4Men - Health

Exercise and gym tips, Gay health issues and the latest news in the struggle against HIV/AIDS

All About Man Boobs

By Alex James

Man Boobs is most gay men's worst nightmare. In the popular American sitcom, Seinfeld, Kramer even developed a bra for guys who were suffering from a little too much breast development.

Let's face it: No man wants to wear a bra. Getting man boobs will make you feel unattractive and will give you a low self-esteem. Every guy knows the best way to attract your man is by being confident, so how can you win this man boob battle?

It comes down to gaining control of your diet and committing to the proper exercise program. And remember: If you don’t stick to it, the next time you hit the beach, you may find yourself resembling your fag hag rather than the guy with rock-hard pecks.

Why you get man boobs
There are two main reasons guys get man boobs. The first comes from simply being overweight. Man boobs, or "moobs," are composed of fatty tissue stored over the pectoral muscles. A common myth is that you can spot reduce your man boobs, but unfortunately, you can't pick and choose where your body is going to shed its fat, so you will just have to lower it overall.

In order to remove fat deposits from your body, you have to adhere to a cardio and strength-training workout program and follow a proper diet. You must create a caloric deficit in order to lose weight. This means either increasing the number of calories you expend through exercise or reducing the number of calories you take in by changing your diet. If you are smart, you will do both.

The second reason guys get man boobs is due to a medical condition called gynecomastia.

This is a hormonal condition in which the body produces an increased amount of estrogen and a decreased amount of testosterone. Gynecomastia can often happen as the result of taking certain medications that influence the body’s hormonal levels. It can also occur if someone is suffering from a testicular tumor, which causes estrogen production to significantly increase.

To treat this problem, medical advice should be sought. Most often, the patient will be taken off the particular medication or will be given antiestrogen treatment. Surgery may be necessary if the problem does not improve.

Exercises that prevent man boobs

Cardio
Cardio will enable you to burn a significant amount of calories over a set period of time, helping you to achieve the caloric deficit that is necessary to win the man boob battle.

1- Interval training: Interval training is your best option because it will kick your metabolism into high gear. Since it is so intense, your body will expend a great deal of calories — even after you are finished working out — in order to repair and rebuild the muscle tissues that have been damaged.

Your interval training session should be done for about 20 to 25 minutes, during which time you work out at a ratio of 1:3 in regards to hard vs. easy. Ideally, aim for 20 to 30 seconds of hard training and 1 to 2 minutes of easy cardio, and repeat this ratio 8 to 15 times.

2- Running: Generally, the best mode of cardiovascular exercise to do for fat loss is running; however, if you have joint problems or just really hate running, there are several other methods that can be substituted.

3- Rowing: A good option is to use a rowing machine or to actually go rowing outside. Rowing is a great form of exercise for fighting man boobs since it encompasses all your upper body muscles, allowing you to sculpt your chest while you burn fat.

4- Elliptical machine: While biking is a good cardiovascular workout, it focuses more specifically on your lower body. Many people turn to the elliptical machine for their cardio sessions. This machine is a great calorie burner since it uses both arms and legs, and it is easy on the joints.

5- Playing sports: Don't forget about sports. Activities such as tennis, basketball, hockey, and soccer are great cardiovascular workouts, as they typically involve all-out bursts of movement accompanied by shorter periods of rest. Playing sports goes a long way in helping you burn stubborn body fat, thus, preventing the development of man boobs. So join that soccer team and get that old tennis racket out of your closet.

Strength training

Strength training exercises will not burn a great deal of calories while you are performing them, but they will help to increase your lean muscle mass, which is responsible for determining how many calories you burn on a daily basis. Weight training will also promote the development of strong and shapely chest muscles, so when the fat does come off, you are going to look significantly more attractive.

1- Seated chest press: Sit with your back flat against the machine and slowly push the weights straight out in a horizontal motion, then return to the starting position. Keep your breathing controlled and the movement steady. Perform four sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

2- Cable crossovers: Attach the handles to either side of a pulley station and stand with your arms extended at shoulder level, your elbows slightly bent and your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly bring your hands together in front of you and cross them. Return to the starting position and repeat. Concentrate on using your pectoral muscles to generate the power needed to perform this action. Do four sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

3- Incline flyes: Sitting on an incline bench at about a 45 degree angle with the dumbbells held above you, lower your hands out to the sides (but not lower than your shoulders), then bring your hands back together above you, mimicking a hugging action. Perform four sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

4- Bench press: Lie with your back against the bench and slowly press the barbell directly upward. Make sure that your back does not rise off the bench, and that you are breathing out on the upward movement and inhaling on the downward action. Perform four sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.

5- Push-ups: Push-ups are an excellent workout for your upper body and can be done anywhere. Place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart, and lower yourself so that your nose is almost touching the ground. Pause for a second, then rise up again. To add an extra challenge, try doing clap push-ups: After the lowering motion is complete, drive yourself up with enough force to clap your hands before resuming the push-up position. Perform four sets of as many as you can.

Buy a jockstrap, not a bra
Don't let man boobs scare you. As long as you follow a healthy diet and get regular cardiovascular exercise, you should not have to deal with this problem, unless it is due to medical reasons. If this is the case, you will not be able to exercise the condition away and might need to elect for surgery. If you do notice signs that man boobs may be developing, take action immediately to halt any further progress.

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