Coaching strength athletes can be incredibly fun. Athletes are always pushing themselves (most of the time anyway) in the weight room, motivated to hit new PR’s on certain lifts in hopes to lead to big competition PR’s in their respective sport. Athletes get bigger as they age, they move to the college system and every food imaginable is at their disposal in the dining commons. This is where I see the most common mistake amongst all strength athletes (football, weightlifting, powerlifting, throwing, etc…).
Because these athletes are in sports where mass and size are see in a positive light, they will get easily carried away. The athlete will start eating everything in sight, devouring foods high in hydrogenated oils and other lower quality foods that can lead to bulk gains. This is what I like to call the “dirty bulk” or the “fatty bulk.” The athlete makes tons of excuses to eat poorly and just get fat, meanwhile the coach is not holding them accountable with proper nutrition because they are still gaining weight and will continue to hit weight room PR’s, albeit just new bodyweight PR’s because they have gotten fatter and not more swole!
So what the hell is the difference between a clean bulk and a dirty/fatty bulk? I ALWAYS support a clean bulk because weight that is gained with whole foods and just excess calories of whole foods is MUCH easier to shed later in life when general health becomes much more of a concern. Not only can “dirty bulk” foods increase estrogens (soy, hydrogenated oils), but they can also lead to more addictive eating (excess sugar and food laden with addictive addititives like MSG).
Clean Bulk Examples: Raw milk/whole milk/organic whole milk (one of these options), organic nut butter without hydrogenated oils, rice, yams, butter, coconut oil, sourdough bread
Dirty Bulk Examples: Pasteurized skim milk or almond milk (high in sugar), Skippy or Jiff peanut butter with hydrogenated oils, french fries fried in vegetable oil that is rancid (fast food), margarine, use of vegetable oil that is rancid and can cause a rise in estrogen, white bread instead of sourdough or some form of whole grain