How to Lose Fat & Tighten Up the Chest

weightlifting in gym
Chest press builds tone in your upper chest and shoulders. (Image: imtmphoto/iStock/Getty Images)

Lowering your body fat and tightening up your chest requires cardiovascular exercise and weight training. Cardio, which forces you to keep moving over a period of time, is an effective exercise for burning a high number of calories -- while weight training will provide the stress needed to overload your muscles and stimulate their development. In addition to your workouts, make adjustments to your nutritional habits to ensure you’re taking in an appropriate number of calories to facilitate fat loss.

Step 1

Schedule a 30- to 60-minute cardio workout four to six days per week. To lose a pound of fat, you’ve got to burn 3,500 more calories than you consume. Therefore, to lose fat at a healthy rate of one to two pounds per week, you’ll need to create a deficit of 3,500 to 7,000 calories every seven days. The more frequently you do cardio, the more calories you’ll burn and the greater the deficit you’ll create.

Step 2

Participate in the most efficient types of cardio exercise. According to the American Council on Exercise, running is the best exercise for burning calories, about 15 calories every minute in a 160-pound person. Other quality workouts that are effective for calorie burning include swimming and playing basketball. If you prefer to work out in a gym, cycling on a stationary bike, using an elliptical machine and ascending a stair climber are also cardio exercises that will help you burn calories.

Step 3

Incorporate two to three weight-training workouts per week that target your chest -- and schedule them so that they don’t fall on consecutive days. It's okay to perform both weight training and cardio on the same day. Include three to four chest exercises into each of your weight training workouts. Effective exercises include bench press, dumbbell chest press, pushups, incline chest press and chest fly. These exercises are effective at tightening the chest because they require your major chest muscles to handle most of the load. Each of the exercises involve squeezing your upper arms together towards your center line.

Step 4

Complete three sets of eight to 12 reps of each exercise, which is a volume that will help you develop muscular tone. Use a weight for each exercise that allows you to do eight reps, but no more than 12. When doing pushups, which involve lifting your own body-weight, complete each set to failure; it might be less or more than eight to 12 reps.

Step 5

Adjust your eating and drinking habits to limit your daily calorie intake. Drink primarily water and avoid consuming excess calories from soda or alcohol. Decrease the portion size of your meals and eat primarily fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains, which will ensure you’re getting adequate nutrients.

Things You'll Need

  • Weight training equipment

  • Watch or timer

Tip

Perform a five- to 15-minute dynamic warm-up before each cardio and weight training workout to prepare your muscles for activity and improve your performance.

Warning

Try to work out with a partner who can act as a spotter during exercises like the bench press, chest press, incline chest press and chest fly, which involve holding weights over your head.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
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