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Gaining Mass With P90X: Part 3

gain mass with p90xI think that one the most common questions I get rev0lves around gaining mass with P90X. P90X helps people lose weight, which is proven by the P90X before and after pictures you see everywhere, but is it a program that you can use to gain mass? There are many skinny people looking to gain mass, but are worried that P90X might be too intense for them to put on any muscle and gain weight. Is this a legitimate concern? I’m going to answer these questions and share with you all some things that you can do to gain mass with P90X.

P90X alone is not a mass building program, but you can make a few adjustments to make it one. The diet starts out with low carbohydrates so people can burn through the fat fairly quickly. Low carbs are not good for someone to gain mass, so instead of following the Fat Shredder diet, I recommend starting out with the Endurance Maximizer diet, while also following the Level 3 plan. The Endurance Maximizer diet involves a lot of carbs and protein, and carbs help sustain your energy levels, preventing your body from burning muscle throughout the day, while protein helps repair and rebuild the muscle. Level 3 involves taking in over 3,000 calories per day, which is important because in order to gain mass, you have to take in more calories than you burn throughout the day. Remember, you don’t just burn calories with your workout, but with everything that you do throughout the day.

The next important important thing when trying to gain mass with P90X that you have to realize is that burning a lot of calories with the workouts is not beneficial. Remember, you have to take in more calories than you burn, so doing a very intense workout is just going to make it harder for you to reach that goal. This is why you need to limit the cardio that you do. Instead of doing P90X Plyometrics, replace it with some heavy lifting at the gym. However, make sure you develop a schedule that doesn’t interfere with the two resistance days surrounding Plyos. Remember, you want to give each muscle group 48 hours rest before working again, so move the P90X workouts around so that you can do so. One cardio per week should be plenty. Also, make sure you start tracking your calories so you know how many you’re taking in during the day, and a good website I highly recommend to do so with is

Next, it’s important that you focus on 8-10 reps, not 12-15. This means that for every exercise, with the exception of a few, which I will get to next, that 10th rep needs to be near impossible to get. Make sure you use proper form every time. Never sacrifice form to get in one more rep. The only exercises that you still need to do as many reps as possible with are push-ups and pull-ups. If you want to make push-ups and pull-ups more challenging, purchase a weighted vest, which will also help you with putting on mass. I haven’t purchased one yet, but plan on doing so soon. Using heavier weights doing lower reps with the P90X exercises can help you put on some mass.

Now on to supplements. Some mass gaining supplements that I have used in the past and still used that have worked for me are creatine monohydrate, the Recovery Formula, and whey protein. When I was taking creatine monohydrate powder, I started off with a loading phase of 10g per day for a week and then dropped down to 5g per day thereafter. Take 2.5g pre and post workout, mixed with natural non-acidic fruit juice. The natural sugar found in fruit juice helps transport the creatine to the muscle cells. It’s important to get non-acidic fruit juice because acidic would break down the creatine into creatinine. Next, whey protein is a crucial supplement when trying to gain mass. Whey protein is the purest form of protein, and helps repair and rebuild muscle. Take it 2-3 times per day, the most important being in the morning and after your workout. After your workout you’re also going to want to take the P90X Recovery Formula. I’ve used many different supplements, and this is the best post-workout drink that I have come across. It’s important to focus on post-workout recovery so that your muscles heal properly. Last, if you have a crazy fast metabolism and just can’t gain mass, you might want to look into a weight gainer. Most people just can’t physically eat enough in order to gain mass, and weight gainers have a ton of calories and carbs in them, helping you reach that caloric goal.

So those are my tips for gaining mass with P90X. Like I said, it’s possible, but you will have to make a few adjustments. P90X is a great program because of the muscle confusion and the excellent diet plan, and a program that I highly recommend whether you’re looking to lose weight or gain mass.

Ready to try out P90X? Click below!


  1. Chris /

    I am wanting to gain mass as well… obviously and preferably muscle mass, not fat mass. In this article, you had recommended starting out with the Endurance Maximizer diet, while also following the Level 3 plan. To gain muscle mass as a result of resistance training, it is imperative to take in an ample amount of protein to repair and build the damaged muscles. In order to lift heavy though, energy (carbs) are needed. The Endurance Maximizer diet suggests 60% carbs, which provides the energy needed. However, this diet only suggests 20% protein. Is this a high enough percentage of protein to repair the damaged muscles and gain muscle mass?

  2. @Chris. Remember, too, that you’re increasing your calories, so 20% protein is still a good amount. If you want to take in more protein, then go ahead and add in an extra whey protein shake during the day.

  3. Hey Josh,

    im 17 and in high school ive been wanting to try p90x and have been wanting to add some muscle mass. im skinny and dont have much fat so i was wondering if p90x will help me add that muscle? ive mainly seen larger people do the p90x so i didnt know if my results would be the same or if another system is better for me

  4. @Nick. You need to check out the post that you just commented on, along with the other 2 that go with it.

  5. Gibson /

    Hey Josh,
    im 14, 5 foot 6 and 130 pounds, im on my second recovery week and my mom keeps telling me i need eat more and than im getting skinnyer and skinnyer. i guess i want to gain more mass(muscle) but i dont want to loose my abs but i thought you cant even get big when your 14 and you can when your like 15-16. i need help on what to do.

  6. @Gibson. You need to eat more calories bud.

  7. Hey coach,

    In another article you talked about using weights in Ab ripper x to get your abs to “pop”. Did you continue to do the same amount if reps especially on the mason twist?

  8. @Dylan. It’s tough to do the same amount of reps, but you can try! I’m to the point now where I can get the same amount of reps with the medicine ball.

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