Does Smoking Affect Weight Training?

smoking and weight training

We all know that smoking is bad for your health, regardless if you weight train or not. However, the question here is whether or not you can still smoke cigarettes and weight train. A quick answer is yes, you can still smoke and weight train.

Weight training is not one of those sports such as hockey where you are constantly on the move and you absolutely must be in top shape.

Even if you wanted to just skate up and down the ice surface a few times, you need to be in half decent shape.

If you’re a smoker, aerobic activities such as hockey is very difficult, even if you wanted to have a leisurely skate. The sport of hockey simply demands too much in terms of aerobic ability that smoking takes away.

I mean you can still do it, but it’s just so much more difficult. Don’t get me wrong, weight training is still very difficult to do, but in terms of aerobic activity, not as demanding as hockey.

With that being said, smokers can get away with going to the gym and doing a weight training workout without dying from pure exhaustion. A couple of sets here and a couple of sets there and your done.

However, smoking and leisurely lifting weights is one thing but smoking and being at the top of your game is another. There are plenty of negative aspects to smoking that will hinder your weight training progress. I won’t go into detail about everyone of them but some need to be discussed.

Firstly, smoking reduces your overall fitness levels. It’s been shown that smoking causes all kinds of respiratory problems. Since core compound exercises such as the squat or dead lift involves a lot of oxygen, a weight trainer needs all the oxygen he/she can get.

You simply will not be at your best if you don’t have the necessary oxygen needed for these types of exercises. You simply won’t last and if you truly want the benefits of these types of exercises, your going to have to go the distance.

Secondly, your aerobic activity will not be very productive. Aerobic activity is all about energy and you need plenty of oxygen for these exercises. If you don’t have the necessary oxygen for these types of exercises, you won’t get the desired benefits.

Since smoking decreases your overall aerobic ability, you simply won’t be able to go the necessary distance that’s needed for these exercises.

As in the case of hockey, strict aerobic activity needed for fat burning will be much more difficult to do since your oxygen levels are low.

Thirdly, studies have shown that nicotine has a negative effect on muscle recovery. This is bad news, because weight training is all about muscle recovery. In one particular study, the muscles of young men who smoked actually recovered more slowly than those men who didn’t.

Fourthly, smoking has a way of making you feel full all the time. This can be bad news for those of you who want to gain weight. Smoking acts as an appetite suppressant and is quite effective at it.

If you are tyring to gain muscular weight, you need to be eating quality nutrients at least 5 to 6 times per day. Smoking is no substitute for a meal and can severely impair your dietary needs for heavy weight training.

The good news is that if you’re a smoker, you can still weight train. No question about it. However, the bad news is that it will hinder your progress as you continue to improve at weight training. Smoking simply makes getting into top shape impossible.

Now, I’m not here to get down on people who smoke. If you want to smoke and weight train, fine.

All I’m trying to say is that as you progress more into weight training, your body will demand more and more in terms of energy and oxygen. Smoking will hinder that progress depending on how much you smoke.

All the best,


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