The Difference Between A Lean Bulk And A Dirty Bulk

Back in the day, bulking up followed by dieting down was the way to go. Bodybuilders would eat everything in sight. Often they would force feed themselves. For example, after a meal, they would force themselves to eat a PB&J (or 2) and drink a glass of milk. This was the standard way to bulk up. Then, come spring, they would diet down and, in theory, reveal several pounds of new muscle. A dirty bulk is not much different. On the other hand, a lean bulk is slower but cleaner. In this article, we will look more closely at each of these options and review the 5% supplements that can help.

What Is A Dirty Bulk?

As hinted above, a dirty bulk is somewhat like the old-school bulk-up approach. Instead of force-feeding yourself, you’re simply eating whatever you want. No foods are off-limits. While that might sound good, a dirty bulk is packed with problems. 

Of course, the first problem with a dirty bulk is that you are eating a lot of junk calories. Depending on what kind of foods you like, you might find yourself eating a ton of sweets, lots of fast food, or both. The problem is that while you’ll most likely bulk up, it will mostly be fat. 

“But”, you say, “I can do more cardio”. True, but the point is to gain muscle, not live on the cardio machines. After a dirty bulk packs on the pounds, you are left to figure out how to lose all the fat you’ve gained. Not to mention, you’ve got to get back into shape for summer again. 

What Is A Lean Bulk?

With that in mind, a lean bulk makes more sense. What is a lean bulk? It’s eating high-quality, clean calories. You just eat more of them. As outlined in the 5% article “Fall/Winter Mass Gaining Plan”, the best place to start is to multiply your current weight by 18. This gives you a daily calorie starting point. You then adjust your calories up or down based on how you respond. 

What About Women?

The best place for women to start is to increase daily calories by 200 per day. This is even easier than multiplying by 18. This assumes that you have been eating at a maintenance level, and haven’t gained or lost any weight. Once you increase calories, monitor your progress. If you haven’t gained anything in 2 weeks, add another 200 calories. 

What 5% Supplements Can I Use?

5% Nutrition has all the supplements you need to bulk. If the goal is to build muscle, we have some exciting supplements. We’ve got the basics, like Real Carbs, Real Carbs Rice, Real Carbs + Protein. We also have must-haves like Freak Show, TEST, and Turkesterone 1200

What’s even better is that you can pull products from our Core line and stack them with our proven favorites. For example, TEST, our new test booster and soon-to-be-proven favorite, can be stacked with Core D-Aspartic Acid and Core ZMA. How about stacking Core L-Citrulline with Full As F*ck and 5150? Freak Show, our insulin mimicker can really be stacked with anything. This innovative supplement optimizes the carbs you eat, making them available for building muscle.

See all these products here.


The bottom line is that bulking up does not have to be hard. You don't have to end up gaining too much fat. You can gain lean muscle, and come spring, be in a great position to get cut for the stage or the beach. Just make sure you do it with 5%!

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