Bodybuilding can be pretty expensive.
From buying whey protein to pre-workouts to BCAA’s and the latest “must have” supplement, it’s pretty obvious that you need some deep pockets if you’re going to take it seriously.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, there’s plenty of cheap bodybuilding meals out there that cost only a dollar or two, and that take only a few minutes to make.
Dirty bulking costs even less.
While dirty bulking isn’t necessarily the best “long term,” solution, for all of you broke hard gainers out there trying to get jacked…here’s my advice.
When I was in college I used to practically live off of this stuff. For just a few dollars, you can get a 12 pack of Maruchan Ramen.
That’s literally 16 cents for a 380 calorie bowl of ramen with 10 grams of protein and 52 grams of carbs.
There’s a million flavors of ramen, too—beef, shrimp, chicken mushroom, picante beef, and more. If you ever get tired of one flavor, there’s a dozen over flavors that you can try for literally pennies on the dollar.
As for the protein source, tuna is one of the cheapest out there—you can get a 6 pack of tuna cans for like $5 at Walmart.
Each can has roughly 26 grams of protein, and zero carbs.
Of course, it’s not as delicious as a high quality whey protein, but hey—we’re not eating for taste, here. We’re doing a fucking dirty bulk.
To make it more appetizing, mix it with some BBQ sauce, microwave it for a couple of minutes, and voila, you’ve got brisket.
A meal of 2 cans of tuna and 2 blocks of ramen has over 60 grams of protein and 900 calories—add in the BBQ sauce and it jumps up to 1100 calories.
All of this costs only $1.50 and can be made in under 10 minutes. Boom.
Back when I was in college there was this local grocery store that I used to hit up all the time for my dirty bulk.
They’d have this special every Wednesday, where you could pick out any 12 donuts you wanted, and get them for $4. Four fucking dollars.
I’d always load up on the Boston Creme, Chocolate Glazed, and other high calorie donuts to get the most bang for my buck.
One Chocolate Glazed donut is a whopping 360 calories, and one Boston Creme donut is around 420. How’s that for some serious bulking?
You still need protein, though, which is where the whey comes in.
If you’re doing a dirty bulk, you could probably get away with mass gainer like mutant mass, but isolate is far cheaper.
Just put two scoops in some water, shake, and eat a few donuts.
When I was trying to bulk up a while back, I’d always have 2 scoops of whey protein and 4 donuts right before bed.
This “meal,” if you can even call it that, had around 1700 calories and 54 grams of protein—all for just a few bucks.
Best of all, it took literally seconds to make. I didn’t even have to prepare the donuts, I’d just whip them out of the plastic bin and eat them.
Just scoop some whey into your blender bottle, fill it with water, shake it up, and drink. Easy.
Just be sure to avoid common scams, like GNC whey protein. They’ll charge you twice as much as other brands, and give you shoddy results.
Back when I started my first official dirty bulk, I used to have one of these bad boys every single night before bed. Was it delicious? Yes. Did it make my bedroom smell like a gas chamber? Yes, it did.
While this may not be as healthy as a clean bulking diet, it’s definitely a great cheap bodybuilding meal for the short term.
One tub will only run you a couple bucks, and can pack up to 1,500 calories depending on the flavor. That’s a great calorie to cost ratio right there.
Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is also fairly high in protein, with some of their flavors having up to 20 grams per tub.
While this isn’t really a “meal,” it’s a great last snack before bed time.
If you’re a hardgainer, eating 1,000+ calories of sheer fat and sugar right before you sleep, will ensure that your body puts on weight.
Again, while this isn’t necessarily the healthiest option, it’s probably okay to do it in the short term.
I ate a different flavor every night for about 3 months, and packed on a whopping 30 pounds of solid muscle.
Now, this was in addition to following a great workout routine, as well as taking some SARMs though, but it’s still 100% possible if you try.
The McDouble is the cheapest and most calorie efficient fast food burger out there…period. It’s got the best bang for your buck.
I can’t remember who, but some famous economist did a study on this and discovered that it’s the most nutrient dense food you can get for the price.
You can get a McDouble for just $1 on the dollar menu, and it’s got 380 calories with 23 grams of protein. Not bad at all.
I recommend you get two of them for 760 calories and 46 grams of protein—but you still need your carbs, though.
Pop Tarts, while not glamorous, are an extremely cheap and efficient way to get some calories in.
They’re also super portable, because you can take an entire box with you anywhere; to the gym, in your car, in your backpack, it doesn’t matter.
My favorite flavors were S’Mores and Brown Sugar Cinnamon, when I used to have 2-3 packs a day. Just one pack has 400 calories and 72 grams of carbohydrates, which is great if you’re a hardgainer.
Combine this with 2 McDoubles and you’ve got yourself 1160 calories for just $3. You’ll get from skinny to buff in no time at all.
Hopefully some of these dirty bulking meals will aid you on your quest in building muscle, shredding fat, and getting jacked.
But, nutrition is only one part of the equation. You also need to learn about training, supplementation, and recovery as well.
If you want a full bodybuilding guide, that covers weightlifting, nutrition, and supplements, consider checking out Body of an Alpha.
It lays out EXACTLY what you need to do, if you want to get that lean, shredded physique, that turns heads at the beach.
In fact, here’s some of what you’ll get with Body of an Alpha:
So, if you’re serious about bodybuilding, training, and getting your dream body, consider checking out Body of an Alpha today.
If you guys have any questions, comments, or concerns, let me know in the Disqus section down below—and, as always, I’ll see you next time.
Dirty bulking is where you eat whatever you want, so long as it fits your macros, to gain as much muscle as possible. The benefit of dirty bulking is that it tastes good. It's also very easy to do, when compared to doing a clean bulk.
Users can gain a lot of muscle on a dirty bulk, but the downside is that they can also gain a lot of fat. Many powerlifters choose to do dirty bulking, because they only care about increasing strength, whereas many bodybuilders avoid doing a dirty bulk.
Doing a clean bulk is where you eat a very clean diet, in order to gain as much muscle as possible, without gaining any fat. Users doing a clean bulk typically eat a lot of chicken breast, brown rice, broccoli, and other lean meats and complex carbohydrates.
It depends. If you're a hardgainer, it might be a good idea to start off with a dirty bulk. Clean bulking is almost always healthier in the long run, but doing a dirty bulk in the short run can be a great way to put on a lot of muscle very quickly.
There's a lot of great dirty bulking meals out there, and it depends on how cheap you want to get. If you want to get as cheap as possible, simply consuming whey protein and donuts is a great dirty bulking meal option.
Other great dirty bulking meals include pizza, hot pockets, Chinese food, and Ben & Jerry's ice cream. As long as you're getting enough protein, the goal of a dirty bulk is to consume as many calories as possible, so eating junk food helps with this a lot.
Jon Anthony is a dating coach, fitness expert, and self-improvement guru. He dropped out of college to start Masculine Development in 2015, and has since been self-employed, helping men across the world achieve their best lives. You can best reach him on social media, or via email for questions.