Cannabis and exercise is a powerful combination that many professional athletes have been quietly benefiting from for decades. The use of the plant to improve recovery and focus during training is prevalent in ultra-marathoners, football players, MMA fighters and swimmers.
Initially, most people who aren’t familiar with the plant’s applications in sports would view lighting up before a workout session as counterproductive. This is the mindset that Jim McAlpine is hoping to disrupt with Power Plant Fitness, the world’s first cannabis gym.
McAlpine is no stranger to fitness. The 46-year-old is an avid skier and surfer with a deep passion for cannabis. In 2014, he, along with retired NFL star Ricky Williams, launched the 420 games – a series of athletic events that promotes healthy lifestyles. During this period, rumors of McAlpine’s gym started to spread like wildfire in the legal cannabis community. Now the fitness fanatic is finally ready to launch the highly anticipated San Francisco-based gym, which is slated to open this May (just in time for summer).
McAlpine’s vision for Power Plant Fitness is bold and ambitious. The workout center will feature an extensive selection of cannabis-fueled workout plans, coupled with options to buy and consume cannabis inside the gym. There will be special rooms designed for partaking in the plant before working out. The company also plans to launch a line of edibles to get people excited about training with cannabis.
So how exactly do you exercise with cannabis? There’s no definitive guide available for individuals interested in combining the two activities. Consumption would depend on your tolerance and fitness level, which is why McAlpine suggests members first go through a series of performance assessments with qualified trainers to understand where the herb fits into one’s fitness goals.
For intense workouts, like lifting weights and Crossfit, it might be a good idea to stay away from strains with colossal doses of the psychoactive cannabinoid THC (often associated with mind-altering, fairy tale highs). These types of strains are ideal for long training sessions, such as marathon running, stretching and yoga. You may also want to indulge in THC-potent cannabis after strenuous workout sessions, to ease the effects of soreness and to fuel your recovery meal.
Cannabis with high levels of CBD is useful for maintaining concentration levels and reducing inflammation during training. CBD – a non-psychoactive structural isomer of THC; same chemical components, but differ in atomic arrangement (defined by an open ring) – won’t send your thoughts drifting into space. Its effects are passive and less overwhelming on the mind.
“Cannabis has been part of athletic lifestyles for a long, long time. It’s just been hidden,”
“If you use it right, 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.”
Membership at Power Plant Fitness costs between $150-$170. Individuals have the option to BYOC (Bring-Your-Own-Cannabis) or buy directly from the establishment. To cater to the growing demand of cannabis fitness centers, McAlpine plans to expand the gym to other cities, specifically Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Denver and Portland, Oregon.
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