Dirty Bulk – What Is It and Should You Do One?
So you can’t build muscle. People tell you that dirty bulking is the way to go when you can’t gain weight, but what is a dirty bulk?
What makes it different than a clean bulk?
Related - Gain Weight Without Getting Fat
If you are skinny and looking for a way to start putting slabs of muscle on, the dirty bulk may seem like the answer. I mean, everyone says it works… Right?
So What’s a Dirty Bulk?
If you’re uncertain what a dirty bulk is, it’s basically eating everything you can in sight. You eat as much as possible, no holds barred, and no junk food is off limits.
That sounds like a dream, right? Who doesn’t want a donut double bacon cheeseburger with some nacho fries?
Welcome to the dirty bulk.
So now you are amped up to eat everything in sight in order to pack on muscle, right? The fact is that a hardgainer does need to eat a lot more calories than the average person, but dirty bulking is not the miracle you think it is.
It is far from optimal, reckless when it comes to your health, and you can welcome in some new unhealthy eating habits, too. I’m glad that you’re getting off of your butt and going to the gym, but that still doesn’t mean you can eat whatever you want with no health consequences.
This is why someone who is jacked and has a six-pack doesn’t necessarily mean they are healthy — their cardiovascular or endocrine system could be in bad health.
Dirty Bulking Is Unhealthy
Overeating food is what a hardgainer needs to do in order to gain muscle. But what would happen if you eat nutritious foods that nourish your body instead of finding junk food?
You see, those carbohydrate sources are simple, processed, and have no fiber. This means our insulin levels go for a roller coaster ride that eventually leads to insulin resistance. When you are less sensitive to insulin, you risk developing diabetes and you will have a harder time getting nutrients shuttled to your muscle cells.
A dirty bulk makes your body more prone to store fat. More body fat and less muscle is what you’ll get. If you develop diabetes, you now have a higher risk of kidney failure, heart disease, and stroke… four-fold.
Meet the Clean Bulk
You know you have to eat a surplus of calories, but making some healthy food choices can make a huge difference in your results. You have to remember that your body needs nutrients and vitamins, protein, carbohydrates, and fats to function. If you stuff your face with Twinkies all day, how do you expect your body to grow?
It’ll definitely get wider.
So the first thing you can do with a clean bulk is simply up your eating frequency. Now is the time to add the nutritious fats since they are so calorie dense.
That’s right, grab some chicken, beef, or pork and cook it up. Grab a white potato and put butter, cheese, sour cream, and bacon on it. Find nutritious sources of foods, not potato chips and ice cream.
Once you start eating more frequently, your body will become accustomed to this and will start “expecting” food every few hours. Drink your whey in vitamin D milk, use regular butter, olive oil, sesame seed oil, and nut butters.
Eat your eggs, brown, white, or black rice, and don’t be afraid to overeat healthy foods.
But here’s the great thing about a clean bulk — if you are eating 70 to 80 percent of your calories through nutritious sources, fresh fruits, veggies, and foods similar to what I listed above, you can still have those sinful treats.
It’s okay to snack on a Snickers ice cream bar if you’ve eaten healthy foods all day. Remember, your body needs a lot of different vitamins and nutrients to function.
Wrapping It Up
I’d like to mention that dirty bulks will make you stronger. I don’t advocate them, but they will make you stronger. Ask any elite level powerlifter and they will tell you food is the key to getting stronger.
I managed to add a little over 100 pounds to my deadlift, 75 pounds to my squat, and 40 pounds to my bench in a little over four months of dirty bulking. I had gained a bit over 35 pounds… but I was a tank.
So let me tell you it’s not worth it. I am the exact opposite of a hardgainer and my stomach can hold a lot. Instead, try to stick to eating more foods that are fresh. Learn to cook, learn to log your foods, and start making progress.
If there’s one tip I want you to take home from this entire article, it is this:
Think of what you eat as fueling your body. Find how many calories you need to eat and plan out your meals. Make sure you get plenty of protein and healthy carbohydrates, add in extra fats for calories, and then you can eat some ice cream or chips.