Can Weed Improve Your Gym Performance?

by Skye
Can Marijuana Improve Your Gym Performance?

Let’s get this out of the way: marijuana possession and sale in most places will lead to your arrest. It’s illegal. The only reason why I’m posting this is that this was an actual question we received – so, it got me thinking and I wanted to answer. Make no mistake, this is not an endorsement of weed – or any drug use, for that matter.

For our friends in Cali, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Mass, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Alaska and Washington… light up and sit back, we’re about to consider the fascinating question of what happens to your body when you exercise high. For the rest of us, consider this a, you know, purely hypothetical exercise.

The stoned mind is a place of wonder, and the question has probably crossed your your friends mind… whether exercising high is a good idea.

Here are some facts to consider:

  • Exercising high can actually improve performance: time slows down, you focus intently on each little twitch of each little muscle fiber, you’re in the zone, man. A toke can kick your bodily awareness up a few notches and have you performing more smoothly and more mindfully.
  • Weed alleviates nausea, decreases pain and boosts mood. Many users report taking their time and finding renewed appreciation even for what used to be the tedious parts of their routine. Because of course they do.
  • A now-famous study has shown that the “munchies” phenomenon doesn’t much seem to affect overall body weight, with regular pot smokers having lower BMIs than average.
THC can certainly help you power through a difficult set and notice snags in your form you may not have noticed before. But long-term use is probably a bad idea.

It’s not all reggae and good times though.

Despite what millions of herb devotees say in online forums, marijuana doesn’t look too good as a long term performance enhancer:

  • With complex tasks that require concentration and razor-like focus, marijuana will likely make you a much, much worse athlete. On the upside, you’ll probably find that delayed reaction time pretty hilarious.
  • Research is ongoing, but marijuana can have unpredictable effects on hormone levels, especially cortisol, and disrupt HPA axis functioning, which will suck extra if you already have hormone imbalances.
  • For some people, lighting a joint just doesn’t give them the overwhelming urge to do anything except sit on the couch and eat delivery pizza. Your mileage may vary, etc.
  • The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) bans cannabis outright.

So hypothetically speaking, should you light up before a heavy gym session? It depends. THC can certainly help you power through a difficult set and notice snags in your form you may not have noticed before. But long-term use is probably a bad idea, especially if you’re doing team sports or anything that requires particularly explosive responses or fine motor control or drug testing.

Save the wacky tobacky for occasional marathons or extra gnarly weights session. You know, hypothetically speaking.

What to do now?

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