T Nation

Approximate Body Fat% to Lose Noticable Chest Fat


#1

Hey everyone,
I am a long time lurker, first time poster. Thank you all for your thoughtful contributions.

To the point: I was wondering at approximately what body fat percentage you guys have lost noticeable chest fat, if you have experienced it.

Basically, I have about 24% or so body fat, and I don't look terribly bad or fat, but I have what I believe is fat around my nipples, and it sort of makes them look pointy a little bit. It's probably visibly noticeable through shirts and stuff, and I especially would not like to take my shirt off publicly because of it. I've had this for as long as I can remember, and I'm SICK OF IT!

I am pretty sure it isn't gyno, because it doesn't feel like the tissue there is a different.. "texture" if you will, from the body fat in the surrounding area.

Anyhow, for goal setting purposes, I would like to hear from people who have gotten over this problem. I've read that chest fat is kind of a pain in the ass to lose. I've been steadily losing weight over the past 6 months, from about 235 lbs. at 32% body fat if I recall correctly, to about 190 lbs. at 24%. I realize I lost some lean body mass, but I'd like to get rid of the chest fat before I start bulking up again.

Thanks


#2

I'd imagine that it's different for every person and the amount of muscle that you carry underneath.


#3

I figured that might be the case, but I was still hoping to hear about other guys' experiences.

Oh yeah, and I was also sort of wondering about things to do to kind of mask this problem. Your mention of the surrounding muscle reminded me of this. I have heard of doing inclined bench presses and decline pushups to build the upper pectoral muscles to make the fat less noticeable.


#4

I had the same problem. Two weeks ago I got the tissue underneath the nipple removed. Already I'm seeing drastic improvements. It turns out that it's still breast tissue, so basically it's pushing your nipple out giving it the puffy appearance.

Edit: This could be the case anyways.


#5

How were each of your BF% calculations done? If those #s are accurate, it seems that you've lost 15 lbs of lean mass and about 30 lbs of fat. Commendable on the progress, but you probably could be losing muscle at a much slower rate if you were following a better plan. Mind posting what you've been doing? Have you kept logs of training and nutrition?


#6

Ever thought about this:

http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/blog_sports_training_performance_bodybuilding_alpha/youve_got_maletitties


#7

If it really bothers you and diet and exercise don't help, next time you're in the doctor, ask for a script for an anti-estrogen Clomiphene. Explain the psychosocial complications that it causes you, blah blah blah. google gynocomastia treatment


#8

Actually letrozole would be massively more effective.

If you are a non-AAS user, i would try a range around 0.36mg ED (2.5mg / 7 days), starting from 0.25mg to 0.5mg ED - using joint aches and libido losses as a gauge to having a too low Estrogen level.

As per your actual question, you need to know that 24% is really quite high for male bodyfat, and it is not surprising you have some estrogenic fat deposits. I don't know if you are aware of how estrogen is made in men, but it is converted from Testosterone by an enzyme called Aromatase, which has a high concentration in Adipose tissues. Less fat, Less Estrogen. Easy..

Depending on you own sensitivity to aromatase activity and/or your breast sensitivity to estrogen's activity, you may have a totally reduced breast at 12%.. or you may still have it at 10%.. i personally would suggest you diet down to 10-12%.. if it is still an issue, try the Letrozole.

You say it isn't gyno - and in the sense of the word being increased mammory gland size/numbers, then you may be right - but technically, a womans breasts are not just glandular, they are a large amount of fat too - caused by the same hormones.
It is a type of gynocomastia if you like, but one that is very common and significantly less likely to need surgery.

I don't know if you are a 'Bodybuilder' or 'Powerlifter', but if the latter you may find that you can be strong still with a little less fat - as long as you don't drop your weight too much, ie. build some more muscle. Weight is a very important factor in MOVING weight, but IME the more of that weight that is metabolic and not just 'dead bulk', the better.

If a BB, then there really is little need to get above 15-20% MAX in order to maximally gain muscle, although this is hot-ly discussed by those who either have shredded abs and weigh 165lbs year round, and those who are 30% and weigh 240lbs year round.. and of course as usual, the best path is somewhere in between.

This is just my opinion of course, but it would be how i would treat it..

Brook


#9

Get down to 10% and then re-assess. 24% for a man is quite overweight. Bulking at 24% from a bodybuilding standpoint is just a fucking horrible idea.


#10

Yeah, I sort of missed the last part of his post about wanting to bulk again. DEFINITELY get to at least the low teens before you bulk, in my opinion.

Good luck with reducing the fat on your chest though. Most likley it is gyno unfortunately and you'll need drugs to see any improvement. Check the gyno sticky thread in the steroids forum.

Best,
BT


#11

I used a scale that measures body fat by using bio-electric impedance. I know they can be inaccurate sometimes, particularly if you're dehydrated. I haven't compared these results to any other method. I've at least been glad to see the percentage dropping.

I've actually been slacking off a bit in my weight training in the past 6 weeks or so. I know it isn't really an excuse, but I had just been busy with school and work, and when I felt like doing something really physical, I would more often do something more cardio-oriented, like hiking and mountain biking.
I was only hitting the weights about once a week, doing a full body workout with 3 sets of 8 to 15 reps in each of these: squats (or deadlifts), bench press, bent over rows (sometimes with bar bell, sometimes one arm DB row) , front and lateral raises, curls, triceps extensions.

I was hoping that would have been good enough to prevent atrophy, and I haven't been very meticulous about logging everything.

It really is a shame about losing that lean body mass. I didn't realize how much it was until about a week ago. That 15 pounds or so would have been really nice to keep.. I should just stop being lazy about it and keep good logs.
Now that it's summer, and I have plenty of free time, I'm going to be more dedicated. I bet the logging will be really helpful, though.

I'll probably end up continuing to cut until at least 12% or something before I try any drugs, and I'd probably (depending what kind of side effects each of these options has) try the drugs before the surgery.

Oh yeah, and as far as the whole bulking issue.. I was initially hoping to build muscle and lose fat simultaneously, but it seems harder to do than I thought. So I figured I'd cut down now, and bulk after I get to a decent spot. I also wonder if my scale is right. I feel like 24% bf might be a bit high. I was shocked when I first got the thing and it was saying over 30%.

Thanks for the responses so far.


#12

Best of luck!


#13

Keep doing what you are doing and shoot for about 15-18%. THEN you can decide if and when you should bulk.