Brutally honest discussion of marijuana and bodybuilding. I don’t care if Arnold Schwarzenegger smoked marijuana, pot and bodybuilding don’t mix so stop looking for excuses to justify your habit. I don’t care if you smoke pot as long as you realize its a vice just as smoking cigarettes, eating candy bars, or drinking alcohol is a vice. I do realize that each of these products DO have some medical uses BUT they are NEVER beneficial to bodybuilding. Please, stop deceiving yourself and just fess up to the fact that you LIKE using marijuana and that its enjoyment is more important than your ability to maximize strength gain or maximize muscle mass gain.
Stimulant. Some of the most effective bodybuilding supplements are stimulants, caffeine, ephedrine, DMAA, dendrobium, yohimbine, theobromine, theophylline , and the like. The reason these are so effective is that they give people that high energy edge in the gym that pushes their limits. Marijuana is the polar opposite of these substances, its an anti-bodybuilding drug.
Stress reduction. Stress reduction is a marvelous goal. Many illnesses, high blood pressure, as well as obesity are caused or made worse by stress. Meditation is a great way to lower stress. Daily strenuous cardio is a great way to lower stress. If you are smoking pot without trying these first then you are just using it as an excuse to smoke pot because if you were serious about stress reduction you would be meditating and doing 40 minutes of strenuous cardio every day.
1% Exception. I will make ONE exception which will apply to less than 1% of you. If you are someone whose bodyfat is under 5% and you struggle to raise your bodyfat then marijuana to increase your appetite would be beneficial to strength and muscle mass gain. For the other 99% of you, your bodyfat is too high right now and consuming something that is an appetite enhancer is detrimental to your health and your physique.
Sucking smoke into your lungs is NEVER a healthy thing to do, regardless of what kind of smoke it is.
If you want to use marijuana and its legal where you live then do it, but don’t fool yourself into thinking it will help you. OWN IT! Acknowledge that you LIKE doing it and are willing to accept higher bodyfat and less muscle mass to enjoy it.
Working around vices. I am not a goody two shoes, I have my vices. I do have a powerful sweet tooth and I like having a drink or two in the evening BUT I keep things in check. I get my important nutrients first (220g protein, fiber, complex carbs, vitamins, anti-oxidants, omega-III, good fats, etc) and after consuming those if I still have some calories to play with then I will have a drink or a dessert. I have no problem doing an extra hour of cardio every day to give myself this nutritional wiggle room. I am not perfect and I own it. I understand my weaknesses and have found a healthy solution.
Similarly, if you choose to make pot part of your lifestyle then you are going to need to make similar accommodations if you are to avoid having it impact your strength and muscle gain potential. First, maximize the time between using marijuana and lifting weights, preferably 24 hours. Second, make sure that the only foods available to you when smoking pot are the fresh vegetables carrots, celery, broccoli, and cauliflower with NO dip. No beverages with calories either. If you cant control your calorie consumption then you are going to have to increase your daily strenuous cardio as I do. One hour a day, two hours a day, whatever it takes to burn off what you are eating. Doing these things will minimize the impact on your lifting progress but it will NEVER be as good as not using marijuana.
The below photoshopped image is courtesy of my special friends. Note that I do not smoke nor do I flip people off but given my frustration getting thru to people on this issue it seemed like a very appropriate picture.