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P90X And Gaining Mass– Beyond P90X Classic

P90X and Mass. Mass and P90X. If there’s one question I get from the dudes, it’s “I want to put on mass– can I do that with P90X?” Heck yes you can. And let me qualify that. While P90X wasn’t designed to get you on the cover of Flex Magazine — and probably won’t ever get you to those mother-nature defying levels using it– P90X WILL get you ready for the cover of Men’s Health. That’s on purpose for a more holistic approach to fitness and personally, that’s where I’d rather be all day long.

So let’s get this out of the way first: Mass simply refers to “bulk” or “size”– and in this case, it’s simply putting on more muscle than you currently have. You’ll add some muscle mass just by default using the “Classic” P90X program. And the way P90X tones you up and gives you an athletic physique, chances are your muscle definition will look even better as body fat is carved away. That and as the old saying goes, “It’s not the size of the man in the shirt, but the size of the shirt on the man.” Which is why I shop for T’s in the tweens section.

Program disclaimers aside, the beauty of P90X is its knack for customization and it can be– and has been– customized to gain mass (IE-, grow muscle– IE- “hypertrophy”). But take note–the dedicated mass building quest is recommended AFTER your first 90 days with the program in an effort to lay groundwork, burn off excess fat and get your body primed and firing on all 12 cylinders.

P90X… Customized

The key here is weight and failure. That means you’ll need to get some seriously heavy duty bands if you’re going that route or make sure your weights are heavy enough you can shoot for 8-10 reps and totally failing in that range– unable to push out any more than that. As P90X training program overlord Steve Edwards notes:

Hypertrophy 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.

In other words, you’re more than likely set to increase your weight load per set pretty frequently. If you’re getting to the 10 range with more left in the tank… you need to “heavy it up”. As a note– when you begin “P90X Mass”, shoot for failure at 8. Once you can nail 10 with perfect form, up your weight and as always, use the worksheets to track your progress.

Easing Up On Cardio

Since you’re so focused on blowing your energy in resistance to failure, the “Mass P90X” program will eliminate a lot of the higher intensity cardio and introduce more flexibility work (Yoga, X Stretch) and “active recovery” work like Cardio X and Core Synergistics. Yes, you’ll actually use the Cardio X DVD and you’ll lose all but one of your full Recovery Weeks.

Frequent Cardio inhibits muscle growth as cardio uses muscle to tap its stored glycogen. There’s a trade-off there– you lose cardiovascular endurance and high intensity stamina– but you make up for it in muscle growth. Ever wonder why most Body Builders don’t do a lot of cardio… even hate it? There’s your reason.

This Ain’t Circuit

P90X uses a circuit training program– minimal rest with lighter reps which brings a cardiovascular component into the resistance workouts. The “P90X Mass” still follows the program but since you’re lifting heavier weight to failure, the workouts may be a bit longer as you must do your repitions slowly and as always, with total control in keeping form. The critical aspect is this: Do each set to failure. Do not exceed your 8-10 rep target.

As Steve mentions:

When you’re done, you’re done. You don’t need to finish an entire workout if you’re struggling. Once you lose the ability to move the weight or do the move in strict form, stop the workout. Any further training would only create more breakdown than you could recover from and increase your risk of injury.


Resistance training doesn’t burn as many calories as say, Plyo X or a resistance circuit like Shoulders & Arms, so you should monitor your nutritional intake as eating with reckless abandon may add mass, but risks adding fat mass as well. The typical “eat anything” is for Body Builders looking to get huge– who then “cut up” with crazy dietary restrictions and cardio for competition thereafter. We’re not going for that… BUT you will need to watch your nutrition and WILL need to take in a few more carbs than you may have on the “Fat Burner” Phase I of P90X Classic. The P90X nutrition guide can help you nail this down but as an example, instead of say, 40/40/20 or even 50/30/20 (Protein/Carb/Fats), you’ll shoot for 40/30/30 or even 30/50/20. Don’t worry, with all the added calories, you’ll still be getting enough protein to fuel those muscles.

You’ll also be eating more frequently to take in enough calories. Mass Gainers can help with this– as can more frequent meals– every 2 hours as opposed to 3.


Mass progress isn’t overnight. It can be slow but it’s always deliberate. While using the scale can help in this case, you’ll want to monitor your progress with measurements. If you’re not seeing gains, add a few more measured calories (in the range of 150-300 to play it safe) to your diet until you do.

The P90X Mass Schedule

Print the P90X Mass Calendar Here

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

Same schedule as weeks 8 and 9
Targeted number of reps: 4 to 6

Print the P90X Mass Calendar Here

Making The Commitment

Despite the nay-saying, gaining mass using P90X is possible. Gaining Mass isn’t quick but using these tips and following the program as laid out here will get you there. I’ve experienced mass gains following the heavy, targeted rep procedure as have countless others. Beauty of it is, you can as well.

I’ll let “P90X Mass” designer guru, Steve Edwards, have the last comments:

This is an entire cycle of training based only on hypertrophy. To have an athletically efficient physique, you should do other training cycles that target different goals… 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.

For questions as you move along, feel free to email me here or Better yet, let’s get you the support you need through making me your Beachbody Coach right here. You can also find me on Facebook, Google + and Pinterest. 

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72 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. Benjamin Vinton says:

    Good advice, even though I am not currently in p90x mode its good info for any type of weight lifting.

  2. Michae says:

    I am starting my Bulk P90X today, but I workout late at night. Is it ok to consume so many calories thruout the day and workout at night? I am just afraid I will be wasting my calories.. not using them to the fullest potential.

    • Danv says:

      Hey Michael-
      I’m a big fan of morning workouts (I’ve found them to kick the day off right and more efficient) but I know sometimes things can get a little dicey and time schedules just don’t allow that to happen. That said, don’t worry about wasting your calories. You’re still burning through and using them in your workout and your body is using them for fuel throughout the day. Your body will efficiently use them if you keep them at the levels you need for building mass this training round.

      Just stay consistent… and try to get that workout in the morning if possible (take that hour at night, use it for sleep and give it to yourself an hour earlier in the AM). Just from personal experience, makes the day go much better and keeps things on track. No pressure. Do what works best for you– you’ll get results either way.

  3. John says:

    How do we do this?
    Do we take different exercises from each DVD and make our own workout? ie. Day1 is chest/triceps/shoulders, do we just take these exercises from the 2 different dvds and make our own?

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hi John-

      Thanks for checking in. To apply this workout program, just follow the schedule above. All workouts per day are workouts already in the P90X workout. You don’t have to take different exercises– just follow the DVD for the day. For example in Week 1:

      Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, & Triceps
      Day 2: Cardio X, Ab Ripper X
      Day 3: Legs & Back
      Day 4: X Stretch; Ab Ripper X
      Day 5: Back & Biceps
      Day 6: Yoga X
      Day 7: Off

      Does that help?

  4. Jess Sargent says:

    Hi, I weigh 140 LBS and I am 5’9 1/2. I played Rugby this year and felt I needed to gain some weight over the summer. So I have been eating about 3500 – 3700 Calories a day, I have heard so many times that P90X (no matter how you modify it) does not work for gaining weight. Ideally, I would like to weigh around 160 – 165 LBS and I would like to have gained this much by the end of the Summer (3-4 months). Would the P90X Mass program be the best choice for obtaining this goal? Or would a standard strength routine (Curls, Deadlifts, Benching etc.) be better?

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hey Jess! Thanks for touching base. P90X DOES work for gaining weight– I’m a believer and have seen it myself. You just have to eat and lift right. The Mass program does work but we’re not talking bodybuilding, juiced mass. We’re talking 1-2 lbs. muscle mass. By 90 days, there will be a visible difference. P90X uses hypertrophy (muscle building) resistance and the Mass program loses a cardio day but does keep some in to help keep lean while building.

  5. Ty says:

    I’ve got a quick question, when it comes to the “to failure” exercises such as the push ups and pulls up do you continue to do those to failure? Or would a weighted vest be a good idea? And also on the legs and back dvd there are many movements where you do a certain amount of reps “squats and kicks are usually 25 reps” do you continue to do these normally? Or add more weight until you go to failure?

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Ty! Great questions. You do continue to go to failure on push ups and pull ups. You can do this a few different ways if you’re looking at getting into the lower ranges in reps. First, a weighted vest is a great investment and can help there. Tempo also helps, IE- going slower with a 2 count up 3 count down. The leg moves can be made harder with more weight or a vest as well and done to failure.

      How long have you been doing the mass round?

  6. Ty says:

    Thanks Dan, I appreciate your answer. This is the first time doing the mass round for me, I’ve done P90x classic before but I’m looking to get bigger. Thank you for your answer though I greatly appreciate it. I can’t wait to start the mass round!

    • Coach Dan V. says:


      Happy to help. Got a few guys doing mass rounds right now– I did it myself and man, it works. Keep that nutrition in line and you’ll see some nice gains!

  7. Josh says:

    Hey Coach,
    I am considering doing P90X. However, still little skeptical. I was heavily committed to weight lifting for the past 4 years. But for the past 3 months I had decided to take time off. I want to gain about solid 10 lbs of muscle with definition. I have tried many programs but didn’t get the results they promised. My body type is ectomorph and it has been difficult gaining lbs but lately I have been learning the essentials of nutrition.

    Jan 2008 Starting Weight prior to weight lifting: 115 lbs
    May 2012 Weight before taking time off: 155 lbs

    My question is whether I should consider P90x to add muscle or stick to old school llifting at the gym?

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Congrats on your discovery on nutrition! That’s half your success right there. As for P90X and mass, the schedule in this post can deliver as it varies from the original P90X schedule that isn’t focused on hypertrophy as much as athleticism and functional improvement. P90X is the real deal and can be varied to meet your goals no doubt. I recommend it just because it gives a much more rounded training approach than just lifting and as mentioned, can be used for mass with some adjustment. But if mass is your goal and mass only, Body Beast is an option as welland comes with a full nutritional guide also. You can see more information in the banner on the right of this page.

  8. James says:

    Hi coach,
    I am half way done week 5 of p90x classic. I am 17 and have always been a long distance runner (lean). I want to add mass and was thinking when i finish or for month 3 i could do the mass. I am curling 25’s right now almost throughout the whole workouts. I was wondering how much mass do you think appoximatley i would gain if i did the mass version for 3 months, and for 1 month after i finish month 2 of classic. I am eating about 3700 calories a day give or take a hundred. I am taking, creatine, whey, casein, and vitargo and half the p90x serving recovery drink with my whey and vitargo after workout. Any info will help thanks.

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hey James. Congrats on your 5th week of P90X– first week of Phase II… nice!

      Great call on finishing round one of P90X and moving on to Mass from there. Actually “calling” the mass you’ll gain is tough to do. Typically at your age you can expect 1-2 lbs. lean mass a month and be pretty happy about that if you’re eating clean at a caloric surplus that’s not going overboard. So how tall are you and what’s your current weight? That can help us dial in on your calories a bit better.

      That said, are you still running?

  9. Matt says:

    Hey i’m 17 6’2 160 i’m tall and lanky tring to gain 15 muscle( muscle and some body fat). How cAn i do this??!!

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hey Matt!

      Gaining muscle is a combination of a couple things- training to gain (as shown here with the P90X Mass routine) and eating to gain. Where you’re still “adolescent” by definition at your age, you just need to make sure to eat and eat the right stuff. Following the P90X program and its nutrition guide principles will get you to where you want to be. Keep in mind that your body type plays into the “ease” of gaining muscle as well- where you may be more Ectomorphic, mass gains might be a little slower, but they’ll come. The trick is to be consistent in both training and nutrition.

      Do you have the P90X nutrition guide?

  10. Calvin says:

    Hi Coach,
    I’m 5’6 and only 121lbs but I’m 16. I bought the P90X DVD’s can my chin up bar is on the way, I have a pair of 45lbs dumbbells (each). Should I try this mass schedule? Also, how much calories do I need a day to gain mass?
    Thanks in advance!

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hi Calvin! Thanks for checking us out!

      I don’t recommend kicking off with the mass schedule right off the bat. Use the Classic schedule, build your base and see where you’re at in 90 days. From there, you can move to the mass schedule. Calories will need to be really, really high- you’ll be eating like a mini Michael Phelps as that’s what will fuel growth. But for now, concentrate on the Classic schedule and its recommendations.

      Are you doing P90X with anyone or is this a solo effort?

  11. Calvin says:

    It’s a solo effort for now. The thing is, I may be new to the P90X routines but I have done some lifting before. But I stopped gym two months ago and I can’t start again for another year because I don’t have enough time to go in and out of gym during the week. Should I still stick to the Classic schedule?

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Your lifting will definitely help in the resistance portions of the P90X program. That said, I’d still stick with the classic. When you receive the program, run through the nutritional requirement section with a focus on at least maintenance. You’ll see results and growth here, no worries. The other cardiovasulcar/plyometric based aspects of the program are what need to be under your belt and will improve any mass goals you have in the second round.

      Are your parents on board and supportive of you with your P90X kick-off?

  12. Calvin says:

    Thanks for the explanations Coach, I really appreciate it. I don’t live with my parents so no. But my friends are :) I’m pumped for this though. It’s going to be challenging.
    Thanks again.

  13. Avery says:

    Hey coach. Im 5’8 158. Ive done the p90x 3 times before. Im looking to gain some mass. I did the body beast yesterday, but I dont have enough weights for the program at the moment. I am 20 years old and need to trim some BF and gain some mass. Will this program add mass with proper eating? I found that when eating a surplus and doing p90x classic I gained weight, but it wasnt muscle, it looked like fat. I went from 145 to 160 in a mont and a half. Now i am an steady 157.5 looking to get bigger and trimmer…

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hey Avery!

      Thanks for the note, man!

      Three time P90X champ? Well done. P90X can and WILL add mass with proper eating and a proper schedule/training protocol. That’s just fancy-talk for yes. A calorie surplus will, in many cases, add fat. There’s not much of a way to change that, which is why many physique models “bulk and cut”. It’s definitely possible to add mass while staying lean– it just takes a much more careful eye and attention to detail.

      Hit me up at and we can talk details and what we can do- including what your weight situation currently is (IE- making sure you have enough resistance for progressive loading).

  14. Tyler says:

    Hey Coach. I am fairly new to your site (and fitness training in general) but have found your articles very helpful. I am 20 years old 5’11 and 137lbs. I have been a heavy ectomorph my whole life and over the past 9 months I made it my goal to gain some weight. I started off at 125lbs and the 1.3lbs a month has been encouraging but I am far from my goal. Now that I have my diet under control I want to start adding weight training to my schedule. I have the P90x Dvd’s and all of the necessary equipment and am ready to start the mass program. My question for you is what calorie goals should I try to achieve while lifting to gain mass? I have been averaging about 3100 calories a day for the past 9 months but I have not been picky of what I ate. How important is hitting the 40/30/30 Protein/Carb/Fat ratio in my diet? Thank you again for the site it has been great.

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hey Tyler!

      Glad to hear the site’s been a help. And you goal of weight gain (the right kind– lean muscle)… awesome. Can definitely be done and 1.3 lbs. per month is actually pretty good. Well done!

      Lifting to gain mass is all about a calorie surplus. Your 3100 calorie goal is pretty good, actually but cleaning up the nutrition will really help mitigate fat gain. I wouldn’t have you at the 40/30/30 ratio. Muscles like their carbs as well as protein. I’d probably recommend a 40/40/20 or even 50/30/20.

      As for cleaning up your nutrition, do you have the P90X nutrition guide?

  15. AVP says:

    Hey Coach,

    I have a question I am 6 feet sitting at 210 lbs, I lift heavy in the gym but i want trim some of the fat I have around my waist and chest. I think of using 5-90lb changeable dumbbells to do P90x. Will i lose my gain when it comes to the gym when i go back. Also do I continue eating 3000+ calories and how much carbs.

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hi Ankit-

      Thanks for checking in, man- and congrats on wanting to get started with “The X”.

      The best way to remove fat around the waist and chest right off is to go for a “calorie deficit”. If you’re using P90X, you should have received a nutrition guide which will detail everything you need to know as for nutrition and calorie needs. Have you looked though that resource yet? It would bring you down in calories a bit o help with the fat loss you’re looking for. You may lose some lifting power but it shouldn’t be by much since you’re still lifting weights with P90X- just keep them at the same levels and increase the load where you can and you should, at the least, maintain your gains.

      Shoot me an email at and we can dial it in further if needed.

  16. U. T. says:

    I am 75 days into the program, I see I have reduced a lot of inches, I still have fat to shred, most likely will repeat program, but as of today, YES I see definition and toned muscles but not as I should though….I see other people only doing 90 days and they look incredibly athletes….I am watching carefully my diet, and only do about 1000 – 1200 cal a day, I started at 145 lbs. and now I am 134lbs. (I’m a girl)…..any suggestions?

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hi U.T!

      Congratulations on your success so far! That’s fantastic!

      If there’s one thing I would suggest is to not compare yourself to others 90 day results. Depending on your starting point (and theirs) results will vary at 90 days. Some have less fat to lose. Some have gone through several rounds as you plan to. Get caught up in YOUR success and it sounds like you have plenty.

      Send me an email at or the contact link above and we can get you lined up with more details. Right off, your calories may be a little too low right now- so let’s get your stats and go from there. Talk soon!

  17. Lcrawford says:

    I am starting another round of p90x. This time with a 40 pound weight vest and 50 pound resistance band my goal is to be 190-195 no fat at all purely toned and ripped I weigh 184 5’9 I train hard but I wanted to advice or coached to reach my goal without wavering about it

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Thanks for touching base and great goals on increasing mass with the X! Nutrition is going be make a big difference here.

      Hit me up at dan @ and we’ll see what we can do in more detail.

      • Lcrawford says:

        Thanks for your help ..what is a good nutrition plan for my goals

        • Lcrawford says:

          I workout at a gym also for heavy lifting days to add more soreness on my body. But after a p90x workout it seems better than a gym workout

        • Coach Dan V. says:

          The P90X nutrition guide will lay out everything you need for this program as will the recommendations above. Hit me up at dan @ and we can touch on details and how to navigate it.

  18. Erik says:

    I really appreciate the advise in getting mass, but the problem I have is my work requires me to sweat a lot. I burn a lot of calories doing my job for sure. Will that be a big problem in me gaining muscle mass? If that is what can I do to help get bulk.
    – graduated from P90x 2x. Ready to pack on more muscle!!!

  19. Hazem Hany says:

    its my second month on p90x, and actually i have that issue lefting weights 8-10 rep without gettin mass,
    i think problem is the nutrition plan, cuz am from egypt and we don’t have that kind of food or recipes and although they dont ship recovery drink out usa and canada.
    so whts ur opinion about tht !! and if u have any suggestions for nutrition !

  20. Ruben says:

    Hey man. This is a nice article, I was sure i knew who my beach body coach once I started P90X, but after seeing this i know that you would be better for me.

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Thanks, Man! I appreciate the compliment. So what are your goals with P90X at this point- Mass now?

      You can check out more about my free coaching here:

      Talk soon!

      • Ruben says:

        Yes, my goal is too gain 20 pounds of weight over the P90X period. I am “Skinny fat” and hold the fat mostly in my “boobs” (I guess, you call those moobs lol), but the issue is not that big so while you recommend in your article to do the normal P90X first to drop the unwanted fat, i think the little fat will be burned away with while I do this modification anyways. I will be signing up with you once I get P90X next week.

  21. Adi says:

    Hey coach, im on the last week of insanity and am about to jump to p90x after that .
    Im 18 ,5’7 and 115 lbs .
    Shall i do the mass routine or classic ?

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hey Adi. Definitely Classic. Get a round of the X under your belt and then move to mass in round two. How’s Insanity going?

      • Aditya says:

        okay , thanks :)
        Insanity is going good ! I’m not sure about mass gain but my body is much more defined now .
        How long of a break should I take after Insanity and before P90x ?
        I’m thinking 10 days should be okay

  22. John says:

    Great article. I am a 2 x grad of p90x and dropped 40+ lbs and 10+% bf. very please with my results! I am now 6’0″ 180 @ 18% bf and I realized I don’t want to get ‘smaller’. What I mean is I don’t want to be the 170lb guy with cuts, but the 185-190 guy with cuts. Essentially be bigger and solid. Should I do another round if classic to get by bf below 15% or should I do this mass round to build more muscle?

    Also, you mention to follow the nutrition guide, but to gain mass there is no way for me to do it on 1800 or even 2400 calories a day i believe! I was thinking of just biting the bullet and getting body beast at this point!

    Thank you for your insight!

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hey John!

      Glad you enjoyed the article and big congrats on cranking out not one but TWO rounds of P90X… not to mention your results so far!

      For your goals, I’d focus specifically on on losing fat until you hit that 15% mark. Though at 180 and 6’0, I’d think you were pretty close, man. You’re right about nutrition. But the beauty of the nutrition guide is it shows you what to eat… you just increase portions a bit to make more of it and get you over that 3000ish calorie mark for lean mass gains.

      I’ll shoot you more info- thanks for stopping by HDIGF!

      • John says:

        So lose all the fat first to have a ‘clean’ slate to start off it seems! For mass, should I be eating around 3k calories? I didn’t see the calorie modification in the article? (I actually lost all the weight doing 2100 calories as at 1800 I couldn’t get out of bed and 2400 I wasn’t getting results). So rather then 3000, I was thinking 2600. )

        My 15% mark was arbitrary, but I am hoping to see my abs better by then. I just think I will be a bit to small! My family thinks I am wasting away! But they don’t see the muscle I have underneath all the clothes!

  23. Massgainer says:

    Hey Coach,
    I came across this article and it peeked my interest. I did P90X Classic (up to Phase 1). I had to quit, but the results and performance was there. I’m 5’11” 170lbs and fairly athletic. I want to get back into the program and saw your schedule. One question: are the results in your after shots a result of this program? I ask because my goal is more to gain muscle than to lose weight (though like everyone, I could shed a couple of pounds). Debating right now whether to try your program or do Classic again with upped weights on my dumbbells.
    Thanks in advance for any advice!

    • Coach Dan V. says:


      Glad you found the mass schedule- it’s a good one that comes straight from the P90X playbook. The results in my after shots on the home page are after P90X Classic followed by a P90X + Insanity hybrid. The darker, locker room shot is from my results with P90X Mass. I still followed a cardio protocol (2 or so days) so it wasn’t as “mass-focused” as it could have been but I was pleased with the results and did add mass. If your goal is mass, I’d definitely go with the Mass program as the Classic schedule isn’t mass building focused and introduces more cardio. As with anything, your call.

      Shoot me an email at and we go into details.

  24. Aarron says:

    So I’m a thin 18-19 year old trying to tone up and in general, build a bit more muscle. I’m confused with how I should approach p90x. First, I did the program without finishing. Later, I found your mass schedule and completed that. Now I ‘ll be starting over classic. Since I’m thin should I just continue with the modifies version? Would it be best to do classic instead?

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hi Aaron…

      Happy to hear the mass schedule helped!

      What you do next will depend on your goals. What do you want to get out of this next round?

      • Aarron says:

        Yea the mass schedule is great! Thankyou! Most likely abs and a well developed chest. Overall, a bigger upper-body. I’m just concerned that p90x classic will cause me to lose more weight/muscle in areas I don’t want to lose weight/muscle… especially since i’m thin
        to begin with…

  25. Jeremiah says:

    Hiya Dan!
    I have always been very active, and i’ve made up my mind their’s no better place to start than the ol’ p90x. Problem is i’m an ectomorph body type which kinda annoys me. i want to gain some mass really as i believe the your so skinny compliments are an insult to a guy lol. I was wondering if i should start with the mass program you posted above or the classic version(note: have not done any beachbody programs,but have been in gym 3 times a week and running 6 days a week).i figure i could always do classic version with focusing on hypertrophy and on a huge caloric slurplus as well but would like to hear your opinion on it. overall my nutrition is pretty good now and eat about 3500 calories a day and have certainly not been gaining any weight thats for sure so calories may be tough(may have to eat like a pro athlete), and don’t know where to start. some extra backround for you is i’m 6’1″ and weigh 133 pounds. srry for the long post, thx for your response(assuming you got this far:).

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Hey Jeremiah!

      Great choice, man! Don’t sweat your body type. We’re the same height so we do have something in common. While you may be a “Hard-gainer”, you’ll gain and get super fit on top of it. It’s a win-win. Persistence and dedication win the day, brother. Many an ectomorph have gone on to reach their goals… you got this. And with following a program like the X, you’ll be better primed for success. Distance running as many as 6 days a week is the enemy of muscle growth (think sprinter body type vs. marathon body type). It could also be contributing to pretty decent caloric deficit if you’re burning a lot of calories where 3500 might even be low, believe it or not. So X will get you on track to maximize changes and you might not even skip a beat with your cardiovascular endurance… I’d bet it improves.

      To answer your question, I’d say start with the Classic Version following the meal plan (or at least its calorie calculations). You’ll build a great fitness base that will allow you to move forward and prime you for mass gaining as you hit round two.

      All said and done, do you have the P90X program?

      • Jeremiah says:

        Thanks alot Dan that was very helpful! and to answer your question i’m about to order the X in the next week or so. i got 1 race late October to train for and then it will be moving on to the X so I’ll roughly start in the beginning of November. i don’t eat many sweets or sugary drinks anyway’s so the holidays won’t pose a huge problem.
        Thanks again,

  26. Jeremiah says:

    Hey Dan! i was about to order p90x when i saw something for body beast… seems to fit my goals pretty well as i want to gain mass. However i don’t know is it too hard for beginners? i guess i could always go a bit slower at first till i get used to it but i wanted to ask you first. thx for the advice Jeremiah:)

  27. SHAUN says:

    After I do this program do youthink it would be a good ideA TO GO BACK TO THE P90X CLASSIC SCHEDULE TO CUT FAT? Thanks

  28. SHAUN says:

    Also my goals are to buld muscle by bulking with the mass program but the to cut with the p90x classic program and get lean. This is just a follow up to my other question

  29. Benjamin White says:

    Hi I am currently serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints in Mexico. So I walk about 10km a day, and cannot control my diet at lunch haha. The families would not like it if I starte getting picky with what I ate :). So I am starting P90X and am mostly just doing upper body, like DAY1arms, DAY2core, DAY3chest, DAY4plyo, DAY5arms, DAY6yoga. I change it a little every week to keep things rounded off. I am wondering if you could send me a special schedule, or recommend a way to do it better, I am trying to gain mass in my arms and chest, and really don’t think I need to do too much exercise for the legs right now. Any tips??? Also I don’t have some of the videos, I think I only have disc one(ab ripper x, arms and back, chest shoulders tris, etc…), and can’t really get a hold of disc 2 right now. Suggestions??

  30. Ryan says:

    Question.. The mass program… For example kegs and back.. If going for 8-10 reps.. Does that apply to the pull ups and the leg moves using weight…?.. More detail would be helpful …

  31. Singh says:


    I am 166lbs, 5’11”. Do you think I should do the Mass workout or should I stick with classic P90x? I am a little confused here and would like some help.


  32. Victor says:

    Hey Coach,
    I’m 5’8 and 160 pounds at about 17/16 percent BF. To gain muscle and lose body fat, should I start by doing the classic P90X or should I start by doing the P90x mass. I do want size especially in the chest and shoulders.
    Thank you!

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      Definitely start with P90X Classic and build your base there– moving on to the mass program after you finish the first 90 days.

  33. Rayhan Malik says:

    Thank you Coach Dan V for this artice. I believen p90x has us do cardio once a week which you are saying to do here as well. So what’s the difference and i thought that if we want toput on muscle mass we can just avoid cardio altogether or should keep it at a minimum.

    • Coach Dan V. says:

      P90X isn’t designed as a muscle building program per say, but it can provide those benefits. It’s an athletic conditioning program that can be adapted to a variety of goals.

  34. Dave says:

    A good way to make the push ups more difficult is to run a resistance band across the back and then wrap the ends of a band [with no handles] around the handle of a push up stand. You can make as hard as you like but without the risk of injury that you would get with dumbbells.

    I did two rounds of body beast and now leaning out doing the classic p90x. I am not doing the band trick on this round but will do it on the next round as it is good to mix it up for endurance and all that jazz.

    Great article ad site. Am new to P90X, just coming to end of Week 1, but loving it. I got a bit bored just lifting heavy ass weights for 6 months and there is good variety in P90X. I did gain 13lb across the two rounds so cannot moan as my target was 14lb which I did not expect to get close to. BF remains the same at around the 15% mark. I am hoping to grag down to the 10% mark. Am eating 2,400 calories as per the P90X nutrition guide (weight 165lb) – As I am consuming about 160g of protein a day, will I lose any of the muscle that I have built eating at this level?
    Thanks. Dave.

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