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?
Keys to gaining Mass with P90X
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:
Targeted number of reps: 8 to 12 (focus on 10 to 12)
Targeted number of reps: 8 to 12 (focus on 8 to 10)
Targeted number of reps: 6 to 10
Same schedule as weeks 8 and 9
Targeted number of reps: 4 to 8
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 email@example.com
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!
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 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.
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!
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?
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
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?
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 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?
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 :)
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?
bryanB123 Definitely to failure. I wouldn't start adding weight until you get to 40-50+ push ups.
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 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
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.
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 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)
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?
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?
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
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 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?
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
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
To make a coach switch, you simply have to send a one line email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them that you want one of us to be your coach:
(Sean Callahan, Coach ID 22975 at email@example.com)
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.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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. :)
I am definitely a hard gainer (6'0" 140 lbs) and very unflexible so I think I am going to modify this routine as such: 1. When it says cardio x I will do yoga x (except during recovery block) 2. When it says off I will do stretch x (except during recovery block) And I plan on wearing quite a bit of extra weight during every exercise. I'm no expert in exercise obviously, but it seems like a decent plan that would target my weaknesses and take out even the little bit of cardio that is in cardio x
aaroncplunkett Yes that is a decent plan because for ectomorphs, like yourself, you really don't want to do much cardio. I wouuld also recommend checking out Body Beast, this is a true mass gaining program as well. Remember if you buy from my site than I will be assigned as your coach. That way I can help you get the best results possible
Hi Sean - really great post. I am just starting p90x and am very tempted to follow this program. I am thin, weighing in at 140lbs, 5'8", 28yo, and 8% fat on my stomach. While becoming fit is important, my ultimate goal is to gain upper body mass and muscle definition. I "think" I am a hardgainer. I 've always been able to eat anything and remain around 150lbs. As I get older I see my stomach changing a little if I eat poorly. What is your advice? (PS: I have done Insanity over the summer)
Matt Scheller I would either do this schedule or the "classic" schedule listed in the program. Make sure you are following the diet guide. You will need to change your diet correctly to get the results you are after
Coach Sean I think you miss read what I wrote...Not SKIP phase 2, rather, skip TO phase 2. I don't have fat to lose...
Matt Scheller Ah sorry. Yes if you are planning on gaining mass, you can skip phase 1 and go directly to phase 2. especially since you are already at 8% body fat
@Felix: It depends on the person, how well you eat, and how hard you workout. It's hard to determine exactly how many lbs because everyone is different and there are a ton of factors.
Hey Sean, I'm thinking of doing this schedule or the basic p90x schedule. I'm 187 pounds with 12.8% body fat. I'm relatively a big guy. But I wanna shed some fat. I'm scared to do the basic p90x program because I feel as if I'll lose too much muscle size. I'm doing the workouts from Arnold Schwarzenegger's encyclopedia to modern bodybuilding. Will doing the basic p90x program make me lose muscle size? Can this mass gaining schedule help me lose fat (I want to reach about 7-9% but stay over 180 pounds) and maintain or even increase my muscle size?