Isn’t it high time to finally and indisputably get rid of the old-fashioned misconception that stoners don’t exercise?
Jim McAlpine, a fit 46-year-old, intends to help the dispelling begin when he opens the world’s first “cannabis gym” in San Francisco.
In addition to being a traditional gym and wellness center, McAlpine’s Power Plant Fitness will allow members to buy and consume cannabis on site, including Power Plant’s own line of edibles, which McAlpine says are “made for pre-workout focus and post-workout recovery.”
McAlpin, founder of the 420 Games which were established to show pot smokers are not lazy or unmotivated, believes fitness will increasingly be a pillar of the booming cannabis industry.
“If you use it right,” he told Outside, “cannabis takes the things you love and lets you love them more. With fitness, that can help get you into the zone, into eye-of-the-tiger mode.”
While there is still limited research on pot and performance—which has everything to do with the fact that the federal government has classified weed as a Schedule 1 drug—there is enough to know it’s not a bad idea.
Many athletes swear by it.
Long-distance runners have been doing it for a long time and say cannabis helps their concentration and pain management.
“There is an ignorant stereotype about people who use marijuana not being athletic, but that’s because they aren’t often represented. The public only sees a misrepresentation of people who do [hash] dabs all day long and aren’t active,” former professional runner Chris Barnicle told the Guardian.
McAlpine wants to harness the potential for cannabis to aid in athletic performance.
To that end, Power Plant Fitness will offer cannabis performance assessments, wherein trainers will help members determine how pot can help their workouts before suggesting their weed-assisted fitness plans.
But some cannabis experts say be careful.
“It’s shocking to me,” Dr. Yasmin Hurd, professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, told People Magazine. “Cannabis decreases reaction time, it definitely impacts motor function. I don’t see how encouraging intoxication during workouts is something positive.”
Hurd believes not being able to feel pain while working out may lead to overexertion.
“People could work through their pain threshold in a way that could harm themselves because they are tearing muscles and they’re not going to feel them,” she said. “That to me is the main worry.”
We should all keep this advice in mind.
However, when Planet Power Fitness opens in May, this writer will be among the athletes trying it out and promises to report back.