Lightheaded when lifting weights

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by Lazarus52980, Sep 1, 2011.

  1. Lazarus52980

    Lazarus52980 Senior member

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    I have been lifting with a friend of my for about 2 months now. We are doing a Rippetoe inspired workout routine, and I have been happy with the gains so far. However, I am having issues with getting really light headed when I workout. It is most severe when I do power cleans, but happens on deadlifts too. I have not passed out yet, but I often have to sit down right away for about 5-10 seconds until my head clears. Am I doing something wrong? Do I need to adjust my diet somehow? Maybe I just have low blood pressure?

    Help please, I just want to be sure I am not hurting myself...
     
  2. Woosta

    Woosta Diamond Member

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    Are you breathing properly during the motions? Is it only when you have a heavy set? What is your bodyweight, personal record, and the weight at which it happens?

    Is it during the lift or after the set?

    Be more specific.
     
    #2 Woosta, Sep 1, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011
  3. DeckardBlade

    DeckardBlade Member

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    Focus on your breathing and if you don't think that's it (after focusing on it), maybe rest a bit longer between sets.
     
  4. Lazarus52980

    Lazarus52980 Senior member

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    I really only do "heavy" sets, or at least, it's always 5 sets of 3 (at least for power clean). My most recent time was 140, which I did complete the 5 sets of 3, but after each set I get really lightheaded. I don't have a set way that I breath when I do those lifts, I think I take a breath after each clean, but I will have to check again tomorrow when we lift again.

    Do you think it's just a technique issue then?
     
  5. Pantlegz

    Pantlegz Diamond Member

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    No it's normal to get light headed when you lift heavy. Nothing I would worry about.
     
  6. polarmystery

    polarmystery Diamond Member

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    I'm not an expert, but when I have been lightheaded before it was always due to an insufficient diet and poor breathing techniques.
     
  7. Pantlegz

    Pantlegz Diamond Member

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    I get light headed all the time, my diet is fine and I breath the way I'm supposed to. I also lift at >85% of my max, which probably has something to do with it.
     
  8. mchammer187

    mchammer187 Diamond Member

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    I think it is normal. Especially with the clean and press or heavy squats for me.
     
  9. Howard

    Howard Lifer

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    It gets better as your body adjusts to heavier weights. If I jump back into my old routine after taking a break, same thing happens.
     
  10. Worthington

    Worthington Golden Member

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    I get lightheaded after lifting heavy, it's just what happens. Especially squats.
     
  11. brad310

    brad310 Senior member

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    Happens to me also...particularly on deadlifts and shrugs.

    When im doing low carb, light headedness comes more rapidly so i cant work as hard as far as the weight on the bar goes.
     
  12. tedrodai

    tedrodai Golden Member

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    My quads tend to suck all the oxygen out of my body :p. Squats, leg presses, leg extensions...they always threaten to make me light headed. The heavier the weight, the worse it is of course. Also anything that might compress the chest like some bent over row machines (<-- I just avoid machines like that now).

    Other than working on your breathing, you might try to work out your lungs more with some endurance cardio, or switch up and do some endurance lifting for a bit.
     
  13. darkxshade

    darkxshade Lifer

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    I get them when I do really heavy squats... gives you an euphoric feeling.
     
  14. SociallyChallenged

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    Take in a big breath before the rep, hold it as you go down, exhale or continue to hold as you come back up. That's the essence of the Valsalva maneuver and it helped me stop getting dizzy post heavy lifting.
     
  15. Lazarus52980

    Lazarus52980 Senior member

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    I lift tonight. I will try your advice SC and will let you know how it goes.
     
  16. ArchAngel777

    ArchAngel777 Diamond Member

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    You goofus, you already do that. BTW - Nice lifts. :p
     
  17. soccerballtux

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    I've had this when squatting.
    I pushed through it and ended up with a headache for like 2 hours. I don't know what it was. Probably something bad. I stopped doing it.
     
  18. Mackowitz

    Mackowitz Member

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    I thinks it's normal to feel light headed after doing a max lift. Cleans are exhausting on the whole body, both muscularly and cardivascularly (if those are words) - so that doesn't surprise me at all.

    I normally do a 9 week rotation -- three weeks of work sets of 10, three weeks of sets of 5 and then three weeks of sets of 3 in my routine. Occasionally I'll screw with it and do 5x5 or something, but usually if I want to mix stuff up I'll do it with dynamic resistance (bands or chains on the bar) rather than changing my sets up.

    On my last week of sets of 3 I'll be hitting my max lift for bench, dead lifts and squats. I don't get light headed with bench, but squats and (especially) dead lifts I have had to sit down real quick after my last rep to avoid passing out :D Scary feeling, but I think it's normal.

    Lifting heavy can be more of a shock to your central nervous system than it is to your muscles, so its as much getting your brain used to the weight as it is about getting your muscles strong enough. I always think about the first time I squatted "heavy" - my legs & back were okay for the weight, but my mind was going "What the hell is this??"
     
  19. Cstefan

    Cstefan Golden Member

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    Squats and deads on heavy days will make me almost blackout. It's common, just know your body and it's limits. When I do back and chest supersets, no problems.

    I also am on blood pressure meds which my doctor advised me to be a little extra cautious on heavy compound movements.
     
  20. Exodist

    Exodist Senior member

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    I have had trouble like this before. But it was due to high altitude while in Nevada. I was at 5000ft elevation where I was living. I also ended up with asthma and breathing issues their. Which BTW lead to me gain 40 pounds of weight in 3 months. Since I moved back home which is around 400-500ft elevation, its stopped. Sadly the weight stayed and I am now working to get rid of that.
     
  21. SZLiao214

    SZLiao214 Diamond Member

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    Do you ever do any cardio? I used to get out of breath and a bit light headed when i really pushed myself but i'm a fatass.

    Doing more cardio helped me a lot when lifting.