T Nation

Cigarette Smoking...


If you are a smoker, can this potentially hold back muscle gains, or does smoking have no effect on lifting at all?



I am (ashamedly so) a smoker. And even I think that is the stupidest question I have ever heard.

Man wouldn't we love to hear that its ok. Go ahead and smoke, its great for gains.

I needed this. Thanks. I think its time I quit. I think its well past that time.

anyway, back to your question...



Other than being nasty?

The question is, do you still have the aerobic capacity to get the volume done?

If yes, then it probably won't hurt you.

If no, then you won't get the gains you want.

Not to mention appetite suppressing effects that would shoot down a bulker like it was Dick Cheny.


Nicotine is a nootropic, however.


Aside from aerobic capactiy issues, it's said to hamper recovery. That would hurt gains. Hard to say exactly how much.


not to mention cancer..

which comes inescapably with smoking..
and THIS will FINALLY end gaining muscle


Why not just put a gun in your mouth and pull the trigger? Oh - never mind - that would be quick and painless. If you keep smoking you will die a slow painful death. You will torture your loved ones by making them care for you, wiping your ass and your puke when you going through chemo and watching their beloved wilter away to nothing. Oh - and you'd rather contribute to the increasing cost of health care in the US.

Think of it this way: The carcinogens permeate EVERY cell in your body. Not just your lungs. Your balls, your ass, etc, etc.

Um...yeah. Go lift some weights. Maybe you'll leave a more muscular corpse.


I wouldn't say inescapably. But chances are. Your general point is understood. Though I don't know that rehashing common knowledge will get people to quit that haven't already or already decided to.


My Dad (born 1932) has been smoking since he was 4... yes... FOUR. His teeth are falling out, he suffers from PAD, Hardening of the Arteries, some degree of emphysema, high blood pressure, low blood oxygen, weighs barely over 100 lbs. and has suffered a mild stroke. Additionally, he fell asleep while smoking on the porch and caught one leg on fire, burning it from the knee to ankle.

Smoking is so worth it.


The original poster came here looking for knowledge and information, not a truth.com ad. You really don't have to badger him to death about smoking i'm sure he knows this all too well. Those of you who never started smoking have no idea how dificult it is to stop. Cigarette addiction is worse than cocaine, heroin etc... because you can step out your front door and see cigarettes. You can't go hang out with your friends at a bar, because bars are smoke filled. You go to 7-11 for coffee in the morning and you see 100 packs of marlboro's behind the counter. Smoking is a socially acceptable narcotic making it very dificult on those hooked to it...

I gave up smoking four years ago and it was probably the most dificult thing I have ever done... To this day when I get angry, or with a beer, or occasionally when I smell one I would kill for a cigarette. From what I hear from people who have quit for 20+ years it is still this bad. Research shows smoking stimulates the same parts of the brain that being around your best friends does, so that once a smoker quits it really feels to them as if they have lost their best friend. If those commenting lost their best friend, and here we said well they never should have been your friend in the first place, we would be considered the slime of the earth and hated. But since it is a chemical friend lost, the victim becomes the criminal. This is total 100% BS.


My feeling, being an ex-smoker, is that smoking will either directly or indirectly affect your gains.

Firstly, as someone else pointed out aerobic capacity sucks. I can still remember how hard is was to punch out 3x8 squats with a decent weight without feeling like I was going to have a heart attack. Further, I havent looked to located any scientific proof on this but I imagine that the decreased level of oxygen is certainly going to have an effect on muscle performance and recovery.

Do a little bit of research and you will find more reasons to quit than to keep doing it.

It is the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life, and as another poster mentioned, I still find myself in situations where I would happily kill someone for a cigarette, but life is better without the damn things and I am never going back.


No. If our deceased best friend had been lessening our quality of life and slowly killing us, you would be considered telling the truth.


Stay strong guys. It will likely get easier. Most of the people I know who have quit smoking for 20+ years (my parents and that generation) are now nauseated by the smell of smoke and get irritated by being in the room with smokers.


I disagree with this analogy. Toxic things should be cut out of your life be they friends, family, or addictive substances. If there is no positive way for it to have a greater positive impact in your life than negative, it's gotta go no matter what.


As an ex smoker myself I agree with a lot of what you wrote but like some others have said, this statement is utter crap and I would suggest that these types of thoughts would have made quitting a lot harder for you than it had to be.


I was not defending smoking in the least, I was simply orating how painful and dificult it is to do, and how non-smokers think it is so easy, and can be done overnight. I was making an analogy so that those who didn't know might be able to get an understanding for the level of dificulty.


Same as the above post. I never said it didn't need to go, just wanted those who haven't done it to get a grasp for the dificulty.


Sheesh! I didn't know so many T-Nationers were also proud supporters of the Truth Ads. Seriously, everybody knows cigarettes are bad. It says so right on the package. The original poster was simply looking for some information. There's no need to bring your moral agenda here.

ANYWAYS, to the original question. From a nutritional stand point, smoking depletes your body's vitamin E levels which can negatively affect the way your body handles fatty acids. So it's possible some of the healthy fats you're ingesting could be oxidized before they do your body any good. With regard to lower omega 3 levels, this would equate to higher amounts of inflammation, which in turn would slow muscle recovery and growth. Smoking also pollutes your body with free radicals, which further retard growth and recovery.

Last but not least, smoking significantly lowers T levels, and we all know what lower T levels mean. Hope this helps.


If you do your research on the effects of nicotene on the brain you will find this same answer. Social support is a key factor in altering behavior, so when the person is down from the loss of nicotene, people berating them will NOT help them achieve the goal.


I'll begin by giving my condolences to all those who have lost loved ones or have loved ones who are ill as a result of smoking cigarettes.

I must say, however, that this smoking naziism is getting out of hand. People are free to make decisions, whether or not they may be detrimental to their health. I also find this classification of smoker, non-smoker to be a misnomer. I personally smoke very infrequently, maybe a cigarette or two a month.

While I agree this is not GOOD for me, I strongly doubt that any type of scientific study could show a significant correlation to smoking of that frequency and increased cancer rates. I imagine the carcinogen consumption would be similar to living in LA. People know it's dangerous, but so is driving your car, yet I imagine you do it everyday. So, honestly, get off your high horses.

P.S. I might be wrong, just an opinion.