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dirty bulk

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 - www.3jsdiet.com3jdiet@gmail.com.

BodyBuilding Books

Body for Life

Bill Phillips had been publishing bodybuilding magazines and marketing nutritional supplements for years when he had a weird revelation at a trade show: many of the most loyal and enthusiastic readers he had were totally out of shape. From that uncomfortable realization came his popular Physique Transformation Contest (top prize that first year: Phillips’s own Lamborghini), now world famous, and this book.

The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding

From elite bodybuilding competitors to gymnasts, from golfers to fitness gurus, anyone who works out with weights must own this book — a book that only Arnold Schwarzenegger could write, a book that has earned its reputation as “the bible of bodybuilding.”

Men’s Health Huge in a Hurry

Men’s Health Huge in a Hurry will add inches to your muscles and increase your strength, with noticeable results quickly, no matter how long you’ve been lifting. Author Chad Waterbury offers the most current neuromuscular science to debunk the fitness myths and conventional wisdom that may be wreaking havoc on your workouts and inhibiting your gains. Forget lifting moderate weights slowly for lots and lots of sets and reps.

101 Ways to Work Out with Weights

A book for women who want to improve or start a weight-lifting routine. Another follow-up to our successful 101 Ways to Work Out on the Ball, this book targets another piece of inexpensive yet powerful equipment – dumbbells. Many people buy them but either use them incorrectly or not at all because they’re not sure how. This book gives 101 different exercises for upper and lower body that you can do in the gym or at home.

The New Rules of Lifting

Want to get more out of your workout and spend less time in the gym? Many guys devote so many hours to lifting weight yet end up with so little to show for it. In many cases, the problem is simple: They aren’t doing exercises based on the movements their bodies were designed to do. Six basic movements—the squat, deadlift, lunge, push, pull, and twist—use all of the body’s major muscles.

Encyclopedia of Bodybuilding

The Complete A-Z Book on Muscle Building

Strength Training for Women

A personal trainer in NYC’s Upper East Side, Pagano has dedicated the past 16 years of her life to passing her knowledge and passion for fitness on to other women in the hopes of helping them improve their lives and prevent common diseases like osteoporosis. Her first offering in the crowded self-help fitness genre succeeds impressively well as a resource for women of all ages looking to improve their overall health.

The Body Sculpting Bible for Women

It’s body sculpting at its best–the best exercises, the best nutrition plan, and the best training schedule out there, anywhere. The Body Sculpting Bible for Women, Revised Edition is now bigger and better than ever! Now with updated and revised material, it contains all the original detailed exercises that made it a bestselling phenomenon

Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder

Five-time Mr. Universe, seven-time Mr. Olympia, and Mr. World, Arnold Schwarzenegger is the name in bodybuilding.

Here is his classic bestselling autobiography, which explains how the “Austrian Oak” came to the sport of bodybuilding and aspired to be the star he has become.

The Russian Kettlebell Challenge

If you are looking for a supreme edge in your chosen sport—seek no more!

Both the Soviet Special Forces and numerous world-champion Soviet Olympic athletes used the ancient Russian Kettlebell as their secret weapon for xtreme fitness. Thanks to the kettlebells’s astonishing ability to turbocharge physical performance, these Soviet supermen creamed their opponents time-and-time-again, with inhuman displays of raw power and explosive strength.

Hardcore: Ronnie Coleman’s Complete Guide to Weight Training

Ronnie Coleman is HUGE…and you could be, too. From modest roots to international hero, Ronnie Coleman transformed himself from a skinny teen to the biggest man to ever win the Mr. Olympia title. In the most complete collection ever assembled on Ronnie’s training and nutrition program, this amazing champion reveals growth secrets you can use in your own muscle-building quest.

Athletic Development

Athletic Development offers a rare opportunity to learn and apply a career full of knowledge from the best. World-renowned strength and conditioning coach Vern Gambetta condenses the wisdom he’s gained through more than 40 years of experience of working with athletes across sports, age groups, and levels of competition, including members of the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, and U.S. men’s 1998 World Cup soccer team.

Macrobolic Nutrition

Many people want to attain the muscles and lean body of a bodybuilder but wonder how to do it right. Some have been pumping iron but haven’t been able to get the results they’re striving for. This book gives readers the key to attaining that sculpted body without wasting their efforts in the gym. It explains the principles of the Macobolic Nutrition plan, which can be used to get bigger, leaner, and healthier.