A gentleman might feel inclined to partake in an occasional puff in order to battle the stress of his hectic schedule, but there is so much more that cannabis can do for your emotional and physical well-being. Concretely, marijuana has been the go-to supplement of professional athletes throughout the decades, people who have achieved great results in their sports, and have forever shaped the history of fitness. So if people like Arnold used it, who are we to say that it can’t help you improve your performance, get that beach body ready for the summer, and most importantly, stay consistent in training?

The key to maximizing the power and potential of marijuana for this purpose is to know your dosages, and choose the strains and consumables that fit your fitness lifestyle. You also need to know when to take it in order to take your fitness game to the next level. Here is everything a gentleman needs to know about enjoying cannabis and elevating fitness performance.

Aiding the muscle-building process

If one of your fitness goals is to put some serious size on your frame so that you look better in your formal and casual attire, then marijuana might just be the thing that can help you optimize the process. Note, it’s not going to speed up your muscle-building journey, because it’s not an anabolic agent, but it is going to reduce the rate of muscle breakdown due to its powerful anti-catabolic properties. Catabolism, if you didn’t know, is when your body burns muscle mass to sustain energy output.

While there is nothing that can substitute a healthy, calorie-packed meal after a tough workout, cannabis can definitely aid muscle retention by slowing down the rate of muscle breakdown. It does this by lowering the presence of catabolic hormones in your system, such as cortisol, and thus maintaining the anabolic process for longer periods of time. Additionally, cannabis can help you safely prolong your workouts because it reduces the rate of fatigue in the body during training. With more hours in the gym under your belt, you will have accumulated the necessary training volume to maximize muscle growth.

Optimizing your weight loss journey

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There are many known cannabinoids out there (at least 113), but the most popular ones are definitely THC and CBD. Now, it its important to note which cannabinoid is best for athletes, and which is best for, well, regular stoners. While THC is a psychoactive agent and will provide users with that well-known “dazed and confused” feeling, CBD is actually a cannabinoid that doesn’t produce these effects, making it the best compound type for athletes. CBD is also the cannabinoid you want to use if you want to aid and optimize your weight loss journey.

Unlike THC, which does produce the dreaded munchies, CBD can actually suppress your appetite, making it that much easier to stick to your healthy diet routine. By partaking in regular CBD consumption, you can easily suppress any cravings you might have for junk food, and fill up on healthy whole foods instead. Add to that, the lowered cortisol production will further prevent bloating and unwanted weight gain.

Banishing performance anxiety

It’s no secret that marijuana is one of the most popular and powerful calming agents on the planet, able to ease the mind as well as the soul, and produce a well-known feeling of well-being and bliss. While THC does this through its psychoactive compounds, CBD does this by acting as a natural analgesic, which also restores normal bodily functions and helps with total-body recovery after training – more on that in a bit. For now, let’s take a closer look at how it calms the mind.

Athletes can suffer from performance anxiety, but this condition is not solely reserved for professionals, as anyone can fear a particularly heavy set of squats, or a particularly grueling obstacle course. This is why CBD in the form of marijuana concentrates has become so popular in recent years, as athletes are increasingly using them prior to working out to ease the mind and calm their nerves. Because it doesn’t affect your cognitive capabilities or impair your physical performance, it’s the ideal choice for moments when you absolutely need to bring your A-game to the fray.

Helps muscles and your CNS recover faster

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If there is anything cannabis is good for, it’s to aid the post-workout recovery process. Marijuana is one of the most popular relaxants in the world, and as such it has the power and potential to banish fatigue and help your damaged muscle tissue recover faster after a workout. Recovery is not just improved muscle growth, recovery also means eliminating inflammation and soreness, and allowing you to come back to the gym the next day ready and able to give it your all.

What’s more, this analgesic effect can have a profound impact on your central nervous system, which tends to get pretty beat up during some of the more taxing workouts. Your muscle tissue might recover, but your connective tissue and your nervous system might prevent you from maintaining top performance the closer you get to your latter workouts of the week, so it’s important to allow your CNS to recover properly on a daily basis.

Improves sleep and aids performance

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Speaking of proper post-workout recovery, if you want to maximize your fitness potential and enjoy sustained energy levels throughout your lifting journey, you need to optimize your sleep schedule. After all, they don’t call it beauty sleep for nothing, as proper sleep not only regulates all healthy functions in the body, but it also allows your entire system to recover, grow, and perform at its best. If you want to build muscle or achieve any fitness goal, you need to sleep like a baby every single night.

That said, it’s not always easy to find the tranquility and inner peace to fall asleep early, and get a good eight-hour cycle in night after night. It can be the hectic schedule that’s keeping you up, the stress at work, or the soreness from your previous training session that’s preventing you from falling asleep, but either way, you are missing out on some serious gains. Use marijuana for its calming benefits and let it lull you into a peaceful night’s sleep that will rejuvenate your body and mind for the day ahead.

Cannabis can boost cardiovascular fitness

Cannabis is not just good for building muscle; it also has its uses in sports and exercises that demand elevated cardiovascular performance. Training programs such as HIIT or CrossFit, and any other specialized sport, require you to maintain a certain level of cardio over a prolonged period of time, which can seem quite daunting, especially if you’re a bit out of shape or if you suffer from chronic conditions such as asthma.

Interestingly, cannabis can act as a bronchodilator. Or in other words, it can cleanse and improve airflow to and from your lungs, allowing them to expand more and utilize more oxygen for energy production. Most importantly, this acute effect does not dissipate quickly, which will allow you to maintain an elevated level of cardiovascular performance during the most trying of workouts.

Final thoughts

Cannabis has been in use in every professional sport for decades, yet it has only begun to enjoy the praise and popularity it deserves. With these benefits in mind, you can make cannabis an integral part of your fitness lifestyle, and thus take your fitness game to the next level.

Cover Image credits: Photo by Victor Freitas from Pexels