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Muscle-Building Workout and Diet


What’s up, guys? Sean Nalewanyj on www.SeanNal.com – www.RealScienceAthletics.com,
and in today’s video is something a little different. I want to go back and talk about the time
that I got really fat. I managed to dirty bulk my way up to 227 pounds
at five foot nine. Not actually realizing at the time just how
much fat I had gained or realizing how far off course I actually was with the approach
that I was taking. So this was about ten years ago, I was 22
years old, during my later years in high school I walked around at about between 185 to 190
pounds. I wasn’t super lean but my body fat was still
pretty reasonable, somewhere around the mid-teens, and I was pretty strong and muscular at the
time and I took my training really seriously back then. And then once high school was over, I had
my online business going, I was working for myself I had a lot more free time available,
and so I decided that it was time to really push things to the next level with my training
and put on some serious sights and basically just get as huge as I possibly could. Now, unfortunately the time like a lot of
lifters out there, I just didn’t have a real understanding or a real appreciation for the
true genetic limits of muscle growth for natural lifters. And also the fact that the longer you’ve been
training, the slower the muscle gains are gonna come. And at that point I was probably already carrying
you know 85 to 90% of the total muscle mass that my body was capable of building naturally,
meaning that just to gain even one or two pounds of extra muscle would probably take
several months up to a year or more of hard focus training, but again, I just didn’t know
it at the time. So I did what a high percentage of misguided
bodybuilding trainees do, which is to basically just cram as much food into my face as I possibly
could, as much as my stomach could handle. I remember my breakfast was this huge homemade
shake that I drink out of a big measuring cup. I remember it was skim milk with two scoops
of protein powder, a banana oatmeal, yogurt, not the plain yogurt but the ones that are
flavored and loaded with tons of sugar, then two big scoops of peanut butter, flaxseed
oil, olive oil, and sometimes I had ice cream to it, too. So that shake was easily twelve hundred calories
or more, might have that same shake both in the morning and at night before bed, and then
during the day I’d have to solid food meals which were also pretty high-calorie, and then
in between the two solid meals might also have a weight gainer shake. I never tracked calories back then, but it
was probably somewhere between, I’d say 4,500 to 5,000 calories a day on average, somewhere
around there, which for me is a crazy amount, especially considering that I don’t actually
have that big of an appetite. And then on top of that I was out of high
school now, so I wasn’t playing sports regularly like I used to, no daily gym classes and I
was working really hard on my online business, so I’d spend most of the day just sitting
at the desk or on the couch at home. So I was basically doing zero cardio on top
of all of this. The problem with dirty bulking though, is
that once you cross a certain body fat threshold and your muscle definition is mostly covered
up, you really can’t directly see whether what you’re gaining is actually lean muscle
or fat, because all you really see is just your overall body size in general just getting
bigger and bigger, and if you don’t understand the basic math in terms of realistic muscle
growth rates for a natural and your strength in the gym is also going up consistently you
just assume you’re packing on a bunch of muscle, when in reality the majority of it is fat. So to make a long story short, I kept up with
this ridiculous approach, I kept training hard and essentially forced feeding myself
like a farm animal, I can’t even remember how long this went on for, but the scale just
kept going up steadily, 205, 210, 220, just under 230, and I just figured, Hey, man this
is great, I’m bigger than ever, I’m stronger than ever, I’m killing it, I’ve made great
progress, let’s do a quick cut now and I’ll be in my best shape ever. And again, because like a lot of lifters out
there, the muscle gain/fat gain ratios in my mind we’re just way out of whack in terms
of what is actually realistically attainable. I figured if I just draw up, maybe, 15 pounds
of fat then I’d be sitting there at a lean and muscular 210 to 215 pounds. So I took some before pictures which are the
ones that I showed earlier here, here’s another awesome one for you to enjoy looking very
attractive there, and after I took those pictures that was kind of my first inkling that maybe
I was a bit fatter than I realized, maybe I had gone a little overboard. This was back before smart phones. This was like 2008 and I had one of those
crappy little flip phones I couldn’t take pictures, so I wasn’t taking regular pictures
of myself during my bulking phase because I just couldn’t be bothered to pull up my
digital camera and take a bunch of pictures. So I was pretty much just going by the mirror
all the way through. And the thing is that when you see yourself
every single day in the mirror you just get used to your reflection and then because the
changes in size are so gradual, it’s just really easy to not realize how much you’ve
actually changed over time. But I remember I took those pictures, had
a look and I was, like, okay, yeah, I’m definitely carrying some pretty decent fat here. This is more than I realized, but let’s just
do this cut and let’s see what happens, and this is kind of where the rude awakening comes
in for guys who dirty bulk and that’s where you start cutting and you’re losing fat consistently
and you’ve dropped an amount of fat that you thought would make a big difference to your
physique, but yet no abs or muscle definition of any kind is anywhere to be found. So that’s what happened to me, I got down
to 220 still fat, got down to 210 still fat, 200 still pretty fat, and it wasn’t until
I got back to my normal previous weights down toward about the 190 range that the leanness
slowly started to come back, and at that point it just hit me that all throughout that bulking
process I had really only gained a very small amount of actual muscle despite all the effort
I had put in. All the hard training all, the food I had
stuff myself with to get to 227, and all the months of dieting to get back down again. And given all of my previous training experience
and how much muscle I was already carrying before I started it, it really shouldn’t have
been a surprise, but I just didn’t know any better at the time. And this is why I’ve made several videos in
the past and talked many times before about why dirty bulking is generally just a bad
idea for most natural lifters. And that’s because your body can only make
use of so many calories in a given day and you can only gain a pretty limited amount
of muscle during any given week, or any given month, and any calories you take in beyond
that maximum point are just gonna end up as body fat. For a beginner you’re probably looking at
around 300 calorie daily surplus for optimal results, and about two pounds of overall weight
gain per month, three at the very most, and then the rate of weight gain should slow down
by about half for every consecutive year of proper training after the first. And the total size of your calorie surplus
should also go down over time as well since you aren’t going to be able to build muscle
at the same rate the more experience that you’d gain. So maintaining a moderate controlled surplus
and focusing on making slower, leaner gains over the long term is generally the best approach,
because you’ll just look and feel better throughout the entire process, you’ll still build muscle
at or near your maximum potential, and it also means less time spent cutting later on,
which is a big plus, since dieting is obviously no fun, and because it will also allow you
to spend more time focusing on muscle gain rather than having to shift your focus onto
dropping body fat that you didn’t even need to gain in the first place. So, just use my past experience as a reminder. And on the plus side at least the mistakes
that I made with dirty bulking can hopefully help some people out there avoid going down
the same route. I know it’s tempting once you get into “muscle
building mode” that you just want to go all out with it, and it also makes it easier
to justify overeating because you can just tell yourself that you need all those extra
calories to make the gains, but it’s just not the reality because you really don’t need
a huge surplus to maximize your muscle growth over any given date anyway. And if you remain disciplined enough to stay
within a healthy body fat percentage year-round, I wouldn’t recommend bulking past probably
18 to 20% as a maximum cap for males, then you’re gonna thank yourself later on since
you won’t have to do that long drawn-out cutting phase in order to lean back down. So, thanks for watching guys. I hope this story and this advice was helpful. If you do want to learn all the details behind
mapping out a proper training and nutrition program so that you can maximize your muscle
gains while staying lean at the same time, then you can check out my Body Transformation
Blueprint by clicking up at the top of the screen or by visiting www.BTBluePrint.com,
that covers everything in a step-by-step format including fully structured training routines,
meal plans and supplement guides. For those who are new to the channel my brand
new science-based pre-workout fish oil and multivitamin are also now available over at
www.RealScienceAthletics.com, the link for that is in the description box. And make sure to hit that like button, leave
a comment and subscribe below if you haven’t already, in order to stay up-to-date on future
videos. Thanks for watching, guys. And I’ll see in the next one.

100 thoughts on “My Epic Dirty Bulking Fail (30+ Pounds Of Fat Gain)

  1. I just measured my bodyfat at the end of my bulk (via dunk tank) and it was a little over 2% less than when I started my bulk despite me looking way more like a fat fuck (not an ab in sight) I have no idea if I'm just terrible at cutting and only cut muscle for some reason or what. At least you didn't lose muscle. Thatve sucked.

  2. Im recovering from this situation right now, im 18 right now been lifting for 2 years (and ive started with a ton of knowledge, so.. not much ‘newbie’ regrets) i got to a REALLY sweet spot after 9 months in terms of size, bf%, strength and everything considering my age and maintained that for another 9 months then i decided fuck it im gonna dirty bulk.. i easily ballooned up from 150 pounds (height of 5’7) to 185 pounds in a matter of 3-4 months and holy shot was that all just water/bloat and mostly fat.. fucking regretted it (all my clothes became tight and i was very uncomfortable) but luckily I’m starting to lean out these past 3 months..IMHO if you wanna look good as a natty just stay relatively lean because fuck being big and tryna explain that you’re “just bulking bruh”

  3. Ich dirty bulked from 180 to 215 in just 3 months, i wanted to bulk until february ao i can shred after that
    But i began shredding now, cause i feel really fat
    But my weights by training got really high fast, that was nice

  4. Drug free trainers should never, ever dirty bulk. You’ll only get fat. You can’t force feed growth. You should eat like you’re cutting except have bigger portions. All the good stuff like whole grains, lean proteins, healthy fats. You’ll be a lot leaner, healthier and look better in a lean bulk. It’s body building, not body bulking.

    If you’re getting fat, do more in the gym.

  5. I started dieting 5 months ago and gained a lot of muscle eating 1200 calories a day. Started at 6’0 225 now 200. My arms grew from 16.5 to 17.75. So I don’t think you need to bulk if you already have body fat

  6. Great video Sean. I can definitely relate to this, as I made the same mistake…twice in a row! It's amazing how your mind plays tricks on you, convincing you that you are looking really fit, when in reality you are just really fat! Currently in the process of a grueling cut lasting over 8 months, where now toward the end I am losing reps on several of my key lifts and suffering from reduced recovery and a shoulder issue (time for a diet break, I suppose). The general rule I will follow from now on is…never be more than 2 months away from your goal body fat percentage.

  7. Same here man. When I first started working for 5 months I made little to no progress. I was 130 and gained like 2 pounds. Over the summer I bulked HARD. I went from 130 to 170 but my lifts still made little progress and I was a fat fuck. I did a cut and restarted everything I knew. Made some good progress and still am.

  8. I don't think your personal experience is enough to disprove this method. Everyone is different and everyone's body is going to react differently in the cutting phase. I think how you transition from a high sugar diet takes more time and consideration. If you had adapted your body to using fat as it's primary source of energy before trying to cut calories, I think that may of saved a lot of the gain you may of made, but didn't see on the dirty bulk. I'm not an expert. But I also agree that eating healthy and gaining learn muscle over time is typically the better choice. I just think if you're a certain kind of athlete like a football player or wrestler, or maybe you are more aware of your body, you may be able to get far more effective results. The biggest factor could also just be genetics and your body reacts to bulking and cutting.

  9. Man, this happened to me too… I was eating junk food and my gym lift improved sooo dramatically.. I was like.. man… m gonna be hulk if I keep eating… but when the cut came in…. I saw that power drop back… again… I was stronger.. but… huge amount of carbohydrates were giving me insane amounts of durability? after I started cutting those carbohydrates .. I saw a huge power drop.. 🙁 but meh.. lets do it good this time.

  10. My newbe gains my first 7 months where insane i went from 155 to 184 hit a wall after that then went vegan lost 10lbs couldent get it back back to eating some meat and the 10lbs are on there way back for sure doing more cardio and lower body this time around to see if i can get the insain ab definition instead of the yeah thows are pretty good abs i tend to keep

  11. Sean Ur physique in your before pic at age 22 is incredibly amazing bro. I dunno how that is a before, that physique was crazy, I can imagine what you look like now with the years of exp.

  12. You reminded me of me back then. Until I decided to educate myself. I started getting better at it. I started seeing clearer results. I now even want a future in it.

  13. I am at similar height as you are around 176-177 cm tall and currently in bulking faze at around 89 kg/196 lbs but oh buy do I feel fat and gassed sometimes, It just isn't for me and I was always on the lighter side

  14. Doing this right now lol 5,8 almost 200 pounds. I feel like shit and bloatet all the time. I would be much fatter if i werent working in a physical demanding job. Yet i never was this strong before and training feels awesome.

  15. Dammit i already achieved my natural limit i just guess by 80% (i train for 7 years) and wanna get bigger but dont wanna take roids. Maybe peptides?

  16. Sometimes, you don't even recognize that you are dirty bulking. For example: I plugged in my numbers into a tdee calculator and it put me at something like 3300 kcal to build muscle. Oh boy…I got strong, yeah. But I also got fat…very fast. So I had to cut down again and tried something different, Got fat again. So I had to find my Kcal myself which is more around 2800 kcal on training days and 2600 on rest days. And then of course there are days like the weekend where I tend to be less active and by that I mean like half active during the day. Gotta factor that in too. Now I am gaining weight like 300-400 g a week. Which still might be a bit too much, but this way I won't have to keep bulkiong and cutting in 3 months intervals which kinda made me stall for a long time.

  17. everyone pretending like they didnt know the dangers of a eating like a fat slob nah you knew it but blocked it out… Humans are all champions of rationalizing bad choices

  18. I have been in a calorie deficit for just at 1 yr.
    Starting at very sloppy 212lbs at 6ft 1.
    Im now down to just under 150 at 149 right now and i am considering reversing into a clean bulk.
    I feel im down to around 12 to 13% ballpark on body fat , can see a full six pack in proper lighting flexed.
    But to be honest im scared as heck to get any lighter then i am to get leaner.
    Do you feel im at a good spot to start lean bulking because I really want to add some pounds to my frame just not the pounds i used to carry.
    Thank
    For the great videos

  19. I did the exact same thing! But I only went up to 196lbs. Took forever to diet down…and for what!?

  20. Never dirty bulk. In the 90’s the train of thought was to eat clean like in a contest diet but eat a bit more to gain mass. Balanced meals are best.

  21. This is one of the reasons why I love Sean's content. He doesn't take himself too seriously. It's educational and informative. Also the cutscenes were hilarious.

  22. I did this also… Bulked all the way up to 250lbs at 6ft ..
    I was around 25-26%bf.. Now im cutting.. Already down to 220 but still fatty. I need to go to around 200 to bulk again slowly..

  23. Thanks for the great video . Was informative . I recently just finished my bulk . Dirty bulking can be so easy and hard to stop once get used to it. Started as a lean bulk but those almonds and power crunch bars are addictive

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