Cannabis Use and Weightlifting

Cannabis Use and Weightlifting: Professional Journalist Proves the Two Are Not Mutually Exclusive

When most people think of Cannabis use, they don't think about fitness and weightlifting.  Characterization in the media would have you believe that people who smoke weed are lazy, unmotivated, and live in their mom's basements. 

In the last decade, marijuana has stepped out of the hazy cloud and into mainstream spotlight.  Cannabis use is legal in a dozen states recreationally and medical use is even more prevalent.  Pot smokers are able to be more open about their use, and it has forced society to face some of the stereotypes we have had about them.

We wanted to find out if there were cannabis users who worked out, and how it effected them. 

Journalist and Gym Junkie

We were lucky enough to run into professional journalist and cannabis enthusiast Jon Olsen-Koziol.  Jon is an impressive guy by any standards, he has been a a professional journalist and leader in Pacific Northwest cannabis lifestyle juggernaut Respect My Region for 2 years now. He also loves hitting heavy weights and burning through high intensity cardio. 

Jon agreed to be interviewed on AdvancedWeightlifting to shed some light on how cannabis effect his fitness.  

Jon told us in inspiring fashion about his workouts, "The Physical activities I enjoy the most are heavy weights and intense cardio, especially on my Peloton bike. Intense physical exercise is the ultimate perspective enhancer for me. When you’re battling  through a heavy workout, it’s like slaying my inner demons and kicking them right in the nuts."

How Cannabis Motivated Jon Into a Physical Lifestyle

"I dabbled with a fitness lifestyle since I was 21, but it really became my way of life after I tore the ACL in my right knee Sept. 2014. I had complete ACL reconstruction surgery and had to re-learn how to do simple tasks like standing on one leg and walking up stairs. This radically changed my perspective about the importance of physical well-being in your life."

Jon talked more about his injury and how Cannabis was there to help him through it.  The idea of Cannabis as medicine is not uncommon.  In fact many people opt for Cannabis instead of narcotics to deal with pain, but what Jon talked about was more than medicine, it was motivation.

"Cannabis was important during the rehab process because anytime I was high and slacking on my physical therapy/rehab, there was a voice in my head saying “hey bitch. Get to work. You wanna walk again? You wanna run again? Shut the fuck up and get to work” Cannabis has always made me ruthlessly self critical and it’s my favorite part about smoking cannabis and being high. It helps me hold myself accountable." 


Ganja gains or Couch Potato

We asked Jon what he thought about the lazy stoner stereotype. He had a nuanced view, "I think some humans are destined to be lazy stoners. Cannabis just reacts with some people differently and maybe they can’t be productive on cannabis, but that’s never been the case with me. And for those people, Cannabis becomes the excuse to be lazy, it’s not the plant’s fault."

Maybe there is more to it than just a yes or no answer to the question. Jon went into more detail. "If anything cannabis helps hold me accountable and responsible in  life. If I’m high, it’s hard to avoid things because that voice pops up “hey.  Shut the fuck up and get to work” I think it’s important to understand your own personal relationship with cannabis."

Jon has even worked out that Cannabis has different effects on different styles of workouts. "I keep it simple: for cardio I love being high and it absolutely increases my performance. It helps me focus on my breathing and my running form like they’re applications running in the background. When I’m lifting weights, I like being sober. I don’t like holding heavy weights above my head when I’m high, it feels hella sketch. And I’ve never found cannabis to enhance my performance while I’m lifting. I used to just be high for any kind of workout and it took a few years of experimenting to really hammer down how to incorporate cannabis Into my workout routines." 

Dabs and Discipline

We asked Jon how he manages to stay so committed to fitness while having a full time job, and still finding time to toke up.  He answered, "I just make time no matter what. I write down my goals for the week and I hold myself accountable. If I have three weight sessions and three cardio sessions planned, I do them. Even if I have to sacrifice an hour of sleep to get a workout in because I have website and work obligations, I’ll do it. If I have to sacrifice some personal time to get my workouts in, I do it. I’ve developed incredible discipline over the last few years though sacrifice and repetition. The physical and mental benefits are too immediate and worthwhile for me to not work out five to six days a week."

We were blown away, because honestly, we wish half of us were this disciplined.  The fact that Jon regularly uses Cannabis, and yet achieves so much in and out of the gym says a lot about who he is, and that Cannabis doesn't have to hold people back from being productive or active. 

Jon's Message to Readers

Jon left us and readers with an inspiring message, "I implore everyone who isn’t physically active to start being physically active. And I’m not talking about doing anything crazy or being a meat-head gym rat like me. Just move your body. Sweat and get your blood pumping. You’ll feel better. Your brain will work better. Your body will move better. Your perspective will be more clear. Whether it’s walking, yoga, racket ball, pick-up basketball or whatever. I believe if you’re a human being, there’s no way exercise/physical activity won’t make your life better. "


We think Jon settles the debate that regardless of your lifestyle choices, you can be as active as you want.  Who you are as a person will determine how successful you are in fitness and in business.  We could have talked for hours, but Jon had to run because his company is gearing up for the 420 electronic music festival they are putting on in Spokane, WA called EVOLVE, and lets be honest, he probably wanted to get a few squats in!