Challenges of bulking up?


One of the significant challenges of bulking up, especially through a practice called "dirty bulking," involves not just gaining muscle but also accumulating excess body fat. This approach can have physiological repercussions, such as early puberty in younger individuals driven by increased levels of the hormone leptin. This hormone, secreted more by increased body fat, can prematurely activate puberty through its influence on the hypothalamus and subsequent hormonal cascades. Moreover, there are implications on height growth; accumulating significant body fat at a young age can prematurely close the growth plates in long bones, potentially stunting height 1.

This challenge is particularly notable during puberty, where the body can add significant lean mass naturally. Thus, it's recommended to avoid "dirty bulking" strategies or excessive weight gain to allow the body to mature fully in both height and muscle mass 1.

Dirty Bulking and Growth

Kyle explains how dirty bulking can stunt growth and cause early puberty. Andrew questions whether we are seeing an earlier onset of puberty in males and females due to the increase in childhood obesity. The two also discuss the relationship between body fat and the hormone leptin.

Huberman Lab

Dr. Kyle Gillett: Tools for Hormone Optimization in Males | Huberman Lab Podcast 102