T Nation

Alcohol and Lifting

I’ve recently made the decision to seriously cut back on my drinking. I find that, rather than drink for fun, I’m using it as a social crutch to loosen my tongue when out with a crowd of people. After coming to this realization, I’ve decided to tone my drinking down to a beer or two a couple nights a week, if that.

The problem is, I’m currently a sophomore at the U of Iowa, which is easily one of the top 10 drinking schools in the country. How do you guys who are in the same situation deal with this? I feel like if I quit drinking, I’ll quit going out, which would seriously hinder my chances to meet new people. If I keep going out, however, I’ll just be standing around amongst a crowd of drunks, which, to me, doesn’t sound all that appealing unless i’m hammered as well.

how do you deal with this? simple, you don’t drink.

i don’t see what drinking hurts though, everyone in my gym drinks and smokes illegal stuff till their either deathly drunk or high as a kite, and they’re all benching over 250 for reps. Go figure, must be nice being able to totally screw around and still be 100x better than me regardless of how hard i work and abstain from drinking/smoking.

it’s not quite that simple, considering everyone and their mom drinks Thursday-Saturday in Iowa City, leaving me in either the position of creepy shut-in who no one wants to associate with, or the loser who stands around trying to make conversation at a party, when someone suddenly interjects and screams “Hey, where’s your beer?!?!?!” I guess this is kind of a stupid thread though, since it’s just me being a cry baby bitch just because I’ve decided to go the way of the lone horse, so to speak.

When it comes to drinking, I’m not a big drinker anyways, but I tend to avoid drinking at all the days that I train. I’d suggest just having a few drinks when you are out, you can still have fun and not be drunk. Meeting new people is fun, but there are other ways of doing without be totally hammered.

Have you tried drinking on an empty stomach? This way you can get buzzed quickly, and without having to consume so many empty calories. You’ll sober up more quickly this way too.

Another idea is to try drinking in moderation. This way you’ll still fit in and have fun, but you won’t be ruining your diet or using alcohol as a crutch. Just stick to lite beer, and especially avoid hard liquor.

[quote]Epimetheus wrote:
it’s not quite that simple, considering everyone and their mom drinks Thursday-Saturday in Iowa City, leaving me in either the position of creepy shut-in who no one wants to associate with, or the loser who stands around trying to make conversation at a party, when someone suddenly interjects and screams “Hey, where’s your beer?!?!?!” I guess this is kind of a stupid thread though, since it’s just me being a cry baby bitch just because I’ve decided to go the way of the lone horse, so to speak. [/quote]

Get a beer and nurse it, then.

If you are concerned about becoming socially dependent, spend at least one night a week going out like you normally would but don’t drink. The other nights, you can still have your fun. This lets you avoid social dependence, which is a surprisingly big problem, and still enjoy yourself like everyone else.

I have just been through 6 weeks of not drinking and trust me the gym performance was amazing…I think its all in how you can limit yourself, just have a couple but dont let that couple become a dozen lol

yeah at first i felt the same way didnt want too be that guy in the club who just stood there, so instead i just went out had some fun, sure i really didnt meet as many new people as if i had been drinking but i didnt make a fool out of myself for being drunk

too sum it up, give it a try for awhile you may learn a thing or two

[quote]lifter85 wrote:
<<< i don’t see what drinking hurts though, >>> [/quote]

I’ll just assume that one day you’ll discover the answer to this question.

Thanks for the advice, guys. I’m looking forward to the progress I will undoubtedly make in the weeks to come. Think I’ll even start a workout journal to see how my progress will be in the coming weeks in comparison to how it has been since I got up to college.

drink guiness. Nobody chugs guiness fast. and nobody makes fun of someone for drinking guiness slow.

[quote]tveddy wrote:
drink guiness. Nobody chugs guiness fast. and nobody makes fun of someone for drinking guiness slow.[/quote]

Plus, it’s got a boatload of Iron. A few years back, when you gave blood in Britain, they rewarded you with a Guinness.

[quote]lifter85 wrote:
i don’t see what drinking hurts though [/quote]

Lemme guess…the '85 in your name is your year of birth, right?

You’ll probably start feeling the effects of binge drinking a couple of years from now.

Meanwhile, the following might enlighten you.

I go to Ole Miss (Recently rated 2nd biggest party school in the nation) and I understand your struggles. Honestly you don’t have to go out every night. I know this may come as a shock but it’s the truth. I limit my going out to thurs/fri when it’s not football season or to fri/sat when it is football season. This fits well with my diet (I do the anabolic diet) and it keeps me from:
a. pissing my money away at bars and on women at bars
b. fucking up my training and diet
c. helps my grades and gives me more time to study.

Just keep it to 2 nights a week and have your off days be on those days and you won’t have a problem. It’s worked well for me the last 4 years…

go out, socialise, drink diet soda, and who cares if people take the piss out of you, it just makes for a conversation starter

Why don’t you join some clubs/activities that occur on Saturday morning? Then even if you do go out you have the excuse “I’ve gotta wake up early tomorrow”

…or you could just not go out and enjoy your saturday.

Or just tell everyone, “I’d love to drink, but I can’t. I’m training for _________” make something up if you’d like. I hear you though, it’s hard to turn down a night out.

I watched a cocktail waitress ask for our order, when my diabetic friend looked at her and simply said " I’m diabetic. see shat non alcohol non sugar drink the bar tender suggests". The rest of the night no one tried to force an alcohol drink on him. I use the same response, and with responsible people it works. If someone says 'Oh go ahead and have one it will not hurt" you will know you are talking to an idiot.

I did the same thing about 6 months ago. I was very worried about social pressure to drink, mostly because drinking and socializing have gone together throughout my adult life so far.

After about a month or two, I felt so much better, saved a bunch of money, and realized that anyone who really cared whether I drank or not was probably not a good friend, and that any activity that required drinking to enjoy probably isn’t that great anyway. It turned out to not be a big deal at all. Give it a shot, you’ve got nothing to lose (except possibly a few hangovers)!

Personally, my strenght gains havent been better since i recently started drinking on friday nights. Ive increased my bench, DLs and curls about every week compared to when i wasnt drinking which i used to be stuck on the same damn weight for weeks sometimes.

But then again could be newbie gains, ive been lifting for about over a year now and drnking for the past month, so it only takes me a couple of shots and beers to knock me out.

Haha, i bet youre all thinking “stupid dumb ass kid stop bullshitting on our forums” but seriously i was just as surprised myself after reading about the bad effects of alcohol and training. Ive also put on some weight, probably fat considering that alcohol halts protein synthesis and fat burning.

My theory is that it somehow stimulates the central nervous system and not actually helps building muscle

It’s not hard to avoid drinking. Toss a lime in your club soda or coke and people will think you have a drink anyway.

Personally I think it is fun to watch people get hammered when I am not drinking. And dude if you are in college you will have a big leg up scoring with chicks if you are sober and the competition is wasted.