What Can I Do About Over Developed Chest Muscles?


question-icon-newI have an issue with a particular muscle group. I have over developed my chest muscles and would like to try to reduce the size of my pecs because they are not in proportion with the rest of my body. I’ve been following a strict weight lifting regimen for over 5 years and since I’m a mesomorph body type, it’s very easy for me to build up muscle and I have been able to make some incredible gains in the overall size of my physique over that time. I’m 29 years old and currently weigh 245 pounds at 6’1″. I’m pretty lean with a body fat percentage of around 7%.

Even though the rest of my physique has experienced a great level of overall muscle growth, my chest has absolutely exploded and seems to grow with any type of resistance training I attack it with. I can understand that this is probably a good problem to have but since the size of my chest is so out of proportion to my other muscle groups, this causes serious issues since I’m planning on competing in bodybuilding contests in the future and overall symmetry is a very important area that the judges look at. I really need to figure out how to decrease the bulk of my pecs and get them to a size that fits the rest of my body. Can you help?

answer-icon-newWow, this is definitely a good problem to have and you must look absolutely jacked at 245 pounds and only 7% body fat! Its sounds like you have made some incredible gains over the last 5 years and there are so many guys out there that would be absolutely ecstatic with obtaining just a fraction of the results you have experienced. It sounds like if you even look at a barbell, your chest will pack on two inches of striated muscle mass!

The area of genetics is a fascinating topic and it’s truly the blueprint of our how our bodies are structured. In your case, the mesomorph body type that you referred to is part of your DNA and I’m sure you had many impressive ancestors who walked around with a ton of shredded muscle on them. Even though genetics tends to limit the growth in the majority of individuals who follow an intense weight training program, in your case it is exactly the opposite. You are having an issue gaining too much muscle! I have to chuckle a little while I write this since it’s a problem most people would give their right arm to have. Well, maybe not exactly that since it would mess up their workouts.

huge-pecs-chestThe good news is that this issue should easily be resolved with a few simple steps. As hard as it might be to do, you need to severely cut back on your chest training. This means taking at least 4-5 weeks off from doing any type of exercises that stimulate your pecs. This includes even basic bodyweight exercises like pushups. Any type of movement that stimulates the chest muscles should be closely monitored and avoided in order to take as much tension and stimulation off this muscle group.

Aside from weight lifting, you should also be aware of any activities or forms of exercise you do outside of the gym. This includes basic things like mowing the lawn, since pushing a manual lawn mower activates your chest muscles by pushing the machine forward. Even this small amount of stimulation could cause your pecs to grow. You basically need to become very conscious of any type of pushing movements such as manual labor activities like working in a warehouse or doing construction. Hopefully you have an office job where you sit all day in front of a computer and don’t have to worry about issues that a guy laying drywall or roofing for 8-10 hours a day would have.

After 4-5 weeks of removing all chest exercises from your routine, take a look and see how your pecs look. This should be enough time to see a noticeable difference in the overall size of your pecs and your lean muscle tissue should have atrophied (gotten smaller in size) since you have not trained those specific muscles for a while. If your chest has not changed at all and it’s still massive and ripped after taking a month off, then you are truly a genetic FREAK of nature and you need to go see someone for intensive testing so they can find the missing link to getting massive! Just kidding obviously, but all you need to do is take even more time off from training your chest and your muscles will eventually start to atrophy and become smaller. It might take a little time for you to see results but stay focused. Whatever you do, make sure to stay away from doing any bench press or your chest might need its own zip code!

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  1. I was looking for some ideas because I’m having generally the same problem except for being anywhere near bodybuilding shape. I’m 46 years old, about 5’10” and 175 pounds. I have worked out regularly most of my life and have an over developed chest mainly because of dabbling in powerlifting when I was in high school and playing football. Fast forward to today and I basically stay away from chest exercises. I generally see things getting flabby and droopy, rather than scaled back. But, when I train my chest even minimally, I get a more pronounced “man boobs” look. It’s like I can’t win, even with rounds of strict diet and varying workouts. I even went to a plastic surgeon and he noticed more muscle tissue than fat, so any surgical procedure might not be worthwhile. What do I do now!? Any ideas or advice will be much appreciated.

    • Hi Ryan – Are you sure the extra mass around your pecs isn’t body fat or even an issue with gynecomastia? When you went to your doctor, did he mention any issues like that? As men get older, estrogen levels can increase and if they get too high, it is possible that this will result in forming fatty tissue around the nipple area. If you are referring to your chest and pecs as “man boobs”, then it’s probably not pure muscle tissue that is surrounding your chest region.

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