For the vast majority of those with the Pectus Excavatum condition, the disorder is purely cosmetic; the sunken sternum produces an unappealing appearance to the chest. The resulting physiological effects can be significant enough to deter many from unveiling their chest and upper body, resulting in such individuals avoiding some social activities such as swimming or the beach. Whilst it is possible to fix the problem at its source with cosmetic surgery or non surgical medical alternatives such as the vacuum bell, it is also possible to mask the condition with body-building. Body building describes the process by which individuals attempt to improve the cosmetic appearance of their body through rigorous exercise and nutrition.
Typically, individuals will attempt to pack on toned muscles to obtain a more desirable and muscular appearance. It can be used to great effect to improve the Pectus Excavatum disorder, which is evident from our members posts in the forums. By increasing an individuals muscle mass around the chest and shoulders, it can have the effect of reducing the extent to which the sunken sternum is noticeable. Additionally, with a rippling six pack and a more muscular physique, there are other focal points to draw peoples attention away from the Pectus Excavatum. Furthermore, body building has been attributed with significant improvements in the self esteem, which again has the potential to help with the negative psychological symptoms associated with Pectus Excavatum.
Getting involved in body building in order to treat Pectus Excavatum is relatively straight forward. However, it does require a fairly substantial commitment on behalf of the individual involved. To produce noticeable gains, it is important to exercise regularly, typically with weights, and stick to a healthy high protein diet. Those patients who experience the greatest reward from body building as a treatment method typically workout in a gym 3-5 times a week, following a structured training program such as German Volume Training. Such training programs are typically focused at packing on muscle, since this will help to disguise the sunken sternum. Similarly, the most appropriate diets for Pectus Excavatum patients are those which see individuals consuming excess calories and protein, but from good sources.
An individual who remains strict and focused can hope to gain an average 10kg of muscle mass within a year long period, though this will slow as the patient progresses. This gain can significantly help to improve the cosmetic appearance of the chest and upper body, helping to mask the condition, with the aided benefit of improved health and fitness. If followed for a period of 3 or more years, it is possible to dramatically improve the physical appearance of the patient and the visibility of Pectus Excavatum.