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Anatomy of an Active Stoner 6

Weightlifting the Cannabis Stigma Away, One Rep at a Time

By Alex C-BPublished 7 years ago 9 min read

Previously on Anatomy of an Active Stoner

Monday Morning

Do you like to burn king-sized cones after the sun sets? Cannabis might impact the quality of your sleep, too, according to some scientists. Does that mean you should stop? Fuck no, there are ways to overcome the disturbance. Your body is not a kleenex, but you have to invest the efforts.

Be a scientist and try the experiment yourself. Sleep one week without any devices in your room. Set your alarm clock and leave the phone in your kitchen or bathroom if you are worried about waking up. Have you heard these things? You can raise a corpse with your standard iPhone ringtone at full blast.

Nobody can judge your sleep patterns better than you. Why not take full advantage of this incredible ability? Study your body's reaction to the experiment. Ask yourself questions to note any changes. Did you snooze through the night? How do you feel the moment you wake up? How are your dreams? Observe your energy levels throughout the day.

The process takes years of trial and error because there is always something new to learn. Strategies range from the removal of all electronics to smoking a little less right before bed, an hour of mindful meditation during the day, walks and weight lifting amongst many others. The right ratio will have a notable impact on the quality of someone's sleep. Perhaps one day you will become a sleeping master and sink deep no matter the context, but this ideal situation is out of reach if you wake up with the drive of a sloth.

Circadian rhythms are such an underrated aspect of optimal health. People worry about food so much they stress, which hijacks their sleep and pushes them further away from the recovery they need. Anyone who struggles to reap excellent results with nutrition can divert some of that energy and focus on sleep. The rest will follow through.

The New Client

I check my phone charging next to my bathroom sink:

4:39 am

Decent, but my goal is nine minutes earlier. I feel awake after some vivid dreams. The day starts with a tall glass of lime water and a pinch of sea salt. A new client is coming to the office for her first neck pain consultation this morning, a lawyer who climbed her way through a boy's club ladder only to jump off at the top and start her venture.

The potential for education is massive when you spend time with someone so achieved. Consultants meet loads of amazing people if they know where to look and strive to sharpen their craft.

The dog sits at the door, a human equivalent of asking for bathroom permission. A chilly wind announces the fall of summer. Morning hoody season came fast this year, and the air is thick with disappointment. School starts for some while shorter days bother the others. Seasonal depression is real and wreaks havoc in people's bodies and minds. Make sure the keep your Vitamin D3 levels tuned if you had a clouded summer.

I beat the sun today. Few things in life feel better than to wake up with the most powerful star in this planet's vicinity. The first morning rays have something mystical about them, a unique energy that sparks the mind and enables the body. Try to wake up before sunrise for a week and catch the early light, then note how you feel throughout the day.

Compare the results to a week where you wake up later. Is there a difference?

My office is a two-minute walk away from home, which is convenient. Long hours of commute are typical for a large chunk of the population and destroy bodies. Does sitting for one to two hours after having sat all day do the damage? Maybe the stress from being stuck in a four-wheeled weapon fueled by earth-death in the middle of thousands of other steel coffins, angrier than you are after a long shift and a bad day has a role to play. A little bit of both, perhaps? Nobody knows.

Few people come out refreshed of a traffic experience. The stress is bound to affect any human, no matter how zen. How you react to the emotion is a different story. Make sure to include relaxation practices such as meditation and yoga if you deal with traffic on a daily basis. Stress is a big body breaker when left unchecked.

She walks in dressed head to toe in Nike workout gear. Her sharp eyes fill the room with a poised presence, the kind of woman that never takes shit from anybody. An upright posture highlights the power of status on one's nervous system. People with chronic neck or shoulder pain tend to slouch forward; she rises despite her aches.

The first session is an interview with a movement study at the end. Health is a Rubik's cube. Questions find the information needed to solve the riddle while the way someone moves reveals much of someone's muscle-mind dynamic.

"How are you?"

We shake hands.

"Not bad, kind of tired of the weekend. Did you have a good time at the gala?"

"The filet mignon made the night; it's a shame they demonize it so much. Did you stay long after I left?"

"You know Bruce. He kept the place moving until 7 in the morning, pouring thousands of dollars in vodka down board member's throats."

Masters of the universe party harder than most, you see. Excess is in their nature. I can imagine the debauchery led by my long-time client, but that's not relevant to the interview, so I relate to what she said and finish with another question to divert the subject without being rude or weird.

"He knows how to run a crowd, that's for sure. Not much sleep, I assume?

"Not much, no."

"Did you have trouble waking up today?"

"I never have trouble in the morning. You get used to shitty or no sleep after a while. "

"How about falling asleep? "

"The worst. My mind steps on overdrive the moment I lay down in bed. I just work instead and crash at some point, either on my desk or the couch."

"You mentioned you worked in a law firm before starting your business at the gala?"

"For 15 years, yes. I call them the crazy days."

"You must be familiar with all-nighters, then."

"All nighters, you say?!" she laughs, "Lawyers are creatures of the night. We never sleep!"

"Did your neck problems start then?"

"No, last year. I always thought that chronic pain was an invention of the lazy to get out of work. Now I can barely move my neck by the end of the day."

"Do you sit for long hours?"

"Always; meetings, dinners, travel, you know?"

"Standard professional life. What kind of pain do you feel at the end of your day?"

"There is a constant discomfort that just worsens later."

"Do you exercise? "

"I go for a thirty minute run in the morning. Not enough time later in the day."

"No weightlifting?"

"Never. But Bruce spoke highly of you and convinced me to give them a try. His body changed."

Word of mouth is a beautiful thing in this result-driven business. We cover other important health markers such as digestion and eating patterns. Her answers start to build a clearer picture of the situation. There are many more questions to ask, but I will save them for later.

"I have all the information needed to start the movement study. These exercises will show us if there are leaks in your foundations that could be fueling your pain. "

The first drill targets the rear muscles of the legs. There are your calves starting from your feet, up to your hamstrings between your knees and hips, then the glutes who all support your weight when you stand.

Weak rear-leg muscles are typical to joggers and professional sitters. The imbalance shifts your center of gravity forward which pressures your lower back and destabilizes your spine.

Neck or shoulder pain can stem from this asymmetry, amongst other factors. Your legs fail to support the weight of your head and overwork certain muscles forced to compensate. No amount of therapy will rid you of your aches if your lower body foundations stay out of whack. The issue will come back.

This exercise sequence will tell me more about your body.

"Lie down on your back; palms face the ceiling, feet flat on the floor. "

"How did that feel?"


"You pass the first level. Some people never get their butt off the floor or fail to hold the pause at the top. Do the same exercise but one leg at a time."

She does all twelve reps on each leg. Her right leg gave out before the left.

"Okay, that was harder. I could feel the leg shake at the end."

"Which side felt weaker?"

"My right."

"Most people struggle to finish this one."

The third level has a dumbbell placed under your foot. One of my mentors taught me this exercise, which has been a reliable tool for solving various types of pain. Most people fail here.

She gives up halfway through the set.

"Shit, I got a cramp in my right calf, and the back of both my legs are on fire."

Your hamstrings are waking up."

"They are angry about it!"

"These muscles also stabilize the knees from the back. The next exercise will highlight a weakness in that function."

"You mean there's more?! I hate you!"

"I get that a lot. Stay on your back and put your heels on top of the exercise ball and curl it towards you. Push your hips open, then release your legs nice and slow. "

She struggles to do five reps. We do two more sets of four and two.

"This is awful; I'm embarrassed."

"Nothing to be ashamed of, but there is a lower body weakness based on your struggle. Every jog session beats up your knees, hips, and shoulders because they have no support from the back of your legs. Your spine is unstable from the bottom which overworks the smaller muscles above trying to keep your head straight, even standing idle will drain you. Strengthen the back of your legs."


"Practice these exercises every second day. You should be strong enough to finish twelve reps of level three hip extensions and eight exercise-ball lying leg-curls."

"I've never felt these muscles. Are we done?"

"One more."

"Fuck!" Lawyers never shy away from a good swear.

"The next drill called a Front-Foot Elevated Split Squat."

"Sounds terrible, and what will these do?"

"Assess the mobility and strength of your front leg muscles."


"Put your front foot on the step, take a big step backward with the other. Your feet must be a train-track apart. Bring your hamstrings to your calves as to cover them, let you knee drive forward, keep your heel locked in the step, then push yourself back up. The rear leg should stay as straight as possible."

"Will this hurt my knees?"

"No, the full range of motion strengthens the knees. Weakness in the muscle called the VMO destabilizes the knee and driving your knee forward counters that. Some of my students who are in their fourties and fifties feel much stronger afterward."

She finishes the set but fails by the fourth rep of the next set.

"I can't do anymore."

"This exercise stretches the front one leg and strengthens an important knee stabilizer in the other. You should be able to do three sets of twelve reps. How do you feel?"

"My legs are dead, but my hips free."

"Good to hear. I suggest doing these exercises twice on your own before coming back to see me your upper body motion study. "

"Finally! Thank you, I feel better than before. How much do I owe you? "

"The full study is an investment of $220. Next session's results combined with today's insight will allow me to design the right workouts afterward. The price includes the after the study and a private page on my website with videos and other education material for you to consult."

She pays and books her next session.

Stoner Wisdom

Build the foundation strength to withstand the weight of life. All the problems brought forward by anti-cannabis science are found in the non-smoking population too. Weed does not make someone lazy; poor sleep and imbalanced muscles do, and there are actions to counter both.

Active Stoner's Homework

  • Remove all electronics in your bedroom for a week.
  • Test your lower body foundation strength with the five exercises provided above.


This is not a promotion of cannabis as a solution for anything nor an invitation to partake, but rather a demonstration that an optimal lifestyle can include smoking up.

Contact the Active Stoner: [email protected]

In case you missed it...

Anatomy of an Active Stoner

Anatomy of an Active Stoner 3: The Charity Banquet

Anatomy of an Active Stoner 5


About the Creator

Alex C-B

Pieces of myself through facts and fiction - A fallible human of the digital era. I bought the ticket, missed the ride, then tripped down the rabbit hole and woke up stranded with you in this strange matrix.

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    Alex C-BWritten by Alex C-B

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