T Nation

Dirty Bulk as a Teen?

Wondering if its good to dirty bulk as a teen. I’m pretty lost right now. And not just eating shit foods but just lots of clean calories. Like 5K. Will this be good for a teenager?

How old are you? As a teen, just eat and train hard. Don’t worry about calories and minutia especially if you aren’t planning to compete. Eat what you can and really push your lifting and conditioning and you’ll be fine. I honestly don’t see the point in actually “dirty bulking” ever really. It’s just an excuse for fat dudes to keep eating junk in my experience.

  1. But not junk calories just lots of clean food

So, a dirty bulk with not-dirty food? Makes sense. Long story short, “dirty bulks” are almost always a bad idea and guys who did them basically look back after and wish they did things differently.

What’s your height, current weight, general fat level (“very fat”, “pretty lean”, etc. The exact percentage doesn’t really matter), and current training plan?

Those are all basically what determines how many calories you need to grow. There’s almost-definitely no need to jump to 5,000 calories per day.

Also, while we’re at it with questions, what exactly did you eat yesterday?


I did a “dirty” bulk and now have to sit around and cut for ages, just eat and grow at a descent rate and get stronger whilst doing it. I maintained pretty much the same bodyweight whilst eating properly and training hard and my gains were about the same if not better overall.


Eat lots of real food. Eggs, beef, potatoes, etc. Dirty bulking serves a very small crowd and, had it not been for the internet, probably nobody would know about it. The problem is that a lot of the food guys will grab on a dirty bulk is junk dense and not nutrient dense.

1 Like

Use this young age to develop healthy and sustainable eating habits so that, as you grow into an adult, the pattern is already established. THAT will set you up for success. One of the most difficult obstacles I observe newer trainees attempt to overcome is a lifetime of eating like a child once they decide to pursue fitness. It’s very difficult to course correct, especially the longer you’ve done it.

This means to avoid extremes and focus on moderation. Eat the amount of food necessary to achieve your goals, and learn how to cook it yourself.


Yeah man, that was what i was wondering. How much do i need to reach my goals. I’ve heard that skinny teens should eat a crapload of food. But as i said, 5000 CLEAN calories, not junk food. Is it more optimal to bulk on 5000 clean calories if i want to get as big as possible?

Eat enough to put on a little bit of weight each month, 2 - 8lbs. If that’s 5000 calories, so be it.

Do you want to get as big as possible or as muscular as possible?


there’s no need to jump straight in with 5000. Start at 3000 and if that’s not enough bump it to 3500, then 4000, then 4500, etc.

But be patient, yeah? Even in a caloric surplus you’ll be building muscle slowly. If the scale weight is flying up you can bet your sweet ass you’re getting fat.

1 Like

dirty bulking is for steroid users, you will just get fat


There is something off putting about referring to a 16 year old as having a sweet ass, but otherwise I support this statement, haha.


I always considered a dirty bulk eating a shit ton without tracking calories. The “dirty” being the extra fat gained while putting on muscle. I have seen a lot of issues when food starts being seen as good or bad.


The biggest issue with the “eat everything in sight” approach is you end up losing or diminishing the ability to sense hunger and your body basically starts wanting food all the time - even when full.

This makes dropping weight a shit of a task.


Agree. I would never advise someone do that. I myself eat in a surplus of 250-500 calories whatever nets me around 1lb a month.

For me, a dirty bulk is a bulk that uses sugar and corn/soybean/other high linoleicacid oils to boost calories.

1 Like



at your age i was eating like a pig and training like a beast ! im happy with my shape now 5 years later ! its time to eat and train like you want dude

5000 calories are 5000 calories, whether from good foods or junk. So being it’s highly unlikely you need 5000 calories, you will wind up getting fat eating that much. Yes, we should aim to make good choices but you can get fat from those if you eat too much. How much do you weigh? How do you look? Do you have pictures? What’s your routine?