Kush-Ups before Push-Ups
By: Ben Mervis
Long-before incorporating CBD and THC topicals into my post-workout recovery, I was just a lonely gay boy beginning his fitness journey in the green mountain state of Vermont. Early on in this process, I learned that smoking an earthy sativa before my workout helped me get in the zone, push myself harder, and finish strong. It’s counter to the “lazy stoner” stigma, and I’m proud to speak on my experience to anyone who will listen.
Let’s go way back to the first real source of inspiration to be a fit stoner though; we’re talking 2012/2013, as a recently-graduated young professional who hated the term “young professional.” It all began when I stumbled upon a sexy guy on Instagram (how most good stories begin). We’ll call him John.
This was the time when Instagram was still chronological and the same handful of people were using unique hashtags. Despite John’s obvious heterosexuality - made obvious by captions like “this one’s for the ladies” - I followed along because he had a killer v-shape at the bottom of his abs, and was posting thirst traps before the term had been invented. John would also write things like “guys you can look too,” so I felt comfortable/had buried dreams that this was him leaving the door open for bisexuality down the line.
Yes, I still follow John... no, I won’t give you his handle.
He lived/lives in Colorado, so the ski-culture aesthetic was familiar and comforting… but more importantly, he was one of the first people I’d seen smoking pot on the gram. He captured beautiful shots of his body and his weed, and both had my full attention. He was an inspiration, and while I’m still working on the body, I think I’ve adapted the weed lifestyle pretty well.
In the not-yet-legal states I had lived in, cannabis use wasn’t as casual of a conversation as it is now for me in California. As prohibition slowly ends across the country, the narrative is common: people smoke with their closest friends, talk about it only when they feel they won’t be judged, and once it becomes “legal” some of the most impressive people come out of the pot closet.
As with most things, humor makes conversations a little bit easier. So I began to push the limits of socially-acceptable cannabis conversation by referencing “John from Instagram’s great hashtag” which was “#kushupsbeforepushups.” And you know what, even within the offices of my State-Government job, it got a laugh.
If you’re wondering about specific strains or products for pre-workout weed, I wouldn’t dare try to fit it into one blog. My recommendation when it comes to this is to understand what effect you’re looking for. What do you need to optimize this workout experience? More euphoria/motivation to hit your reps and sets? Energy? Maybe you just want to go for a mindless walk on the treadmill, or spin on a recumbent bike? Figure out your desired effect, and experiment with strains and products.
When it came to making #kushupsbeforepushups my own though, I went through a few different phases.
2013/2014: lots of smoking and mindless cardio as I slowly got to know strains and what was available for purchase in the legal California market (I had just moved).
2015/2016: more focused/intentional smoking before lifting, but unfamiliarity with that type of working out left me anxious and distracted.
Early 2017: I began working in the cannabis industry, and experimenting with different edibles (granola on my yogurt, honey in my smoothie). I found this hard to gauge as far as timing and strength.
Most of 2017, and early parts of 2018: admittedly, I far-too publicly smoked sativa-blend joints on my walk to the gym… it was usually early enough in the morning that it wasn’t a concern, but I always smelled like weed when I arrived, and it’s just kind of rude to show up somewhere with a strong odor.
Now, I stick with my handy-dandy and oh-so-comfortable bong. I will smoke a straight-sativa (I prefer sun-grown and organic) or blend up some sativa + a CBD strain, while drinking my pre-workout and warming up a #carb. This is a daily thing - I work out 5-7 days/week - and rarely if ever do I go without smoking first. Personally, it’s a great way to start the day.
It’s all about listening to your body though, and not getting anxious when you learn something new! Feel that hunger? You’re probably underfed and are burning calories you don’t have. Can’t stop thinking about the pain in your shoulder? Stop lifting heavy for a second, and spend some time on the foam roller! No amount of cannabis is going to make you a better athlete, until you educate yourself on how to be a better athlete.
The other cannabis product that I never leave for the gym without - my Kush Queen Soaked body wash (and accompanying loofah). Even if I’ve already left my apartment, taken the elevator downstairs, and walked out the door… if I realized I’ve forgotten my loofah, I take the 3-minutes to go back inside/upstairs/downstairs to get it.
The loofah greatly increases the effects of Soaked by clearing away dead skin and cleaning out the pores to make way for Kush Queen’s patent-pending nano-technology. An aloe-base carries the inflammation-fighting plant derivatives (CBD and/or THC) through my actively-exfoliated skin and begins reducing swelling immediately.
And to bring things full circle, not only is the loofah helpful in making Soaked more effective in soothing my aching muscles, it’s also the reason that my favorite (real life) gym crush - with John’s same impressive ab-region-V - recently broke the palpable sexual tension by saying “hello.” and by “hello” I mean “you dropped your loofah.”
We want to hear your stories! Tell us how Cannabis and Kush Queen are helping you in 2019 by following and tagging @kushqueenshop & @kushqueenco in your Instagram posts and Stories!
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