Article last updated: April 2018 by Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer
Today, a huge amount of men struggle with man boobs.
Man boobs do not only look terrible, but are associated with depression and anxiety.
It’s difficult to feel comfortable in your own skin when you constantly have to “hide” your chest.
It’s even more difficult to feel happy when you avoid getting intimate with others because of your soft chest.
I know because I used to have man boobs throughout all my teenage years.
I can safely say that man boobs made me miss out on many things in life and were one of the driving forces behind my transformation from skinny-fat to jacked.
Today, they are GONE and for the first time in 9 years my chest looks exactly the way I always wanted it to.
In this article, I will explain WHY you have man boobs and HOW to get rid of them.
2 Types Of Man Boobs
There are 2 types of man boobs: 1) Gynecomastia and 2) “Regular” man boobs.
If you’re +20 pounds overweight you most likely have regular man boobs as a result of fat tissue.
If you’re lean all over your body but you have man boobs, it’s most likely gynecomastia.
- Gynecomastia = Man boobs as a result of GLANDULAR TISSUE.
- “Regular” man boobs = Man boobs as a result of FAT TISSUE.
Gynecomastia cannot be fixed through diet and exercise because it consists of glandular tissue in the lower part of your chest and not fat.
You can burn fat through diet and exercise, but you can’t burn the gland.
Gynecomastia comes in different degrees ranging from minor to severe and the gland is located in the lower part of your chest.
This gives your chest the appearance of man boobs, since the gland “pushes” out your nipple and makes it puffy.
The puffy nipples are especially visible when you wear a tight t shirt, sit down or when you are in humid or hot weather.
In contrast, they are barely visible when it’s windy, cold or you have just been in the water.
To check for gynecomastia, simply put two of your fingers around your nipple and squeeze. (Put the fingers right behind the nipple like in my picture below):
If you can feel a gland moving inside, you have gynecomastia.
After checking for gynecomastia, you will fall into one of the 4 groups listed below:
- Group 1: Those of you that do not have gynecomastia.
- Group 2: Those of you who have MINOR-MODERATE gynecomastia and who have had it for less than 2 years.
- Group 3: Those of you who have MINOR-MODERATE gynecomastia and who have had it for over 2 years.
- Group 4: Those of you who have SEVERE gynecomastia.
I made a distinction between group 2 and 3 because gynecomastia can only be reversed if you’ve had it for less than 2 years.
In other words, group 2 can get rid of their gynecomastia naturally, but group 3 and 4 require plastic surgery to get rid of the gland.
- If you’re in group 2 you can reverse your gynecomastia by boosting your natural testosterone production and possibly drugs (consult with your endocrinologist for prescriptions).
- If you’re in group 3 you can build a GOOD chest without plastic surgery, but you can’t build a GREAT chest since the gland will still be there.
- If you’re in group 4 you should lose weight, clean up your diet and get the plastic surgery as soon as possible.
However, regardless of what group you’re in, you should first treat the underlying cause of the gynecomastia: HORMONES.
For group 2, that might be all it takes to get rid of the gland.
For group 3, fixing hormones through diet and exercise can build a GOOD chest and then you can get the surgery if you want to “upgrade” it to a GREAT chest.
For group 4, fixing hormones is required before getting surgery, otherwise the gynecomastia might come back again…
Hormonal Problems Cause Gynecomastia
Most of you reading this do not take steroids, but the character from Fight Club represents the true cause of gynecomastia:
Having a soft-looking chest with puffy nipples is not a masculine trait.
It’s a feminine trait.
Guess what separates men from women?
Have you ever wondered why professional female bodybuilders can carry as much muscle mass as some male athletes?
You guessed it right… Hormones.
You have gynecomastia because your hormones are out of whack.
Increasing Testosterone and Reducing Estrogen For A Better Physique
Unfortunately, hormones are a very complicated topic, so I will simplify it for you…
Imagine that there are 2 hormones in your body:
- Testosterone: Male hormone of vitality which is responsible for sex drive, muscle gains and staying lean.
- Estrogen: Female hormone which causes your physique to appear “softer”.
The guy with man boobs often has LOW testosterone and HIGH estrogen levels.
Living with low testosterone levels and high estrogen levels does not only cause man boobs…
It also causes other problems such as erectile dysfunction, brain fog, fatigue and inability to gain muscle mass.
Here’s a graphic showing the typical look of a low testosterone, high estrogen guy:
If you’re overweight or skinny-fat there’s a HIGH RISK that you have LOW testosterone and HIGH estrogen, since estrogen increases when you carry excess body-fat.
Why You Should Fix Hormones First
Getting plastic surgery is like preparing for a marathon.
The more you prepare for the marathon, the better you will do.
You want to do this, because a healthy lifestyle will make you recover faster and give a better looking end result.
When you get gynecomastia surgery, the surgeon only cuts out part of the gland.
If the surgeon cuts out the whole gland your nipples will go “inside” your chest and that looks horrible.
Therefore, gynecomastia may return after the surgery if your hormones are out of whack.
Just imagine spending 3,000-6,000 dollars on a surgery, then spending a month recovering only to have it return again!
Getting surgery before fixing hormones is like eating junkfood everyday just because you can get away with it… In the end it might just catch up to you.
Should YOU Get Gynecomastia Surgery?
Let’s assume you have fixed your hormones, built a lean physique and added muscle mass all over your body.
While doing all of this you have put money aside for surgery.
You have come to the point where you have to make a decision.
Before you make this decision, I want you to take a look at your chest and decide whether you actually want the surgery.
I can honestly say that I was happy with my physique after fixing my hormones despite having moderate gynecomastia.
I didn’t get the surgery because I thought it would make me happy.
I got it as a reward for my 5 years of hard work in the gym.
I wanted to take my chest from GOOD to GREAT and the surgery produced that result.
However, I was also aware that there are risks associated with surgery…
You may damage nerves and end up with a lot of scarring.
Also, you will have to take a week off from work, take pain killers to go to sleep and spend 3,000-6,000 dollars that could be spent on other things such as travelling, investing in a business etc.
My recommendation is that you only get the surgery if you don’t mind scarring and 3,000-6,000 dollars doesn’t take a big hit in your finances.
If you go in with huge expectations, you may get disappointed down the road.
Do Your Research
Gynecomastia surgery is not just something you do.
It’s something that needs to be done right.
You don’t want to mess up your chest for life because you didn’t do your research.
There are plenty of horror stories out there of guys who got it with horrible results.
This is often the case when you get it done through insurance, health care or a welfare state by a regular surgeon rather than a “real” plastic surgeon.
These surgeons don’t care about the aesthetics of your chest.
They will just do what it takes to cut out the gland and that’s it.
This often leaves a big scar and in some cases a chest that looks worse than before the surgery.
In contrast, a plastic surgeon is trained to fix your chest without making it look like crap.
You want to find a surgeon that can show you hundreds of before-after pictures of previous clients and who has a great track-record.
Be open to fly to a different country if you need to.
I know a SFT-reader who flew from the UK to Poland to get his surgery.
It ended up being much cheaper and he was happy with the results.
My Gynecomastia Surgery Experience
My surgery was a simple, pain-free 1 hour procedure which cost me around 2,200 dollars.
Two nurses gave me local anesthesia and then they made a small incision under my nipples and the surgeon pulled out the glands which you can see below:
I could see the whole process and I could only feel a gentle pull on my chest once in a while.
Once I was done I could see my chest with ZERO puffiness for the first time in my life:
I was ecstatic!
After surgery, I spent about 12 days relaxing, wearing a compression vest and taking pain killers but after that I was back at the gym doing my regular workouts.
Here’s a recent picture of my chest after being back in the gym for a few weeks:
And here’s one taken a week or so after the surgery:
And finally, a comparison picture:
The red spots were a result of wearing tape for 12 days.
Also, keep in mind that the both pictures are taken close-up from the worst possible angles to show the difference.
No puffiness, no scarring, no man boobs and a recovery period of just 12 days. I couldn’t be happier with the results!
Some of you reading this, cannot afford to take out 3,000-6,000 dollars and spend on a surgery.
This will often make you tempted to look for a “quick fix” such as drugs or hormones that will remove your gynecomastia.
I’ve done a lot of research on this back when I couldn’t afford surgery and the conclusion is that unless your gynecomastia is RECENT, drugs will not help get rid of it.
And surgery is great and will help you, but is not a NECESSITY unless your case is severe.
I’ve had minor gynecomastia for 9 years now and while I was unhappy about my life for the longest time, it was not only because of gynecomastia.
It was because I ate crap all day long, got black-out drunk twice a month and didn’t workout.
If you can’t afford surgery, focus on leading a healthier lifestyle while building up your chest to the best of your capabilities.
You can make BIG changes to the overall physique without getting gynecomastia surgery.
You may just find that once you’ve worked out for a year and saved up money, you don’t even want the surgery anymore…
Also, having a minor or moderate case of gynecomastia is only as bad as YOU make it.
If you feel insecure about it, other people will pick up on that.
If you don’t, they won’t even notice.
Be proud but stay hungry,