Does Smoking Affect Muscle Gains?

June 2nd, 2008 by Paul Johnson

A common question among smokers who get into bodybuilding is wondering if smoking has any effect on muscle building. Smokers want to have their cake and eat it too, so they are hoping it doesn't affect their gains.

I used to smoke and when I first started bodybuilding, so it's hard for me to know how much of an impact it had since my gains were because I was new to working out. I felt it had a negligible effect. Smoking increases your metabolism making it harder to gain weight for hardgainers, but it doesn't increase your metabolism that much. You could easily just compensate by eating slightly more calories. If anything, smoking suppresses your appetite a bit. This makes it harder to bulk, and get enough calories to gain weight.

Smoking also effects your blood flow. Blood flow is important for sending nutrients to your muscles and could theoretically effect muscle gains. It also effects your lung capacity, so your more likely to get worn out before a heavy workout set is finished or not be as focused on your form during a set as your gasping for breath. Affecting your workout intensity this way, could also lead to less muscle gains, at least in theory.

Even though smoking does all these negative things, I think it's impact overall will not be real significant. If you want the best muscle gains possible though, you have to quit smoking. You should quit smoking anyways for your health's sake.

  1. jayden lilley on August 4th, 2010

    i am really into my gyming and all and i want to bulk up, but i am a smoker, how did you quit smoking. i have tried all those rubbish nicotine paches but they just dont seem to work.