Does P90x Work for Skinny Guys?

P90X, also called Power 90 Extreme, ranked as the most popular home fitness program in America for seven consecutive years, according to the American Council on Exercise. Beachbody, the official P90X website, includes success stories on skinny guys who gained muscle. An American Council on Exercise review of P90X concludes that it's effective for overall fitness and building muscle.

The P90X Program

Celebrity personal trainer Tony Horton's P90X uses the concept of "muscle confusion." Varying your workouts keeps your body from reaching a plateau because it never adapts to the exercise routine. This might be an advantage for skinny guys who have difficulty gaining muscle. The 90-day program comes on a set of DVDs with a group of workouts designed to be used six days a week. The combination of high-intensity interval training and strength training in the P90X program is designed to increase fitness and build muscle -- not only to burn body fat.

Training for Skinny Guys

As a skinny guy, you have the advantage of not needing to lose excess body fat on P90X, so you can concentrate on building muscle to fill out your physique. You might be fit, such as a runner who has strong leg muscles and a well-conditioned body trained for speed and endurance, or you might be physically inactive and lack strength and stamina. Exercising regularly and challenging your muscles with the structured and varied P90X workout program might stimulate muscle growth to help you get results.

P90X Tips

Adapt exercises to your fitness and strength. You should be able to lift a weight at least eight times in proper form for a specific exercise. If you can't, use a lighter weight. As you become stronger, increase the amount of weight you lift to continue challenging your muscles. The variety built into P90X cuts the risk of boredom, which might help you stick with the 90-day program and have it work for you. To build muscle with this intense workout, you'll have to eat enough to fuel your workouts and support muscle growth. Don't skip meals during the program. You might gain weight during the 90-day program by increasing your muscle mass.


If you've been inactive, increase your physical activity gradually before starting P90X. The program provides a high-intensity workout and may not be suitable for everyone. Intense exercise can cause considerable muscle soreness, especially if you aren't accustomed to it. In a study of 120 people who performed the P90X core fitness routine, older people experienced more soreness than younger participants, and people with diabetes experienced greater soreness than members of a control group matched for age, according to American researchers who reported their results in the June 2011 issue of "Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics." As with all exercise programs, talk to your doctor before trying P90X.