Weightlifting for males involves getting stronger and sometimes bigger. A certain level of muscle soreness will come from intense workouts with weights, and that can include discomfort with the nipples. There are several ways nipple soreness can develop. Some of them are very obvious while at least one is a sign of a serious health condition.
Friction and Clothing
Constant friction from clothing is a relatively common cause of nipples soreness. The nipple is a tender area of tissue on the chest and is sensitive to friction and chafing. Soreness, cracking and bleeding can happen when people lift weights and perform chest exercises such as the bench press. To prevent soreness, wear soft clothing or use athletic tape over your nipples.
Hormones such as testosterone, cortisol, and insulin like growth factor all become active during weight lifting. The hormonal response increases with the intensity of the exercise. Males tend to do more intense exercise throughout their life. This increases the chance of hormonal environments that can cause symptoms such as sore nipples. This happens much less in other sports because they don't involve pulling up heavy loads and resistance.
Gynecomastia and Men
Gynecomastia is a condition that causes swelling in the chest, particularly the nipples. This usually happens as a result of abnormal hormone metabolism. When testosterone is converted to estrogen in males, the chances of gynecomastia increase. This condition can be painful, especially so during weightlifting because of significant swelling. Gynecomastia can be a serious medical condition and merits a trip to a doctor.
What to Do
Breast and nipple tenderness can be phasic and can occur at different points in life. It can last for a couple of weeks and completely go away. Lifters who experience this problem can follow the same fixes runners do. That involves drinking more water and using antibiotic ointment or bandages on the nipples.