By Austin Perry
As someone who has dabbled into the deep and dark premise that is “dirty bulking”, one might have some horrific war stories, or you may have seen some of the repulsive progress photos that crawl around on Instagram and other social media platforms.
It’s understandable to become frustrated if you’re having difficulty putting on muscle mass or maybe you’ve hit a plateau with your strength training and need to find a way to improve strength.
Here’s where things begin to barrel down a one-way road to pure fluffiness and poor health.
All hope for a proper offseason program gets thrown out the window and the recklessness journey of dirty bulking begins.
As the saying goes, “Eat big to get big”.
Well, in some cases, this quote gets to be a bit too literal in the sense that people will begin to shed any common sense with proper diet and go straight to hitting up their local McDonald’s for 5 bags full of burgers and fries.
The dirty bulk is a simple method of eating whatever is in sight and staying in a caloric surplus in order to gain as much size as possible. With no proper nutrition protocol, you can enjoy any and all foods you want since the main goal is to build as much size as you need.
I mean, you’ll gain weight and might build a lick of strength this way but you’re probably going to look like you’ve been stung by a nest full of wasps and will find yourself needing to catch your breath every time you walk up a flight of steps.
But hey, you’re putting on the size and the scale is going up.
What could be so bad about that?
You see, dirty bulking is like taking an old Honda Civic and putting an aftermarket exhaust on it.
You’re essentially taking your horrible dieting aspect and continuing on with your training program expecting quick results.
You might gain the size that you want on the scales and your bench might have gone up by a small amount, but you look disgusting.
Let’s take a look at a quick run-down of all cons associated with dirty bulking and how sticking to a proper diet plan can help increase your size and strength while still looking good at the same time.
Dirty Bulking Will Make You Fat
By trading russet potatoes for deep fried French fries and pounding pizzas like your life depends on it, it’s quite obvious what the inevitability of this sustained diet will do to your physique.
Spoiler alert, you’re going to get fat.
During the daily binge eating on fast food items, you quickly lose track of macronutrient calculations, and honestly, I have never seen one individual track macros while enduring a dirty bulk.
The problem with this is the fact that you’re not keeping your intake consistent and you can end up having way more fats one day and the next day will be all carbohydrates depending on where you go.
But all this food will turn into muscle once you work out, right?
If you simply believe that all of this food is good for muscle mass, you couldn’t be more wrong.
You’re going to end up in a vicious cycle of packing on the pounds in the worst possible areas.
If anything, high cholesterol and low libido are going to be in your near future due to all of the saturated fats you consistently take in.
So, if your significant other isn’t digging your dirty bulking looks, you shouldn’t have too much of a problem garnering interest in your special pal below either.
Gaining size the proper way should be heavily invested in so that you can continue to progress without causing issues of too much fat build up.
You Run the Risk of Health Issues
There are countless negative effects of dirty bulking but the most important revolve around potential health risks and diseases.
By consuming fatty foods and maintaining the consistency of a poor diet, you put yourself at risk for serious diseases including heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.  Studies have shown that individuals who have diets containing high fat foods are more likely to increase the risk of developing cancer over time. 
With the dirty bulk in full effect, some might think that you might be able to pack on the pounds more quickly by eliminating cardio from their training regime. This is a big mistake for most as cardiovascular health is essential for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Not to mention, eliminating cardio and eating foods higher in sodium content and saturated fat can cause very serious cardiovascular health diseases by increasing the production levels of low-density lipoprotein. 
As you see the scale start to climb, you’ll also notice that whenever you’re walking to your car or bringing in your groceries, you start to feel tired and fatigued. Shortness of breath is typically one of the main signs that you’re unhealthy and you need to start making a change before things become more serious long-term.
Your health is more important than seeing your max bench increase by 10 pounds.
Putting on weight is never an easy process and if you already have longstanding Body dysmorphic disorder, you’re in for some serious trouble as you get further along with the dirty bulk.
Does the term ‘Body Dysmorphia’ sound familiar?
BDD is an over analyzation of one’s body and can obsessively focus on certain area’s that they might find as issues while others tend to bypass these. 
“Preoccupation with an imagined defect in appearance. If a slight physical anomaly is present, the person’s concern is markedly excessive.” The most common preoccupations focus on the skin (eg, scarring, acne, color), hair (eg, going bald, excessive facial or body hair), or nose (eg, size or shape), although any body part can be the focus of concern. 
You may be dealing with this yourself or may know someone with this disorder and can rectify the negative aspects corresponding with this crippling mentality. So, choosing to go the dirty bulk route when you still feel ‘small’ and/or weak might be the easiest approach for some people dealing with this.
This may turn into lowered self-esteem as the body develops a more softened look while reducing muscular defining appearance associated with a poor diet.
Seeing that your body has taken on a much less physically appealing stature is never a motivating theme and can cause individuals to stress more or become depressed.
While some may enjoy the bulking process and are okay with their body becoming less vascular and defining, others may spiral into something worse especially during the heavy presence of social media where there are fitness enthusiasts constantly posting their photos while at 5% body fat.
Set-Backs Become More Common
Eating like a savage pig with no common ground for diet restrictions will typically cause you to gain weight, hence the coin for dirty bulking while training to speed-up the mass building process.
What you’ve read on forums and opinionated blog posts about how this approach is the best, probably shouldn’t be writing anything in the first place.
Dirty bulking is more likely to set you back from adding muscle mass and will continue to hinder your offseason progress. This is mainly due to the careless nature of eating habits and the processed junk that is being consumed.
Your body needs the vital nutrients for proper muscle growth and by depriving them of these essential features, you’re holding yourself liable to the prevention of this.
Typically, adhering to a clean diet and consuming the proper nutrients and micronutrients, you can expect to see much more progress than a person who is using the dirty bulk as a measurement tool.
Drop everything bro science-related and stick to what’s actually proven without trying to hack the system and find ways around trying to build size faster.
After all, it’s a marathon and not a sprint.
Bulking is not an overnight process and your body’s health will thank you later by skipping the junk food stages and remaining consistent with a healthier diet plan.
Who Can Dirty Bulk?
For the genetic freaks out there with the metabolism faster than the speed of light, dirty bulking is probably the only time where you might be able to get away with eating an ungodly amount of junk foods to put on weight.
While I’m not condoning dirty bulking for above-average genetics, it just works for certain people as they’ve been blessed with the best gift out there.
You may have seen some people post about their experience with dirty bulking and with how much progress they’ve made, you might want to jump on the McDonald’s wagon too because it should work for you, right?
Just like every diet out there, don’t assume that because something worked for one person that it will work the same for you.
Understand your physique and stick with the right offseason plan before you tread dangerous waters.
If you find that it’s hard to push down the calories throughout the day without feeling overly stuffed and having to swallow food with a mouth full of water because you can’t eat anymore, try looking for the following supplements to help increase your daily caloric intake:
Nutrex Research Mass Infusion
Unlike typical mass gainers on the market, Mass Infusion allows you to consume a good amount of carbohydrates, fats and protein you need without being watered down by excess sugars or fillers to help with the taste.
Don’t dirty down your diet with a poor mass gainer, shoot for higher quality with Mass Infusion before you start to derail your diet with other gainers out there.
DIY Mass Gainer
Don’t be afraid to get creative with dietary supplements, try making your own mass gainer with proper additions to a protein powder.
For example, take 1 and ¾ scoops of IsoFit, throw in a tablespoon or 2 of a generic peanut/almond butter, 1 or 2 cups of oats depending on your macro goals, blend up and boom.
You have a protein-packed, hearty meal replacement in liquid form making it easier to boost the calories.
While hard-gainers might find it next to impossible to gain size and resort to dirty bulking, sometimes taking that approach isn’t going to be the most beneficial when it comes to your goals.
Eat Clean, Eat a lot and Train Hard
Hate to break it to you but, slamming back cheeseburgers and pizzas every night is not going to help you build the necessary size and strength when you need it, nor will you be as healthy as someone on a normal diet.
If you have found yourself on Google, researching ways to incorporate the dirty bulk into your life in order to gain size quickly, stop now.
You might find that it will help tip the scales in your favor for a short period of time but that’s just it. It’s only a temporary solution and should not be sustained for long periods simply due to its unhealthy nature.
Most importantly, stop looking at the scales.
Weight will always fluctuate and should not be heavily paid attention to when you’re trying to improve in the offseason. The results will show up in the mirror and in the gym while training.
Push yourself hard during workouts and stick to a good diet plan while allowing some flexibility to add in some extra calories during the week in place of a meal for mental stability as well.
Treat your body well and you’ll see the results in the end.
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5. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2010 Jun; 12(2): 221–232. Andri S. Bjornsson, PhD* Andri S. Bjornsson, Elizabeth R. Didie, PhD Elizabeth R. Didie, Katharine A. Phillips, MD Katharine A. Phillips