What is dirty bulking?
I am a bodybuilder.
A lot of my buddies are also bodybuilders.
In my favorite gym, quite a number of guys have tried dirty bulking.
They have gotten results.
But not the ones they wanted.
I have also tried it and I did not get the results I was naively expecting.
Dirty bulking is all about eating like a pig; eating anything and everything to get big.
To put it in other words, it is the indiscriminate consumption of junk food to gain muscle mass.
Most people attempting to dirty bulk will take pizzas, big Macs, sodas, shakes, cake, and everything else that they have access to build mass.
It is slowly becoming accepted in fitness circles because the more you eat the bigger you get. This may sound logical but it is not what you want to do. I explain why later in this post.
In this article, I cover everything you need to know about this new bodybuilding trend and contrast it with the right way of doing things, which is clean bulking.
Why is dirty bulking becoming a trend in bodybuilding?
Because of four reasons:
- It sounds logical that the more you eat the bigger you will get.
- It encourages the eating anything and everything from pizza, to fries, burgers, and sugar-laden smoothies.
- Some people think getting more calories via dirty bulking will encourage the development of more muscles than the fewer calories gotten via clean bulking.
- Some people think that it is easy to cut the excess weight gained through dirty bulking in the cutting phase.
As you can see, dirty bulking sounds like paradise.
It does not pressure you to watch what you eat, to eat the right things, or to limit your intake of certain foods.
However, it is all rosy until you actually try it.
As I said in the introduction, I tried it and it did not work out for me. I tried it because of peer pressure despite all the indications that it was unlikely to work.
More about my experience later in this post.
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What actually happens when you dirty bulk instead of going lean bulking?
Well, there is one fundamental flaw with dirty bulking – the body only needs protein for muscle development and a certain number of calories for daily body functions.
Excess calories are almost always turned into fat.
This means that when you eat anything and everything, you will be gaining fat weight and not the muscle mass (hard lean bulking results) you are expecting.
And since you are not watching what you eat, you will find out after the bulking phase that the fat weight you have gained is very difficult to shred.
Other consequences of dirty bulking may include:
- Getting addicted to the junk food you are eating. It will become very difficult to just stop consuming what you have been enjoying for months.
- Contracting lifestyle diseases and conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, mood swings, and so on.
- Contracting insulin resistance. Taking sugary foods often spikes insulin levels. This usually results in insulin resistance if it happens frequently. Insulin resistance is one of the causes of diabetes 2 and heart disease.
So, as you can see, dirty bulking is not the right way of bulking because it promises heaven and delivers shit (for lack of a better word).
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My experience with dirty bulking
My dirty bulking experience was bad.
First of all, I did not really like stuffing myself with food even when I was full. It felt so wrong to me and I felt more unfit as days went by.
Secondly, I became prone to vomiting after heavy lifts because I was almost always full when I stepped into the gym for hard training.
In fact, things got so bad that I no longer looked forward to squatting and deadlifting.
Thirdly, I got more of a beer belly than the powerful physique I was expecting from my two weeks of dirty bulking.
It is this “straw” that broke the camel’s back.
I hated having a beer belly before and it took me so much time and effort to eliminate it. I did not want to repeat the same experience again so I decided enough was enough and I stopped my little dirty bulking experiment.
What is the alternative to dirt bulking?
Instead of dirty bulking, you should eat clean. Eating clean or clean bulking entails coming up with a well-balanced, calorie and protein-rich diet to get big.
This is in contrast to dirty bulking that mainly involves eating every kind of food available including junk food to get big.
Clean bulking is the right way to go about things because it doesn’t bring about the negative consequences associated with dirty bulking.
Dirty versus clean bulking
- Both forms of bulking have the same end goal; to get big.
- Both forms of bulking provide more energy and strength.
- Both forms of bulking can include the taking of junk food (although only as very occasional once-a-week cheat meals for clean bulkers).
- Dirty bulking involves eating everything while clean bulking also involves increasing caloric intake but through a well-balanced and protein-rich diet.
- Dirty bulking brings about several negative consequences while clean bulking, generally, does not result in negative consequences.
- Dirty bulking may result in a less muscular look, while clean bulking usually results in a powerful muscular look.
- Dirty bulking does not involve worrying about what to eat, while clean bulking involves thinking carefully about what you are eating.
- Dirty bulking usually provides an energy spike, while clean bulking does not always provide an energy spike.
Considering all the similarities and differences above, you are better off clean bulking than dirty bulking.
Dirty bulking is eating excess food to gain muscle mass. However, it is not the correct way of bulking since it comes with a few negative consequences include more fat weight.
The right way to bulk is clean bulking, which involves more discipline and increasing caloric intake in a controlled manner.
So if you want to get big, eat clean for the best results.
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