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Power up your pecs

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You probably love a great set of breasts—as long as you’re not the one sporting them. Turns out, more and more men are lining up to get rid of their man boobs or “moobs.” Male breast reduction surgeries increased by 6 percent in 2011, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. 

But you might not need to go under the knife if you’ve got a sagging top.

There are two reasons why a guy might have man boobs. The first is a medical condition. Clinical gynecomastia—male breast enlargement—can result from a hormonal imbalance or elevated levels of estrogen and lowered levels of testosterone. It’s usually not a serious problem and may go away on its own. However, if you think you have gynecomastia and it continues to persist, you should visit a doctor to find out if medication or surgery will help.

The second reason is excess fat stored in the chest. Sure, you can run out and buy yourself a manssiere, but there might be a better way to get rid of your moobs. 

BJ Gaddour, C.S.C.S., a Men’s Health fitness advisor and CEO of StreamFit.com says you can nip your poofed pecs in the bud with a fat-loss, muscle-building workout. 

“When it comes to weight loss, you shouldn’t focus just on cardio,” he says. “You need to build muscle through strength training. It ignites your metabolism, which burns calories and accelerates fat loss.” (For a fast plan that works, try the Ultimate At-Home Fat-Loss Workout. It’s the new cutting-edge fitness system that melts fat, torches calories, and sculpts every muscle on your body).

Firm up your chest and shed weight with these supersets—two exercises done back-to-back. 

“These exercises not only blast your chest, but also target your back muscles and glutes—body zones that contain the most muscle mass,” says Gaddour. 

Elevating your metabolism is all about how much muscle you activate at once. By doing big-muscle exercises, you’ll boost your metabolism and testosterone levels more than you would just working your pecs, he says.

Do this: Use a pair of 15 or 20-pound dumbbells and do each pair of exercises as a superset. Beginning with exercise 1 A (see below), do as many reps as you can in 30 seconds. Then rest for 30 seconds. 

Next, do exercise 1 B, completing as many reps as you can in 30 seconds, and then rest for 30 seconds. That’s one round. 

Complete four rounds of superset 1, then rest two minutes before moving on to superset 2 for four rounds.

Add these supersets to your workout routine two or three times a week. (And for an extra burn around your middle, add in The 3 Ab Exercises Every Man Must Do.)

SUPERSET 1
1 A. Lying Supported Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Row
Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie chest-down on a 45-degree incline bench. Let your arms hang straight down, palms facing each other. Row the dumbbells to the side of your chest by bending your elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades. Pause and lower the weights.

1 B. Dumbbell Goblet Box Squat
Stand 4 to 6 inches forward of a knee-high bench or box. Cup the end of a dumbbell with both hands and hold it vertically in front of your chest, your elbows pointing down. Keeping your back naturally arched, push your hips back, bend your knees, and squat. Sit on the bench for a moment. Keeping your heels pressed into the ground, stand back up.  

SUPERSET 2
2 A. Dumbbell 1 1/2 Pushup
Grasp the handle of a dumbbell in each hand and assume a pushup position with your arms straight. Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart, and your body should form a straight line from head to ankles. Bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, and then push yourself halfway back up. Pause again, then lower your body back to the floor. Push yourself all the way back up to the starting position, and repeat. (Like this twist on the standard pushup? Continue to build a powerful body with The Pushup That Blasts Your Core.)

2 B. Dumbbell Skier Swings

Holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length next to your sides, stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Without rounding your lower back, bend at your hips as you simultaneously swing your arms backward. Now explosively thrust your hips forward and raise your torso until you’re standing upright, while allowing your momentum to swing the weights up to chest level. (Don’t actively lift the weight.) Swing back and forth for the duration of your set.

For hundreds of more exercises to blast every inch of your body, check out the Men’s Health Workout Center.