Athletes, soldiers, warriors—all have been looking for ways to improve their performance since humans could throw a spear or chase a mammoth. And even back in the Stone Age, there were probably some old shamans in caves telling young hunters not to get with their women before a hunt, because it would drain too much energy.
Turns out those old coaches and generals (and "wise" men) were probably wrong, and they were robbing younger and fitter men of a measure of happiness. Spoiler alert: Getting it on before any kind of athletic endeavor doesn't make much difference at all.
Before you get off the couch to go find your now-elderly high school football coach and yank his walker out from under him, let's learn more about the research.
Men's Health reports that a study conducted by very helpful scientists at California State University, San Marcos had 12 men do leg day after a lucky night or after taking a break from the bedroom. Dr. Todd Astorino said that this "night-before design was to mimic the timeframe that some athletes may face."
Their results? As Men's Health writes, "Astorino and his colleagues found that sex had no effect on the men’s ability to perform the weight training movements."
Five sets of squats or lunges went just fine for the abstinent and horny alike.
Astorino's study wasn't working with the largest sampling possible, no, but 12 men was enough for Astorino to conclude that the "data would suggest that sex does not impair muscle force when performed within 12 hours of a gym workout."
He did have to take the fun out of it for athletic superstars like LeBron James, Tom Brady, or superstar speed walker Tom Bosworth, saying that world class athletes "win and lose by very small margins." Meaning the average dude isn't going to noticed the difference, but a champion might actually feel a little winded.
Testosterone is key. Sexual activity affects hormone levels so any kind of alteration could cause mood and performance enhancements. Or not.
There are studies that argue with Astorino's findings, so if you survey them all, you might be confused as to whether it really matters that you get some skin time in with your girl. In the end, the upshot is it doesn't. The only exception? Someone like a world champion sprinter—or speed walker—probably shouldn't get wild with swings, toys, and vats full of lube a couple of hours before the event. It's all about timing.
Hit it before you hit the gym. It's fine.
Or don't. Either way you're getting pumped.