Is dirty bulking better than clean bulking?
Building muscle mass starts with eating in a calorie surplus, but there are different ways to go about it. Some people choose to eat anything and everything they can get their hands on (dirty bulking) while others focus on eating healthy foods (clean bulking).
So, which is the better approach?
Which one is right for you?
In this blog post, we will discuss the pros and cons of each method so that you can make an informed decision about which one is best for you.
Dirty Bulking vs Clean Bulking – What are they?
What is Dirty Bulking?
Dirty bulking is a weightlifting and bodybuilding term used to describe the act of eating in a way that allows the person to put on weight (build muscle) as quickly as possible. The goal is to eat large amounts of calorie-rich foods, often referred to as junk food, in order to achieve the desired results.
You dirty bulk up by eating whatever you want, without worrying about healthy food choices.
But there’s a problem.
Dirty bulking can have negative consequences for both your health and fitness goals.
In addition to putting on unwanted body fat, dirty bulking can also lead to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and other chronic health conditions.
For this reason, most experts recommend avoiding junk food when trying to bulk up and instead focusing on consuming nutrient-rich whole foods.
They have advised that dirty bulking is not a sustainable or healthy way to bulk up. But how true could this be?
Keep reading to find out.
What is Clean Bulking?
In contrast to dirty bulking, clean bulking is a term used to describe a type of bulking where you focus on eating healthy, whole foods. This means consuming plenty of lean protein sources, complex carbs, and healthy fats.
The goal of clean bulking is to build muscle while minimizing fat gain.
This is achieved by ensuring that one’s calorie intake is in a caloric surplus, but that the majority of those calories come from lean protein and healthy fats, with very few coming from unhealthy sources such as processed foods or fast food.
Clean bulking takes more time and effort than dirty bulking.
But the end result is a much more aesthetically pleasing physique, with far less body fat and far more muscle. (More on this later).
It’s also healthier, both in the short-term and long-term, since you’re not putting your body through the stress of consuming excessive amounts of processed junk food.
Benefits of Dirty Bulking vs Clean Bulking
Benefits of dirty bulking
One obvious benefit of dirty bulking is that it’s a lot less work. Instead of carefully planning and measuring every meal, you can simply eat whatever you want, whenever you want.
This can save you a lot of time and energy, which can be better spent on working out and other important things in your life and business.
Another benefit of bulking dirty is that you’ll see results a lot faster.
Because you’re eating more calories, you’ll naturally start to put on weight and build muscle quicker than if you were clean bulking.
This can be great for people who are short on time or who want to see results as quickly as possible. But if care is not taken you’ll get fatter and hate yourself for it.
Another benefit of dirty bulking is that – by bulking dirty you’ll be eating more delicious and sugary meals.
We all know how everyone likes to indulge in some tasty junk food from time to time, and by bulking dirty you can do this without feeling guilty.
Benefits of Clean bulking
The main benefit of clean bulking is that you’ll be less likely to put on fat.
Because you’re eating healthier foods and measuring your portions, you won’t be consuming as many calories as you would if you were dirty bulking.
This means that you’ll have an easier time staying lean while still gaining muscle. Unlike dirty bulking, clean bulking takes a lot more effort and planning.
You’ll need to be prepared to cook most of your meals from scratch and spend time meal prepping.
But the extra effort is worth it for many people, as it helps them stay healthy and avoid putting on unnecessary fat.
Plus, eating healthy foods can make you feel better overall and give you more energy.
Some people argue that clean bulking is slower than dirty bulking, but this isn’t totally true in all cases. If you’re eating the right foods and getting enough protein, you can still bulk up quickly while staying lean.
It might just take a bit longer than it would if you were dirty bulking.
Here’s the summary of the benefits of dirty and clean bulking:
- Bulking dirty is less work and you’ll see results faster
- You’re more likely to put on fat with a dirty bulk
- When you bulk cleanly, you’re more likely to put on muscle rather than fat. This is because you’re not consuming excess calories that will be stored as fat
- Clean bulking means eating healthy, nutrient-rich foods which will improve your overall health and appearance
- When you bulk cleanly, your body’s metabolism will increase, helping you to burn more calories throughout the day even when you’re not working out
Cons of the Dirty Bulk and Clean Bulk
Starting with the cons of dirty bulking:
- You will gain some fat
This is the most obvious downside and the main reason why many people shy away from dirty bulking. When you’re eating in a surplus, it’s impossible to avoid gaining at least somebody fat.
- You may feel sluggish
Another common complaint among those who dirty bulk is that they feel sluggish and lethargic. This is most likely due to the increase in body fat, which can weigh you down both physically and mentally.
- Your strength gains may stall
If your main goal is to increase your strength, then dirty bulking may not be the best option for you. When you’re carrying around extra body fat, it can be more difficult to add strength.
This is because your body has to work harder to move the additional weight, which can lead to fatigue and a decrease in performance.
- Can affect blood values
Lastly, gaining too much fat can have an adverse effect on your blood values. This includes things like cholesterol and triglycerides, which can increase your risk of heart disease. And when you’re carrying around extra body fat, it puts additional strain on your organs, which can lead to health issues down the road.
Now let’s take a look at the…
Cons of clean bulking:
- You may not see results as quickly
One of the main benefits of dirty bulking is that you tend to see results more quickly.
This is because you’re eating in a surplus, which allows your body to build muscle and gain strength at a faster rate. However, when you’re clean bulking, you’re not eating in a surplus, so your results may be slower to appear.
- You may get frustrated
Another potential downside of clean bulking is that it can be frustrating.
This is because you’re not seeing the quick results that you would see with dirty bulking. If you’re not careful, this frustration can lead to discouragement and cause you to give up on your goals.
- You have to be patient
As with anything worth doing, clean bulking requires patience.
This is because it can take longer to see results, and you may have to be content with slower progress. However, if you’re willing to be patient and stick with it, the rewards will be worth it in the end.
- Strict eating pattern
Lastly, clean bulking requires a strict eating pattern. This means that you have to be mindful of the foods you’re eating and make sure you’re getting enough nutrients.
If you’re not careful, it’s easy to slip up and eat too many calories, which can lead to fat gain.
Sample diets for each type of bulking
When it comes to dieting and foods to eat when bulking – there are two types of ways people go about this.
The Dirty Bulk diet consists of eating anything and everything in sight, with no regard for healthy foods or macros while clean bulking is the complete opposite.
A clean bulk diet will have you eating plenty of healthy foods and paying attention to your macros in order to gain lean muscle mass without all the fat.
Let’s take a look at what each type of diet entails:
The Dirty Bulk Diet include:
- high protein foods, such as red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy
- high-carb foods, such as pasta, rice, bread, cereal, and potatoes
- protein powders
- high-calorie mass gain powders
- cereal bars and breakfast cereals
- fruits and vegetables
- fast food
- whole eggs
- baked goods
- nuts and nut butter
The summary here is that you’ll need a large number of calories, frequent meals with little to no regard for macros or nutrient timing, and a lot of junk food and processed foods to bulk dirty.
The Clean Bulk Diet includes:
- Healthy fats: olive oil, fish oil, avocado, nuts, fatty fish
- Complex carbs: oats, quinoa, brown rice, sweet potatoes, white and brown rice
- Lean Protein sources: lean meats, poultry, fish, tofu, legumes, tempeh, eggs, and egg whites, protein powders
- Healthy snacks: yogurt, fruit, trail mix
- Fruits: berries, apples, bananas, oranges, grapefruit, pineapple
- Vegetables: broccoli, carrots, spinach, kale, peppers, green beans, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, zucchini, carrots
- Legumes: black beans, lentils, kidney beans, garbanzo beans
- Beverages: water, green tea, herbal tea, black coffee
- Supplements: vitamins and minerals, protein
Basically, you have to make sure you’re eating plenty of healthy, whole foods, paying close attention to your macronutrient intake, eating smaller, more frequent meals, and staying hydrated at all times.
The goal of a clean bulk diet is to bulk healthily by fueling your body with quality foods so you can build lean muscle without packing on the fat.
Are there supplements for Bulking?
If you are bulking, it is essential that your diet provides enough calories and protein. If this doesn’t happen then supplements may be able to provide the necessary nutrients for success in gaining weight or increasing muscle mass – which will help with recovery after intense workouts.
Supplements are essential to every bodybuilder’s program. They are designed to help you reach your goals by providing the nutrients that you might not be getting from your diet.
Below are my favorite bulking supplements:
- Protein powders
Protein is the most important macronutrient for building muscle mass and is a convenient and easy way to get in your daily protein intake.
They typically contain a blend of protein sources, such as whey and casein, which are easily absorbed by the body. These powders can also be helpful for people who are trying to lose weight, as they can help you feel fuller for longer after eating.
- Legal steroids
Legal steroids are a great way to help you bulk up without having to worry about the side effects of illegal steroids.
They can help increase your strength, stamina, and recovery time, which will allow you to work out harder and for longer periods of time.
Examples include D-Bal, Anadrole, Trenorol, and DecaDuro.
Learn more about them here.
Creatine is a substance that is naturally produced in the body and is used for energy production.
It can also be found in foods such as meat and fish. Creatine supplements can help increase your strength, power, and muscle mass. It is one of the most well-researched and safe supplements on the market.
- Weight gainers
Weight gainers or mass gainers are high-calorie supplements that are designed to help you gain weight. They typically contain a blend of protein, carbs, and fats, as well as other nutrients such as vitamins and minerals.
Weight gainers can be helpful for people who have a hard time gaining weight or who want to bulk up quickly.
Final Thoughts – dirty or clean bulking?
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to dirty vs. clean bulking. It really depends on your preferred approach to building muscle mass.
Dirty bulking is a weightlifting and dieting approach where you eat whatever you want in order to gain muscle mass.
Clean bulking is a weightlifting and dieting approach where you limit your caloric intake and only eat healthy, clean foods in order to gain muscle mass.
If your goal is to put on as much size as possible as quickly as possible, then dirty bulking may be the right choice for you. If your goal is to lean out and get ripped, then clean bulking is the better option.
Between both, I prefer and recommend the clean path because lets you bulk up while staying healthy.
What are your thoughts on dirty vs clean bulking? Let me know in the comments or contact us if you got any questions.