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Will Marijuana Affect My Workout?

Thanks to recent government regulations, marijuana has become available for recreational use in more and more states. It has become a popular choice among those looking to relax, unwind and put the stresses of the day or week behind them.

But what if I told you that it might help to enhance your workout? It may be hard to believe, but here's what you need to know:

Training High Reduces Stress

We all know that stress is the #1 enemy of a healthy body, as it reduces testosterone and prevents a healthy hormonal balance. Well, according to one triathlete and gym owner, training high helps him to relax, puts him in a controlled frame of mind, and helps him to concentrate on what he's doing. He trains smarter and is much more aware of what he's doing. For those who have sloppy form, training high might help you to straighten out and do it right.

Training High Reduces Fear

One writer for Outside Magazine found that skiing while high on cannabis reduced his fear, making him feel "invincible" and giving him the courage to attack more difficult slopes.

Training High Reduces Pain

There are natural pain-killing compounds in marijuana, which is why it is recommended as an alternative therapy for chronic pain. If you're suffering from muscular pain or soreness, training high can help to reduce the pain, making it easier to get through your workout.

Training High Increases Oxygenation

According to one medical study, the THC in marijuana can dilate the blood vessels in your lungs, increasing the amount of oxygen absorbed into your body. This can help to reduce resistance in your airways, making it easier for your body to get all the oxygen it needs to keep up with your workout.

Of course, the good results of training high can have serious negative repercussions.

  • If you are too relaxed, you may not get through your workout properly and finish before you've shredded your muscles properly.
  • Fear is your brain's way of stopping you from doing stupid things. If you think you are "invincible," you may end up doing something your body isn't capable of pulling off -- leading to injuries.
  • Pain is your body's way of telling you something isn't quite right. If you try to "train through the pain," you could end up suffering more serious injuries.

It's also important to note that the benefits listed above come from a "functional high" -- meaning a mild high, where the cannabinoids and THC are reducing pain, stress and anxiety but aren't limiting motor control and clear, cohesive thought. If you get too high, training could lead to serious negative repercussions, including injuries, muscle strains, etc.

Then there are the effects of the smoke on your lungs. If you are trying to do cardio, it's tough to power through a sprint training session when your lungs are unable to absorb sufficient oxygen. The heat and smoke damage your lungs (to a minimal degree -- nowhere near as much as smoking cigarettes).

In the end, it comes down to your choices. If you are going to use marijuana, make sure not to overdo it before training. Know your limits -- both in terms of smoking and training -- and be safe!

Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people. Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise -- he does so six days a week -- and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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