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What is “Dirty Bulking”?

Since you’re researching what it takes up to bulk up quickly, it’s a matter of time before you discover two important phrases:

Both are different approaches to the bulking process, each with benefits and draw-backs. In this post, I’m just going to focus on what it’s means to, “Do a dirty bulk.” (Which is another phrasing you’ll hear quite a lot in this world.)

Read: Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body

The Basics of the Dirty Bulk

Bulking is considered “dirty” when you don’t care about the quality of the food you’re eating. You’re not thinking about long-term well-being, or a sustainable diet. You’re just looking to ingest as many calories as possible.

Therefore, “dirty” is just synonymous with “unhealthy” (whereas “clean” is the opposite). This isn’t exactly rocket science.

You can eat almost anything while dirty bulking, but the same rule applies across all forms of bulking: aim for the best ratio of calories, fat, and protein against the eating difficulty. Basically, focus on the foods that high in calories, (relatively) high in fat, and high in protein while also being easy to eat. Dirty bulking simply provides more options for doing this.

Common Dirty Bulking Foods

You have a lot of choice but common examples include:

  • Donuts
  • McDonald’s
  • Pizza

There’s also GOMAD — the process of drinking a gallon of milk a day — but people are split on whether or not that’s actually dirty bulking. It falls into a middle-ground. (Either way though, it’s very effective.)

Advantages of the Dirty Bulk

The biggest advantage of dirty bulking is that you will easily reach your daily requirements for calories, fat, and protein. Even if you struggle to eat a lot of food, it’s easy to gain weight when the quality of the food is low. If you’re really skinny, one pizza might be all it takes to reach your daily intake.

You’ll also find that dirty bulking is a huge time-saver. You’re able to order fast foods like pizza or KFC and there’s very little need to worry about preparation. In most cases, the faster the food, the easier it’ll be to bulk up.

Then there’s the sheer guilty pleasure of it all. Dirty bulking allows you to eat every piece of junk that you so desperately crave.  You’re like a kid in a candy store (minus the candy since it doesn’t have enough calories).

Disadvantages of the Dirty Bulk

Dirty bulking is far from a perfect solution though.

While you’re easily able to reach your daily requirements, eating dirty can easily lead to excessive fat gain. Even if you’re really skinny, eating pizza, McDonald’s, and donuts every day will skyrocket you to overweight status.

Now, fat gain is impossible to avoid during the bulking phase (even if you are clean bulking) but it will be particularly dramatic while dirty bulking. Even if you’re lifting heavy, you will start to resemble a marshmallow. (Puffy.)

Another disadvantage is that your time-savings might be for nothing since unhealthy foods can obliterate your energy levels. Food is fuel for the body, so filling it with lousy fuel is going to have an impact. It’s impossible to precisely predict that impact though. Everyone’s affected differently.

This, however, did happen to me while attempting to dirty bulk. I was eating multiple meals of McDonald’s each day and soon found myself exhausted at all hours. But maybe I just needed a slightly better balance between meals. Dirty bulking doesn’t have to be an “all or nothing” sort of deal.

What’s perhaps the biggest disadvantage though is that, after eating junk food for long enough, you might start craving it. So while you might say “I’m going to dirty bulk for a month” that doesn’t mean you’ll have the will power to stop. You may form eating habits that impact the rest of your life.

Verdict: Should You Dirty Bulk?

Based on what I’ve written, it might sound like I’m about to say, “Don’t you dare dirty bulk! It’s the worse thing in the world!”

But I don’t believe that’s true.

Dirty bulking is something I’ve never been able to sustain because I feel sick and lose energy after eating junk food for a couple of days, but it wouldn’t be considered an option if it didn’t work for some people.

“So what should I do?”

If you’re interested in dirty bulking, give it a go. You don’t have to dedicate yourself to any particular form of bulking. Try it out and see how your body responds. If you feel sick, stop. If you don’t feel sick, continue dirty bulking, but at the same time:

  1. Monitor your weight closely.
  2. Make sure you’re getting a benefit (strength gains, etc).
  3. Be prepared to stop if you do start feeling sick.

You can’t out-run the consequences of dirty bulking forever, but it can be highly effective in short bursts and, if you treat it like an experiment, you might feel less guilty about stuffing your face with processed junk.

Recommended: Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body

Dirty Bulking Example

The Rock knows how to dirty bulk.

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