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Dirty Bulking – Not As Dirty As You Think Dirty Bulking – Not As Dirty As You Think
by 3J Nutrition I believe it is time I addressed a misrepresentation that is common in the bodybuilding community when it comes to dirty... Dirty Bulking – Not As Dirty As You Think

by 3J Nutrition

I believe it is time I addressed a misrepresentation that is common in the bodybuilding community when it comes to dirty bulking.  Working with many clients who range from the average joe to pro level bodybuilders, I have come to realize that many people are using the phrase “dirty bulking” to eat foods that are completely unacceptable for the term.

Here is the issue, many people believe that dirty bulking means they can eat pizza and fast food.  The thought of it is obscene to a nutritionist like myself.  The dirty bulk was not made to be an excuse for amateur  bodybuilders to eat like crap and then complain when they realize all they did was gain a bunch of extra body fat with the same amount of muscle they would have gained if they did it correctly.

As a sports nutritionist I follow a strict code of healthy fats, lean proteins, and complex carbohydrates.  For 80% of people this approach is all they need to bulk.  With such measures and a calorie surplus they can gain the 1-2 lbs a week and keep their bulk clean, hence the term “clean bulk” or “lean bulk.”  So where is the issue, you may ask?  The issue comes with people eating crap food thinking that its acceptable in a dirty bulk.  So here is what im doing in this article, I will explain what a dirty bulk is and when its ok to transition to a dirty bulk.

dirty bulkA dirty bulk is not McDonalds, Jack in the Box, KFC, or Dominos pizza – it is not processed foods and trans fats. A dirty bulk manipulates macros into something that would not be considered the orthodox 40/40/20 macro split (protein, carbs, fats) that has been popularized to be the best way to bulk.  When you bulk dirty, your main changes in the diet will be increased healthy fats and a switch from complex carbs to semi-simple carbs.

Here is a short list of complex carbs and semi-simple carbs for reference:

Complex carbs

black beans

brown rice

sweet potato



Semi-simple carbs

white bagel

white bread

white rice

idaho or white russet potatoes

white pasta

The difference between the two is that the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) of semi-simple carbs will sit higher, causing more of an insulin spike per meal.  Insulin is one of the most anabolic hormones your body makes, we like insulin so long as it is used in a controlled manner.

So when is it ok to make the switch between clean bulking and dirty bulking?  Remember guys, dirty bulking is a last resort.  If your clean bulking and eating something like 300g protein, 400-500g carbs, and 70g fats only to find that your not gaining weight, its time to make the changes into a dirty bulk.  The first step is to go from complex carbs in your diet to semi-simple carbs.  When you stop gaining weight there and only then do you start to add more healthy fats.  The increase in calories should not go over about 200 calories per every 5 days.  That allows your body to slowly gain the weight.  Remember guys fast weight gain means fat gain.

I hope this article has helped you understand the difference between a clean bulk and a dirty bulk, and define what a dirty bulk truly is.

If interested in becoming a client for diet advice please feel free to visit my website or contact me through email –