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How to Build Mass

So you don’t need to lose a ton of weight.  In fact, you need to put on some muscle mass!  And most of the people on P90X that you’ve seen were fat and needed to lose weight …. Will P90X work for you?  Great question!  And the answer is YES!  In fact, that’s exactly what I’m doing myself during Round 4.  I started Round 4 at 208 lbs, but my goal is to build lean muscle mass and finish the round at 220-222 (a gain of 12-14 lbs).  There are some key things I will focus on to help me reach that goal, and those are the same key things you will need to focus on if you wish to gain muscle mass with P90X.  And what are those things?  I have them listed below.

Things that are critical for building muscle mass while going through P90X:

  1. Lots of calories = No matter how hard I workout, I won’t build mass unless I am taking in a surplus of calories.  I want to do it right, with the right foods, so I’ve been working with a sports nutritionist friend who used to be a powerlifter, and I have developed a BULKING DIET that you should check out when looking to build clean muscle mass without adding a lot of body fat.
  2. Eat often = I will be sure that I eat every 2.5 – 3 hours all day, and that at each meal / snack I get a good balance of protein and carbs to give my muscles all the fuel they need to repair and grow.
  3. Creatine = Creatine allows the muscles to work harder during contraction, and it causes the muscles to volumize slightly with more fluid, which allows the muscles to recruit more nutrients for recovery after a workout.  This supplement has been studied intensly for years, and most agree that there are no detrimental side effects of using it.  Before you decide to use it yourself, do your own research though!
  4. Pre-workout = I will be using a pre-workout while building mass.  The combination of caffeine, creatine, and arginine (which is an amino acid that causes vasodilation) will help my muscles get more blood flow and nutrients both during the workout for increased strength and endurance, as well as after the workout to speed recovery.
  5. Results/Recovery = Replenishing what my muscles have lost during the workout is critical.  If I leave them depleted, they won’t grow.  I want to reload them with nutrients as quickly as possible after my workout, and R/R will do that for me.
  6. Decrease cardio = Cardio that is too often or too long in duration will impede the mass building process.  I don’t want to let my cardio conditioning fade, so I will still do 2 Insanity workouts per week, but that’s it.  The rest of the time I will either be lifting big or resting (so the muscles can grow).
  7. Heavy weights = I am looking back over all my old worksheets and going UP on every weight in every exercise!  I want to fail before rep 8 on everything.  If I can get 8 reps, I will up the wieght more!  I will also increase the weighted backpacks / vest for pullups and pushups.  For pullups, it’s realistic to shoot for the 8 rep range, but on pushups I can’t get enough weight in the pack to make that possible.  I will still plan on making it impossible to do more than 15-18 pushups by weighing myself down.
  8. Longer rest between sets = Since the P90X lift days are circuit-style (with nearly no rest between sets), I will make use of the pause button a few times during those DVD’s to let my heart rate drop back down.  This will allow me to push harder on each set and lift bigger!  I will typically add about 10 minutes to each lift routine by taking small pauses between the sets.
  9. Rest = I will make sure I get a good night’s sleep (as often as possible LOL!) because muscle growth is at it’s peak while a person sleeps.

Do you wonder if this will really work?  You’ve seen my pics, right?  I look pretty muscular at 220 lbs with very low body fat.  There were no trips to the gym in my routine.   You’ll hear people say you can’t add mass with P90X and that you need to be in a gym doing squats, dead lifts, and bench press.  Well, I haven’t been in a gym in 2 years and I beg to differ!  The muscles don’t care if you are in a gym or in your living room.  What makes them grow is to push them to failure, and then fueling them correctly with nutrition and supplements to help them recover and grow.

So stick to that plan, focus on your goals, and you can expect to build muscle mass with P90X.  BRING IT!!

 

261 comments
Ruben23
Ruben23

I just hoy p90x and want to gain some mass, should i modify the program and exclude all fitness and weight loss videos

stephentroop25
stephentroop25

So 200 cal increments each week after I'm at my 9% bf?

stephentroop25
stephentroop25

Hey coach I'm about to start week 3 of p90x2 and un doping thé strength based schedule. My question is I'm at 12% bf and want to get to 9% after I get to that goal how should I use p90x2 to bulk during the strength phase but still keep my bf down. Thanks for all u do.

skjay68
skjay68

 @CoachWayne Hey coach, I'm about to start block 3 of the P90x/1on1/Insanity Hybrid as I really want to get my BF down to about 8% (currently 11 albeit debatable).  I plan to do Body Beast in the winter but wonder if in order to build mass cleanly so as not to add too much BF, could I continue to run a deficit?  Also, to maintain a certain level of mobility, could I still do insanity and which of the Insanity workouts would you recommend to ensure I don't hinder mass building or would I better off doing only Beast for the first round then BAXX to fine tune??

Fabio Pinto
Fabio Pinto

Hey coach! I´m not sure if I should do body beast or p90X for gainig mass.... I prefer p90X style but I dont know if I am going to get the same results.... Can you help me?

Kevin W Ward
Kevin W Ward

Hey coach are you familiar with the body bugg, or body media? Im trying to bulk up using the 30/50/20, 3400 calorie total from the math in the book and the body beast. The device is really cool but Im a little confused it says I averaging a total daily calorie burn of around 4000 for many days straight now. The device considers a day to be from midnight to midnight. This also includes my body beast workout. How will I ever gain if only consuming 3400 per day. Do you have any thoughts on this device and my total daily burn number. Thanks Much

garrett macdonald
garrett macdonald

Hey coach i got the message you sent me, thanks for the extra advice, ill be sure to give it a try and tell you how it goes after my next round of p90x!

garrett macdonald
garrett macdonald

Right now i'm running a 50/30/20 percentage with a calorie surplus of 500 giving me a total of 3200 cals and when i cut i follow the calorie ratios set out in the p90x guide. When i cut i was down to 176 lbs and now i'm up to 190 lbs, problem is that these are the exact same as my numbers in 2011 when i gained and lost weight after my first bulking phase and every time i do bulk, i always gain weight in the form of fat and then lose it after the fat shredder phase of p90x and then i'm back at 176 lbs again. When i cut i do continue to lift weights, usually a insanity/p90x hybrid is what i use and i'm running a 2200 cal diet. I eat 5-6 meals a day when both cutting and bulking. I've run out of ideas to shock my body and no matter what i try i haven't been successful at busting this plateau for at least a year or more.

garrett macdonald
garrett macdonald

Coach i am trying to build mass and i can't seem to get it to work for me. I have worked out since i was 15 at a gym and done p90x twice, i always switch up my routine constantly. I use protein powder, an intra workout called Xtend, proper nutrition, excess calories, heavy weights and lower reps, lower weights and higher reps, always get at least 8 hours of sleep, everything you can imagine i have tried in the past two years. I am now 20 and since i was 18 i haven't gained any weight and when i do its only fat, then when i lose the weight and get ripped again, i'm back at the exact same weight i was at with no increases in size at all and its frustrating me beyond belief. In two years i might have gained three pounds of muscle if that and since 2010 my measurements haven't changed at all, for example, my arms have only grew half an inch in two years?!?! I do everything trainers say you should but get no results, could i have some medical problem of some kind or am i expecting too much at age 20? Im taking one step forward and two steps back, slowly losing motivation to keep this up and not seeing any progress, even with p90x!

RippedVenom
RippedVenom

Coach: Question on shoulders, they appear to be lagging behind other body parts any suggestions? Should I hit them twice a day on shoulder day or should I add another round in my routine or is it I creasing cals/carbs?

Marlon
Marlon

Coach, I am following your 4 round Hybrid to build mass. I actually came to realize that I am happy with the way I look so maybe 5 lbs max and then stay on maintenance or maybe a little over. What's a good strategy for maintenance? In terms of macros? Also, I am having a hard time getting sore. I am giving a 100% on my workout. Failing everytime. I am even using 30 lbs. for chest exercises and about 10-15 for pull ups. But I am not getting very little soreness. Nowhere near what I used to get. I am taking 2 scoops of RR daily. I was drinking it before but very randomly. I am not sure if that's the reason.

Birsa
Birsa

Thanks coach, and sry for the re-post. I just thought that you might not see it because it was an old article.

Birsa
Birsa

Hey Coach! I am on a cutting phase with asylum right now (day 7) I plan to go on a semi-bulking plan afterwards, meaning that I will be eating a 40/40/20 ratio for macros...I do not want to gain that much muscle, plus I want my body fat to stay low enough for my abs to show (summer time). Do you think that this will work? I plan to do P90X, except switch out plyo with vertical plyo (asylum), and kenpo with gameday. I think that the higher intense cardio will help me with my body fat staying low...what do you think.

Marlon
Marlon

Thanks Coach. I will probably be happy with 5 or 8 lbs. I am not trying to gain too much fat in the process. Thanks. Now, I have to decide if my next round is P90X or X2. I think I want to try X2 even if it doesn't give me 10 lbs.

Marlon
Marlon

I am on my last week of P90X/Insanity Hybrid. I lots tons of weight. I think I want to add about 5-10 on my next round. Really aiming for 10. I have been on 40/40/20 and about 2700 calories. Should I switch to 45/35/20 next round or even 50/30/20?

Alexander
Alexander

Coach, lol, what I meant was, when bulking, did you do AB Ripper X every Lift Days? Or strictly did ABS on your Cardio Days? I'm sorry for the misunderstanding!

Alexander
Alexander

Coach, For the last 2 years, I've noticed you push AB X to the cardio days so your workouts last 1 hour. When bulking, whats your take AB Ripper?

Marlon
Marlon

I think that's what I will do then. That will cover my "6 month of apartment living." :-)

Marlon
Marlon

So maybe I should do another round of X and then do X2?

Marlon
Marlon

Coach, I mentioned that I wanted to gain some mass on Round 2. I said some because I really have no clue how big I can get in time. I am only 5'6" and I don't like the idea of being too bulky(for my body frame and height). So I am going into phase 3 of my P90X hybrid and I am considering going with X2 for round 2. I know you are going through X2 now and bulking. Which would you recommend to get the best bulking results for my round 2? X2 or P90X? Keep in mind that I am only 145 lbs. and I would think that at 160-165 I would be at my limit of looking muscular and looking short and too muscular. LOL. So yeah, I ideally, I would aim for 5-10 lbs on a 3 month period.

Devin
Devin

Coach, Great site, it has really helped motivate me to start getting back in shape. A little history real quick, I am 26 and have been separated from the army for about 2 years after 6 years as an infantry grunt. I was in great shape while in, but I was always the "skinny strong guy". This time around, I am looking to get bigger. I am currently about 10-15 lbs over weight, but I am still very much able to do anything P90X throws at me. My question is, in order to get much bigger, should I just start with the bulking diet, or should I lose the 15 lbs of padding first? My end goal is to be bigger, about 20lbs of muscle bigger, if not more. Thanks for any advice, and I plan to be on this site quite a bit in the future while I work towards my goal. Devin

Kyle
Kyle

Do i need to take casien protein before bed? How many grams of glutamine should i buy ? 300 , 500 , 1000 ,5000 ?

Kyle
Kyle

Coach , how grams of Glutamine should i buy ?

Anthony
Anthony

Thanks alot Coach, I appreciate all the quick & useful feedback!

Anthony
Anthony

Hey Coach, Its Anthony I am finishing my first round of Insanity and now I am going to start P90X this Monday. I was wondering if its okay to take creatine and protein shakes now since I'm trying to gain muscle. If I did take creatine and protein shakes would it take away the definition of my abs? Will the creatine increase or decrease any visual appearances to them?

Ray
Ray

Any feedback coach ?

Ray
Ray

Hey coach , I have taken the balance out of p90x2 to focus on heavy weight I have even modified the medicine ball moves to focus on heavy weight. Has anyone else on the team been doing this?

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

@Ruben23 I would do P9oX pretty much as is. Maybe subbing Core Syn for Yoga to get an extra resistance day each week. Follow the suggestions above and you will be on your way. Lift heavy! Eat BIG!

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @stephentroop25 Lift heavy and slowly work above maintenance. Making a calculation and leap in calories can cause you to gain more BF. Just work up at about 200 calories a week. And get ready to EAT!

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @skjay68 If you run a deficit, you really won't add any muscle. If you want to add mass and keep it lean, just first work up to maintenance and then slowly go over (by 200-300 calories is all). Check out: www.teamripped.com/finding-your-maintenance-calorie-needs

 

I would just do the Beast as is and if you want to add some yoga or R&M that would be fine. 

CoachWayne
CoachWayne moderator

 @Fabio Pinto Beast is designed purely for mass. Yes you can gain well with P90X, but it's single goal isn't mass. You need to tweak it for mass. If you want a program for all out mass, go with Body Beast. The nutrition guide is great for really dialing in a mass building diet. 

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Kevin, I would rely on your collected data. Run 3400 and see if you gain. All devices and calculations are jsut estimates. Some more accurate than others (the Body Bugg could be right on). Hit 3400 consistently for 2 week and see what the scale says. If you aren't gaining, add calories (+200 a week). Finding your maintenance and surplus is a lot about experimentation.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Garrett, I will send you an email tonight with some specific things to look at. I will use your hotmail address.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Garrett, that has to be frustrating man. Are you tracking all of your calories and macros? What percentages are you running and what calorie goal? When you bulk, do you gain weight? Then when cutting, what are your macros and what is your deficit. Are you continuing to lift when you cut? are you only using P90X? Lots of questions... but trying to figure it out.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey RippedVenom, make sure you are really destroying your shoulders when you do work them. Extra carbs on your shoulder day will help them recover and grow. Getting Diamond Delts would be great choice for a dedicated shoulders routine.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Marlon, I tend to do well at 50% carbs / 35% protein / 15% fat for maintenance. And I've also discovered that I can cheat once a week while on maintenance without it hurting my results a bit. That's the nice thing about maintenance -- you don't have to be quite as strict since your goal is to stay the same as opposed to trying to change your body.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Birsa, that will probably be a great plan, but you'll have to wait till you finish the Asylum round and see where you are at before planning the details of the next round.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Marlon, for adding about 10 lbs over the course of a round (13 weeks) you would be best to go with 50% carbs / 30% protein / 20% fats and to go at 500 cals above your maintenance level (which would add about a pound per week). But as you transition, just keep an eye on weight and body fat and adjust as needed.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

During my bulking round, I did the "constant confusion" hybrid, so the abs are on their own days (not on lift days).

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

What's my take Ab Ripper? Not sure what you mean by that. Are you asking if I like the Ab Ripper program from the original Power 90? Yes. I like to mix up ab routines rather than do the same one week after week, twice or 3 times per week. My favorite ab routines are the 1-on-1 Ab Ripper X2 (it's long though, about 45 min). I also like Killer Abs from the 1-on-1's, Abs/Core Plus from P90X Plus, Insane Abs from the Insanity series, and of course Ab Ripper X.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

I'd say to do that Marlon. Both are great options, but if I were you I'd do a bulking round of X, and then do X2.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Marlon, I think Classic P90X is still the best for straight bulking. I have found lots of success myself with X2 though, because I had been doing X for so long that I was kind of maxed out on progress with that. The X2 has improved my weak areas (which were holding me back) and now it seems my muscle building has gone through the roof as I've got those weak areas caught up. But I think it's more because I've already spent so much time doing several rounds of X.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Kyle, you probably don't need glutamine separately if you are getting enough in your whey protein (your body needs about 10g per day). And casein is a good choice for an evening serving of protein, but I don't use it. I just go with whey.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Yes Anthony, creatine and whey protein are both great supplements to take during P90X. Protein is protein (no different than a piece of chicken really). And creatine helps muscle building but has no effect on body fat. So no, neither will affect your definition -- that is determined by body fat which is all about your nutrition.

Coach Wayne
Coach Wayne

Hey Ray, I'm not doing that so I don't have any feedback. I don't know if anyone else is. I'm sticking to the exercises as they are designed, at least this entire round. Let me know how it goes for you though!

Ruben23
Ruben23

@CoachWayne @Ruben23

Thanks i´ll give it a try. but what about weeks 4, 8 and 13 

  • Day 1: Yoga
  • Day 2: Core Synergistics
  • Day 3: Kenpo
  • Day 4: Stretch
  • Day 5: Core Synergistics
  • Day 6: Yoga
  • Day 7: Rest or Stretching workout 

skjay68
skjay68

@CoachWayne Thanks coach, I'm stil not at maintenance and finding my weight fluctuates quite a bit .I'll have to see about getting X2 as I'm liking what I've read and seen so far. Thanks again