Putting the "high" back in runner's high.

By Charlotte Hilton Andersen
February 28, 2017

Power Plant Fitness is a new gym opening up in San Francisco-a fact that would be utterly unremarkable in a city known for being health conscious if it weren't for one tiny detail. See, when owner Jim McAlpine says "power plant," he's not talking about vegan post-workout smoothies. The plant he's encouraging is actually more of a weed. As in marijuana.

Getting stoned before hitting the gym is generally seen as a no-no, but McAlpine and his co-owner Ricky Williams, a former NFL star who left the league after getting busted for pot, want to change that perception. The trick, they say, is in how you use it to enhance your workouts.

"If you use it right, cannabis takes the things you love and lets you love them more, McAlpine told Outside. "With fitness that can help get you into the zone, into eye-of-the-tiger mode." (Although he doesn't explain the "right" way to use it in a fitness capacity.)

McAlpine and Williams say the new studio won't just be a "stoner hangout" but will be a top-tier gym offering assessments, high-end equipment, and classes. The only difference will be you can toke while you torch (calories). Or bake while you bulk. Or smoke while you squat. (Sorry not sorry.) This gym makes "feel the burn" take on a whole new meaning, right?

Despite the pair's enthusiasm for the combination of sweat and smoke, not everyone thinks this is the best idea. There are only a handful of studies looking at the effects marijuana has on exercise. But one study found it can reduce motor control and cause mental impairment-two side effects that would definitely hurt your workout. A separate study found that while it did blunt the body's perception of pain, which could theoretically help you go harder, it also reduces your heart's ability to function. (More on how pot affects your workouts here.)