P90X for Hardgainers Part 2 – THE DIETPLAN!

The term hardgainer has been used loosely around the Beachbody community or in the fitness industry a lot. Hardgainer is someone who is naturally skinny, who no matter what he or she eats, always seem to have trouble gaining weight, whether in the form of muscle or fat. To determine whether you’re a hardgainer, look at the men in your family. If they’re all slim and skinny, then you’re most likely an ectomorph or a hardgainer. Do not confused the term hardgainer with having hard time to gain muscle mass, because if that is the case, almost everyone is a hardgainer.

Either way, I will lay out the diet plan for different types of people who want to gain lean muscle mass while on P90X. And contrary to popular belief, the P90X diet plan can be used for either losing weight or gaining lean mass, or anything in between. Just to refresh your memories, P90X diet plan consists of Phase 1 (low carb), Phase 2, and Phase 3 (high carb).


Alex Andrews, Day 1 vs Day 90 of P90X


How to determine whether you fit into this category? If you have an active lifestyle, and very lean, you’d fit into this category. Your waist should be small and you should have an outline of abs at least. If you’ve been called looking like a skeleton, then you’re definitely in!

The best diet plan for you would be Phase 2 for the first 30 days, and Phase 3 from Day 30-90. How much calories you should consume would depends on your daily activity level and your height. As long as you lift heavy, and take your supplements, you should see results within 90 days.


David Yeager, Day 1 vs Day 90 of P90X


This is the category for those who have been skinny all their lives, but due to stress at work and bad diet, you’ve gained some weight especially around the waist. The best way to be ripped with P90X is to lean down first before you start bulking up. Until you could see the outline of your abs, you should not attempt to have surplus of calories to bulk up.

The best diet plan for you would be Phase 1 for the first 30 days with low caloric intake. From Day 30-60, I found that staying at Phase 2 diet plan would do the trick at medium caloric intake. To determine how much calories you should consume, you’d need to discuss that matter with your Team Beachbody Coach.

You progress picture on Day 60 would determine whether you should do Phase 3 diet plan or not. If you’re already cut, you could do Phase 3, or else, just stay at Phase 2 diet plan.


Joseph Dafcik, Day 1 vs Day 180 of P90X


You would need to do at least 2 rounds of P90X. The first one should be focused more on leaning down, while the second round would be focused on being ripped. If you’re a guy, your bodyfat should be down to around 8-9% and for girls, around 12-15% before bulking up.

Your caloric intake should be low during the first round. Only do Phase 1 and Phase 2 diet plan. Once you’ve leaned down after 90 days, you could start your second round of P90X after 1-2 weeks break. Depending on how lean you are, you could either start at Phase 1 diet plan as usual or skip to Phase 2 diet plan.



10 Responses to P90X for Hardgainers Part 2 – THE DIETPLAN!

  • I think the body fat percentage recommendation before bulking up is a bit low. Although I happen to already have a low body fat percentage, I think a lot of people will have a tough time getting this low. 12-15% is widely considered quite low for females as it is, and is certainly well below the average.

    • Hi Jason, the recommendation bf% was for the guys, since that’s my target market and most of my coachees are guys. You’re correct though, that women who have 12-15% are actually very fit and lean.

  • Hey, I need help! I am 22y/o 5’9 135 pounds. I look like i’m 15. I watched your video and it really motivated me. What should I do to achieve what you have?

    I have p90x2, My brother bought p90x2 and it should be here in 3 days. Will it give the same results?

    If you can help, I would really appreciate it.

    • You should do P90X before moving to X2. Always learn the basics before moving to advance routines.

  • Hi, i am 5’6, 18 years of age, and currently 150 pounds. My body shape has always be slender but in years past i have noticed my upper body being alot skinner and smaller then my lower, like my hips. What do i do, and what type of diet should i hit?

    • You can start with eating at least 2500 cal/day with doing proper workout. Just eating and not lifting weights wont help you build your upper body. Good luck!

  • I am currently 5’10” and I weight 125 pounds. I can honestly not gain any pounds, I have tried, yet I have not succeed. I’ve been bully through pretty much all my life growing up because I was too skinny. Now I am in college, and it’s time for a change. I’ve started the P90x program, but I am kind of lost on how to honestly start it, and I have no idea how to use the diet plan. I saw your video, and I honestly don’t know if your fake or what, but WOW! Could you help me?

  • Hi i have a problem here, i am a hardgainer and before i start the program i have one Question I’m skinny, I’m 6.1 feet tall(186 CM)and weighs 140.8 lbs(64 kg) , I’m really skinny, so when I start with P90X can i only work with weight training ( the back, cheast abs), for example, or i have to do the yoga, cardio, kenpo and stretch stuff TOO. Can i or I can NOT skip the plyometrics,yoga,kenpo x, stretch, cardio and core…. i wanna gain muscels i ask because i dont want to DO the yoga and stuff then NOT gain anything or not do the yoga, cardio and then stay the same as now, i ask becouse i know one guy who said that if you do the yoga, cardio and stuff you will lose weight :/ so he passet them and only did the training for muscles ( back, chest, abs and the others :)so pass them OR do them please help me, greatful for answer. have a great day mate 🙂

    • You can try either way. I recommend doing the cardio still since you need to train all parts of your body. Flexibility in Yoga is essential to improve your strength and muscle performance. As long as you eat more, you shouldnt have any problem gaining mass.