I often get this question from people; they are curious whether or not the cigs that they light up will cancel or hinder their progress in the gym. So please let me light up these Marlboros as we discuss this matter. Yes you can smoke with me if you want, go ahead choose your own poison!
9 Part Guide to Bigger CHEST (if clicking doesn't work- right click and hit "Save link As")
First of let me tell you something that no other fitness “gurus” would tell you:
YES you can smoke and it will not hinder your development
You get/or are addicted!
Come on, do you really need me to tell you that cigs harm your lungs? Yes tobacco itself, especially high quality cigars might even yield some health benefits – but the thing is those sticks that we now call cigarettes are just mass produced, cheap versions of cigars which means that they have more chemicals that actual tobacco and you can bet a thousand bucks on that!
Yeah Arnold smoked (pot – I don’t know how often), Jordan smoked (cigars before games), and whoever famous athlete you knew smoked, smoked but it did not seem o affect their progress didn’t it?
Well so why do I say that it is okay (for you and obviously for some “good” athletes) to smoke unless you are or get addicted? First and foremost I think that it is you who is supposed to be smoking your cigs and not the cigs smoking you instead. But for the most part a few cigs every now and then won’t hurt you more than actually living a poisonous lifestyle called “living in the city” and “eating modern processed foods” anyways and the body has proven that it can more or less detoxify and clean up a reasonable amount of the toxins that we induce.
But the thing is – given the body’s current load of things it needs to clean up (which should already be heavy); if you would get addicted to smoking cigs (or pot) that means that you will be putting your body through unnecessary amount of stress which will hinder recovery and yes: muscle growth and strength gain. And off course all those fumes that you pump into your lungs will add up and hinder the transport of oxygen to your body – on the count that cig smoke also parralyzes your lungs’ cilia’s sweeping away the dirt mechanism.
So that means that you should be aware of yourself and if you are addicted, you know that you are! Admit it and try to overcome the addiction. Good looking loser has a great article for people who want to quit smoking by the way.
I cannot personally be trusted to tell you a personal account because I used to also experiment on smoking a lot and I didn’t get addicted anyways. I was able to test the waters and was able to go out safely. I can even take a few sticks once in a while and not feel the need later to “feed the habit”. But for others who have the strong tendency to get addicted, would I recommend teasing themselves with a few sticks once in a while? NEVER!! Unless you are using Varenicline (therapeutic med for treating nicotine addiction).
Tobacco is great for easing emotional stress – Another great point to make why I say that it is okay to smoke once in a while and not affect your gains is that tobacco smoking helps relieve mental and emotional stress. That is why you will always see that guy in movies waiting for the news of a relative’s surgery or whose wife is giving birth – you would see that guy puffing his pipe non-stop while walking back and forth. That is because it’s true, smoking calms the mind, and that is what it was used for in the first place by the island natives (god knows who) from whom the European galleon traders learned about tobacco.
And on the personal note I used to be stationed in the psychiatric ward before and WE DO give out cigarettes as reward to mental patients and that is to help them keep calm – and YES IT WORKS!
2 sticks a day:
Being an occasional smoker is the best thing to be. You don’t get to be naïve and yet you will not damage your body the same way an addict does. But if you are going to walk this path make sure that you will and CAN limit your average usage to 2 sticks a day. Heck, you can even 2 sticks a day which will not be enough for most people to lead to addiction.Follow @AboutLifting
But then again you should know yourself better than anyone else so if you are aware that you cannot afford to test the waters – like even getting your toes wet will drown you (figuratively speaking), then forgodsakes don’t!
Relaxation helps recovery – on the final note, it can even indeed beneficial to smoke as means to relieving mental stress. Since we know that mental stress itself will suck out your growth potential and believe me:
Stress will do a better job in hindering your recovery and progress than a measly 2 sticks of cigarettes!
And lifters, if you are grown up by now, you should know that anything that gets you addicted will hinder your progress in the gym (and your life in general) one way or another. Heck, being addicted to computer games might even suck out more muscle gains! So it’s okay to smoke just don’t abuse it since if you abuse it; it would be using you instead of the other way around. And the other way around sounds much, much better doesn’t it? Eat your eggs, people!