Clean vs. Dirty Bulking by Lauren Findley

 

Ah, the age old debate: the clean bulk vs the dirty bulk. Which is more beneficial? Which will lead to the most gains? The truth is, I’m sure everyone wishes they could dirty bulk and get away with it. However, much of this depends on your metabolism and how quickly your body puts on fat in the off season. If your metabolism is extremely fast (i.e. you’re a “hard gainer”), it’s possible that a dirty bulk (essentially eating whatever you want, and lots of it) is the quickest way to Gainsville. I personally have never dirty bulked before (sigh), but, as mentioned, there are pros and cons to bulking both ways!

For me, clean bulking is the best way to gain muscle during my improvement season while not putting on a ton of unnecessary weight. Now, what the heck is clean bulking? A clean bulk is when you eat in a caloric surplus, but you are consuming whole, nutritious foods and meeting certain requirements of protein, carbs and fats. Right now, I cycle the amount of carbs I have (higher and lower days, then repeat). Another tool I utilize is the good ole stair master – I never stop doing cardio a few times a week.

A question I often get asked is, “Do you ever get to enjoy treats, or “non-diet” food? The answer is: Absolutely! A common misconception is that, since I am following a structured diet, I obviously only eat boring foods and never get to enjoy myself. During a clean bulk, I still get cheat meals. Hellooooo, sushi and burgers!

As I currently embark on my clean bulking adventure during this improvement season, there are certain muscle groups I am focusing on. Mainly, I want to bringoverall size to my legs, and that has been my main priority! This means quads, hamstrings, glutes, and don’t forget those stubborn calves.

Aside from lots of food, awesome training sessions and the occasional date with the stair master, I am also utilizing Cell KEM and Glycoject to ensure this growing season is as beneficial as possible. Cell KEM helps with my pumps in the gym, and most importantly, my post workout recovery. If your muscles don’t recover properly, they will not grow! Glycoject is a fast-acting carbohydrate that gives me the endurance to power through those tough (and frequent) leg days, shuttling the carbs to those hard-working muscles and fueling the most grueling workouts.

My current off-season supplementation protocol:

Pre-workout:

1 scoop EVP Xtreme

Intra-workout:

1 scoop Cell K.E.M.

1 scoop GycoJect

Post-workout:

1 scoop IsoJect

Pros & Cons of Dirty Bulking

 ProsCons
Clean BulkLess fat gainSlower progress
HealthyRequires planning and preparation
Easy to maintainLess gains
Dirty BulkWeight GainHigher body fat percentage
Muscle GrowthBat eating habits
Reverses catabolic stateFat Gain

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