At the beginning, I’d like to second all the posts here about losing fat by gaining muscle. There is a ton of benefit to building your chest and pushing the fat out by increasing the muscle. I have done and I have seen it done.
But just as “getting fit” requires more than running your heart out, losing that extra amount of fat on the chest demands more than weight lifting. If you want to get rid of the too-rounded look and take on a well-rounded lifestyle, then my friends, you’re gonna have to hit the pavement to supplement your weight lifting.
Many men with excessive fat on their chests have, well, excessive fat all over. That added weight makes the already-difficult impact of running even more difficult. Minimalist running shoes, zero drop, and other forms of recent technology reduce the impact on the heel and promote better foot mechanics. Look into what works for you, and then hit it. The longer you wait, the longer you can hang onto man boobs that, frankly, make some women flat out jealous.
I, for one, feel like the hypocrite: I am no fan of running (like my doctor says, we shoot lions on the Serengeti, we don’t run from them—we’re at the top of the food chain!). And maybe that’s why I’m the best one to give you this encouragement. If I could form a routine around running that works, then it’s got to work for you.
Start out your exercise routine with a five minute run. That’s it. Warm up and cool down, five minutes. Now you’ve got to put some effort into it, so make it a solid five minutes. Get your heart pumping, get energized, and then go hit the bench and do the awesome work-outs you’ve read and seen. Do that at least three times a week for one week.
Starting with week two, turn the dial up a couple of notches, and go for 7 minutes.
Week three is where we run into problems—I love lifting weights, and I don’t want to give too much time over to the treadmill. However, you have to keep your goals in mind, and you have to remember the effect of working your leg muscles. Your hams and your quads are some of the biggest muscles on your body, and they are possessed of lots of testosterone. If you want to have a solid chest and big arms, work your legs. If you want to lose extra weight, you’ve got to do some exercises to burn the calories. So with week three, hit the treadmill hard for 10 solid minutes.
I don’t care how far you run during these start-of-exercise running routines. Just get your heart beating and your body sweating. Dial it up at will, but start your workouts with a run, and you’ll be amazed at how much further it takes your workout.
ABOUT: Jared Heath is a contributing editor and content strategist who recently hit his goal of benching 250 pounds in 3 sets of 10. He passionately loves his wife, his writing, and his pull-up bar.