For the past few weeks, I have added many posts explaining how to gain mass with P90X, but haven’t focused much attention on the diet side of it, which is probably the most important.
When I first started P90X, my goal was to lose the fat and get ripped. I didn’t care about gaining mass at the time because I knew that it took a complete different diet to do so. I committed myself to the Fat Shredder Diet for just about the entire first round, limiting the carbs and eating enough calories throughout the day to have about a 500 caloric deficit, which is a good number to aim for. I lost a ton of fat quickly, and also ended up losing about 25lbs by the end of my first round. However, round 2 came, and I had a new goal in mind, and that was to put back on some weight and build some mass. I knew that I had to complete change my diet to gain mass.
Like I mentioned, in the first round I ate enough to have a 500 caloric deficit, taking in about 2,100 cals per day, but when it came time to gain mass, I increased the cals to about 3,100 per day because I wasn’t worried about losing weight/fat anymore. If you want to gain mass, you have to eat! Also, after much research, I learned that I needed to increase my complex carbs throughout the day so that my body would burn carbs and not muscle, plus provide me enough energy to get in great workouts. I followed close to a 20% fat/ 55% carbs/ 25% protein ratio to gain mass. However, please understand that this is just for gaining mass, not losing fat. If you still have quite a bit of fat to lose, you are not going to want to follow these tips. The higher the cals and carbs, the harder to lose fat/weight.
Complex carbs are important to eat throughout the day if your goal is to gain mass, but there are also two very important times to take in simple carbs as well, and that’s before and after your workout. Simple carbs like white bread, sugar, etc. are digested very quickly, spiking your insulin levels, and giving you a burst of energy, necessary for you to get in a better workout. Also, if you’re taking creatine, simple carbs transport the creatine to the muscle cells quickly, and that’s why I always recommend drinking 8 oz. of natural non-acidic fruit juice with your creatine. Take in 30-40g of simple carbs pre workout and 70-90g of simple carbs post workout, combined with 30-40g of whey protein.
If you work out in the evening, it’s always great to eat a large meal containing 2-4 servings of complex carbs about an hour after your workout. If you workout in the morning, then you can do this with your breakfast, and the same goes for lunch as well.
To summarize how to change your diet to gain mass, the most important things to remember are to increase the calories, increase the complex carbs, and also focus on proper pre and post workout nutrition by taking in simple carbs.