Trainer Kevin Zammit on Fitness and Cannabis

Article by Kevin Zammit, Lift News

Trainer Kevin Zammit on fitness and cannabis Dropping his prescription painkillers for cannabis, Kevin Zammit was able to get back into competitive bodybuilding—and win

I was a competitive bodybuilder back in 2007 until I fell off a four-wheeler and injured my knee. I had torn my ACL ligament, which wouldn’t heal on its own, so they had to replace the ligament using part of my leg muscle. This left me with a year off work, unable to train, which I love, and OxyContin to control the pain. The pills worked for pain, but it turns out I’m allergic to OxyContin, so the results were ultimately worse. I fell into a deep depression, my stomach hurt from the medication and I had itchy hives all the time from my allergy to the drug.

Healing with cannabis

I already knew cannabis made me feel good, so I thought, “Why am I taking something that hurts my stomach and makes me feel bad, when there’s an alternative?” I didn’t have a prescription and had to go around the law to medicate myself, but it worked. I guess it was a strong enough strain at the time, but I was no longer in pain and stopped using OxyContin right away.

Cannabis was a godsend; I was finally able to eat and started slamming back protein shakes. Eventually I bought a bench and started using dumbbells I had in my basement. Slowly, slowly I was able to walk again, attend my physical therapy appointments and started to feel like myself. Eventually I felt like I could compete again, and when I did, I won first place.

Getting over professional stigma

Sure, I had preconceptions about marijuana. I was the bratty little brother who ratted out my sister for smoking pot! And in my professional life, the bodybuilding and fitness industry looks down on cannabis, which I think is funny considering the amount of steroid use that goes on. That being said, a lot of people actually pat me on the back for being open about how I came back to training, and how I continue to use cannabis to both build and recover. It takes a lot of courage to be honest in our industry. Many people use substances but it’s really secret, everyone’s hush-hush, even if they’re obvious about it.

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