the smelly side of bulking eating

The Smelly Side Of Bulking

I finally figured out why the Hulk was so angry.

It wasn’t from the obscene levels of gamma radiation that Bruce Banner took in.

It’s actually that when he developed the giant muscles that made every guy on planet earth jealous, he was ACTUALLY angry because of the giant bulk he was on.

He got to eat, but he was so uncomfortable in the process that he ended up raging on all of humanity, getting the entire US Defense force on his tail.

When you finally decide to put your abs on hold for a while and go through a bulking program, you may just hear angels sing and see the heavens open up. You get to start eating more food!

Pizza isn’t completely off the table, you can have 4 (or 8) tacos on taco tuesday with friends, and can have LOADS of bacon.

If you can commit to being a less lean than normal, you’re going to reap the benefits not many guys can commit to.

Not only do you get to eat more food, you’re going to watch your strength explode. What used to be a 1RM deadlift will now be something you can lift for 5-10.

Even though you’re trying hard, it doesn’t end up being the muscle-building fairytale you expected it to be.

You’re much gassier than normal. And your significant other is taking notice. She starts asking if you’re feeling okay because your apartment starts to smell worse than a barnyard.

You don’t even have a dog to blame it on either.
And even though you get defensive, you REALLY don’t feel good. Your stomach feels like complete trash.

Those farts that she’s noticing are even starting to make YOU feel nauseous. You’re bloated more often than not, and you feel full ALL the time.

Just looking at food causes your stomach to turn.  

It’s not as fun as it sounds.

Not only that, but you haven’t enjoyed time on the throne in 3 days.

While your weight is increasing, you’re not sure if it’s worth it.
Turns out, you’re facing a very similar problem most guys have when adding muscle.

You spend so much time filling our faces with the food that is going to help build muscle that we never realize our gut and stomach are suffering. And this means not enjoying eating or food as much as you could.

THis common problem is easily fixed though.

You need to know this though. Gaining muscle isn’t a walk in the park. It IS uncomfortable. Any time you try and break through where your body normally sits, it’s going to cause some discomfort.

You’re going to feel full more often than you don’t, and you’re going to wish you can take a break from eating.
But with that being said, you shouldn’t have to suffer through multiple days wishing you could drop a deuce, or dealing with gas so bad it could wake the dead.
If you are dealing with these issues while bulking, take a look at the list below. It might just save your stomach AND your marriage.

Alright. Lets get into it.

the smelly side of bulking abs

You’re Eating Too Much Food/Aren’t Consistent With How Much You Eat

Is this for real? Can you really have TOO much food when you’re bulking?

Yes, absolutely. Your body lives in homeostasis, a fancy word for balance. When you increase your average number of calories, you’re throwing that balance off. Your body is going to do whatever it can to equal out that balance.

But it’s okay! You don’t need to worry. By increasing the intensity in your workouts you’re increasing your overall energy output, meaning that the extra calories you’re consuming are BUILDING THAT MUSCLE.

A good lean bulk will have you eating 500-700 calories over what your baseline is.

You only eat 500 calories above your maintenance calories so your extra energy goes to building muscle, not storing fat.
Eating above that 500 calorie surplus is where the excess fat and giant bloating comes from.

Don’t know what your baseline is? Multiply your bodyweight by 13-14 and that will give you a rough estimate of what your baseline is.

For a 200lb man, you’re going to multiply your weight by 14, giving you a baseline of 2800 calories. For his bulking calories, he’ll set his calories at 3300-3500.

As long as your weight goes up at rate of roughly .5-1lb/week, and your lifts are going up too, you’re on track to sweet, sweet gains.

Where your bloating is going to occur is if you think that if you have more food, then it means you’re going to get stronger faster.

That’s a big no no. Adding in an extra cup of oats or more rice at dinner is going to give you a stomach that hates you for the rest of the evening. Plus, you run the risk of gaining extra fat, and not that muscle you’re working so hard for.

If you’re someone who struggles to gain weight, the first few days you have 3500cals/day, you probably will have a little bloating. That’s normal. But if you find that the bloat happens from sunrise to sundown, and you can’t stand to look at another slab of meat, then you need to look and see if you’re eating too much food.  

But just because you THINK  you’re eating enough food, you may not do it consistently.

One day you might eat 3500 calories, the next day it’ll be 4000, and the next day it will be as low as 2000.

You have to NAIL the consistency of how much your eating. Without the consistency, you’re going to have that uncomfortable bloat AND not gain any weight.

the smelly side of bulking chef

You’re Not Eating Enough Fruits and Veggies

Bulking isn’t all pizza and pop tarts.

Yes, you’re eating a high amount of calories. You’re going to be pounding a lot of food that is a little more calorie dense than nutrient dense. Not only that, it’s going to take priority over your nutrient dense foods like fruit and veggies.

Not only will they provide the fiber (which we’ll talk about), but they have the micronutrients that your gut and muscles need.
SO for the love of your sweet gains, don’t flipping forget your veggies.

Fiber is Your Friend

If you want to make your bulk as uncomfortable as watching Deadpool with your grandma, then completely forgo this essential nutrient.

If you like to poop (which we all do), then you can’t forget about this.

Fiber comes in two forms: Soluble and insoluble.

Soluble fiber is what you find in wheat, barley, beans and legumes. This fiber dissolves in water, and slows down absorption of sugars and cholesterol into the blood. This is why high fibrous foods like beans and whole grain wheat aren’t great as an immediate post workout meal.

Then there is insoluble

This is the type of fiber that’s in veggies. Think of the outside of a celery stalk, or what makes it so you can pull broccoli apart.

Since we as humans don’t have the enzyme to process this like cows, it doesn’t dissolve in our blood stream and we end up pooping them out.

Without this fiber, your life is going to be miserable, because all that food you eat is going to stick to the inside of your guts causing you to bloat like a stuck pig.

Probiotics to Aid Digestion

In case you didn’t know, you have a bacterial infection in your stomach.

Yup. There is an outbreak. With hundreds, or even THOUSANDS of different types of bacteria in your stomach, you CAN’T stop it.

But there is good news.

This bacteria is essential though for your health. Without this healthy bacteria, you couldn’t break down food you eat. This bacteria is largely responsible for how much of that food you absorb into your body.

And as the bodybuilding master, John Meadows has said, “You aren’t what you eat. You are what you absorb”.

A probiotic is a consumable food that helps build this helpful bacteria, creating a strong stomach and improved digestion.

Foods that are considered natural probiotics are greek yogurt (or even better kefir), sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi.

Adding all of these probiotics at the same time might just wreak havoc on your gut. Just like when adding a new element to your training program, add ONE probiotic to aid in your digestion.

the smelly side of bulking abs

You’re Eating Food You’re Body Can’t Actually Handle

Heard about GOMAD, AKA Gallon of milk a day?

This is bodybuilding folk lore that you hear bodybuilders used to gain obscene muscle when they weren’t peaking.
When you think about it, there is a perfect amount of carbs, fats and protein in milk, so why not give it a go?

So you try it, like the gullible, dude desperate to build muscle (hey it’s all good. We’ve all been there). But as it turns out, pungent farts and the nasty bloat you’ve come to hate greet you with open arms instead of bigger, stronger shoulders.

Most people have a food insensitivity. Not that it creates a huge problem when eaten normally, but if you eat it in excess quantities, like when you’re bulking, you create a problem you couldn’t foresee.

There are 6 major foods that can cause major irritation. These foods are typically soy, eggs, wheat, dairy, shellfish, regular fish, nuts, and eggs.

If you’re having gut issues, take a look at if you recently added a larger volume of these foods to your diet. If you did, slowly phase them out one at a time to see if you have a more relaxed stomach and less gas. When you find it, and your intestines calm down, you’re going to feel like you hit the lottery.

With bulking, you get to have a little more fun, a little more freedom to eat whatever you want because you aren’t AS concerned about staying under a certain calorie goal. BUT it can cause some serious bloating and unbelievable smells.

With these 4 tips, your bulk can be a smooth sailing process to bigger muscles, a higher squat or bench PR, or a happier marriage because your gas doesn’t smell like rotting flesh.

About the Author

Linden Ellefson is a personal trainer and online coach from Calgary, Canada. When he's not drinking coffee or playing with his dog, Taco, he's helping 30-40 year old guys get in better shape than they were in college. Find out more at