T Nation

Need Help with Muscle Gain


Hey, Muscle people!

Long time follower-from-a-distance, first time poster!
This forum has helped me a lot, but this time I need answers I haven't been able to find (or am confused about).

So, recently, I lost around 12 pounds due to a surgery (didn't eat at all after, blah blah) - went from 145 to 132.

Before the surgery I was doing P90X and loving the results.

Any way, I started P90X again, on the 20th of June, and am, again, loving the results. However, I would love to regain my weight in pure lean muscle. Kinda want to fill out my shirts again, but with well defined muscles. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

During the first 30 days, I was on the Fat Shredder diet plan, which is 50% protein, 30% carbs, and 20% fat. Now, I got my protein from good sources - grilled/poached chicken, fish, lentils, as well as Metabolic Drive. I used it strictly for post-workout purposes. (will come to question about Metabolic Drive later).

However, now that I have started phase 2, and am looking to gain weight, I researched as much as I could into the topic of mass gain diets. Of course, there's the obvious 1g of protein per pound of body weight, but what else is there?

So, here's the deal.

Age: 19 (20 this September, if that matters)
Weight: 132 lbs
Height: 5'8
Sex: Male

Daily Meals before today:

Breakfast: 4 egg whites with 2 slices of whole wheat bread + 1 glass (200ml/8oz) of OJ.

Snack 1: Protein Shake (used to be Metabolic Drive, but I ran out, and bought ON's Gold Standard Whey, and Casein, today)

Lunch: 2 x Grilled chicken breast (with bones, so it's kinda equal to one boneless one)

Snack 2: Banana with 1-2 tablespoons Peanut Butter (creamy)

Pre-workout: Protein Shake ((used to be Metabolic Drive, but I ran out, and bought ON's Gold Standard Whey, and Casein, today)) + low glycemic carb (banana, apple, oats, etc)

Post-workout: 1 scoop Metabolic Drive (instantly after workout) then some form of meat protein 30 mins after, with glass of OJ.

Before sleep: Nothing.

Now, as you might've caught on, I have ON's Whey and Casein proteins. Also, I just realized, today, that Metabolic Drive is actually intended to be taken as a non post workout protein (for snacks, etc) due to the casein content. (correct me if wrong).

I'm aiming to consume atleast 100-130g of protein every day, but I don't know what to do about the carbs and fats. My body is getting defined, but I've definitely lost much muscle size (biceps, mainly) since starting the program. I know carbs are important in helping the protein getting used, so I went out and also got Cytosport's Cytocarb - which, I believe is Maltodextrose.

So here's my question:

I have the supplements (don't want to take any more). I have the motivation. I have the drive. Tell me what to do.
Basically, how to gain around 10-15 lbs of lean muscle, without fattening up.

For those unaware of P90X: It's 3 days of intense lifting, and 3 days of cardio, with a rest on the seventh day.

All helpers: thank you, in advance!


Is this 1 gram of protein/lb of BW?
How many total calories do you eat everyday?

You said you are back to getting results on P90X, are you currently gaining weight, staying the same, or losing weight?

To answer your question in the simplest way possible look at your results from P90X. If you are losing weight then increase calories by 500 and see where that gets you. If your weight has stayed the same for a couple weeks increase slightly; ie. a cup of cottage cheese before bed. If your weight is already increasing then keep on keeping on.

Track your results. Add calories each week until you get the results you want. No one on here is going to have the one perfect equation that will make you gain muscle but not fat. Experiment with your body (pun intended).


Yeah, that roughly adds up to 1g of protein/lb of body weight.
As fat as your question is concerned, I haven't really monitored my weight (I know, I know...) but from the few times i did, I seem to have dropped around 3-5 lbs. I don't know whether this is fat or muscle, because my definition's getting better with each passing day...however, there is that problem of bicep size. I'll be monitoring my weight religiously from now on, so, yeah.

Also, my questions were also regarding my daily meal plan, and whether it's ok, and how to incorporate more carbs in it.



I have already answered your questions. Keep the same ratios of food and simply add more from each category. That means; more carbs, more protein, more fats.

You need to EAT MORE FOOD!

Your a teenager.
You weigh a buck-32.
Your doing a program designed to help people lose weight.

Step 1) Decide which is more important to you. Losing fat or gaining muscle?

Step 2) Read this: http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance_nutrition/how_bodybuilders_should_eat

Step 3) Go to the "training section" and find a program that is designed around your goals.

  1. Get on an actual good program
  2. Eat more
  3. Stop being a skinny kid with abs. You're not cut, you're just skinny.
  4. Eat more


1) I am totally towards gaining muscle, but...thing is...even though it may sound like I'm a "skinny kid with abs", I actually have this wad of fat around the belly which is REALLY annoying, and is the reason I started P90X. It completely throws off the rest of the body image...which is why I was on the fat loss diet.

2) thanks!

3) honestly, for now P90X is doing me wonders, so I'm going to stick with it for the remaining 60 days. BUT. I will, of course, find a better, more gain oriented program after that!


So you post a question on what you can do to gain some muscle, several people tell you what you need to do and point you in the right direction, and then you say that you are going to keep doing the same thing....



  1. You're a skinny kid with abs (actually just a skinny kid, no abs)
  2. You don't have much muscle, and therefore it's going to be hard to get "ripped" because to be "ripped" you have to have muscle
  3. Eat more
  4. Amazingly if you add 40 lbs of muscle over the next 2 years or so, you'll be able to cut with relative ease and have your pretty boy abs.
  5. Get off the shitty program.


Not at all. I upped my meals today! chill, brah.


Lol... p90x.


if youre a long time follower and this site has helped you so much why oh why are you doing P90X and trying to "cut" at 145 ?


this thread made me laugh... there's good advice in here son... get stronger and go do the beloved four lifts and add some weight. Ditch the obsession with abs... This is the time to get big and strong at your young age of 19.


I am glad to hear you are increasing the size of your meals.

Let me be the first to tell you that at 132 pounds 5'8" you look like a stick. "Wad of fat" or not it sounds like you have body image issues if you think you need to cut. Without psychoanalyzing you let me ask you a question. I assume you are trying to look better, right? Do you think 5 pounds off your midsection is going to help you reinvent yourself?

When I was 19 I cared very deeply about getting laid so I can assume you are interested in similar pursuits. Do you think women are interested in a guy that managed to make it down to 125 with good definition? Or, would you suppose women want a man that not only weighs more than they do but can stand up for themselves if need be?

The point is, you not only need to eat more you need a proper program. Go ahead and finish out your 90 day "P-X" program but then join a real gym. I recommend a real gym because I think you will change your point of view on body image if you do. Now I don't know what 132 pound people do in their free time but I bet it isn't hangout at the gym so at first this will be scary. You need to push through that phase and become comfortable around normal sized men. Once you can openly admit to yourself that you need to add about 20 pounds to your frame just to consider yourself an average adult male you will be on the right track.

Post pictures in the performance section once you have made some headway.



OK, brah.


Your problem is a lack of food!

For breakfast - eat whole eggs (the yokes are good and calorie dense), add one cup oats too

Lunch - add lots of potato

Before bed - drink a meal replacement, and eat what ever you can find

EAT MORE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


ummmmmm, this.




Thanks for the replies, guys!

I'd like to point out that before I got my surgery (hernia - which, ironically, I got from lifting) I'd been circuit training for about a year and a half, and had managed to go from a measly 125 to 145 pounds. However, at that time, I was very unaware of how to eat clean, and thus, would eat salads bathed in fatty, unhealthy condiments as "post workout" meals. Any way, the reason I started P90X was because: I'm a sprinter on the track team, and need the level of flexibility, speed, etc that you get from doing all the Plyo, Yoga, etc (P90x). It's more of a summer program, than an actual workout regime for me.

Not really. I'm friends with all the trainers there. :stuck_out_tongue: but thank you for the compassion.

Also, I started writing down each and everything I eat, and found out that yes, I"m not eating enough.
However, my concern is this: how many carbs per day? Given that I'm lifting 3 days of the week (mon, wed, fri) and cardio-ing in between, with Sunday as a rest day.
For example, yesterday, I ate around 119g of protein, 134g of carbs, and 33.53g of fat. I know, I know, need to eat way more. but how much more. numbers would be appreciated more than "eat more" even though it's a general ass kick in the right direction. :stuck_out_tongue:



Look at the top sprinters in the world. They're not skinny runts. P90x is terrible for athletes and sprinters.

Start actually reading the articles on here, learn about nutrition, get on a decent program.

Double what you're eating and than some. Shoot for 240g protein, 400g carbs, 60g fat. Still not gaining? Eat more.




If your abs are even visible now and if you lose them after getting bigger it won't matter in terms of looking good and attracting women as a bigger guy without abs and his shirt on will get more women than a 130lb guy with abs...if there even are any and not just a skinny flat stomach.