In this post I examine the question What is bulking?


You see a bodybuilder or fitness enthusiast, he or she is fat, but at the same time muscular.

So you ponder and ask yourself, why the person is fat-muscular, or fat-fit?

By all means you probably are seeing a person, who is in a bulking phase.

What are Bulking?

Essentially, bulking is just a phase of gaining muscles during a fitness regimen.

It involves eating a lot of calories, gotten mostly, from protein sources, and staying through to a workout regimen.

In this phase the individual in question, undergoing a bulking phase, looks buff, and a little bit fat.

Bulking Techniques (Types)

There are three main techniques or types of bulking:

  1. Clean bulking
  2. Dirty bulking
  3. Lean bulking

Clean Bulking

In clean bulking as the name implies, the individual eats clean. In other words, the individual undergoing the clean bulking, abstains from processed foods, and instead eats clean organic foods.

Also, clean bulking follows a strict time frame, in which the person, has a set nutritional intake in place.

Furthermore, cardio can be incorporated into the bulking phase, and adequate rest is observed.

Essentially, clean bulking is planned, and is mostly practiced by professionals, who know what they are doing, and know the target results they are aiming for.

Dirty Bulking

Unlike clean bulking, dirty bulking involves doing the opposite of clean bulking:

  1. Calories are not monitored
  2. Junk food is allowed and is fair game.
  3. Sleep is not put into consideration
  4. Healthy food is the same as unhealthy junk food.
  5. Cardio is done from time to time but is not enforced, etc.

Lean Bulking

The third type of bulking is lean bulking. In this type of bulking, the person is careful in watching the rate at which he or she, gains fats.

In other words, lean bulking focuses more on gaining muscle weight not fat weight.

As a matter of fact, lean bulking is a type of clean bulking, as all the rules practiced during clean bulking are enforced in lean bulking.

But unlike lean bulking, the rules followed in a lean bulking phase are a lot stricter.

Like for example, during a lean bulking phase, cardio exercise maxed out, as much as possible or as much as the body can handle. So that the body doesn’t gain any fats from eating such amount of calories.


Generally, the workouts during a bulking phase is not different from workouts done by people staying fit.

Although, more focused is put on the area or target muscle the individual is trying to build up.

For example, a person, trying to build bigger chest muscles, will focus on chest building exercises like bench press etc.

Another person focusing on building leg muscles will focus their attention on squats, dip and hauling.

Depending on the type of bulking been practiced, cardio is enforced in varying degrees.

Careful care should be taken when choosing the amounts of sets or reps during workouts during this phase.


Mostly bulking is meant to add muscle mass to the body, and for that reason, the main class of food consumed during a bulking phase, is protein.

Carbohydrates are also consumed in generous amounts to fuel the insane amounts of energy burned up during workouts.

Vitamins and minerals from vegetables and fruits, or in some cases supplements is also a welcomed addition.

Also, water is necessary, since 70% of the human body is composed of water, as it helps in recovery and regulation of some body functions.


The major benefit of bulking is to add muscle mass. Subsequently, with more muscle mass, comes the increase in strength of the individual.

Also, it helps in improving blood flow in an individual, since the individual will be spending more time in the gym, burning off, the food eaten.


Mostly the drawbacks of bulking arises when it is a dirty bulk. Some of the common drawbacks are listed below.

  1. Risk from increase in blood pressure.
  2. Risk from injury due to strenuous workouts and cardio
  3. Sleepiness and drowsiness, due to excessive consumption of food.