Going shirtless at the beach can be an unnerving experience when you have excess chest fat. Instead of piling on layers of clothing to cover up, modify your eating and exercise program. The chest consists of two muscles that work as one unit, the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor. The key to training the chest effectively is targeting every angle of the muscle. Although it is not possible to spot reduce breast fat, you can incorporate chest workouts into your full body training routine to help increase lean muscle mass and decrease your overall body fat percentage. Combine a strength training routine that includes chest-specific workouts with a healthy diet and cardiovascular activity to help you lose body fat, revealing tight and toned pecs.
Train your pectoral muscles twice per week to develop muscle and boost metabolism. Perform exercises like incline push-ups, decline chest presses, bench presses and pec-deck flyes for four sets of eight to 10 repetitions. Lift heavy resistance. Completing the last set of each exercise should be a challenge.
Engage in full-body workouts three times per week to increase lean muscle mass and encourage total-body fat loss. Perform exercises like walking lunges for legs, pull-ups for back, sit-ups for abs, hammer curls for biceps, triceps overhead presses and lateral raises for shoulders. Execute each exercise for four sets of 12 to 15 repetitions. Train with moderately heavy resistance so the last few reps of each set are difficult to complete.
Perform cardiovascular intervals three to four days per week to promote fat loss. Sprint on the stationary bike for 30 seconds. Pedal at a slow pace for one minute to recover. Continue alternating speeds for 20 to 30 minutes. Perform interval cardio on other cardio equipment like the treadmill or a stair climber to add variety.
Eat natural foods to fuel your workouts, encourage muscle growth and facilitate fat loss. Consume foods like low-fat dairy, lean meats, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats like nuts and olive oil, fruits, fish and poultry. Stay away from processed or manipulated foods that are high in sodium,chemical preservatives and sweeteners.
Consume five to six small meals per day to feed the muscles and fire up the metabolism. Have a serving of protein and complex carbohydrates at each meal like 6 ounces grilled chicken breast, 1 cup of asparagus and a sweet potato.
- American Council on Exercise: Chest Exercises
- "Weight Training Manual"; National Federation of Professional Trainers; 2006