Advice and Bulking Schedule to Gain EXTREME Muscle Mass with P90X

Here it is!  This could be the answer and solution to the quesitons from thousands of P90X users… “Can I gain muscle mass with P90X?”.  I have compiled some of the best tips and advice for devloping muscle gains with the P90X Home Fitness Program.  I have also researched and tweeked a schedule block for those who are trying to add some size with their workouts.

I find my customers fit into one of two categories. Those that want to lose weight and those that want to gain muscle mass.  An alternative to the second choice is that people have lost a lot of weight (body fat) and have decided to start stacking on the lean muscle mass.

Adding size with P90X is possible, but you still have to be prepared to do the workouts and eat properly.  I want to focus on the question I get asked quite often.

“Can I gain size with P90X?”
First off, it is possible to add size with P90X!  We have all heard the success stories of people losing 40lbs, 60lbs and even as much as 120lbs in only 90 days with P90X.  That is absolutely crazy!  With those kinds of results, people become discourage when they start P90X with the intentions of trying to add lean muscle mass.  I’ll admit, after hearing and then seeing those extreme weight-loss transformations, I wasn’t sure if P90X was for me.

I wasn’t a big guy going into P90X.  I entered P90X around the 160-162LB mark.  My intentions were to complete P90X and tone up while stacking on the muscle.  When I realized how intense the workouts actually were, I was starting to think that adding mass would be close to impossible.  Well, I don’t want you guys to think the same way, so I have done a lot of research to help you achieve those extreme results – and if adding size with P90X is what you want to do, then LETS DO IT!  (For even more tips, advice and schedules to help you gain size – click here to make Chris your FREE Beachbody Coach)

What is mass?
Because many of our Success Stories, not to mention Tony, aren’t exactly skinny, we must begin by defining mass—most of you are looking for more. Mass simply means size. As part of the word massive, we assume it means above average in size. It doesn’t, but that’s beside the point. A program targeting mass is concerned with one thing: muscle growth, AKA hypertrophy, and a lot of it.

In a training cycle for mass, we should target hypertrophy even at the expense of other fitness goals. P90X is not a system designed specifically for only gaining mass. It’s designed for overall fitness, which means that ultimate gains in targeted areas, like speed, strength, flexibility, and muscle growth, are compromised to provide a program that improves all of your body’s physical energy systems during one 90-day effort. We feel as though this is the preferred training system because it addresses the big picture. But if your picture is quite literally being bigger, then you’ll need to further.

Build a foundation first
In order for your body to build lean mass, it will need a stable foundation to build off of first.  P90X is designed to take an out-of-shape person and whip them into extreme shape at the end of their 90 days journey – developing a great foundation to build off of.  Think about it this way: perhaps your first or second maybe even third round of P90X will be used to develop your body into a strong foundation to build off from in the future.  Like Tony says, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was your body.”

Resistance training
Tony loves the word specificity. He often uses it when referring to exercise movements, but we’re going to use it to refer to the equipment you’ll need. With mass as your goal, you’d better acquire specific resistance equipment. The simplest form is weights; however, mass can also be created by using other forms of tension, like resistance bands. The bottom line is that if mass is your goal, you’ll need to have more weight available than you’ve been using. The use of your own body weight can develop toned muscles, however for adding significant size; your body will need additional resistance… and a lot of it.  Your body will need to be pushed to the limits, without exceeding a high number of reps.  Best way to think of it; your body should be failing around the 8-10rep range.  Size gains are best developed by adding sever stress on the muscles, tearing the tissue more and more so it fuses back together with new muscle tissue; creating it stronger and larger than it was before.

For now, we’ll just say that there is still a periodizational approach to consider. You will still adapt, gain, and plateau over time, so I will need a structure to keep this from happening. But the structure will be dependent simply on the number of repetitions that you target to bring you to failure and progressive overload. The blocks of the 90-day schedule will each target a different number of repetitions, which you’ll want to aim for to induce failure. But because I am not changing the schedule much, and thus creating less muscle confusion, we won’t need such frequent recovery phases.

Progressive overload
Adding serious muscle mass is all about creating progressive overload. To create muscle growth, you must keep stimulating the muscles during each workout. This requires that you add weight as necessary to create failure at the desired number of reps.  Once you feel that your are getting stronger and you are reaching reps 8, 9 and 10 with less of a struggle, maybe its time to increase the weight.  You should barely be able to pull of rep 8, struggle heavily through rep 9 and fail on rep 10.

The more we can focus on adding mass, the more muscle we’ll gain. Since we only have so much energy to expend, this means we should spend less time working on other areas. This is where you’ll see the biggest differences from the traditional P90X schedules. When you’re not training for mass gains, your entire focus should be on preparing your body to create more muscle mass. Therefore, the P90X mass schedule will have a lot of active recovery and flexibility work and very little intense cardio. This means we’ll spend more time recovering during each training block and taking fewer periods focused solely on recovery.  For more information on the P90X Recovery Formula, click here.

Your diet
You won’t be burning as many calories as you would during the classic schedule of P90X with this bulking block schedule.  If you alter your diet and add the extra calories to help gain size, with that comes the risk of adding a little more body fat – especially if you add more calories and follow the bulking schedule I have provided.  You will gain a little more body fat because the schedule has been altered to avoid excessive cardio, causing you to burn less calories!  This might or might not be acceptable, so pay attention and adjust your diet as necessary.  When adding bulking fitness plan, increasing the complex carbs, increasing the protein (175-250g) and increasing the clean calories (about 2800-3500, possible more) is a must-do.  When I say clean calories, that doesn’t mean to pound McDonalds everyday to exceed your daily caloric intake, but more so adding an extra grilled chicken breast for dinner, extra tuna sandwich at lunch and adding two extra eggs in your omelet.   If you want mass, then you need to eat enough for your body to put on weight rather than burn off the calories you chose to intake.

Your supplements
Those of you who have been working out for quite some time now have probably notice that without such supplements like protein powder, creatine or recovery aids, developing extreme results (especially when it comes to gaining size) is close to impossible.  The human body is an amazing machine, however its can only reach a certain extent on its own.  In order for the body to recover after these harsh workouts that are needed for adding size, it will need the assistance of protein.  I suggest two supplements to my clients.  Why only two?  Because I have only been using these two supplements for over eight months now and I am seeing excellent progress thus far.

In the morning, after my breakfast, I will make my Shakeology (click here to view Shakeology information) – usually mixing it up with skim milk, almond milk, a scoop of peanut butter or a scoop of protein powder, and 4 ice cubes.  There is nothing more important than your diet when it comes to gaining muscle mass.  Adding my Shakeology and supplying my body with over 80 supplements is going to guarantee that I am fueled through out the day with the healthiest nutrition possible.  Allowing my body to be fueled with such a vast amount of nutrients, it helps me get the most of every single workout.  Also, think about it… when bulking, you need to eat A LOT of extra calories (clean calories), which means an extra meal or two, which sometimes you either dont have time to prepare or you are too full force more food down.  Shakeology is a meal-replacement, supplying you will the nutrients of a full meal – just going down a lot easier and won’t leave you with that “stuffed” feeling.  Somtimes bulker find eating so much actually cramps their workouts and causes them to crash way before they should.

My second supplement I suggest is a great protein powder.  The brand of protein I use is Dymatize Elite.  I love this protein as it supplies about 40g of protein per serving – which is awesome!  I will get chocolate flavor protein powder so it mixes well with my chocolate Shakeology – the two of those I have found are an explosive combination!

If you were to purchase a creatine, I suggest Dymatize Creatine Monohydrate.  If you are to purchase a pre workout supplements, I suggest going with 1MR.  If you are thinking about a recovery drink, then the P90X Recovery Formula would be your best option hands down!

Final note
This is an entire cycle of training based only on GAINING MASS. To have an athletically efficient physique, you should do other training cycles that target different goals.  I strongly suggest sticking to the tradition P90X schedule until you feel it’s time to intensify the workouts by adding additional resistance and altering the schedule.  Like I said, you will not see any results if you haven’t developed a strong foundation to build off of yet!  Even if your only goal is gaining size, training these other systems properly will improve your body’s physical systems and increase your capacity for muscle growth, as well as the speed at which you can add or shed muscle and fat. So while you can tweak and reuse this basic structure over and over, it will also benefit you to get back to basics and do P90X classic from time to time.


P90X Bulking Schedule

Block 1, phase 1
Weeks 1 through 3

* Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps
* Day 2: Cardio X, Ab Ripper X
* Day 3: Legs & Back
* Day 4: X Stretch; Ab Ripper X or Abs/Core Plus (from P90X Plus)
* Day 5: Back & Biceps
* Day 6: Yoga X
* Day 7: Off

Targeted number of reps: 8 to 12 (focus on 10 to 12)


Block 1, phase 2
Weeks 4 through 6

* Day 1: Chest & Back
* Day 2: Cardio X, Ab Ripper X
* Day 3: Shoulders & Arms
* Day 4: X Stretch; Ab Ripper X or Abs/Core Plus
* Day 5: Legs & Back
* Day 6: Yoga X
* Day 7: Off

Targeted number of reps: 8 to 12 (focus on 8 to 10)


Recovery Block
Week 7

* Day 1: X Stretch
* Day 2: Yoga X
* Day 3: Core Synergistics
* Day 4: Kenpo X
* Day 5: Yoga X
* Day 6: X Stretch
* Day 7: Off


Block 2, phase 1
Weeks 8 and 9

* Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps
* Day 2: Cardio X, Ab Ripper X
* Day 3: Legs & Back
* Day 4: X Stretch; Ab Ripper X or Abs/Core Plus
* Day 5: Back & Biceps
* Day 6: Yoga X
* Day 7: Off
* Day 8: Chest & Back
* Day 9: Cardio X, Ab Riper X
* Day 10: Shoulders & Arms
* Day 11: X Stretch; Ab Ripper X or Abs/Core Plus
* Day 12: Legs & Back
* Day 13: Yoga X
* Day 14: Off

Targeted number of reps: 6 to 10


Block 2, phase 2
Weeks 10 and 11

Same schedule as weeks 8 and 9

Targeted number of reps: 4 to 8


Block 2, phase 3
Week 12 and 13

Same schedule as weeks 8 and 9

Targeted number of reps: 4 to 6

Also, for those experienced, try the 300 Workout to keep the muscles on edge!  For a schedule using the 300 Workout with P90X, make me your FREE coach!

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