In about 2010, I remember browsing fitness websites, forums, and social media websites. This was when I first started getting serious about lifting weights. And as someone in their 20s with a lot of free time, I began seeing lots of information about bulking up.

With that in mind, we’re going to be taking a closer look at the dirty bulk. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, that’s okay. You will.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at all things related to the dirty bulk. Let’s go!

Clean bulking vs dirty bulking

First, I thought it might be helpful to quickly explain the difference between clean bulking and dirty bulking.

If you’re clean bulking, you’re trying to gain more muscle while gaining as little fat as possible.

The main goal of dirty bulking is also to gain muscle, but you’re also going to gain more fat.

That’s the simplest way I can explain dirty bulking vs clean bulking.

Generally speaking, the types of exercises you’ll do during a dirty bulk won’t be different from what you do during a clean bulk.

The main difference comes in when we’re discussing a dirty bulk vs clean bulk diet. On a dirty bulk, your number one goal is weight gain. By reading this guide on a dirty bulk, you’re going to gain as much muscle as possible while minimizing extra fat.

Does dirty bulking work?

To answer this question, it depends on your goals. If you want to gain muscle and don’t mind gaining fat in the process, yes, dirty bulking works.

On the other hand, let’s say that you’re overweight and are working out to lose excess fat. In this case, a dirty bulk isn’t going to be the most effective training option. Instead, a clean bulk is what you’re after. This method of bulking is for people that want more muscle while also losing fat.

So, yes, if you are after muscle gain, then dirty bulking works. If you expect to look shredded and have a six-pack after going on a dirty bulk, it won’t work that way.

What are the downsides of dirty bulking?

While I’m a huge fan of dirty bulking, it’s not without disadvantages. Considering that, we’re going to take a closer look at why you might not want to start a dirty bulk.

Fat gain

If you’re doing a dirty bulk correctly, it means you’re going to gain weight. However, the point of dirty bulking is to not eat only nutritious foods. This means less chicken breast or tuna and more pizza or ice cream.

Dirty bulks are easier for muscle gain, but the sheer amount of junk food you’ll eat will add some body fat on you. At the end of a dirty bulk, you’re likely going to have some unwanted fat gain from eating so many calorie-dense foods.

Worsened athletic performance

Since a dirty bulk means (probably) eating processed foods and saturated fats, your waistline is probably going to get bigger. If you consume too much fat, you’ll gain more weight quickly.

Over time, too much fat on your body can also lead to you getting fatigued quicker than you normally would while working out. Fortunately, the slight increase in body fat shouldn’t negatively impact your athletic performance too badly. Just don’t be surprised if you don’t set any new cardio records on a dirty bulk.

Temporarily worsening your health

I’m no doctor. But I do know that raising your bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels during a dirty bulk cycle isn’t the best thing for your body. As long as you’re not eating junk food to get big your entire life, you shouldn’t be in any major trouble.

But don’t expect to look, feel, or be at peak physical health while you’re trying to complete a dirty bulk cycle.

Dirty bulking results: what to expect

First things first, dirty bulking is fun. Come on, we all have that part of us that loves sinfully indulging in the latest fast food abomination. Sometimes, our minds and bodies just need greasy fast food because it just feels good! 

When I started a few of my dirty bulks, I would remember how many people I knew would look at me with hatred when we went out to eat. This was because I could put huge meals down and still be in good shape.

Now, let’s touch on the major drawback of dirty bulking. This drawback is that you’re going to gain more fat. At least, you will if you’re dirty bulking correctly. The only time dirty bulking involves watching what you eat is to make sure you’re meeting or exceeding your daily caloric requirements.

When the main thing you’re looking at is total calories, you’re not going to be paying much attention to carbs, sugars, and fats. I’m no doctor, but I wouldn’t say that this diet would be good for you long-term.

This is why regular exercise is a crucial part of any bulking plan. Without lifting weights, everything you’re eating will turn into fat. Not what you want.

The best dirty bulking foods

dirty bulking secrets

Dirty bulking is all about enjoying your favorite foods, as long as they help you gain weight. While I’m a huge fan of dirty bulking, it shouldn’t be all about eating junk food. You can train like Arnold and a junk diet is eventually going to plateau in terms of your weightlifting results.

With that in mind, I thought it might be wise to include a few of my favorite “dirty” bulking foods. This won’t just be a list of junk. Instead, it’s more high calorie foods and drinks you wouldn’t necessarily find in a clean bulking foods list.

The foods and drinks you’ll see have almost effortlessly, when combined with a weightlifting program, helped me bulk up. Eat (or drink) often and enjoy!


a glass of milk

As mentioned earlier, bulking isn’t all about what you eat. If I had to share the biggest “secret” of mine when it comes to bulking up, it’s to drink more milk. Plus, milk is versatile. You can use milk in protein shakes, milkshakes, cereal, and much more. It’s also rich in fat, calories, and protein.

If you’re serious about bulking, buy that full-fat milk. No 2% or skim milk. Not a fan of white milk, then it’s time to get some chocolate milk. Sure, chocolate milk adds a little more sugar and calories. But, during a dirty bulk, more calories won’t be something to worry about too much.

Another one of the best full-fat dairy products for bulking include Greek yogurt and cheese. These two foods can definitely help you get enough calories to promote weight gain.

GOMAD – A dirty bulking challenge

Throughout the past decade or so, I’ve read a lot of good and bad ideas about what to do while on a bulking diet. With that in mind, one of the things I most often come across is something called G.O.M.A.D.

What does it stand for? A gallon of milk a day.

I’ll start by saying that, no, I don’t recommend this as a viable bulking strategy. Unless you really like milk. I mean, like, really like drinking milk!

Peanut butter

a jar of peanut butter

Is there a better comfort food than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Whether paired with its classic partner or not, peanut butter is an incredible food that any bulker should have in their pantry.

Regardless of whether you prefer crunchy or creamy peanut butter, this food is rich in calories, fats, and everything else that makes a bulker’s body bigger.

Plus, peanut butter is a great way to bulk up on a budget. This is one of the best nutrient-dense foods.

Fast food

Again, I’m not encouraging you to eat fast food all of the time. But, if you’re bulking, this type of calorie-dense food is often a fast and inexpensive way to get the calories you need to gain weight.

If possible, aim for a good source of protein at any of your favorite fast food places. These types of foods would be hamburgers, chicken sandwiches, anything with meat and (preferably) lots of it.

Just try not to eat this type of food every single day or for long periods of time. Eventually, the insane amount of trans fats will catch up to your waistline.

Chicken breasts

chicken breast on a cutting board

One of the time-tested and best foods to eat during a dirty bulk is chicken breasts. Best of all? It’s not even a food that you should only eat during a dirty bulk. Chicken is full of healthy fats and muscle-building protein.

You can eat basically all the chicken breasts you want while minimizing fat gain. If you want to make things dirty, go ahead and grab that bucket of fried chicken. I won’t tell!


A food that’s great for gaining weight and muscle mass is the egg. Like milk, the egg is incredibly versatile. Of course, you can eat them for breakfast. However, you can also add whole eggs to ramen and other foods for extra variety.

Unlike fast foods, eating a few eggs won’t put you on a significant calorie surplus. However, they’re full of protein and and eating them is a great way to gain muscle mass.

Supplements to make the most of a dirty bulking cycle

If you’re trying to gain weight, eating and working out might not be giving you fast enough results. Don’t worry – you might find the super fast muscle growth you’re after by adding a supplement or two into your workout plan. Here is a few of my picks for great supplements to help you build body mass.

Crazy Bulk Bulking Stack

crazy bulk bulking stack results

Do you need help gaining muscle and want the most out of every workout? If so, you might want to check out the Crazy Bulk Bulking Stack. This product contains a group of four supplements that are safe to take together.

The four supplements in this stack are all natural and in capsule form. When combined with a calorie surplus and a weightlifting routine, this stack can deliver amazing results.

This stack contains:

When taken over a period of time, this stack can speed up how fast you build muscle. You’re not going to wake up looking like Chris Hemsworth after your first day of using this stack or anything crazy.

However, I’ve used it before and these supplements helped me gain about 20 pounds in a month.

Brutal Force Mass Stack

brutalforce mass stack

Another great set of supplements to pair with your workout routine is the Mass Stack from Brutal Force. This stack contains five supplements, all of which are designed to help you build muscle fast.

The Mass Stack is also great if you want to increase body mass, but are having a hard time meeting your daily calorie intake.


If you’re trying to gain more muscle mass and struggling to get the best results, it could because you’re a guy and you have low levels of testosterone. Generally speaking, this isn’t a problem that people lifting in their 20s deal with.

However, as you reach your 30s and 40s, most men notice their testosterone levels start lowering.

Some of the most common symptoms of low testosterone include:

If any of the previously mentioned things sound familiar, you might have low testosterone. Fortunately, a supplement that can help with this problem is Testogen.

Testogen is a natural testosterone booster that’s sold over-the-counter, meaning you don’t need a prescription to buy it. With ramped up testosterone levels, you should experience more energy and faster lean muscle gains.

I hope you enjoyed this look at dirty bulking. If done in the short-term and combined with a weightlifting regimen, dirty bulking can be a good way to gain muscle fat. You will likely gain more fat, but following your bulk up with a clean bulking cycle will have you looking like you belong on the cover of a bodybuilding magazine.