Man Boobs. Moobs. Chesticles. Whatever you call them, male breast development is an embarrassing problem for a lot of guys. There is good news, though: You can safely and effectively melt off those chesticles by addressing testosterone, fat reduction and muscle building. This guide shows you how, with a straightforward 3-step strategy on how to get rid of moobs for good. Let’s get to it!
What are moobs and what causes them?
The formal terms of moobs is gynecomastia. The cause of gynecomastia is often caused by excess estrogen levels at birth or hormonal imbalances that develop later in life. Certain nutritional deficiencies and unbalanced testosterone/estrogen ratios are also strongly linked to the clinical, technical definition of gynecomastia. But other factors, such as poor chest muscle tone and excess body fat, can make gynecomastia worse, or even create the appearance of male breasts when no hormonal deficiency is present.
Correcting hormonal issues might be the most important step in getting rid of moobs, which is why it is Step 1 in this program:
How to Get Rid of Moobs Step #1: Boost Testosterone
Low testosterone may be the biggest contributor to moobs. When testosterone levels get really low (along with other masculine androgen hormones) in men, symptoms of male hypogonadism may start to appear, including:
- Belly fat
- Muscle loss
- Reduced sex drive
- Erectile problems
- Reduced ability to grow a beard
Noticing a trend here? A feminine hormonal state — more estrogen, less testosterone — can take away your manly characteristics, and impart feminine characteristics…. like moobs.
But you can get your manliness back by increasing your testosterone levels. There are a few ways to do this, and not all of them are safe or advisable. Taking a high-quality testosterone booster supplement that is well-formulated for both safety and real T-boosting results is a great starting point. Some natural T-boosters for moobs:
This might be the most important testosterone booster for moobs. Zinc is a great manly mineral that is especially important for making testosterone. Low zinc is strongly linked to moobs and other male hypogonadism symptoms. The scary part: A LOT of men are not getting enough zinc, potentially increasing risk for moob development.
However, it’s not all bad: Zinc supplementation has been shown to reverse hypogonadism. This is probably because Zinc is a flat out T-booster that works.
- Look for: Almost all of the best testosterone booster supplements include Zinc. But make sure you use the right form, and make sure you don’t take too much. Cheap forms like Zinc Sulfate and Zinc Oxide are hard to absorb and have more side effects. Look for Zinc Citrate, which is a bioavailable Zinc form that is easier on the stomach.
Testosterone Essentials: Zinc is the best starting point for testosterone. But next, consider if your diet is supplying the other basic building block vitamins and minerals for healthy testosterone, including vitamin D3, vitamin B6, boron and magnesium. Supplement as needed to increase intake of these nutrients to increase testosterone and melt away moobs.
If you want to really start ramping up your testosterone production to get rid of moobs, D-Aspartic Acid (DAA) is the T-booster you need. DAA is a no-holds-barred sex hormone booster.
Famously, one study found that DAA supplementation boosted testosterone levels by 42% and Luteinizing hormone by 33% (Luteinizing Hormone helps support testosterone too) — all in just 12 days of supplementation.
- Look for: D-Aspartic Acid Calcium Chelate (D-AA-CC) is a special form that is a little better than plain DAA. Because it is more bioavailable, D-AA-CC delivers more T-boosting activity in a smaller dosage while reducing risk of side effects.
This ingredient is not a T-Booster per se; it is, however, an estrogen blocker. Specifically, luteolin blocks the enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen. Since estrogen is a big contributor to moob development, taking an estrogen blocker like Luteolin seems like a good idea.
- Look for: If you end up taking DAA for testosterone, be sure to take Luteolin (or another estrogen blocker) at the same time. DAA boosts testosterone, but also raises estrogen a bit too. By combining DAA with luteolin, the testosterone is allowed to skyrocket while estrogen levels are held in check or even reduced.
Taking a good testosterone-booster supplement might be the most important weapon in your battle against MOOBS.
Here’s why: When you achieve a masculine hormonal state, it becomes much easier to pack on lean muscle mass while burning off fat — which just happen to be our next 2 steps in how to get rid of moobs for good.
Some T-booster stack supplements can help to advance all these missions at the same time. For help picking out a testosterone booster for moobs, check out our Best 5 Testosterone Boosters list or read some reviews in our T-booster category.
Step 2: Burn Off Chest Fat
Many guys start out in their anti-moob journey with the goal of blowing away fat in the chest specifically. It’s not that the goal isn’t achievable, but rather that it’s just a bit misguided. Fat loss can’t ever really be spot-targeted to just one specific area of the body over all the others.
The muscles you use to perform specific jobs will respond to the tension they’re under, but fat loss is a different ball game than muscular development alone. Fat loss depends on consistent spending of more energy that the body takes in. When fat loss occurs, it’s a total-body process that impacts all different areas of stored fat at once to varying degrees.
Depending on genes and metabolism, different parts of the body might respond to a fat loss process at a different pace. A person who loses weight very rapidly through one diet plan may not have the same chest reduction as another person who follows the same diet plan at the same activity level. Nevertheless:
Reducing body fat in general will eventually reduce excess adipose tissue in the chest, also known as man-boobs.
While cutting back on calories is definitely a solid start for triggering fat loss, making sure that you keep your cortisol levels in check is also important. Cortisol is a stress hormone that can suppress the immune system and sabotage your fat loss frequency in excess. By sticking to a proper sleep pattern and meditating, you can reduce the chance of excess cortisol keeping you from lowering excess fatty tissue in the chest at the natural rate that it ideally could.
Are Fat-Burner Supplements a good way how to Get Rid of Moobs?
Fat burner supplements can help to burn off body fat in general, so yes, they may be used as part of your how-to-get-rid-of-moobs strategy (they help to burn off belly fat, too).
Unfortunately there are a lot of crappy supplements in the Fat Burner category, so we suggest you do some research before picking the right one for you.
Check out our B5 list of the Best Fat Burner supplements as a good starting point for buying a product that will help to melt off your chesticles.
- Consider Rhodiola Rosea, too: Remember how the stress hormone cortisol contributes to man boobs? Some supplements can block cortisol, and rhodiola rosea is one of them. Consider supplementing with rhodiola in some form as part of your moob plan. In addition to blocking cortisol, rhodiola is a legendary performance enhancer that is an outstanding pre-workout herb… which is perfect for Step 3 below.
Step 3: Strengthen Chest Muscles
Now that you’re upping your testosterone levels, you are entering a masculine anabolic state that helps build muscle — including the actual chest muscles that are hiding underneath MOOBS. And, now that you are taking step to lose the fat around your chest, you are further revealing the muscle beneath those shrinking moobs.
In order to truly turn your moobs into pecs, you’ve got to start building up your chest muscles.
If you want to get the most mileage out of your anti-moob management efforts, you need to know which chest muscles to target. To make any muscle goal a reality, we have to target the main movers. When you’re looking to morph moobs into pecs, the main movers you’re going after the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. Specifically, there’s two pairs of both those muscles to the left and right of your chest bone. Now that we know their names, we can break down how they move so that the exercises actually make sense in context.
Your pectoralis major muscles both have two origins: the front of the collar bones and center chest bone. On that center chest bone, your pectoralis major muscles connect to ribs one through seven. The pectoralis majors also insert on the humerus, your upper arm bones. Your pectoralis major concentrically flexes your shoulders, pulls them art and rotates them. They also decelerate shoulder extension, external rotation, and horizontal abduction. While it’s doing all of this, it also just plain keeps the shoulders stable.
While pectoralis major lives on ribs one through seven, its minor cousins hang out on ribs three through five. The insertion is on the collarbone, which it helps to pull forward and slow down backward movement. Like its pectoralis major big bro, the pectoralis minor prevents your shoulder girdle from falling out of whack by keeping it nice and stable all day.
Strengthening pectoralis major and pectoralis minor muscles won’t “burn off” moobs, but will tighten up your chest muscles — giving you a firm, flat chest instead of saggy, droopy moobs.
Triggering robust chest muscle growth
If you’re invested in not only melting down moobs but also building up aesthetically impressive pecs, then the word of the day is hypertrophy. The term hypertrophy is just a more formal way saying of lean muscle mass. For hypertrophy in the chest muscles to occur, the skeletal muscle fibers composing the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor need to constantly overcome escalating tests of resistance.
You can activate hypertrophy with both single-joint and compound exercises alike. In addition to an increase in skeletal muscle fiber surface area, hypertrophic gains often also cause an increase in myofibril proteins as well. You can think of myofibril proteins as the connecting threads that compose a great volume of your ridged the muscle cells, and by building them up, muscular balance and stabilization can improve as well. Hypertrophic training generally takes a low to medium repetition range at anywhere between 75 to 85% of your one-repetition maximum.
Best Exercises for Moobs
The following are each some of the best exercises that you can perform to target those major/minor pecs and see them improve. Keep in mind that the level of muscle memory you have with certain exercises will always factor into just how much soreness you experience after performing them at a high-intensity level.
- Barbell bench press
- Dumbbell chest press
- Incline barbell bench press
- Incline dumbbell chest press
- Standing cable chest press
Generally speaking, aiming for 3-5 sets of 7-12 repetitions at 2-2-second tempo (concentric/eccentric or vice versa) should be enough to see size increase gradually. While a frequency of the five sessions per week is ideal for cardio, hypertrophic gains don’t require any more than about three days per week good results.
As you continually expose the chest muscles to greater challenges, your pectoralis major and minor will both become better at regenerating and getting tougher. Keep in mind that you don’t need to put your muscles through a meat grinder just to have them grow. “No pain no gain” is romantic, but not exactly scientific. You don’t have to leave the gym feeling like your arms got hit by a double-barrel shotgun just to get gains. Be practical about your training while still knowing your limits. Your arms will thank you.
Muscle mass growth is no walk in the park with daisies, but heavy mass development isn’t the only way to wage war against moobs. Losing body fat can help reduce the presence of excess fatty chest tissue long before the muscles underneath start to become more impressive. Naturally, any progress that you see is going to be that much more effective if you ensure that the calories that you take in are of a high-enough quality to give your body full mileage out of its nutrients and vitamins.
Max Out Chest Muscle Development with Sports Nutrition
To make the most of all the effort you put into your chest development, and turn those flabby man-boobs into shredded pecs, consider adding the following three categories of sports nutrition supplements to your anti-moob regimen:
- Protein, bro. No matter how you get it, protein is required to build muscle. Read some of our protein supplement reviews here
- Pre-Workouts. These supplements can amp up your energy and training intensity to really blast through those chest workouts for superior results.
- Post Workouts. These sports nutrition formulas help your chest muscles to recover from working out faster. Some of the best post-workouts do a good job of triggering anabolic chest muscle growth, too.
Like any other fitness goal, training to get rid of moobs is a long-term commitment and a thinking game. Just mind your repetitions and be consistent. A 2-0-2 second tempo is a perfect approach to melt down moobs through chest muscle development. Testorone booster supplements can even help you work against any estrogen problems that may making moobs worse. Make sure to aim for at least three sessions per week of chest-targeting exercises that constantly push the pectoralis muscles to approach the upper limits of their performance under tension with smooth form and control.
Rather than fixating hard on the moobs disappearing, treat the campaign as an overall exercise in making your body better in general. It’s a marathon, not a high-speed sprint. You can’t go into this trying to get gains at the speed of a rabid cheetah on bath salts. Savor the sense of appreciation for having every aspect of your health get that much greater through consistent effort. The more that you fall in love with the process, the less you’ll stress about the pace and the better your long-lasting results will likely be in the long run.
Mayo Clinic Contributors. Enlarged breasts in men (gynecomastia). 2017-8-29. Mayo Clinic.
Get Body Smart Contributors. Pectoralis Major Muscle. 2015-8-17. Get Body Smart.
Get Body Smart Contributors. Pectoralis Minor Muscle. 2013-8-6. Get Body Smart.
Schoenfeld BJ. The mechanisms of muscle hypertrophy and their application to resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Oct;24(10):2857-72. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181e840f3.
Kravitz, L., Ph.D. & Hernandez, R.J., B.S. The Mystery of Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy. 2005-4-27. UNM.
Lefkowith, Cori. What Does It All Mean – Concentric, Eccentric and Isometric. 2014-5-2. Redefining Strength.