You’ve heard of the terms “clean” and “dirty” bulking before.
On a dirty bulk, you eat anything to gain weight. Bagels, hamburgers and pizza.
On a clean bulk, you eat foods like chicken, rice and broccoli.
If you listen to the fitness and bodybuilding gurus out there… clean bulking is “obviously” the healthiest way to beef yourself up.
Most of the time, they say that because they don’t have any skin in the game and copy some other bulking article they found online. Here’s why:
1. Most people shouldn’t even bulk
Bulking is overrated and bad for most people. No matter if it’s clean or dirty.
If you’re an average guy — who isn’t on a bunch of anabolic steroids — you better eat high-quality food with a tiny calorie surplus.
That’s how you build lean muscle over time.
If you’re an average guy and start bulking, it won’t matter how clean your food is. When you’re on a calorie surplus, a lot of the weight you gain will be fat. A tiny part will be muscle.
And then you’ll need to diet if you want to lose the fat. During that diet, you’ll lose some of the muscle you built during your bulk.
And you’ll need to rinse-and-repeat forever. It’s the bodybuilder’s version of Jojo-dieting.
Warning signs you should NOT bulk:
- You’ve had a high body fat percentage at some point in life. It doesn’t matter if you don’t anymore, you still should not bulk.
- Your bodyweight and BMI is normal or higher than normal.
The only people who should bulk are:
- Naturals who have been skinny all their lives. NOTE: I mean SKINNY. Not FATTIES who look skinny because they have no muscle.
- Bodybuilders who enhance themselves with SARMs or anabolic steroids. Even then it’s arguable whether bulking is necessary.
If you don’t fit into the “should bulk” category and still plan on doing a bulk… you only want an excuse to be a fatass.
Because if you have been fat before, or “normal” based on modern day standards, you’ll gain more fat when you bulk.
You have a higher count of fat cells. All of them want to soak up its fair share of energy.
When you eat an extra 500 kcal a day, more of it stores as fat than if you had been skinny all your life.
But if you’ve been skinny all your life… your body is starving for energy and nutrients to build itself up.
The body has a sweet spot for muscle mass.
If you have less muscle than you should — if you’re skinny — your body will help you on the way to building muscle.
More of the food you eat turns into muscle.
If you already have enough body mass — or more than your body wants — it’s hard for you to grow more muscle.
Your body works against you. More of the food you eat turns into fat.
When I started lifting I was extremely underweight. My classmates in high school teased me and asked if I was an Auschwitz intern.
I began a dirty bulk and stuck with it for a year. By the end, I had gained 40 lbs of weight and was still pretty lean.
There were several reasons I didn’t become fat. I had a decent grasp on nutrition and trained hard every day. But the main reason was that I started out super skinny.
Otherwise, I would’ve only turned into a fat chump.
2. Skinny guys can’t get big on chicken and rice
Chicken and rice are what bodybuilders eat on a diet. Low-fat, low-calorie, and high-protein.
- Fat is important for your health, especially as a man. Bodybuilders get away without. They inject a gram of testosterone in their buttcheeks every week and don’t play by your rules.But if you want healthy, natural testosterone levels you have to eat fat.
- Fat is the easiest way to consume more calories.
- The goal of bulking is to eat more calories. To eat low-calorie food on a bulk is counterproductive.
But if chicken and rice is low in calories, why can’t you just eat more of it?
Chicken and rice is low-calorie food. It’s also very boring. You quickly get satisfied from it.
Skinny guys aren’t skinny because they have a “fast metabolism”. They just don’t eat enough food.
Why don’t they eat enough food?
In a dirt-poor African village, skinny guys don’t have access to food. But in the Western world, food is abundant. Skinny guys merely lack the appetite.
There’s only one way for them consume more calories and gain weight. They need to bypass their low appetite by eating high-calorie and less satisfying food.
It’s stupid to say otherwise. It’s idiotic to tell them they should eat low-calorie, satisfying foods!
S – T – U – P – I – D
There’s one simple strategy for skinny guys to gain weight. They can NOT succeed without following these two rules:
1. You have to eat calorie dense foods that aren’t too satisfying.
- Walnuts are high in calories. But you get satisfied from them. A handful and you’re good. Bad.
- Peanut butter is also calorie dense. And you can eat much more of it. Good.
2. You have to eat food you enjoy — otherwise, you won’t be able to stuff your face with it.
This goes hand in hand with rule #1. Just like bodybuilders on a diet eat boring food, you should eat fun food on a bulk.
I’m not saying to eat McDonald’s every meal of the day. But eat food you enjoy and mix it up.
If you follow these rules, you will — for sure — eat more calories than you burn and gain body mass.
But wait, there’s more: If you make it a habit to eat as much as you can for every meal, your appetite will increase with time.
3. Why is dirty bulking unhealthy?
Fitness gurus always publish articles that say clean bulking is healthier than dirty bulking.
They don’t know it themselves. They copy the words of others. And throw in buzz words where they sound good.
They don’t think about it. They don’t make a case for why it’s so much healthier, and why people should care.
But here are some reasons for why dirty bulking could be less healthy on paper:
Let’s say you eat lots of pizza and donuts on a dirty bulk.
You should not only eat junk food, but eating one cheat meal every day is acceptable.
Pizza and donuts are mostly made out of fast carbs. They give you a higher and longer-lasting insulin spike. When you compare them to slow carbs and protein.
Insulin is what drives nutrients in your cells.
It’s very anabolic and makes you build muscle. But also fat.
If you eat a lot of fast carbs and too many calories, you will walk around with constantly elevated insulin levels. With time, your body will become more resistant to insulin and needs to produce more.
In short: The more insulin your body produces, the more fat you gain.
Eat lots of fast carbs and junk food, and you store more fat with time.
You can combat this by:
- Lifting weights — it makes you more insulin sensitive, which is good.
- Only bulking for a limited amount of time.
And once your bulk’s over, you can restore your insulin sensitivity by:
- Eat less calories
- Cut down on carbs
- Do intermittent fasting
Dirty bulks have an effect on your insulin resistance. But unless you’re diabetic or at the verge of becoming one, it’s unlikely to be a threat to your health. And it will improve after your bulk.
Eating junk food may have a negative effect on your blood lipids.
Junk food can decrease your good cholesterol. And increase your bad cholesterol.
But this doesn’t apply to everyone. Only 20% of the population have the genetic variation that makes their diet influence their blood cholesterol levels.
Everyone else can eat high-cholesterol foods without messing with their blood lipids.
But keep in mind, a bulk phase is a short stint for 6 months tops. You won’t die from a 6-month bulk. You’ll end up bigger, stronger and happier. Then you’ll have an entire lifetime to eat clean and optimize your health.
3. Focus On Other Risks
“In the months after the 2001 terror attacks, passenger miles on the main US airlines fell by between 12% and 20%, while road use jumped.
The change is widely believed to have been caused by concerned passengers opting to drive rather than fly. Travelling long distances by car is more dangerous than travelling the same distance by plane.
However, Professor Gerd Gigerenzer, a German academic specialising in risk, has estimated that an extra 1,595 Americans died in car accidents in the year after the attacks – indirect victims of the tragedy.”
Humans are irrationally scared of low-probability risks because the media or public opinion has set its focus on it.
People do everything they can to avoid low-probability risks. While they’re ignorant — or accepting — of other risks that are more likely to occur.
Newsflash: Bodybuilding isn’t a sport of being healthy. The top dogs inject astonishing amounts of anabolic steroids. They take hardcore stimulants. They spend thousands of dollars every month on artificial growth hormone.
Even if you’re natural, bodybuilding isn’t very healthy. You won’t live longer because you eat tons of dairy, red meat and lift insane weights in the gym. Cutting down to an unnatural body fat level won’t give you healthy hormone levels.
Let me tell you:
Your health is dictated by your lifestyle.
A dirty bulk is NOT equal to a dirty lifestyle.
A dirty bulk goes on for a limited amount of time. 6 months at MOST.
6 months is 0.63% of the average lifespan.
Eating one donut a day for six months, while you’re working out and young, is NOT the same as living like a slob, stuffing yourself with donuts for a lifetime.
If you’re really concerned about your health…
If you want to live as long as possible…
If you want to live life with a stick up your ass…
You should stay as thin as a twig, eat 1000 kcal a day, do light lifting and cardio and eat lacto-ovo-vegetarian.
At least according to popular science.
But you won’t! Because you don’t care that much about health! You want to be big and live a happy life!
So why would you care about the health effects of dirty bulking for a few months? Do you realize how pathetic that concern is?
To sum it all up:
- Only skinny guys should do a natural bulk.
- Skinny guys are skinny due to their bad appetite.
- Their appetite prohibits them from bulking on low-calorie, satisfying and boring food.
- Dirty bulking is the only thing that will help them gain weight.
- Dirty bulking is not a huge health threat to the only people who should bulk — skinny people.
- Dirty bulking should only go on for a few months. It won’t have any lasting effects on your health. It’s not crack we’re talking about.
Until next time,
— Mr. Contrarian