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Can I Turn Male Breasts into Muscle?

By Judy Kilpatrick ; Updated July 18, 2017

Breasts can develop in males from a hormone imbalance or from excess body fat. Males with breasts, commonly called man boobs, often seek to turn their enlarged breasts into muscle. However, whether your male breasts are caused by fat or hormones, you cannot turn breast tissue into muscle.


About half of all adolescent males experience gynecomastia -- development of breast tissue -- when they enter puberty. Once testosterone and estrogen levels stabilize, male breast tissue caused by gynecomastia generally disappears. This condition can also occur in middle-aged and older men. Although it may not be desirable to an individual, it is not an issue of medical concern. However, if your breasts are tender, sore, have a discharge or you feel a lump, consult a medical doctor.

Man Boobs from Excess Weight

Excess body weight in men is distributed according to body type and body mass index, or BMI. Some males put on more extra weight in the chest area than other males, which can give the appearance of breasts, even though the fat over the chest muscles -- pectorals -- contains no breast tissue. Just as you cannot turn your stomach fat into muscle, neither can you turn your chest fat into muscle. If you want a contoured male chest, you have to lose weight and do upper-body exercises to build your pecs.

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