Think cigarettes shouldn’t & probably won’t make a difference to your aesthetics? Wrong, Apart from the usual obvious gripes associated with smoking; smell, stained teeth, ridiculous expense & the antisocial nature of blowing smoke around near people – there are grave implications for your all-important gains. Here’s a very brief rundown of why you probably should just quit if you’re serious about your aesthetics & overall fitness.
- Your whole respiratory system suffers serious physical damage, unsurprisingly, from inhaling piping hot toxic smoke. From the tiny ciliated cells (the cleansers of your airways) that are scorched & rendered useless, all the way to your alveoli. This damage can manifest itself in a few charming ways, such as chest infections (bye-bye training for a couple of weeks) shortness of breath, phlegm & tar induced airway resistance & an ever-present pesky cough
- Besides the physical implications – a huge amount of harm goes on at a level that can’t be seen by the naked eye. Smoking means you’ll also be massively limiting your body’s ability to absorb oxygen to the muscles during exercise. (Not a great idea when smashing HIIT or a brutal 6.12.25 set). The Carbon Monoxide in cigarette smoke & its love of stealing haemoglobin from oxygen.is responsible for this. And yes, Carbon Monoxide is exactly the same stuff that leaks from dodgy old gas heaters & kills people. Not hard to see why inhaling it deliberately, then placing huge demand on your muscles for oxygen is a fairly silly idea.
- Your heart won’t thank you either. Nicotine speeds the heart up, you’ll use up more vital energy than a non-smoker, your blood pressure will increase & lead to a decrease in your gym performance. Not to mention giving an unbelievably vital organ a kicking. Oh and heart disease chances are massively increased too – pretty serious
- Obviously, there’s also the big ‘C’. Smoking increases your risk of cancer not just in the lungs, but throat & mouth too. Nobody needs it explained how this will get in the way of your aesthetics, and frankly this would be the least of your concerns.
The really serious stuff aside; you may not feel any negative effects of smoking in your first reps, or even initial sets. But it’s those final reps, sets & push that’ll make the difference to your physique & fitness – being a smoker will very likely hamper these all important last efforts – meaning your session is rendered a borderline waste of time.
So, if you’re reading this, you smoke & you’re thinking “doesn’t seem to be doing me any harm.” – It is. And what’s more, you won’t be reaching anywhere near your potential in the gym. Not to mention long term & potential life threatening damage to your body.