Training, Videos

How Marijuana Affects Your Workouts

This video brings me back to seeing dudes at the powerlifting gym I used to go to in college, they would smoke either crack or meth (not sure, not really an expert on the smell, but the glass pipe was a dead giveaway) before hitting the weights. They sweated a lot, looked like they were about to have a heart attack and they fucking destroyed the iron. There is, however, another substance that many smoke, especially here in Denver and many claim  that a little toke helps them get through a hard session in the gym.

Overall, when you picture someone who smokes weed, a person cranking out heavy reps us about the last thing you think of. But a good number of cycling, triathletes, bodybuilders and runners say it helps them focus, enhances the “runner’s high”, reduces anxiety and helps with recovery. The science has a lot to say about all that.

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As the video above explains, most research points to marijuana being anything but performance-enhancing. You’ll likely exhaust faster, have less endurance and you’ll elevate your heart rate and blood pressure, possibly causing discomfort. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) found in marijuana can reduce stress and pain sensations, which is sometimes a good thing. But when you’re talking about lifting heavy or pushing your body it could cause you to turn a small strain/sprain into a much more serious injury.  Plus, marijuana impairs your coordination and reaction time so injury  while around heavy things is more likely.

It’s not all bad news, though. Marijuana might increase the sensation of your “runner’s high” if you smoke before you run. Also, marijuana is a vasodilator, opening your arteries and veins for improved blood flow which might help reduce soreness by increasing nutrient supply to your muscles. So, while marijuana isn’t going to improve your performance, it might increase your enjoyment of your workout and it might help your recovery. Still, the increased risk of injury is real, so probably not a good idea to smoke a bowl then hit the weights. Save those trees for after.

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