What Is Dirty Bulking? (My Experience)

what is dirty bulking

What is dirty bulking, why do people do it, and is it even bad? Well, if you want the answers to those questions, my fine readers, strap in! As I educate you on the how, why, and what of dirty bulking.

I will also be sharing my own personal experience with dirty bulking; as some of you may know, I have dabbled with it in the past with mixed results.

Anyways let’s get into the meat of the article and answer the question, what is dirty bulking?

What Is Dirty Bulking?

Ok, so what is dirty bulking, like what’s the definition? According to Healthline, dirty bulking refers to a period of forced rapid weight gain in order to promote muscle and strength gains for strength sports, and other team sports. (You can tell these guys don’t lift).

In reality, any bulk that involves you eating a diet that consists of primarily low-quality junk food, i.e sweets, fast food, chips, etc… in order to pack on as much size as possible in the shortest period of time should be considered a dirty bulk.

Some people also consider any bulk that has you going over a caloric surplus of 500 as dirty, which I would also have to agree with, as once you go over a caloric surplus of 500, you’re just going to be putting on a lot of unnecessary fat.

Ok, so what is dirty bulking? Well, we have 2 different definitions.

Definition #1- eating a diet that primarily consists of low-quality, highly processed, crap foods.

Definition #2- eating too many calories (regardless of food quality), and gaining weight too quickly resulting in unessacary fat gain.

So which one is it? Well, I believe they are both right. Which brings us to definition number 3, my definition of a dirty bulk, which is obviously the correct one, as this is my blog, and my word is law here.

So, what is dirty bulking?

Definition #3 (the correct one)- Dirty bulking is the process in which one exceeds a healthy caloric surplus (500 cals) in order to gain weight in a rapid time frame, for strength performance, and muscle growth purposes. This unhealthy caloric surplus is usually achieved through the consumption of low-quality, highly processed foods, in order to put on weight as efficiently as possible.

Ok, that was a mouthful, but anyways if anyone of your bros asks you what is dirty bulking, just respond with that.

Is Dirty Bulking Bad?

what is dirty bulking

Now that I answered the question of what is dirty bulking, I would like to discuss the matter of, whether is it bad to dirty bulk.

In most cases yes, dirty bulking is far from the best course of action, however, in some very unique, and rare circumstances it may be the right thing to do.

If you’re extremely skinny, and cannot gain weight you may want to do a short dirty bulk. Keyword there being short.

Now when I say extremely skinny I’m not referring to the average 135-160 lb skinny dude. I’m talking borderline anorexic, Kevin Durant-looking mother fuckers. Those guys who need to put on 10-15 lbs as fast as possible just to properly function.

Now if you’re just a regular skinny guy. Like you don’t have an eating disorder, and you eat a regular, normal diet, dirty bulking is not the way to go. Trust me I would know.

So for those of you who ask what is dirty bulking, and if can I do it, I just want to tell you right now, the cons of dirty bulking, heavily outweigh the pros.

First of all, it’s disgusting, putting all of that garbage into your body. You constantly feel bloated, lethargic, and sick. You also develop a really unhealthy relationship with food.

After my little dirty bulking stent, I fucking hated eating. The thought of eating made my stomach sick, which is why I had to go on a mini-cut just to let my system recover and reset.

Second, you gain a ton of fat. You will be strong, but your physique will go to absolute crap. Your face will get puffy, and you’ll probably have a bit of a gut by the end of it.

You see, even though clean bulks may be harder, and much more tedious, in the long run, they are far better than the dirty bulk.

My Experience With Dirty Bulking

what is dirty bulking
155 lbs at the start of the dirty bulk
what is dirty bulking
187 lbs at the end of the dirty bulk. When you ask the question what is dirty bulking, well here’s your answer.

Ok, so my experience with dirty bulking can be best described as a gradual fall from grace.

It started out well enough, with me actually getting some pretty good results in the beginning. I got stronger, built muscle and kept my body fat under control.

Which makes me think that for those of you asking what is dirty bulking, and how can I use it effectively, I think short quick bursts would be the way to go, as it did give me some pretty good results in the beginning.

However, eventually, my horrible eating habits caught up with me and resulted in me becoming a bloated mess. This looks like the opposite of a before and after.

I went from looking fairly aesthetic to looking like a guy you’d see in your local Walmart.

Yes, I was much bigger, and stronger in the picture on the right (even though it may not look like it), but I looked like shit, and even worse I felt like shit too.

So what is dirty bulking? Dirty bulking is a bodybuilder’s hell.

The funny thing was I thought I was jacked, especially in T-shirts. In all reality, I was just chubby.

Now how did I get here, how did I let myself spill over this bad? Well, my friend, I ate in an extremely heavy surplus.

I’m talking 5000 cals a day (what is dirty bulking, this, this is dirty bulking). Now, why the hell did I eat 5000 calories a day, well at the start of the dirty bulk I was a high school basketball player.

I was doing absurd amounts of cardio and was still losing weight on 4000 calories per day.

So the 5000 calories a day was just right for me until I quit playing basketball, which was around halfway through the bulk.

So for the second half of the bulk, I was eating 5000 calories living, a normal everyday life, which resulted in me blowing up like a beach ball.

How Did I Eat 5000 Calories Per Day

For those of you who are still wondering what is dirty bulking, well this is the definition of it.

Ok, so how in the hell did I manage to eat 5000 calories per day? To be honest, I don’t even know how I did it. It was gross, it was disgusting, and sometimes it was physically painful.

I get sick just thinking about all of the bullshit I was putting in my body.

There were days when I would just drink tablespoons of olive oil, in order to get calories in. It was extremely unhealthy, and I wouldn’t recommend this lifestyle to any of you.

My dirty bulking diet mainly consisted of these foods:

  • Olive oil
  • Eggs
  • Peanut butter
  • Ice cream
  • Pizza
  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Bread
  • Milk
  • Oats
  • Fish
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Rice
  • Steak
  • Pasta
  • Sausages

If it was high in calories, and easy to put down I would eat it. I even made my own mass gainer shake that tasted like hot garbage.

I made the shake with a cup of oats, 2 cups of milk, 3-6 tablespoons of peanut butter, 4-8 tablespoons of olive oil, and some type of flavouring to help me drink it (if there was room in the cup).

The shake was absolutely disgusting. Anyways those foods, willpower, and a shit ton of free time allowed me to eat 5000 calories per day and resulted in me looking like the Michelin man by the end of it.

Can Dirty Bulking Be Useful?

99% of the time dirty bulking is not the right move. However, for the 1% of you who need to gain a certain amount of weight as quickly as possible, a dirty bulk when done in very short aggressive bursts can be beneficial.

So if dirty bulking in short bursts can be beneficial, how long should you dirty bulk for? I would say no more than 1-2 weeks. Anything past 2 weeks, will result in you just gaining unessacary fat.

However, I just can’t think of many scenarios where gaining as much weight as possible in the shortest amount of time (regardless of food quality) would be beneficial.

I think for the majority of you, a clean bulk is the way to go. Now, what is a clean bulk? A clean bulk is when you eat in a 250-500 calorie surplus of primarily clean, healthy, whole foods.

Even though the weight gain may not be as fast on the clean bulk, you’ll gain much leaner, and be able to stay at a relatively healthy body fat percentage for the duration of your bulk.

So for 99.9% of you, dirty bulking will be a useless waste of time, that will just end in you getting fat and having to do a longer cutting phase.


What’s Considered A Dirty Bulk?

I would define any bulk that has you going over a surplus of 500 as dirty. I would also say that if your diet mainly consists of low-quality, processed, junk food (regardless of calorie count) that you’re also dirty bulking.

What Is Dirty Bulking Vs Clean Bulking?

Dirty bulking is when you eat primarily dirty foods and greatly exceed a 500 calorie, caloric surplus. Clean bulking is when you eat within a 500-calorie surplus, with the majority of your food intake consisting of high-quality, unprocessed, whole foods.

How Long Can You Dirty Bulk For?

If you are going to dirty bulk (which you shouldn’t), you should only be doing it for 2, maybe 3 weeks at a time.


what is dirty bulking

Well, I hope I answered the question of what is dirty bulking. If you liked this article you can find similar content by browsing the rest of the blog.

I hope I warded a few of you off of embarking on your own dirty bulking journey, as I can tell you from experience, it ain’t worth it.

With that, I’ll catch you in the next one, peace.

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