cigarettes and athletic training

Hi,
I am a Division-3 relief baseball pitcher. Unfortunately, I have had a great deal of trouble quitting cigarettes, and as a relief pitcher the cigarettes do not logically seem to affect my performance, which does not rely heavily on endurance at all.

However, I've been taking my strength and conditioning training much more seriously of late, and have been feeling the effects of cigarettes much more.

What interests me isn't actually endurance training but strength and power related training. I run 2.5-3 miles basically on a daily basis and can push myself further if I'm forced to do so. I know I can do better without cigarettes, but that's not what's really been bothering me. What HAS been bothering me has been that while working with weights or resistance I find myself getting seriously out of breath in the middle of a set, and often shaking during the exercises.

I'm sure that cigarettes have something to do with it, but I'm not sure how, and more than that, I'm really worried that smoking cigarettes will thwart my efforts in strength-training and stunt my development due to something like a lack in oxygen flow or something I am completely unaware of.

This might seem like a pointless question, because I know that I have to quit either way and that doing so will improve my physical condition significantly. However, for my ease of mind, and maybe as a catalyst to help me quit, what exactly are the effects on my athletic training, development and performance? I know this might not seem like an important question but if you can, please be as detailed as possible as far as the aerobic, anaerobic, immediate physical performance, development, and all other facets you can think of are concerned.

Thanks alot,

Dan

Posted By Daniel Litt on June 18, 2008 at 17:14:21:

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