoos can work wonders.

    – As for excess skin, if surgery didn’t deal with this, you’ll have two options: A) another corrective surgery. Or B) pectoral exercises – such as bench press – to replace the lost fat mass with muscle mass.

    So, yeah, all is not lost if you suffer from this condition. But depending how bad it is, it will take a lot of time to get rid of it, because weight loss, surgery, cosmetic procedures and exercise might be needed. Additionally, it is also a good idea to set some money aside in order to pay for everything.

  9. Thanks for your articles. I have been reading them quite a bit, and they have been both helpful and motivating for me. I am 5’11”, and over the past 3+ months, I have gone from approximately 230 lbs to 188 lbs by monitoring my calorie intake and doing daily cardio (mostly recumbent biking). When I came across your site, I also began a weight training program 3x/week. I have noticed pretty rapid improvement in my lifting capabilities, which I am attributing to the ‘fat beginner’ effect you have mentioned. My question is this: Around what point will the ‘fat beginning’ magic wear off? I am still technically about 10 lbs overweight, so I am thinking I still have 4-6 weeks of this wonderful effect (I am losing about 3 lbs of fat each week). However, can this ‘fat beginner’ effect continue for awhile longer once I drop into the normal weight category? I know there is no definitive answer, but I’m just looking for an approximate idea/insight into when the ‘fat beginner’ effect will wear off, whether that estimate is based on BMI, body fat % or some other metric.

    • I don’t really have any kind of number of weeks/months to throw at you for this one. The best estimate I can give you is that it will happen somewhere near the intersection of being too lean and too strong.

  10. Hi ! My Height is 5’7″. I weighed 177lbs 3 months ago. I’ve been following a caloric deficit diet and a 1 hour running schedule since December. I now weigh 160 lbs.
    But I still have quite saggy moobs and a very loose belly. It’s hard to get into shape and get that flat chest and tighten up the jelly belly.
    Any suggestions on how I could get rid of the Moobs and jelly belly ?
    Thanks !

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