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 clean bulking vs dirty bulking.
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.
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.
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 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!
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. While it adds a little more sugar, chocolate or strawberry syrups instantly take away the “milk taste.” Plus, it’s 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.
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.
Again, I’m not encouraging you to eat fast food all of the time. But, if you’re bulking, fast 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.
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. If you want more ways to bulk up, take a look at the best bulking stacks of 2021.