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Gaining Mass with P90X

Can you gain mass with P90X?

The quick and easy answer is Yes, but we all know gaining mass is neither quick nor easy.  I am sure you have heard me say before that P90X was not designed as a mass gaining program.  It is a fitness program designed to get you in the best overall shape.  Which means getting the most gains in specific areas like speed, strength, flexibility, and muscle growth.  I still feel that doing the classic program this is the best way to get in the overall best shape of your life but If you are looking for mass gain only then keep reading.

Gaining mass with P90X involves tailoring the program and nutrition to fit those goals.  This is one of the things that make P90X such a great program…the fact that you CAN tailor it.  A big misconception from non-believers is that P90X can only make you lose weight…that is just not true.  I started at 150lbs and at 17% body fat.  After my 90 days were done I had dropped to 8% body fat and gained around 10lbs.  Was this huge mass gain?  No, it wasn’t “bodybuilder” huge, but it was significant.  And I wasn’t even trying to gain mass.  The point is that it can work for whatever your fitness goal happens to be.

Who should try tailoring P90X for mass?

  • Those who consider themselves “hard-gainers”.
  • Those who are already low body fat % (under 10%) and want to put on weight
  • Those who have already gone through the classic P90X and are looking to increase gains

Keys to gaining Mass with P90X

  1. Nutrition: More than half the people I talk to want to gain mass.  Those that do aren’t gaining it currently because they aren’t eating enough.  Nutrition can be the key to gaining that extra muscle that you are looking for.  If you don’t know if you are eating enough calories then refer to page 5 of the P90X nutrition guide.  If you still aren’t gaining then increase those calories by 200-400 per day until you start to see results.  Keeping a higher ratio of carbs is key to gaining mass.  Shoot for 40/30/30 or 30/50/20 Protein/Carbs/Fat ratios.
  2. Resistance:If mass is your goal then you need to use the proper resistance equipment.  You aren’t going to gain mass with 10lb dumbbells.  The easiest way is to buy free weights or adjustable dumbbells.  Resistance Bands also can create the proper tension.  To make mass gains you need to find ways to make your muscles fail at the proper number of reps.  You will want a variety of weights like a weighted vest, ankle or wrist weights to add resistance to all the moves you are doing.

The Schedule:

Before you start, make sure you recognize the proper reps in each phase.  Also you will see a lack of the highly intense Cardio routines.  This schedule won’t burn as many calories as classic P90X.  If you are looking to burn body fat while gaining mass, then this might not be for you.  What you can do is use the Sprint 8 HIIT technique a couple times a week if you want to add more cardio.  This schedule focuses on resistance and recovery.  You break down your muscles working out but you need recovery in order to let them grow.

You will not have to keep pace with the videos.  You should pause for a brief time when necessary.  Do not, however, use the pause button simply to increase the time between exercises.  Do each set to failure (if you can add enough resistance; if not, get as close as you can), and don’t exceed your targeted number of reps.  Make sure you use good form and control each movement.  Speed is for pure power, not size.  So here is the Mass X schedule, courtesy of Steve Edwards:

Block 1, phase 1
Weeks 1 through 3

  • Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps
  • Day 2: Cardio X, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 3: Legs & Back
  • Day 4: X Stretch; Ab Ripper X or Abs/Core Plus (from P90X Plus)
  • Day 5: Back & Biceps
  • Day 6: Yoga X
  • Day 7: Off

Targeted number of reps: 8 to 12 (focus on 10 to 12)

Block 1, phase 2
Weeks 4 through 6

  • Day 1: Chest & Back
  • Day 2: Cardio X, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 3: Shoulders & Arms
  • Day 4: X Stretch; Ab Ripper X or Abs/Core Plus
  • Day 5: Legs & Back
  • Day 6: Yoga X
  • Day 7: Off

Targeted number of reps: 8 to 12 (focus on 8 to 10)

Recovery Block
Week 7

  • Day 1: X Stretch
  • Day 2: Yoga X
  • Day 3: Core Synergistics
  • Day 4: Kenpo X
  • Day 5: Yoga X
  • Day 6: X Stretch
  • Day 7: Off

Block 2, phase 1
Weeks 8 and 9

  • Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps
  • Day 2: Cardio X, Ab Ripper X
  • Day 3: Legs & Back
  • Day 4: X Stretch; Ab Ripper X or Abs/Core Plus
  • Day 5: Back & Biceps
  • Day 6: Yoga X
  • Day 7: Off
  • Day 8: Chest & Back
  • Day 9: Cardio X, Ab Riper X
  • Day 10: Shoulders & Arms
  • Day 11: X Stretch; Ab Ripper X or Abs/Core Plus
  • Day 12: Legs & Back
  • Day 13: Yoga X
  • Day 14: Off

Targeted number of reps: 6 to 10

 

Block 2, phase 2
Weeks 10 and 11

Same schedule as weeks 8 and 9
Targeted number of reps: 4 to 8

Block 2, phase 3
Week 12

Same schedule as weeks 8 and 9
Targeted number of reps: 4 to 6

Gaining mass with P90X is completely possible if you pay close attention to your nutrition, supplements and use the proper weight.  If you follow the schedule listed above, apply a clean, high calorie eating plan and take the proper supplements than you will gains mass with P90X.  Please feel free to comment or visit me on Facebook with any questions.  You can also email me at scal11083@beachbodycoach.com

Looking to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle?  Sign up for ME as your Free Fitness Coach Today!


 

245 comments
domenicmarrama
domenicmarrama

Hey Sean,

Im 24 years old and I have a really fast metabolism. I have been healthy all my life. Played soccer competitively for many years as well as running cross country. Sports aside, building muscle has never really been my forte. Mainly because I have never really knew how to approach it for my size. And I have a really hard time keeping it on. I am 5'7" at 115 lbs and have weighed that much for a few years now. I am starting P90x soon and would like to know what you would suggest I do for nutrition and how do I know what weight is going to be right for me when I have never really done this since highschool fitness class lol. Anywho any help is appreciated. Thanks.

therealone7
therealone7

Hi coach Sean

I'm a 21 year old male, weigh 67kg and am about 5'8"(175cm)


would you recommend the classic p90x or this modified program? 

Farenik
Farenik

Thanks Sean I love X and X2 but would like to put on some more muscle too. So thanks for the tips! 

MehdiZeggani
MehdiZeggani

can i substitute cardio x with 20 to 30 minutes of easy running two times a week ?

tcbrocks
tcbrocks

Hey I'm 5'9" 140lbs and about 12% body fat. I am looking to gain mass. Should I follow both this newly formatted exercise program and the extra mass building 3500 calorie diet? Thank You!

lpcullum
lpcullum

I'm about 6' 132lbs and 8%BF, and I was wondering a couple things, first, will I be able to do this program without altering my bf% too much? Secondly, for the legs and back DVD would I do all 25 reps, or would I follow the 8-12 rep rule with heavier weights?

joshwerner2014
joshwerner2014

I'm 5'11 range from 128-132 lbs and im looking to put on as much weight as possible while doing p90x, i've tried a lot of things to gain weight, LOTS of shakes and tried stuffing my face all day but at most i gain about 3-4 lbs and if i dont keep it up loose it in 2-3 days. Any suggestions on what i should do?

bryanB123
bryanB123

Hey Sean. For the push ups are they also within that 8-10 range? can should i add weight so i can stay with those reps? or should i just do push ups to failure?

Matt Scheller
Matt Scheller

How critical are the Stretch and Yoga X days for gaining muscle results?  I'm in week three of the mass gaining program and I've missed a few of the Stretch or Yoga days, but nailed all of the other days.  Will this dramatically effect my results?

Matt Scheller
Matt Scheller

In the Gaining mass program above, some of the p90x CD's are broken up.  Is there a list some where of what exercises are associated with what muscle group?  Some are obvious, but others aren't.  For example, week 1, "chest, shoulder, and triceps", on the chest and back DVD, which exercises are just back?  Don't pull up work the back and chest?  Thanks.

tobywankenobi7
tobywankenobi7

I have been doing P90X for almost 5 weeks, and my muscles have grown noticeably, but I don't feel like I've actually gotten any stronger. It seems strange that while they've grown, they arent doing any good. Am i doing something wrong? Is it too early? or should I be doing some other workout?

power90
power90

Hi Sean-

 

I'm 34, currently 156 lbs.  I've done the classic version of P90x once through, and have basically stayed at the same weight.  I have gotten some more muscle definition in my shoulders, chest arms etc, but i would like to get a bit more mass.  I've read your comments about P90x not being a mass building program, yet I've seen many before and after pictures where guys have become significantly bigger under the classic program.  So I guess my question is do i need to try this modified mass building program, or should i do another round of classic paying better attention to my calories intake and ratio of protein/carbs/fat? Thanks

therudee
therudee

I did two rounds of P90x.  The first round I followed it exactly according to the instructions and lost a good amount of bodyfat.   In my second round of P90x, I modified the diet plan to a ULC diet with a carb refeed every 6th day.   I lost more bodyfat the second time by eating lower carb and having a refeed every 6th day.  

tobywankenobi7
tobywankenobi7

hey can i replace either cardio x or x stretch with kenpo x?

chelsey19
chelsey19

Sean, I am weighing in at about 107 looking to gain my muscle back and get back to where I am comfortable at 135. Would this program still work for me being a female? I have a very fast metabolism and can eat anything with no weight gain worries (unfortunately). I have been looking into Whey protein drinks as well to help gain but I hear so many different routes that I should go. Any recommendations? I have been an athlete my whole life so I welcome ANY and ALL ass kicking routines!

IvanIvanov
IvanIvanov

Hi Sean! I have 184 lbs, 6.0 ft and 22% bf. I want grow more muscles and get bf about 10%.  in 180 days. Wouldnt it be just as effective to do body beast first to gain size and strength thed do p90x to get low bodyfat and even more strength or reverse?

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

@domenicmarrama I would log you food for the day and see where you currently are.  I would then use the P90X nutrition guide to see what it suggests that you eat.  Most likely it will be more than what you currently eat.  But if you are looking to gain mass then use the Level II or Level III calories as your baseline calorie intake.  Have you signed up for me as your coach?  I can help ya with this in more detail if needed

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

@therealone7  You can do the classic and try that out.  I think you will great results with it as long as you are eating enough protein and calories

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @tcbrocks IF you are looking to gain mass then yes.  You could probably do 1x through of P90X Classic and get some great results then do the mass gain as well.  I usually don't recommend the mass schedule unless you are under 10% body fat, but you will definitely get results

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @lpcullum Yes you definitely can.  You will want to eat according to the nutrition guide in order to maximize muscle growth.  Yes you can do 15-25 reps with the weighted exercises.  You can train Legs with more volume this way

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @joshwerner2014 I would suggest heavy weights and eating ALOT.  You have to see how many calories/day you are currently eating to maintain weight.  Log your food into a food log site like myfitnesspal.com and let me know, I can help you with the proper amount you should eat.  Also be sure to sign up for me as your P90X coach here on the site.  It's free, and it allows me to help you in more detail.

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @bryanB123 Definitely to failure.  I wouldn't start adding weight until you get to 40-50+ push ups.

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @Matt Scheller The crucial part is making sure you are recovering.  Stretch and Yoga helps with active recovery.  As long as you are recovering then you should be good

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @Matt Scheller I'm not sure I understand your question.  Each muscle group listed is the actual name of the P90X workout that you should do.  So if it says "Chest/Shoulders/Tricep" that is the name of the dvd that you should use that day.  There is an actual Chest Shoulder Tricep P90X workout.

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @tobywankenobi7 That's great man that you have grown noticeably.  You are lifting the same amount of weight?  Are you doing the same amount of reps?  Are you improving in your push up and pull up numbers?

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @power90 Hmm...try the mass schedule since you have already doing 1 round of P90X.  Focusing on Calorie intake and ratios.  Make sure you are lifting enough weight.

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @therudee That's great man.  Sounds like you found what works best for you

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @chelsey19 Yes it definitely will still work for you as a female.  As long asyou follow the nutrition guide and use the right amount of weights.  If you purchase it through my site, then you will automatically be assigned for me as your P90X coach.  And I can help you through the program to get the best results.  As far as Whey protein goes, I like ones that are high quality Whey protein isolate.  I also use Shakeology, a meal replacement drink that is amazing that you can find on this site as well. 

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @IvanIvanov At your height/Weight, I Would not start with Body Beast if you are trying to cut and get down to 10% body fat.  I Would start with P90X first, you will build muscle and lose body fat at the same time.  Then you can decide.  If you purchase it through this site then you will be assigned me as your P90X Coach.  As a P90X certified coach, I can help you through the program so you get the best results possible.

therealone7
therealone7

@Coach Sean @therealone7  thanks for the reply

so Ill stick to p90x then


do you have any  idea how many calories I would have to eat?

And should I follow the carb/fat/protein ratio for phase 1 ("Fat Shredder") even though I'm fairly skinny to begin with?

tcbrocks
tcbrocks

 @Coach Sean  @tcbrocks Thank you for responding! Would it be alright if I ate the mass gaining diet and did P90x classic? I found that the Level 1 p90x diet, which the program recommened for me, was way below my need for calories, as I'm not really on a weight loss diet per se.

joshwerner2014
joshwerner2014

 @Coach Sean  I've done the eating a lot before and I could manage stuffing in about 2000-2500 calories a day. Is there a certain "grocery list" of foods you know about that are high in calories that i could get to make it easier to take in more calories?

Matt Scheller
Matt Scheller

 @Coach Sean Interesting, I must have different discs...is that possible?  My CD's read:  01) Chest and Back, 02) plyometrics, 03) shoulders and arms, 04) yoga x, 05) legs and back, 06) Kempo X, 07) x stretch  (CD's are copyrighted 2009)

power90
power90

 @Coach Sean thanks...and along those lines, in terms of calories, I've noticed that the number of calories required in the P90x nutrition guide for my purposes (2400 calories) is way lower than on various online calculators?

IvanIvanov
IvanIvanov

 @Coach Sean For better resules will it be better to do standard procedure like a p90x nutrition guide book say or  trow out phase 3  because its have low amount of protein and do secund time phase 2 ? Unfortunately I dont buy from this site. Bye from Croatia. :)

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

@therealone7 @Coach Sean  It depends how much body fat you are currently at.  If you are around or below 10% then I would do 40/40/20 split

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @tcbrocks  Yes you can do Level 2 or Level 3. and do the classic.   If you haven't yet, be sure to sign up for me as your coach (its free) so I can help you in more detail and add you to my team!

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @joshwerner2014 Josh, I eat 2400 calories/day just to maintain my weight.  You should be at LEAST 3000-3200/day if you are looking to gain some muscle mass and weight.  If you sign up for me as your coach, I can help you with all of this :)

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

@power90

To make a coach switch, you simply have to send a one line email to coachrelations@teambeachbody.com and tell them that you want one of us to be your coach:

(Sean Callahan, Coach ID 22975 at seandcallahan@gmail.com)

 

power90
power90

 @Coach Sean great, thanks.  I was able to send you a buddy request on beachbody (from stronger90), but I couldn't figure out how to remove the coach they assigned me and add you

Coach Sean
Coach Sean moderator

 @power90 It all depends on your goals.  most people doing P90X are looking to gain some muscle and burn fat.  So lets first determine what your goals are then I can help you with the right calorie intake.  You can also sign up for me as your coach for free.  That way I can help ya more

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  1. [...] getting great feedback from my first post, Gaining Mass with P90X, I wanted to follow it up with a sample meal plan that one might expect if they want to get serious [...]

  2. [...] should be worrying about when your goal is to gain mass with a program like P90X.  My first post, Gaining Mass with P90X, talks about the important basics to mass gain.  It shows rep range, weight, nutrition, intensity [...]