How 3 Fitness Experts Add Cannabis to Their Routine

How 3 Fitness Experts Add Cannabis to Their Routine

How 3 Fitness Experts Add Cannabis to Their Routine

Cannabis remains a contentious topic in the world of sports, but when it comes to the pros, the sentiment is clear: a significant number of them rely on it. Insider reports estimate upward of 80 percent of major sports league players use cannabis for its various benefits like enhanced focus, accelerated recovery, and pain management. Its prevalence has sparked discussion on if its use is grounds for barring them from competing and whether or not cannabis is truly performance-enhancing

Some organizations like the NFL and NHL have loosened their policies on disciplining players for cannabis use in recent years. Others, like the NBA, have stopped testing for cannabis altogether. Still, there are instances where athletes face harsh penalties for consuming marijuana. Notably, the topic received widespread attention when Team USA Olympic sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson was banned from competing in the Tokyo Olympics after testing positive for THC.  

Despite its potential penalties and lingering stigma, many athletes – professional and amateur alike – incorporate cannabis into their lifestyles. We’ve previously covered the science of cannabis and fitness, but we also believe in learning firsthand from athletes’ lived experiences. We asked three Las Vegas-based fitness experts about how they use weed in their fitness routines. Here is what they shared: 


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A post shared by Lisa Wilbon (@lisa_alli)

“You can’t do the sport if you’re not sleeping, so I started to dabble with smoking and edibles.”

Lisa Wilbon, IFBB Pro & Gym Owner 

There’s a common saying in fitness, “Sleep is part of the workout.” It emphasizes that recovery is not just a passive process, but an essential component to reaching performance goals. But sleep is often easier said than done when it comes to pro athletes, especially for bodybuilders like Lisa Wilbon, who often experience sleep disturbances from the severe cut in calories as they prep for competition. 

“The leaner I get, the less sleep I get. I feel exhausted, and I can’t fall asleep,” said Wilbon. It was through the fitness community that she discovered the relaxing benefits of cannabis and made it a staple in her nighttime routine. Not only did she find it helpful for winding down at night, but it was also easy to incorporate into her disciplined regime, she added. 

“When you get really lean, you put so much stress on your body with the intensity of training and the way you eat,” said Wilbon. “When I was stressed in the past, I’d have a bottle of wine, but you can’t do that when you’re on prep.” Cannabis presented a natural alternative that didn’t disrupt her diet. 

Adequate sleep allows the body to repair and rebuild muscles, regulate hormone levels, and replenish energy stores, making it an essential part of anyone’s life. Wilson, who is currently expanding her efforts in growing her gym Elev8tion, also attests, “My sleep is better with cannabis, and it puts me in a better mood.” 


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A post shared by Ross Yates (@rossbossfit)


After talking with my doctor, I started smoking weed, and I noticed how much of a good effect it had on me, especially at the gym. I’d have such a good mind-muscle connection. I was focused but in a mellow state.” 

Ross Yates, Founder of Bodies By Boss

Cannabis helped personal trainer Ross Yates during a time when he needed it most. “Eight years ago, I ended up in a cardiologist’s office because I had been diagnosed with Atrial fibrillation (A-fib). My heart rate would be 200 if I went down to tie my shoes, my blood pressure was through the roof, and it came from using too many stimulants. Caffeine, energy drinks, you name it,” Yates revealed. Recognizing the need to eliminate caffeine while he worked on his health, he sought an alternative that would keep him focused. This led him to cannabis, where he discovered its benefits both in and out of the gym. 

“Before, I was always so wired off caffeine that I was trying to go as hard as I possibly could. But as I’ve grown further in this career, I’ve realized how much less helpful that is and how much better it is to be focused on what you’re doing. Sativas are my go-to while working out, and still, to this day, I love smoking before my workouts,” he explained. 

Yates boasts over 10 years of personal training experience and established his private coaching company, Bodies by Boss, in 2019. He specializes in helping busy professionals, typically men in their 30s or 40s.

I’ve tailored down my niche because I want to help guys in my position. I know how busy life can be, and to skip a day and then a month goes by or 6 months go by,” he shared. “So my goal with my clients now is to be able to stop that from happening in the first place.” 

Yates also credits cannabis with helping him overcome his workaholic tendencies. “Being able to decompress at night was a big one for me because I went through this huge phase where I could not turn work off,” he said. “I remember talking to a therapist because I would have nightmares about work. That is what led me to smoke indica and hybrid as well. Without that, I’d wake up the next morning, and I’d be so stressed.” 


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“It’s a huge part of my life. It helps me turn inward when I’m doing yoga and meditative practices. It also helps regulate my appetite or if I’m feeling moody.”

Janyce Shinaya, Yoga Instructor

Janyce Shinaya understands the intricacies of cannabis better than most. She first began using the plant over two decades ago and, in 2013, began traveling to Northern California to work as a trimmer during harvest seasons. Throughout her journey, she has witnessed firsthand the profound impact cannabis can have on one’s life and credits the plant for helping her heal herself and grow her business. 

Reflecting on her experiences as a trimmer, she shared, “My first time up there, it was really healing for me. It was meditative to work that close with a plant and realize you are the last touch before it distributes out to wherever it goes,” and later added, “It’s been a huge part in my journey and my business.” 

She credits cannabis for helping her across various parts of her life, from regulating her mood and appetite, to enabling her to delve deeper into her yoga practice, as well as providing her the funds she needed to grow her career as a yoga instructor and performer. 

Today, she actively hosts cannabis events, showcasing her diverse talents, from acrobatic yoga to reiki and fire dancing. Among her recent endeavors is a Blunt & Brunch, where she will be hosting a stoned yoga session, followed by a 4-course THC-infused meal. Janyce Shinaya also serves as a member of the Las Vegas Chamber of Cannabis, further cementing her dedication to the plant and industry. 

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