Lately on my YouTube channel I have had many people ask me if they can gain mass with P90X. The majority of the people who start this program are looking to tone up and lose weight, but then there are others who are skinny and want to gain mass. Either way, they all have a fitness goal in mind, and reaching those goals are very possible with P90X. It’s frustrating when others get on my YouTube videos and leave comments saying that my advice on how to gain mass is wrong when I’m trying to help someone. I have done a ton of research on gaining mass, and have done it myself with P90X, so instead of opening their mouths, they need to do their own research before they leave comments. I never retaliate because that’s not who I am, but always block them and delete their comments. Believe it or not, I know what I’m talking about! One repeated comment I get is that diet has nothing to do with gaining mass. This is SO FAR from the truth! The other common one is that I do steroids, which is absolutely ridiculous. Anyone who knows me and the hard work I have put in to getting into great shape knows that this is completely false. So, I have decided to list the key factors in gaining mass with P90X.
(1) First I have to start with diet. If you want to gain mass, you have to eat more and take in more carbs. Now, listen carefully. I’m not saying an increase in cals and carbs alone will get you bigger and stronger. In in order to gain mass, you have to work the muscles harder by doing more reps/weights. Carbs fuel your muscles when working out, and when you have more energy, of course you’re going to get in better workouts, which leads to mass gain. An increase in (complex) carbs throughout the day also helps the body stay away from targeting muscle for energy. For example, in the morning when you wake up, you haven’t had anything to eat for a good 7-9 hours, and immediately you will need to put both carbs and protein in your system. If not, your body targets either fat or muscle, but if you have a low body fat % (which most of you do if you’re looking to just gain mass) then of course muscle is the next target. The key here is to always eat a complete, healthy balanced breakfast! To gain mass during my 2nd round of P90X, I took in a little over 3,000 cals and stuck with a fat/carbs/protein % of 20/50/30. Remember, though, I’m just 5’7″, and if you’re taller, then you are more than likely going to need to take in more cals.
(2) Take in the proper supplements. Protein helps repair muscles, so it’s important that you take in a lot of protein throughout the day. A good way to do this is with protein shakes. Whey protein is the single most important supplement that you can purchase, and I believe it’s essential if you’re looking to gain mass! Take 2-3 protein shakes per day: once in the morning, once right after your workout, and once before bed. However, the one before bed should not be whey protein, but instead casein protein. Casein is digested slower than whey, and is good to aid with protein sysnthesis when you sleep. The Recovery Formula is another excellent supplement that should be taken post-workout. I just did a post on the Recovery Formula, so I’m not going to go into detail on this. Check out my P90X Recovery Drink Review. Last, a good pre-workout supplement like Jacked or creatine (or both), will help with energy, pumps, muscle fatigue, and recovery, which all help you gain mass.
(3) Do lower reps using heavier weights. 12-15 reps are used to tone and 8-10 are used for for gaining mass. It’s important that you make sure it’s near impossible to get that last rep!
(4) Don’t give up too early. This is something that way too many people do! Like I mentioned, that last rep should be close to impossible to get. You have to have the ability to push beyond your comfort zone, and once you’re able to figure out how to do that, watch out because you just took your fitness to the next level. For example, when doing push-ups, if I feel that I can only get one more rep, instead of giving up after one more, I always push myself to get 3-5 more. You can’t believe how mental lifting is!
(5) Add in extra lifting and cut back on the cardio. If your main goal is to gain mass, then it would be OK to substitute one of the P90X cardio workouts with a heavy resistance training. Too much cardio hinders your muscle development, so one cardio workout per week should be fine. P90X is designed to help people lose weight/body fat, but can be modified to gain mass. The one thing about the P90X resistance workouts that I love is the variation and uniqueness of the exercises. Because the exercises are very different, it challenges you and helps you develop muscles that you normally can’t with regular workouts at the gym. It helps you get beyond any plateau that you have experienced! However, you need to add in some heavy resistance workouts as well to gain mass. Like I mentioned above, heavy weights/lower reps is key to gaining mass. If you add in a heavy chest workout routine with exercises like bench press and dumbbell flys, you will gain mass in your chest. Add in 1-2 days of heavy resistance training. I have been doing this recently and have noticed great gains.
This is a VERY vague description on how to gain mass with p90x, and I could literally write a whole report on this subject, but I needed to keep this post short and sweet. However, this will get you started in the right direction! Now you know that it’s possible to go about gaining mass with P90X! I gained 15 lbs of muscle without gaining body fat!