Why I Always Toke Before I Work Out
I turned 30 back in January, and as a result, had a bit of mid-life crisis. I was 30, single, and could generously be described as a bowl of mashed potatoes dropped on a barbershop floor. It wasn’t pretty. So, I decided to truly commit to my personal fitness like never before. The thing is, for the last five or so years, I’ve lifted weights pretty consistently. Well, maybe I was consistently trying to be consistent, and if I did 15 minutes of cardio, it was a good day. Still, though, I’m strict with my diet, and my portion control and snacking are generally under control. All that was left was taking that determination to invest in myself and turn it into action.
So, I did what every health-conscious person does: I found a workout, put together a playlist, packed my gym bag, and got stoned as all get-up before. Then I went to the gym, came home, and did it all again the next day.
For context, I go to the gym six times a week, doing six days of cardio alongside three days of lifting. All told, I spend about 90 minutes exercising, being high for that makes it exponentially easier to get through. I’m more focused on my exercises, I’m not complaining in my head about working out, and it can help make time fly by, especially during cardio. Ask your running friends if they ever toke before they jog. You’ll be surprised by the answers.
Now, this is more than just a stoner (me) who likes doing literally everything high (and I do). There’s actual science behind the benefits of smoking cannabis before a work out. A 2013 study from Drug and Alcohol Independence found that THC levels actually rose in regular pot smokers who had smoked prior to 35 minutes of exercise. That’s right, exercise can get you higher. Science, everyone.
This is the part where I should stress that each person’s relationship with marijuana is going to directly impact how it will affect your workout. I’m lucky enough to not melt into the couch after smoking, no matter the strain, because I have a high tolerance, and because I force myself to not let that happen. If I ever miss a workout because I’m too high, something terrible has happened in the world and Satan is making snow angels.
Having said that (thank you, Curb Your Enthusiasm), marijuana affects everyone differently, so you should be mindful of your own limitations. If you’re not a regular weed smoker, I wouldn’t recommend launching headfirst into some marathon training after smoking a joint.
If, however, you are interested in using cannabis before your next workout, I’d recommend starting lightly. Hit a bowl once, maybe twice at the most. Don’t overdo it, and definitely don’t keep smoking until you feel it. Keep it at no more than two hits, and I promise you that by the time you get to the gym, you’ll be in the perfect headspace for your workout.
There are benefits to cannabis use after the gym, too. Cannabidoil, or CBD, has all the benefits of THC with none of the high, and is a known anti-inflammatory. Using some CBD-based cream is great for reducing pain and easing sore or achy muscles. If you’re like me, though, there is no better feeling than smoking that first bowl after you’re home from the gym and showered. It’s not just a feeling of accomplishment. It’s a feeling of satisfaction, self-reward, and relaxation unlike any other high you might get.
Again, this is just my own personal experience. I’ve been smoking marijuana for a long time, and have been working out for about as long. They’re both central parts of my life (I work in the cannabis industry), so it’s easy for me to blend the two and still go about my day.
I can’t tell you what will work for you. I can only tell you what’s worked for me, and that’s smoking some indica, lifting heavy weights, and then running for extended periods of time, in that order.
If you’re up for it, give it a shot. Just be sure you actually lift and run after smoking that indica.