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Being stoned can improve certain activities, such as auditioning for a Takis commercial. Other situations are best avoided, such as legal depositions or, one would think, working out.
So I was suspicious when a friend told me that he prefers lifting weights when high. As does Joe Rogan. They claim that being baked helps improve their form by allowing them to feel how specific muscles engage — instead of trying to figure it out by looking in a mirror, which you cannot do while high due to giggling.
To find out if this really works, I emailed Morgan English, the Jane Fonda of weed workouts. Morgan, a professional cannabis photographer, founded Stoned + Toned in 2019. Stoned + Toned offers 30-minute online prerecorded “smoke-and-sweat sessions” ($9.99 a month, stonedandtoned.com). But Morgan and her husband and co-founder, Mike, agreed to train me at my house. I was incredibly nervous. Not about the workout. I first got high when I was in my 30s and have done so only about a dozen times since.
When Morgan arrived, brimming with cheery coolness, I knew I was in expert hands. She keeps a light buzz going all day to manage anxiety.
Morgan instructed me to stand on my yoga mat before I vaped. “If you smoke and you’re on the couch, you’re not going to want to get up and do a workout,” she explained. I took a hit of Super Lemon Haze, which she said would give me “an energetic, happy high.” I enjoyed some lemony coughs, and she turned on a Spotify playlist called “Wake and Bake.”
We grabbed some light weights and punched from side to side, engaging our obliques. Then we planked. Every time I looked over at Morgan to check my form, she was pulling on her vape pen. The first thing she told me about the glute bridge was that it was the best position for smoking.
As I got thirsty, without ever sweating, I found myself able to focus on using the exact right muscles. Though I wasn’t sure if that was due to the cannabis or merely because I was concentrating, or if there really is a difference between those two things. This is what my brain sounds like when I’m stoned.
I also kept losing track of time, which made exercising less unpleasant. “It really helps you zone out when you’re doing repetitive things,” Mike explained.
I stopped caring whether I was working out or not working out. Which made me wonder if I should stop working out. I asked Morgan if people ever just gave up midway. “On Zoom, a woman was just lying there,” she said. “And she was like, ‘But I like listening to you guys.’ ” Morgan didn’t mind at all. In fact, that woman’s reaction is part of what Morgan wanted to evoke through cannabis calisthenics — and why 90 percent of her clients are women. “I want someone to feel safe. In so many fitness studios and gyms, there’s so much judgment and anxieties.”
After all the years I’ve been in gyms, I now wondered if I was one those judgers. Maybe I made people uncomfortable. Maybe I was making Morgan uncomfortable right now. Maybe my energy was damaging the great energy Morgan was bringing. This kept up for hours after Morgan left. I really can’t handle weed.
This story first appeared in the Jan. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.
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