Ex-NFL Player Ricky Williams to Open Weed-Based Gym

Angela Bronner Helm
Ricky Williams, winner of the 1998 Heisman Trophy, poses with U.S. college football’s highest honor at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City.

What’s the point of going to the gym if you scarf down a bucket of brownies after your workout? No matter. We suspect that former NFL running back Ricky Williams has an answer for that.

In fact, the onetime professional athlete feels so strongly about marijuana and its benefits that he plans to open the world’s very first cannabis-friendly gym—Power Plant Fitness—in San Francisco this November, according to CBS Sports.


Williams, whom many football fans know as a stellar running back and winner of the 1998 Heisman Trophy, is a longtime advocate and smoker of buds. He has acknowledged suffering from social anxiety disorder, avoidance disorder and borderline personality disorder, and has said that marijuana was “10 times better for me than Paxil.” Williams was actually a spokesperson for Paxil at one time.

Williams reportedly is partnering on the gym with Jim McAlpine, founder of 420 Games, which hosts athletic competitions for potheads nationwide, including triathlons, mountain bike races, golf tournaments and its signature 4.20-mile run.


The two plan to open a workout outpost where patrons can vape and consume edibles before or after their workouts. In an interview with Tech Insider, McAlpine said that new members of Power Plant will take a “cannabis performance assessment” before beginning a regimen.“We will be helping our members figure out how is best for them to ingest their cannabis,” McAlpine said.

Williams was forced to miss the entire 2006 season after violating the league’s substance abuse policy, but played in Canada for the CFL’s Toronto Argonauts. Ultimately Williams played for the Saints, Dolphins and Ravens through the 2011 season, and in January 2012 he surpassed the 10,000-career-rushing-yards mark, becoming the 26th player in the NFL’s history to do so. He retired from football a month later.


No word on how much of a stake Williams has in Power Plant.

Read more at CBS Sports and Tech Insider.

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