#1 Decrease your overall body fat percentage
The very first step to fixing this issue is to decrease your overall body fat percentage. Unfortunately, despite public opinion, there isn’t a single exercise that can target your chest fat.
Some exercises can help build muscle and improve the definition and shape of your chest.
Even if your body prefers to store fat around your chest, by burning overall body fat, your chest fat will reduce as well.
Most people will tell you to create a calorie deficit by simply subtracting 500 calories per day.
But, despite consuming fewer calories, they may be coming from sources that are processed or high in fat and sugar. In that case, you’re more likely to create insulin resistance, which will physically prevent fat loss instead of burning extra 500 calories per day.
Your body will slow down its metabolism to make up for those missing calories. Therefore, instead of simply tracking calories, it is important to know your macros.
Macros need to be filled with the fresh whole foods that you’ll find around the outside perimeter of your grocery store.
Track your calories and macros
Macros are single-ingredient foods that don’t come in a box like salmon, or rice, or eggs. To determine your macros you can click the link for the calculator below.
However, as you lose weight and your body begins to adapt to the number of calories you consume, your metabolism will slow down and you will have to readjust to keep losing weight. But, a great way to prevent your metabolism from slowing down is to cycle your calories.
One of the best ways to do that is by dropping your calories lower by 30% from maintenance levels for two weeks and then bringing your calories back up to maintenance levels for two weeks.
Research shows that this “two weeks on-two weeks off” dieting approach leads to more fat loss. It’s more sustainable and less likely to result in a metabolic slowdown. (3)
#2 Alternate Calorie Cycling
There are other ways that you can cycle your calories too such as carb cycling. This is where you would have a high carb and low carb day each.
You can also have an alternate day fast where you eat at maintenance one day and then eat under 500 calories the next day. All of these will help delay metabolic slowdown as you burn that chest fat.
Now, underneath that fat, you’re probably hoping to find some nice pecs. But, to make that happen you have to follow step two which is to perform weight training.
If you’re breaking down your muscles with weights, your body is going to divert the calories along with protein, carbs, and fats that you’re eating towards rebuilding your muscles.
This process will make it much easier for you to lose body fat and it’ll also help you build muscle size, shape, and strength specifically around your chest. It will also make your chest look tighter and more defined.
Again, we can’t target the fat sitting on top of the muscle, but we can target the muscle itself.
Exercise to Build Your Pecs
Here are the 5 best exercises you can do to start building pecs even if you haven’t burnt the fat off just yet.
I. Bench Press
The first one is the bench press. You can do this flat, at an incline, or a decline.
The flat bench press is great to help build chest strength as well as overall chest size and shape. Meanwhile, the incline will focus more specifically on the upper chest, and decline on the lower chest.
You’ll need to try to incorporate all 3 into your routine over time.
To perform the bench press, squeeze your shoulder blades and retract them tightly together.
Then, lie under the bar with your feet planted on the ground, and grab the bar with a medium grip-width which will be about 6 to 12 inches wider than your shoulder width.
Next, you’ll want to maintain the natural curve in your spine and keep your core tight as you lower the bar to the middle of your chest.
Then, push your feet into the ground as you drive the weight back up off your chest and repeat for reps.
II. Dumbbell Press
Another great exercise is the dumbbell press which is very similar to the bench press.
But, since your hands are no longer connected on one bar, you can isolate each side better and hit your chest differently.
Again this one that you can do flat, incline or decline, but the form remains very similar.
With your feet planted in the ground, shoulder blades back, and a neutral curve in the spine, press the dumbbells up while keeping about a 45 to 75-degree angle between your elbows and your body.
You need to keep that same 45 to 75-degree angle for your barbell bench press as well.
III. Chest Fly
Another great exercise is the chest fly. This can be done on a flat incline or decline and it can also be done on many machines as well as the cable cross.
For a basic dumbbell fly, you’ll need to retract your shoulder blades and lay back on a bench with your hands over the line of your shoulders.
Then, bring your arms out to your sides, in an arch-like motion with a slight bend in the elbows. It should look like you’re about to hug a really wide tree.
Make sure you bring the dumbbells down no lower than chest level and then raise them back up for reps.
IV. Chest Dips
This exercise is performed like regular dips with you up on the parallel bars, but you’re going to lean forward while performing the exercise.
After hopping up with your arms locked out, lean forward, and lower your body until your shoulders are even with or slightly under your elbows. Then, extend your elbows and return to your starting position before repeating for reps.
Remember, if you find that dips with your body weight are difficult, you can use an assisted dip machine or a resistance band to help you up.
But, if you are strong enough to do bodyweight dips, try to strap weight onto your body to make it more challenging.
The last exercise that you can do anywhere are pushups. I like to do it on two platforms if I’m trying to target the chest because it allows a better bottom stretch.
Regardless of whether you use the platform or not, plant your hands wider than shoulder-width apart, and keep your heels, butt, and the back of your head in a straight line.
Don’t allow your hips to drop to the ground and don’t raise them up in the air like you would when you’re doing mountain climbers.
Keep your core tight as you lower yourself to the ground while keeping your elbows at the same 45 to 75-degree angle as before. Then, press yourself back up off the ground and repeat for reps.
You can also do this exercise with a wider hand placement to focus more on the chest.
Now, these are just a couple of the exercises you can do and if you do 3 sets of heavyweight each you’ll get a great chest workout.
But, even if your goal is to improve your chest you should still make sure that you’re working the rest of your body every week with other exercises like squats, deadlifts, and pullups just to name a few.
Training all your muscles will not only help you build more muscle which will increase your metabolism, but it will also help you burn fat during and after the workout as you recover.
It will also help you develop a proportionate physique which goes hand-in-hand with the last step: improving your posture.
#3 Ways to improve your posture
Improving your posture won’t necessarily burn chest fat, but it will improve the appearance of your chest big time.
Since we spend most of our days hunched over behind a computer screen or a steering wheel, we start to develop a much tighter chest and a weaker overstretched upper back.
This often leads to a postural deviation known as shoulder protraction and it’s going to make your chest look much worse.
Fortunately, we can fix any postural imbalance in 3 steps by stretching out the tight muscle groups, strengthening the weak overstretched muscle groups, and then practising good posture.
Stretch Exercise #1
One of the best ways to stretch out those tight chest muscles is to stand in front of a doorway with your arms bent at 90-degree angles against the frame of the door. Then, lean your body forward through the doorway to increase the intensity of the stretch.
Stretch Exercise #2
Another great stretch for the chest involves grabbing the straps and then walking forward with your arms out to the sides and your elbows slightly bent, until you feel the stretch in your chest.
Make sure you don’t lean forward, instead you want to stand up straight and walk forward until you feel the stretch.
Stretch Exercise #3
The last of the tight muscles that we want to stretch are the lats. You can stretch them by simply hanging off of a pullup bar.
You can also just put your elbows on a bench or a chair and lower your upper body down to the ground until you feel the stretch.
Now keep in mind you’ll want to hold all of these stretches for 30 seconds each round and repeat for 3 to 4 rounds. Try to get these stretches in every day and you’ll notice a big difference.
The other thing that you can do is tighten up and strengthen all of your upper back muscles, especially the rhomboids since they are overstretched and weak. You can do that with exercises like barbell rows, low rows, and reverse flyes just to name a few.
If you need further information on how to do those exercises as well as others that will help I have a step-by-step back training video that will show you exactly how to strengthen those upper back muscles fast.
The last thing you want to do is practice having good posture throughout the day. Even though pulling your shoulders back and thinking about standing up straight can help, concentrating on keeping my sternum pointed straight towards the ceiling is something that helps me a lot more.
If you imagine that your sternum is like a glass of water and by keeping it straight you prevent it from spilling over you’ll find it a lot easier to maintain better posture. There are also posture correctors that you can get on Amazon.
But, most of them will be doing all the work that’s required to hold your shoulders back for you rather than your muscles doing the work and getting stronger.
But, there is one that doesn’t force your shoulders up. Instead, it will remind you every time you slouch, thereby allowing you to correct it with your muscles helping them get stronger, ultimately correcting your posture.
It’s called the upright go, I’m not sponsored by them but here’s the Amazon link for it.
That about wraps it up. If you don’t feel like going through the trial and error that’s usually required to figure out exactly how to customize your diet and workout plan and you want to avoid the plateaus that come with your metabolism constantly slowing down, use my free diet and workout planner tool to find the perfect diet and workout plan for your body by clicking on the link below.
We also provide 6-week plans that help you skip all that guesswork since it comes with a 3 phase diet plan that’s based on your body, and that can be customized to your dieting preferences. We provide intermittent fasting plans, keto plans, one meal a day plans, and vegetarian plans just to name a few.
You’ll also get a 42-day workout plan, a recipe book, and an accountability coach to help answer any questions you have 24/7.
The best part is, as long as you stick to the plan for the 6 weeks, not only will you lose a whole lot of chest fat and overall body fat, but you’ll also get the whole program for free.
- Pseudogynecomastia, manifests as fat deposition without glandular proliferation and occurs most frequently in obese men
- Central obesity typical of men, the pear-shaped body fat distribution of many women
- Matador Study: 2 weeks on/ 2 weeks off is better than continuous calorie restriction