What Are They Smelling Before They Lift Heavy Weights?

I shared this video on our WWLW Page of one of our lifters pulling a 400 lb deadlift PR and the question was asked “What is that stuff she is sniffing before she lifts?”

That stuff is known as ammonia or smelling salts.  You won’t see this in many commercial gyms, but you will see it a lot at PowerLifting Competitions.

 

How Does Ammonia Work?
Smelling salts work because the human body aggressively reacts to the ammonia gas in several ways. When sniffed, the gas irritates the nostril membranes and lungs, so much so that it triggers a sharp inhalation reflex, bringing in more air and thus more oxygen. This can result in improved alertness

 

What Are The Benefits Of Using Ammonia Before lLfting?

=> Improved Mental Alertness.  Sniffing ammonia will wake you up mentally.  It works very fast.

=> Improved Oxygen Uptake. Smelling salts work because the human body aggressively reacts to the ammonia gas in several ways. When sniffed, the gas irritates the nostril membranes and lungs, so much so that it triggers a sharp inhalation reflex, bringing in more air and thus more oxygen. This can result in improved alertness.

=> Enhanced CNS activation.  Using ammonia will “wake up” your CNS for approximately 8-15 seconds.  Your CNS plays a huge role in strength.

 

Is It The Same Ammonia Used In Cleaning Agents?

The ammonia used by us powerlifters is somewhat different than the cleaning agent, it comes in small capsules in bottles. we sniff it to give a bit of an adrenaline rush before lifting which often gives a stronger muscular contraction.  Please do not sniff cleaning agents :).

 

Should you use Ammonia?

If you are a general gym goer I really don’t see the need to use ammonia.  However if you are planning a really heavy deadlift of competing I highly recommend you try it.  I have a lot of my powerlifting athletes use it and use it sparingly for people lifting heavy weights in my gym.

If you want to give them a try you can order them on Amazon.com for less than $10 here.

 

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