T Nation

Smoking Cessation and Volume


Quit smoking a little more than a week ago. I'm doing same workout as before, but, I'm not even close to fatigued. The strength is the same. The volume I can do has dramatically increased. I'll guess that it won't last forever, so, I may as well run with it.

It's like feeling good on a certain day, and going for a max. But, this is feeling like I can just go on almost all day, every day.

Have you had any experience with these matters?




[quote]Panopticum wrote:

Besides that, placebo, man. When I smoked in the introduction week of university, I felt I can’t breath when training next week. However, I easily ran trough half the city at the end of the week, when I was too wasted to remember I chain smoked for a week.[/quote]

Smoking for a week doesn’t really qualify you to give any insight into this.

I’m not CT, but I’ll share my experience.

I made the mistake of smoking heavily for more than 15 years. Once I quit for good I noticed a DRAMATIC improvement in lung function in - you guessed it - about a week, which carried over to just about everything I did. Two weeks was even better. Breathing is just great.

I had my VO2 max tested maybe a year after I quit in my early 30’s and the results were well within normal range. I was tested before I quit and I had old man lungs. Placebo, my ass.

I’m not sure how heavy of a smoker you were, or how long you smoked, but I would expect this effect to last. I would also expect continued improvement over the coming weeks.

Congratulations on making a great decision! Quitting smoking SUCKS! Just make it a few more days and your body will be fully adjusted to life without cigarettes. From there it is all in your head!




Because the placebo-effect wasn’t the main (or scientifically measurable) cause of your worse cardio, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a notable factor.


Do you work for Phillip Morris, Panopticum? I can’t imagine any other reason why one would classify any of the very real benefits of smoking cessation as a placebo. You can’t wish away the damage done by long-term smoking, either. You may be able to “forget” you were a smoker, but your circulatory and respiratory systems don’t really care what you think.

Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t chime in on a thread if I don’t have any meaningful experience to share.

domcib: Here’s a link giving you a “benefit timeline” of smoking cessation. Again, I would expect that your performance continues to improve in the coming weeks if you stay away from the smokes. That was my experience and it really helped “seal the deal” on quitting, as a lot of the benefits begin to materialize right about the same time that the cravings subside. Your body really gets to work fast on fixing your mistakes.

Of course, YMMV. For reference, I smoked between a pack and two packs per day for most of those 15 years, being closer to a pack per day smoker in the last few years of my habit.




[quote]Panopticum wrote:
I do not work for Morris. If you don’t have the same view as me on things, doesn’t that make any of my statements wrong, corrupted or misleading. I do not call 99% of the benefits of smoking cessation a placebo effect. I just note I noted a placebo effect when smoking/stopping smoking. Of course you can’t wish away damage done, but denying any mental state can influence performance; you and I would be mere machines. But psychology ain’t no manual.

If noting a trent, and only using one of the clearer, more objective example makes my multiple time experience meaningless, and makes me a neophyte, I think I just got burned like a cig.

Disagree with me all you want. I’ll respect you just as much after it. But this kind of ad hominem attacks make me doubt if you deserve that.[/quote]

Are you being serious? Earlier you said you smoked for a single week. How does that give you any sort of insight into quitting long term smoking? Answer: none.

Smoking cessation after 10-20 years of heavy smoking can’t in any way be compared to “quitting” after a week in terms of both mental and physical effects.


Panopticum, you seem like a young person with a great deal of interest in fitness and lifting. I think that’s great. I really do. You should absolutely pursue that. Please take what I am writing to you as constructive criticism. I’m not trying to bring you down here at all.

I think you talk out of your ass way too much. Most of us on this board are interested in sharing information and experiences, but very little of what you have written leads me to believe that you have much, if any, experience with lifting (or the process of beating cigarette addiction, for that matter). Having smoked a few times or even for a week is an entirely different experience than being a long time smoker. Similarly, having read some articles on training is entirely different from actually training over the span of years, let alone decades.

The article you linked in this particular thread was, at best, tangentially related to the topic at hand. I have no idea why you thought that might be helpful. It seemed to me like you were just posturing so you could present yourself as having advanced knowledge of some rather esoteric aspects of training. Your suggestion that improved physical performance was any form of placebo was wrong, period. Not because I say so, but because the physical benefits of smoking cessation are very well-known. Your lungs begin to bounce back in a matter of weeks and they continue to improve for weeks afterwards. The effect can be quite dramatic and, if you spent many years accustomed to diminished lung function, it can be rather surprising. Unlike you, I’ve actually experienced this.

We’ve all been guilty of talking out of our ass from time-to-time, but I believe you should spend some time reflecting on whether you can really help another person before you give advice. If you are not careful someone might actually follow your advice.

Keep reading, keep posting, and definitely keep training, but make sure you are sharing good information when you take the time to post. Avoid weighing in on subjects where you have limited or no experience. I really do wish you great success in training and I would love to see you posting a year from now, two years from now and beyond. In the meantime you could always start a log here on T-Nation to show the world what you are doing day-in, day-out.

I am very sorry for the thread hijack and again, congratulations on clearing a very big hurdle, domcib. Don’t cave!


i didnt mean to start an argument here.
ive been smoking 35 years. in the 90’s it was 4-5 packs a day… no lie.
over the last 10 years or so, it’s been 1.5 packs a day.
for those who do not know, check out whyquit.com
for those who do know. do the same. very informative regarding the science in nicotine addiction, dopamine receptors etc.

@ two jar. thanks so much for the support. 7/26/15 was my last day. i read that the first 72 hours are the toughest. this was true. i figured if i can get throught that, i should be ok. now, the craves come from the “trigger” situations. but, they are not as bad as the first 3 days.
oddly eneough, i noticed my breathing improved right from day1.
the weird part is that i’m not even getting fatigued. i’m comparing myself to how i was 2 weeks ago. ive been training off and on for over 40 years, so, i KNOW the difference. its no placebo. i’m guessing it has something to with increased oxygen levels, and maybe some sort of reaction in the brain. who knows, maybe the dopamine r ceptors are replacing nicotine with training… lol… i dont know.
all i know is that i am training harder and harder every day. i get sore, but im healing much much faster, and i just wanna keep lifting.


i started this thread for 2 reasons

  1. because i am really interested to know if anyone else has had or heard of similar experience
  2. its a big damn deal for me to quit. look at my past. and i feel that it could be helpful to someone out there who could use some help with quitting, but was afraid to ask …kind of thing


i got prescribed chantix. my research said i do not want an antidepressant.
all these things out there just prolong the inevitable
72 hours of hard withdrawal. after 72 hours nicotine is no longer in your system. then the next 3 weeks are dealling with the pschological triggers that are effected by what i call the dopamine receptors.
i planned to spend as much time possible in the first 72 hours doing things that i dont get craves while doing. such as
watch movies.

and. one puff and you are back at square 1. i never knew all this stuff.

thanks again for your support, and congrats on your sucess. its a beautiful thing


[quote]domcib wrote:
i didnt mean to start an argument here.
ive been smoking 35 years. in the 90’s it was 4-5 packs a day… no lie.
over the last 10 years or so, it’s been 1.5 packs a day.

You didn’t start an argument. I did.

With this information in mind, I believe you will continue to see a very, very noticeable improvement, perhaps by the day. I also believe you will continue to improve for quite some time. It really is incredible, and it is a breath of fresh air in the most literal sense possible.

You’re already past the hardest part, but if you’re anything like me you can expect to have cigarette thoughts pop into your head for quite some time. I had one today, as a matter of fact, but they are not such a bid deal anymore. Keep doing as you are doing, and pay attention to all of these very good things that are happening to you.

I think you are a very interesting case of an ex-smoker. And yes, you should call yourself that now. Really, how many people who smoke as much as you used to are actually busting their ass in the gym enough to observe an increased capacity in weight lifting volume? Not me and not any of the many smokers I knew, that’s for sure.

I think your approach is pretty solid. Stay away from those triggers, but be ready to face them down too. Don’t cave, because you’re right about going back to square 1.

And you are also right that quitting is a beautiful thing. Keep going!


i appreciate you contributing your 2 cents paragraph.

as far as your personal experience. well, that it what it is. im glad for you that it was only a week.


i found that trying to stay away from triggers is a frustrating waste of time and energy.
what we do is what we do. damn, everything is a trigger. lol. so, rather than stay away, we must realize that this action will triggera crave. and thats it. at some point in time the brain will change its memory banks of what happens when i perform a certain activity… nothing
driving, eating, working, drinking, etc etc. since i smoked al the time, every damn thing i do has a cigarette memory attached to it. BUT, thats all it is… a memory. over time memories fade. especially when replaced with new memories.

take care now
and thanks so much again!




Panopticum, I’ll try this one more time, but let me make sure I understand what you’re saying first.

Now you are saying you smoked for two years, not just that one week, right? During this time you “successfully” quit maybe 15 times, right? Stop and think about that for a second. One of these 15 times you got wasted, forgot you used to smoke, then ran through half the city. This is the “concrete example” and the “objective indicator” you are talking about, right? Smoking for a week, getting wasted and forgetting you smoked for a week is the experience you had that you felt qualified you to give advice on this subject, correct?

I politely pointed out how your experience doesn’t really apply here and offered the OP some helpful advice, but you couldn’t let it go, could you? You insulted me, called me a melodramatic old man and doubled-down on your stupid idea, insisting that this placebo affect was, to use your words, a “notable factor”.

And you even insist on defending that ridiculous article you linked because it had one - ONE - paragraph that was sort of related, because people need oxygen to survive and that article talked about oxygen. And you felt the OP should read through a very long article about sprinting to find that little gem of information? You believed THAT would be helpful?

My mind is blown right now, so let me ask you a pair of parting questions:

How do you think suggesting that domcib was experiencing a placebo was helpful to someone who, as it turns out, is a 30+ year ex-smoker who smoked over 4 packs per day for a decade?

Do you think he’d be better off listening to you about your experience quitting, or me and my experience quitting?

See, I’ve only quit once, not fifteen times like you have. Think about that for a minute.


Pick one… (Inb4 “I said it MIGHT be a notable factor” or “notable doesn’t MEAN major”)


[quote]Adeedas wrote:

Pick one… (Inb4 “I said it MIGHT be a notable factor” or “notable doesn’t MEAN major”)[/quote]

No shit. Talk about a lack of integrity. He can’t even keep his story straight when it is all on the same page.

If it sounds like I’m angry about this, it is because I am. This is not an internet argument about which dragonball character is the most powerful.

This is a thread started by a person who was probably craving a cigarette as he typed it out. Quitting smoking is a very, very challenging thing to undertake with consequences that are literally a matter of life and death.

Someone who is at that crossroads doesn’t need to be told that the very real benefits they are experiencing are all in their head, as Panopticum told domcib. That was an ignorant, harmful and irresponsible statement.

They need to be told that they are on to something, that the benefits they are experiencing are very real and encouraged to keep going, because that’s the goddamn truth.

I lost my father to lung cancer. It is a bad, bad way to go. I could easily go out like that too if I were to cave in to my past addiction. I don’t want it for me, I don’t want it for anyone else and I take this subject VERY seriously.

/rant over


hey gang, lets relax here a bit. the anger could be a trigger-:slight_smile:
@panop- My posts to you were not critical- at least i didn’t mean them to be. As far as I’m concerned your original post had the intention to be helpful from a scientific perspective. To me it was- thanks. I didn’t read the article- sorry, it looked too complicated. Your statement from the article about oxygen, carbon monoxide, and red blood cells etc made sense to me. Hence, helpful- thanks again.
After that- the “placebo man” thing. I totally disregarded- no offense, It just didn’t do anything for me, and I really didn’t understand what you were really trying to say

regarding twojar feeling insulted, if you meant to insult him, then shame on you. if you didn’t, then you should clarify, just as I did to you in the above paragraph

@twojar- You have a lot to be proud of. You know it, and many other people know it. If someone else doesn’t realize it, then, that’s their problem. Thanks again

@adeedas- Sorry, I have no clue as to what you are saying- Sorry, I’m still going through some “Brain Fog” i guess- :slight_smile:

in general
Some people just don’t get addicted to either a certain thing, or anything. Some people do.
-For the people that do. Life can be a real pain in the ass.
-For the people that don’t, well, some of them scratch their head because they cannot comprehend how someone else can become addicted. That’s ok, so long as they do not pass judgement on those that get addicted. You can leave that part to God.
Others will just accept them for who they are and be happy they don’t have that problem of addiction.

As for myself
I was addicted to cocaine from 1981- 1985- It is a horrible addiction. Getting locked up for an extended period of time is what saved my life. You already know about the nicotine addiction.
So, I will say, that unless you have had the ACTUAL TRUE experience, you cannot comprehend the pain and suffering it causes.
You may try to relate, but the reality is, you CAN’T.
Consider your self blessed and be thankful that you really don’t know.
Trust me!- You don’t want to know