Before I show you my photos taken from different angles, I want to explain how I train.

Biological informations AND Diseases

I'm a 22.5yo male, 1.70m (67 inches), I think I'm between [20 ; 25]% BF.

I think I have a pelvic anteversion.

From June, 2017 to April, 2018, I suffered from sevear chronic insomnias (<5 hours, quite often 2 sleep hours). Since April, 2018, these insomnias are mostly cured.

I think I have a gymnecomastia (since a lot of years and I believe it's due to hormones).

Training dates

Before september 2018, I trained all muscles (excepted back in thickness and lumbars) only with small weights (<= 20kg 44lb) during several months spaced by pauses of several months... Well I don't think these weird periods are actually important to take account.

I seriously began musculation 9 months ago (i.e. : since september, 2018).


Since I was 19, I always payed attention in excluding sodas and sweet things.

From september to 1st may, 2018, I think I didn't eat I haven't eaten enough proteins for example (only 2 eggs per day whereas I eat 4 now).

After 1st may, 2018, a typical day is :

  1. Breakfast, 8:00 : Omelet with 2 eggs + unsweetened yogurt + 1 flour bread (50% white, 50% complete), with nuts, bread pine nuts, etc. + linseed and olive oils

  2. Collation, 10:30 : 20 grams of almonds

  3. Lunch : 80 grams of rice-quinoa, or 80 grams of lenses, or 80 grams of red and white beans AND carots or green beans or spinash or broccoli AND 25 grams of cheese AND 1 apple AND Sunflower+Rapeseed+Oleisol+Grape seed mixed oils

  4. Collation, 16:00 : 20 grams of almonds

  5. Collation, 18:30 : 40 grams of muesli (oat flakes, raisins, etc.) + 10 grams of almonds + 20 grams of peanuts + 2 squares dark chocolate 85% of cacao (all of these things are added to the muesli) + 1 banana

  6. Dinner : 2 hard-boiled eggs AND linseed and olive oils AND sometimes 2 sardines (or tuna) + 80 grams of rice-quinoa, or 80 grams of lenses, or 80 grams of red and white beans AND carots or green beans or spinash or broccoli AND 1 pear (or two mandarins in winter) AND 1 unsweetened yogurt AND 50 grams of cheese

  7. Collation, 22:30 : 1 banana + sometimes, some milk

Almost always no coffee nor tea.

My training


I always used supersets, in each of my workouts. For example, bench press + lat chest pulldown.

These supersets, however, defer from what we commonly understand by "superset" (according to the moment of the workout of a given day) : on monday, at the end of my workout, I do Low pulley cross-over in "superset" with Side raises.

Choice of the weights AND Realization of the movements

Since Septembre, 2018, I can't tell you with accuracy how I chose the weights and how I realized the movements.

Since approximately March, 2018, I followed this protocol :

PROTOCOL #1 - I use weights that hurt me at 40 sec. Then, I rest-pause for 15 sec. Then, I use the same weights for 20 sec. I contract during 0.5 sec, then I isometry hold at maximum of the contraction during 1.5 sec, then I stretch during 0.5 sec, finally I "hold" during 0.5 sec at maximum of the stretch (i.e. : I don't make pause at this max).

This is done for any exercise and for each of my 3 work series (I don't speak about my warm-up series). The weights are such that the targeted muscle is always well worked and my posture is good (these both constraints are prioritary over all - if there is any problem, the weights must be decreased). Each of these 3 series for a given exercise is in superset with another serie of another exercise (i.e. : antagonist movements/muscles).

Since 1st May, 2018, I followed this protocol (which allowed me to increase a bit the weights) :

PROTOCOL #2 - I use weights that hurt me at 30 sec with isometry holds (however, my aim is : 40 sec). Then, I rest-pause for 15 sec. Then, I use the same weights for 20 sec. During the 40 sec, I don't isometry hold except from when I'm getting hurt near 30 sec (to achieve my 40 sec). During the 20 sec, I never isometry hold (to do the maximum number of repeats in 20 sec).

When I hold, the same times are used as in PROTOCOL #1.

By the way, the same remark can be done as in PROTOCOL #1.

Powerlifting or Aesthetism (speaking about all exercizes) ? Dumbells or bar (only speaking about pectorals exercizes) ?

Since 1st september, 2018, I was used to do 5 powerlifting series (each one during only 20 sec) followed by 2 aesthetism series (each one during approx. 1 minute or a bit more, I wasn't as precise as I am now and thus I didn't measure). At bench press only AND for PL series only, I used bar. I can't remember if weither or not these both types of series followed any of the above protocols.

Since 1st March, 2018, I only do 2 aesthetism series (each following PROTOCOL #2). I only use dumbells.

My pre-training (warming-up) consists in increasing the weights until I reach the first serie's weighs. 4 series of warming are dedicated to that and it's called "potentiation" ; I never reach nervous/muscle fatigue during these series. I always used potentation.

My pectorals exercizes

  1. Bench press with Lat chest pulldown

  2. Inclined press with Cable row

  3. Unilateral Cable crossover at low pulley with < something e.g. Side raise >

My pectoral-focused anatomy

  1. Please, remember that maybe I have a gymnecomastia.

  2. By the way, my sternum is quite large and the muscle insertions at the center of the pectorals are very short : pectorals appear to be espaced (a bit more than my thumb).

  3. The bottom of the pectorals are still more espaced AND it's very rounded.

  4. The combination of 2. and 3. results in that my pectorals don't have a very large surface : only 12 cm 4.7 inches from left to right, at approx. 3cm from the top of my pectorals. Measures were taken only for my left one.

  5. My right pectoral seems to have still less surface than my left one (in both horizontal and vertical directions) : there is, maybe, left-right asymmetry.

  6. I think anterior deltoid, my back and my triceps are too developped compared with my pectorals. When I bench and do my cross over, I try to desollicit my anterior deltoids by puting them at back. I try also to keep my back on the bench...

  7. Since my arms are not very long, exercizes like inclined bench should be useful to isolate the top of my pectorals. I'm not going any lower than the parallel to the ground in benches.

My question

How should I change my training to have better pectorals, considering my poor pectorals anatomy and all of these informations ?



  • Your weight training routine the way you describe it sounds really complex. Is that necessary? Today we can go on Youtube and see how the worlds strongest train. That does not mean that we should train like them though. Also everyone on the web tries to stand out by adding crazy amount of detail. There are videos named things like "by using this trick you can improve your gains vastly", where they by vastly are talking about 1% or so. – Andy Feb 18 '19 at 21:18

I believe you are overcomplicating things. You have a little bit of man boobs. You also have a bit of a gut. As you mention you may have to much estrogen in your body relative to testosterone.

Training large muscle groups with heavy weights (think squat and deadlift) causes a surge in testosterone. I would suggest you follow the Starting Strength program. It includes bench press which trains your chest. Try to keep the workouts shorter than 1 hour ca. This should also get rid of the fat around your belly which may act as an estrogen factory.

Since you don't eat meat; maybe you should take some whey protein or alternatively drink a lot of low fat milk.

Also maybe take some zinc tablets.

Finally remember: you cannot spot reduce fat. Training your chest a lot will not reduce your man boobs, just as training your abs a lot will not give you a sixpack. Instead you reduce your body fat level by doing heavy strength training and possibly HIIT for cardio.

Some references:

https://www.webmd.com/men/features/exercise-and-testosterone#1 https://www.uspharmacist.com/article/belly-fat-in-men

| improve this answer | |
  • Mmm...no, IPA/beer won't give you gynecomastia. Your milk recommendation would be more likely, but that's a myth as well. – JohnP Jan 21 '19 at 20:08
  • Are you sure about that? independent.co.uk/life-style/food-and-drink/… – Andy Jan 21 '19 at 20:09
  • Maybe not. I see some articles claiming so, and some not. So IPA causing gynecomastia may just be unscientific sensationalism. Thank you. I will remove it from my answer. – Andy Jan 21 '19 at 20:11
  • It's the same correlation that steroid precursor supplements make, that the body will take the precursor and produce more steroids. Has yet to be proven, but an entire industry segment is built on the claim. :) – JohnP Jan 21 '19 at 20:27

First of all, we can not tell whether you have gyno or not while your BF is greater than, say, 15%. Only when you lose decent amount of fat will it be possible to tell whether it's gyno or not.

Your diet is very unbalanced. You consume almost no meat at all. You do consume lots of nuts, almonds and beans, all of them contain plenty of carbohydrates which won't make you lose your fat. I'll suggest that you change your diet to the following:

  1. 1st breakfast: 2 eggs, 100 grams of any lo-fat meat, 200 grams of milk.
  2. 2nd brefast: 200 grams of oatmeal.
  3. Lunch: 200 grams of chicken soup, 100 grams of any lo-fat meat.
  4. Collation (1 hour before hitting the gym): 150 grams of cottage cheese, 1-2 table spoons of a honey.
  5. Diner: 200 hundred grams of any lo-fat meat, 2-3 baked potatoes with a sour cream, 100 grams of fresh veggies.

Now about training, since you're just starting (based on your weights and overall physics I can tell that you don't have any experience in weightlifting), stick to the basic begginers program which might be some like this:

|Exercise       | Set 1 | Set 2 | Set 3 | Set 4|
|Bench Press    |  12   |  10   |  10   |  10  |
|Bicep Curl     |  12   |  10   |  10   |  10  |
|incline b press|  12   |  10   |  10   |  10  |
|Squat          |  12   |  10   |  10   |  10  |
|Dumbbell flies |  12   |  10   |  10   |  10  |
|Crunches       |  25   |  25   |  25   |  25  |

3 times per week, with at least one day in between any 2 training sessions. If you feel yourself tired, put it off until tomorrow.

Start with a little weight, maybe with an empty bar if needed. Be sure to reach the specified numbers in each set.

Add plates, when you feel ready to make more than 10 reps in every working set (the first one being your warm up)!

If you're under 20-22 years old, replace your mid day with the following complex:

3 Superset - 20 deep barbell squats immediately followed by 15 dumbbell pullovers.
30 wide grip pullups (in as many sets as it'll take you to hit the number).
100 parallel bar pushups (in as many sets as it'll take you to hit the number).
100 crunches (in as many sets as it'll take you to hit the hundred).

That's the program for the first 3 month of your training.

| improve this answer | |
  • Good points. Less nuts and more meat/fish is definately a good idea. An expensive (grass fed) steak ocassionally would also be good. To much red meat is bad, but high quality red meat has lots of nutrients and is low in saturated fat. – Andy Feb 18 '19 at 20:45

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