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I’m Skinny and Want to Gain Mass!

Most of the people who begin P90X are doing it because they are overweight and need to lose that excess fat, but then there are those who are skinny and want to gain weight and muscle. The diets and workouts between the two are going to be very different, and in this entry I am going to explain how all you skinny people can become jacked!

High Weight, Low Reps
The first tip I can give you is to use high weights, and do lower reps. For example, let’s say that when doing bicep curls, you can get 15 reps with 30 lbs. You are going to want to increase the weight, maybe to 40 lbs, so that you can only do 6-8 reps.

Eat, Eat, Eat!
Let’s take me, for example. When I first began P90X, I had a goal to lose the fat first and then gain muscle, so I stuck with Phase 1, which is a low carb and high protein diet. I was taking in about 1700 cals/day. For all you skinny people, you are going to want to take in a lot more carbs and a lot more calories! If I was starting out skinny, I would have eaten around 4-5 servings of carbs and taken in about 2600 cals/day. Why? Because the body needs them to build muscle!

Eat LOTS of Protein!
It is important that you take in a lot of protein so the body can repair and rebuild muscle after working out. Taking a whey protein supplement would be very beneficial, and I would recommend taking it 2-3 times a day: once in the morning, once after your workout, and once before bed. Some protein foods are beef jerky, cottage cheese, meats, and beans.

Creatine is an excellent supplement for someone looking to gain a lot of mass! I recommend a loading phase of 10-15 g per day for 7 days, and then level off to 5 g per day for about 3 months. After 3 months, you are going to want to take 1 month off, and then start back up again. I have taken creatine in the past and know it works! For more information on creatine, see my past entries on creatine.

Watch Doing A Lot of Cardio!
Since you are looking to gain mass instead of lose fat, you will have to limit the amount of cardio workouts that you do. It would be good for you to do maybe 2 cardios per week.

If you have any other questions, email me at

Coach Josh


  1. Andrew /

    Hey Josh,
    I’m not a skinny guy, but prior to starting P90x my chest was a weak spot for me. How do you suggest that I build mass on my chest, while losing fat everywhere else, in terms of diet and reps?


  2. You can actually find a few posts in the “Workouts” section of this site where I talk about how to gain mass with P90X. Also, have you made me your coach yet? If not, you can do so by clicking on this link:

  3. Hey Josh, i’m looking to gain mass and I was wondering how many cals to take in. I’m 5’9 and 158 lbs.

    Just one thing, I want to limit the amount of fat I gain so I’ll be doing plyo and another cardio day. Is that too much cardio or is that good?

    Also, should I be taking in less calories for cardio days or should I keep the cals the same everyday?

    Thanks for your help man!

  4. @Mike. I’m pretty sure I just answered this question through Facebook. Let me know if not.

  5. Alex /

    Hey Josh. I am kinda skinny and completed 2 full rounds of P90X. I am right now doing a hybrid of the P90X cardio and ab workouts with my own weight workout that I modeled after the P90X weight workouts but mixed it up and put in exercises like dumbbell bench presses and stuff like that. I also added in a 20 lb vest to the weight and plyometric workouts along with dumbbells and ankle weights to the ab workouts. I know I need to gain mass but I know i shouldnt try to until I get a six pack which i can only see if I’m flexing them. Should I forget about focusing on trying to get a six pack and gain mass and what would be a good substitute for the P90X recovery formula?

  6. Josh /

    @Alex. You can start to focus on gaining mass since you’re on your third round of the program. Also, the Recovery Formula is the best post workout drink that I’ve come across.

  7. Brandon /

    Hey josh, im skinny and i really want to gain mass before i start working on my upper body muscle is their anything that can help me

  8. @Brandon. BODY BEAST brother! Have you heard of the program yet? I’m currently going through it.

  9. william whichard /

    I want to gain muscle I am 5ft9in and want to be ripped I have a wide shoulder base and for the most part small framed what can I do to fix this?

  10. @William. Body Beast if you’re looking to gain mass brother! Have you heard of it yet?

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