Modafinil Workout: How Does Modafinil Affect Your Workout? Training While On Modafinil (Strength training, bodybuilding)
If you’re new to Modafinil you can read about my experiences here. So, how does Modafinil affect your workouts?
For me, it is most definitely a performance enhancer. It has a number of positive effects on my workouts which I will discuss here, along with a couple of considerations to be careful of.
As ever, this is not medical or legal advice. Just my experience, and I suggest you do your research and make your own decisions based on the literature and professional advice.
Strength Training on Modafinil
Modafinil increases focus and increased focus will allow better execution of movements. I’m an Olympic lifter, so technical precision is extremely important for me. I find that with Modafinil, I am effortlessly ‘in the zone’ every time. I don’t need to think to think about it, my body knows what to do. This extreme focus is actually how I feel when I compete too. I’ve always lifted better in competition than training.
By not thinking, being totally focused and present on completion of the lift, rather than assessment of it, I am better. I also find that when I do miss a lift, I don’t get annoyed or stressed about it, I don’t kick things or berate myself for making dumb technical mistakes. I just load the bar back up and go again. It’s like it never happened. I just carry on. Repeat and do it right.
Today I was doing an exercise I’ve never done before. Snatching from the hip, with no pull. Super light, only 70kg, but my body didn’t know the technique and I ended up looping the first few attempts straight over my head because I was extending my hips rather than my knees. Each time I just grabbed the bar and went again. After a few goes I figured out what was causing me the problem, corrected it and made all of my reps with ease after that.
Normally I would get frustrated that I was missing such a light weight and bemoan how I don’t like the exercise. Today, it just never phased me one bit. I just got on with it.
For strength training, Modafinil is definitely a performance enhancer for me. I’ve always had great workouts after taking Modafinil and I always get through them quickly too. I usually take longer in the gym than I need to, it’s strength training so I don’t need to keep the pace high, per se, but with Modafinil I just get down to business.
Bodybuilding on Modafinil
Similar to strength training, you will have an increased focus. For bodybuilding, it will allow you to get a killer mind-muscle connection and really stay present in your body. Again, I see Modafinil as a performance enhancer for bodybuilding.
What I find interesting, is that it seems to dull the burn and fatigue. It’s like you are so focused on doing the movement and contracting the muscle, you don’t have time for other signalling (pain, fatigue). It’s an intense level of focus to where you are pumping reps out piston fashion, without thought for anything else. You will definitely add a rep or two to your set.
You could make an argument that the intense focus and improved ability to get a strong mind-muscle connection will benefit you long term too (read the importance of a strong mind-muscle connection and 9 other advanced tips I guest wrote on my friend Aaron’s blog). If you learn how better to contract your muscles, with the focus aid, you will be able to replicate it better in the future. Don’t know how much truth is in that, just a theory…
As with strength training, I just get stuff done with minimal fuss or procrastination. This is much more useful for bodybuilding as I can keep the rest periods short and increase the workout density. This is definitely going to lead to better results; fat loss or hypertrophy, depending on what your diet is set up to achieve.
Considerations when training on Modafinil
Modafinil tends to cause dehydration, which will first of all decrease performance, and secondly be exacerbated by working out. Make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day and especially during your workout. I drink a lot of water habitually anyway, and usually take hydration salts in 1.5L of water while training; but I live in Thailand and it’s always hot and humid as hell, so I have to do this to stay hydrated on a normal day. (read tips for training in tropical climates)
Make sure you’re drinking plenty and experiment with hydration salts if you feel the need. Dehydration makes performance fall off a cliff, so it’s worth it.
A lot of people report appetite suppression from Modafinil. I think personally, I don’t feel hungry, but eat habitually at the same times anyway, so it’s not an issue that I notice.
When you’re training, you obviously need to eat to sustain that. You don’t grow in the gym, you grow when you recover from the gym. So if it’s an issue for you, consider setting a reminder and scheduling your feeds in among the work. I just go for a huge meal immediately after the gym and get the rest when I want a mental break from working.
Modafinil can cause insomnia, which is also going to impact your ability to recover. Used occasionally it shouldn’t be a big deal, but the more regularly you are messing up your sleep schedule, the less progress you will make in the gym.
For me, as long as I get my ass out of bed and take it before 9am, it won’t keep me up beyond 1am (and I will be working until then), which doesn’t bother me at all. I have complete control of my schedule so I just sleep in if I need to. I don’t use an alarm so my body regulates the amount of sleep it needs.
This might well not be the case for you, so take it in to consideration.
Interaction with pre-workout and other supplements
I don’t personally take any pre-workouts or other supplements. Just good old coffee. I’ve never researched or looked in to it, so I don’t know how Modafinil interacts with pre-workout or other supplements. Be sure to check before doing anything and make sure it’s safe.
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My opinion of my workouts when on Modafinil
I love working out on Modafinil, it feels like the ultimate flow state. The gym is my happy place where I get in to flow anyway, but not as easily and regularly as when on Modafinil. It definitely improves my lifting, and I think it could have long term benefit through improved technique and body presence. That’s hard to quantify so I can’t say anything definitive, but I feel like it helps.