CBD For Fitness: Why Trainers Are Using Cannabidiol in Their Exercise Regimen
Two powerhouse trainers — a strength training scientist (and fitness video starlet) and a celebrity dance cardio coach with a million and a half devoted fans — both avid CBD users. What makes these athletic powerhouses such fans of CBD, and why are they recommending it to clients and fans?
Liz Letchford, MS, ATC, PhD candidate is arguably the most popular trainer in the San Francisco Bay Area. With a mile long waitlist for personal training clients, a starring role in Tonal (the latest on-demand at-home gym system) videos, a doctoral dissertation finish line in sight, and a handful of fitness-related projects she’s personally spearheading, it’s safe to say: Liz has a lot on her plate.
As a scientist, she knows she wants to keep physical and mental stress to a minimum, but ensures she goes about it in a practical way. Enter: CBD. “There is a systemic calming effect with CBD that I take advantage of whenever I am feeling anxious or recovering from a neurologically demanding workout,” Liz told Svn. “ I don’t drink or smoke because it leaves me feeling inflamed and sick, so [using CBD] is an easy way for me to experience a calming effect without the use of inflammatory or unhealthy substances.”
She had first heard about CBD through personal research; she worked through studies looking for a solution for her clients with autoimmune diseases that left them struggling with inflammation. “I came across several resources suggesting the use of CBD oil and began looking into the scientific literature.” But diligent as ever, she had to try it first — “I began testing it myself before recommending it to my clients,” she said.
The effects were apparent. “I deal with a bit of joint inflammation which gets exacerbated when I train hard, eat something that disagrees with my body, or if it’s raining . . . yes, my knees can predict the weather!” she said. “Taking CBD helps to subtly calm that inflammation and provide a bit of pain relief so that I can feel my best and show up healthy and pain-free for my clients. As an added benefit, I am also more calm and present after taking CBD, which has a huge impact in all areas of my life.”
Caleb Marshall, founder and star of viral dance channel The Fitness Marshall has also noticed the benefits. As a popular celebrity trainer himself, he faces similar stresses that Liz does – running and managing a business, creating fitness programs for his audience, and in Caleb’s case, touring across the country all while filming and producing dance cardio videos. On top of, of course, working out personally.
“CBD is a total game changer for athletes and people who struggle with pain.”
He uses a combination of topical delivery and a tincture. “My muscles are always sore, especially my neck,” said Caleb. “My hair flips are actually out of control.” (He’s not exaggerating). “I use a CBD lotion to help ease the aches and relax.” And relax he does. “I can confidently say that it helps,” he said. “I don’t have a lot of recovery time when I’m on tour, and it becomes extremely hard to recover while doing back to back shows, so the lotion really comes into play and helps me get back into the swing of things.”
In addition to soothing muscular woes with a hemp cream, he turns to his oils in the morning and evening for mental health support. “I take my oil every day as ‘maintenance,’” he said. “About 15mg in the morning and about 30mg at night.” Caleb began this routine in early 2018, at a time when he describes his anxiety as being “completely out of control,” saying, “I couldn’t function day to day.”
Whereas Liz felt more pronounced relaxation effects, it took Caleb a while to see the difference. “Slowly after I started taking CBD oil, within about 5 months I would say, I felt like I had a better grip on things,” he said.
“I also started to go to therapy during that time, and doing a lot of work on myself, so I don’t want to say “yeah, CBD made everything better,’ — it has never been something for me that has instantly made me feel better — but I can tell you my anxiety is at a completely different place than it was when I started taking CBD daily, so I have no plans of stopping.”
Caleb and Liz have both begun to share their health journeys with CBD with their online audience and fan bases. “I recommend CBD to my clients and social media audience for inflammatory or anxiety-related symptoms,” said Liz. “Since it is a supplement, I always suggest they confirm with a physician whether CBD is appropriate and safe for them.”
In Caleb’s case, he feels passionate about sharing the message because of CBD’s “untapped potential.” He feels that CBD is “the missing puzzle piece; it knows exactly where to put itself to balance everything out,” and it feels like he really hit the nail on the head. “CBD is a total game changer for athletes and people who struggle with pain.”