Dirty Bulking For Vegans

As a vegan, it can be tricky to bulk like someone who is not a vegan. Bulking is typically a high-protein phase of a diet cycle and relies on meat products. During this phase, vegans tend to lean towards high-protein grains such as lentils, beans, and tofu.


There are two types of bulking for either vegan or non-vegan: clean bulking and dirty bulking. Each individual needs to pick what kind of bulking is correct for their goals and lifestyle.

What is Dirty Bulking?

Bulking refers to intaking a controlled surplus of calories to promote muscle and strength gain. This intake is combined with resistance training to encourage strength and muscle gains


The number of calories eaten is more than calories burned, leading to weight gain in fat or muscle. Dirty bulking takes this surplus of calories to the next level with no foods off-limits. 


A dirty bulker diet can consist of fast food, pizza, and other junk foods. The goal is to gain as much weight as possible in a short amount of time. The high-calorie and high-protein food are mixed with adequate training and rest periods to promote a gain in mass.


A clean bulk is still done to increase body mass and muscle growth but makes more health-conscious food choices. High-protein meals are essential in a clean bulking. A clean bulking does not gain weight as quickly as a dirty bulk, but the weight gained is more muscle than fat.


In bodybuilding (see also ‘How To Use Cream Rice for Effective Bodybuilding‘), bigger is typically better. An advantage of dirty bulking is that it gets you bigger faster. This method is used by individuals who have difficulty gaining fat or muscle (see also ‘What is a SARM and How Can I Use it Safely to Gain Muscle?‘)  (see also ‘What is a SARM and How Can I Use it Safely to Gain Muscle?‘)  (see also ‘What is a SARM and How Can I Use it Safely to Gain Muscle?‘) . 


Eating a surplus of high-fat calories increases weight and mass more quickly than clean bulking. Clean bulking relies on protein for a more controlled, slow gain of lean muscle. If you have trouble gaining weight, a clean bulk may not work.


Dirty bulking is effective if your goal is to gain weight. The math is simple. If you eat more calories than you burn, you will gain weight. With dirty bulking, the surplus of calories gained by eating bags of potato chips and ice cream cones will make you gain mass more quickly than clean bulking.


While there are advantages to a dirty bulk, there are also disadvantages. The weight and mass gained is more than likely fat, not muscle. It takes a lot of training and cutting after your bulk to get your physique back to lean muscle.


If you are not strict with your training plan while on your dirty bulking period, all of that mass gain will be fat gain and make muscle gain difficult.

Another disadvantage to a dirty bulk is your overall health in general. Some bodybuilders and powerlifters focus only on muscle and mass gain, but there is more to consider in your diet and exercise.


Fast weight gain increases the risk of heart disease. All of those cheeseburgers and chocolates are not a healthy diet, putting you at a higher risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart failure. High sugar intake takes an overall toll on your body.

Can You Dirty Bulk as a Vegan?

The vegan diet cuts out all meat, poultry, fish, dairy, and other animal products. Cutting out this many food groups from your diet can make gaining weight more difficult. Many vegans get frustrated when they try to gain weight because most food they consume is not high in calories.


Dirty bulking can be done as a vegan. Vegans do not have a hard time getting carbs in their diet with all the grains they eat, but protein and fat are where vegans can have trouble getting into their diets.


The trick is to get your calories from high-calorie vegan snacks like soy, oils, nuts, and avocados. High-protein foods like lentils, beans, and soy are good for bulking on a vegan diet.

Guide to Vegan Dirty Bulking

If you are stuck at a weight and cannot seem to gain any mass, try this guide to bulking on a vegan diet. If you have been trying to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time, you probably have not had much luck. This concept is counterproductive and makes your goals seem impossible.


Gaining mass has to do with both your diet and exercise program. If you are looking to bulk on a vegan diet, first adjust some of your training methods. First, stop doing so much cardio. If you want to gain weight, lay off the running. It is okay to gain fat during the bulking process; that is the whole point!


Second, it is okay to lift fewer times per week. You do not have to go to the gym seven days a week and train all muscle groups each time. Instead, go to the gym 3-4 times a week and focus on one muscle group daily. This focus will increase the usage of each muscle group and cause it to grow substantially, especially with the increased calorie intake.


Third, get your fats in. Without dairy, it can be difficult for a vegan to get an adequate amount of calories from fat during the bulking phase. You can’t use this as an excuse to not eat fat. If you are choosing to eat a vegan diet, put forth some effort and get your fat consumption in.


Avocados are a great source of fat for someone on a vegan diet. They are composed of 77% fat. Most of this fat is monounsaturated fat. Avocados are delicious and versatile and can be incorporated into any meal of the day. 


Nuts are another great source of fat for a vegan diet. There are so many options when it comes to nuts that you can still get your nut intake even if you don’t like certain ones. You can choose walnuts, pistachios, almonds, pecans, cashews, Brazil nuts, and many more. They can be eaten plain straight from the bag, or as nut butter spread on a piece of bread. Nuts make a quick and easy, high-fat snack for someone on a vegan diet. Eat them plain or season them with your favorite spices for a great high-fat snack.


Chia seeds provide a high amount of fat for a small amount of food. Just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds provide 8.5g of fat. Chia seeds provide omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids to a vegan diet. These essential fatty acids are typically consumed from fatty fish, so chia seeds are a great alternative to fish on a vegan diet. These fatty acids are essential and are not produced by the body, so it is important to consume them in your diet.


Coconut and coconut oil are high in fat content. The meat of the coconut can be eaten as a snack or made into a dessert. Coconut milk and coconut water are great alternatives to dairy products on a vegan diet. Coconut oil is great to use in desserts or frying foods. It can also be added to coffee to increase fat intake.


Extra virgin olive oil provides essential fatty acids in a vegan diet. It is rich in polyunsaturated fats. Extra virgin olive oil provides omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Just one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil provides 14 grams of fat. Extra virgin olive oil can be eaten raw by adding it to salads or can be used to fry your meals. 


Like chia seeds, flax seeds are high in fat and are one of the richest plant-based forms of omega-3 fatty acids. One tablespoon of flax seeds has 1.8g of omega-3 fatty acids. They can be eaten topped on a salad, ground into smoothies, or added to your morning oatmeal for added crunch. They are an easy source of fat that can be added to your diet.


No meal is complete without some sweetness. Dark chocolate is a great source of fat to add to a vegan’s diet. Satisfy your sweet tooth while getting your required amount of fat in each day on your vegan dirty bulking phase. A 30g chunk of dark chocolate provides 11g of fat. Dark chocolate not only provides the necessary fat for bulking, but it also sources your body with manganese, iron, antioxidants, and magnesium. Dark chocolate is a superfood that should be added to everyone’s diet.

The Benefits of Using 5 Alpha Hydroxy Laxogenin


Dirty bulking can be tricky for someone on a vegan diet, but you can do it. Do not get caught up in only eating high levels of protein. Instead, increase your intake of fats, reduce your cardio, focus on training specific muscle groups, and do not be scared to gain some fat.

Get enough fats, protein, and carbohydrates, and your dirty bulk will go great. Be consistent with your eating habits and gym attendance, and you will see progress. 

Weigh out the advantages and disadvantages of vegan dirty bulking and find what is best for your goals and lifestyle. Get out there and build some mass. Happy dirty vegan bulking!

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Jason Hughes
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