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Well this one is embarrassing as hell to ask, but its a real issue for me. I do dips often, as people say that's good, but different people say different things - that bench press will make them more noticeable or that it will make them better. I am also doing 45-60 minutes on the cross ramp, exactly the same with inverted bench press.

I just don't know what makes it better and what makes it worse.

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Nothing embarrassing about man-boobs... especially not in the context of how to get rid of them. That's what we're here for. –  Nathan Wheeler Mar 10 '11 at 20:13
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md5sum's answer sums it up nicely. It's worth noting that there is no such thing as spot reduction. Doing lots of chest exercises will not result in lost fat on your chest. Your body will decide what fat to burn first on its own. –  whaley Mar 10 '11 at 20:47
    
@whaley yeah im quite worried i will lose weight everywhere else first and make them much more noticeable for weeks/months –  harry Mar 10 '11 at 21:20
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@harry - don't worry about it. Who cares? Just stick to your routine and keep working on it until you have the body you want. –  Nathan Wheeler Mar 10 '11 at 21:31
    
@md5sum thanks for the advice :) –  harry Mar 10 '11 at 21:38
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6 Answers

If you have "man-boobs", the only practical "cure" is to lose weight. Your only other option is plastic surgery. When starting weight loss, you need to remember that the body will remove fat from wherever it wants to, and you may drop pant sizes before you see a noticeable decrease in fat where you want to see it.

Doing exercises like butterflies and bench press will (for lack of a better term) make your chest perkier. It will build a larger concentration of muscle under the upper part of the fat causing a lifting effect so they won't be as saggy, but it won't reduce their size at all.

Just stick with a diet and fitness program and the problem will resolve itself soon enough. And if you do bench press and stuff, once they're gone you'll just have nice pecs to flex and show off for the ladies, so go ahead and work out whatever you want or need to work out to get a nicely rounded, full-body exercise.

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Yep. Was halfway through writing the "same" answer. :-) –  Greg Mar 10 '11 at 20:12
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@Greg - LoL... don't you hate that :D –  Nathan Wheeler Mar 10 '11 at 20:14
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thanks, hmmm perkier, that would be a negative affect right? –  harry Mar 10 '11 at 20:32
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@harry - that entirely depends on how you view your own body, it will probably make them more pronounced, but also more solid looking. Ultimately, in my opinion, I'd take the possible negative appearance side effects now for the awesome turn around in the end, since as you lose weight and gain muscle, you'll just have a nice set of pecs instead of man-boobs –  Nathan Wheeler Mar 10 '11 at 20:36
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Sleep is also important to balance hormones. Too much fat and your body starts producing more estrogen and less testosterone (hence the boobs). Sufficient sleep and exercise will bring those levels back to normal. –  Evan Plaice Jun 2 '11 at 23:06
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In violent agreement with Nathan Wheeler's answer, I'll just word things a bit differently. "man-boobs" are fat. I had them, and when I was heavier they even hung a little bit. Not flattering at all.

Unfortunately, there is no way to target weight loss to any given area of your body. The only thing you can do is lose fat all over, and the man-boob and keg abs (my problem area) will go away. The best way to deal with fat is through diet.

Now, if you want something impressive when the fat is gone, you need to strengthen the muscles underneath the fat. Muscle groups can be targeted, and bench presses are an excellent way to improve your chest.

As to how my man-boobs have melted away (still a bit in progress):

  • If they were sagging, they stop
  • The whole chest will look larger, not quite firm pecs yet, but a lot more impressive than they used to be
  • The chest will appear to get smaller again, but as the fat gets burned off it leaves behind the muscle
  • Now they look like pecs. They aren't massive, but they'll improve over time as the muscle gets stronger.

The same will happen with my keg abs. My "dunlap" disease is gone (where your belly "done lapped" over your belt), and the core below the belt line is tight and right. Unfortunately, above the belt line I have this bump of fat--slowly but surely shrinking. Eventually it will start looking like abs, but for my body it's the last place my fat is holding on. I really wish it was possible to target weight loss, but the best I can do is leave something strong for when the fat is burned off.

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Heh... +1 for good answer, and +∞ for dunlap disease. Haven't heard that term in a while. :) –  eykanal May 31 '11 at 20:31
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A coworker of mine used to call it "white man's disease", and sure enough every white person at that job was very much obese. Unfortunately at the time I was one of them. –  Berin Loritsch Jun 5 '11 at 4:47
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I initially agreed 100% with Nathan, basically, there is no spot reduction approach and you will need to focus on diet and exercise to solve the issue. However I did come across another potential solution: Gynecomastia.

Gynecomastia […] is the abnormal development of large mammary glands in males resulting in breast enlargement.

In either case, I would recommend visiting a Dr. to have the symptoms reviewed and to ensure your in good enough condition otherwise to begin an intense exercise program.

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No need to worry about gyno unless the boobs are still there after you've slimmed down to perfect sixpack-abs. –  eevar May 31 '11 at 20:49
    
Well, I don't have puffy nipples, so I guess I'm safe from this. –  Berin Loritsch Jun 1 '11 at 12:17
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About a year ago I had "moobs". They were devastating, especially being 15/16 years old and in hell school (high school).

Anyways I got the breast reduction liposuction surgery and at first everything was good, but soon, after continuing bad eating habits and no exercise, I gained them back. Definitely not as big as before, but they admittedly got a little bigger.

The poi of this story is before getting surgery (if you want it) PLEASE make sure you adjust your diet and exercise patterns or the only effect it will have is on you wallet.

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Also in agreement with Nathan Wheelers answer. I'd add that it would be worth you looking into HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training. Studies have shown this is more efficient at burning fat than simply hitting the treadmill for long periods.

My rule of thumb on weight loss is that the amount you eat controls what you weigh. The amount you work out controls whether it turns into fat or muscle. It's not strictly true, but it's a pretty good guide.

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What type of "man boobs" do you have? If it's due to fat then you can lose it through cardio, remember there is no spot fat reduction, you lose it everywhere or nowhere at all. Pectoral weight exercises like the bench press will make your chest look more tone but won't get rid of the fat.

Now there is a condition called gynecomastia. If you have this then no amount of exercise will help and the only solution is plastic survey. Gynecomastia sufferers have actual excess breast tissue in their chests, it can happen due to genetics or steroid use. Mine was genetic and I didn't lose my man boobs until I got the surgery for almost 9k in NY.

The procedure consists of lipo to get the gist of the tissue and fat removed and then excisions are made under the nipple to remove the breast glands. Some fat and tissue is left in there to prevent cave in. Recovery takes about a month during which time you can forget about exercise and feeling doesn't come back fully to the area for up to a year.

People who have gynecomastia due to genetics develop it at the start of puberty and it never goes away with exercise because you can't burn tissue.

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Is there any support link that you can provide on the condition you are mentioning? –  Freakyuser Aug 1 '13 at 2:04
    
@Freakyuser just google "gynecomastia" it's a well understood problem and there are lots of resources about it online –  user6427 Aug 1 '13 at 4:03
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