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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Squats are make me light-headed. I feel fine while doing the exercise, but I feel dizzy immediately afterward. I also feel really out of breath ...the same sort of feeling that one gets after a 30 second, all-out interval. No other weightlifter exercise does this to me. b-t-w, I'm 40 years old, been racing bikes for 20 years and never really been too out-of-shape.

Any reason for the light-headedness?
 

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Are you holding your breath? This is commonly done during a strenous activity such as a squat without even realizing you're doing it. This can be making you dizzy. Concentrate on breathing smoothly during the exercise. A general rule of thumb would be to breath in on the way down and out on the way up. Do you get dizzy any other time, such as when standing up from a seated position or standing up from bending down and picking something off the floor? If this is happening there could be the possibility of something called orthostatic hypotension where you get a sharp decrease in blood pressure when standing up. Look it up on something like Web MD or google it. Sounds most likely though that it could be just from holding your breath. Seen this happen many times before. Getting people to breath freely while lifting can be hard to do. Hope this helps.
 

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Exactly....

Stan Man said:
Are you holding your breath? This is commonly done during a strenous activity such as a squat without even realizing you're doing it. This can be making you dizzy. Concentrate on breathing smoothly during the exercise. A general rule of thumb would be to breath in on the way down and out on the way up. Do you get dizzy any other time, such as when standing up from a seated position or standing up from bending down and picking something off the floor? If this is happening there could be the possibility of something called orthostatic hypotension where you get a sharp decrease in blood pressure when standing up. Look it up on something like Web MD or google it. Sounds most likely though that it could be just from holding your breath. Seen this happen many times before. Getting people to breath freely while lifting can be hard to do. Hope this helps.
This happens to me when I leg press. I actually have to bend over when I am finished in order for it to go away.
Squatting really gets my HR up too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
not holding breath

I'm not holding my breath ...I actually do an in/out during both the up and down strokes. I do get dizzy when I standup, especially if I have lifted in the last 48 hours. Sometimes I even hit the floor, if I stand up, take a deep breath and stretch.

Thanks for the orthostatic hypotension tip. I think you're on to something! I certainly fit the profile. I'm going to have this checked out after the holidays.
 

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Are you eating before you workout?

Often times I find that the athletes and clients I train will become light headed and dizzy when they have a low blood sugar level. Pre workout nutrition and during are crucial to performance. Other than that do have a loww blood pressure to begin with? This is another cause for dizzyness and lightheaded feelings.
 

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light-headed

GlazedHam said:
Squats are make me light-headed. I feel fine while doing the exercise, but I feel dizzy immediately afterward. I also feel really out of breath ...the same sort of feeling that one gets after a 30 second, all-out interval. No other weightlifter exercise does this to me. b-t-w, I'm 40 years old, been racing bikes for 20 years and never really been too out-of-shape.

Any reason for the light-headedness?
Squats make you feel like you do after a 30 second interval because the two are essentially the same thing. Any anaerobic activity involving the legs produces a similar result because of the of the massive exertion involved. Sprinters often bend over after intervals or a race for the same reason...to get oxygen to the brain. It is easy in a controlled indoor setting like a gym to forget how much effort is involved in doing squats. Every set is similar to a sprint-race on the track. Ask someone who is out of shape to do 20 squats using only their body-weight and watch them breath afterward. I suspect most people who avoid squats(and there are many),do so because it is such hard work. I often get light-headed after a set of squats. It helps to warm up thouroughly on the stationary bike and start off at a low intensity. The other advice posted is also helpful.
 

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All great advice. I would really focus on low blood sugar/dehydration prior to lifting.

Electrolytes are a great thing, especially in the long run, but their median for work is water - so dehydration/low blood sugar cannot always be made up for by drinking sugarwater (kool aid, gatorade, etc) - you need to be properly hydrated too.
 

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get a leg up

maybe try elevating your legs between sets, your body is just not used to being taxed anaerobically while also being taxed aerobicaly, meaning your muscles are tensed during the lift, but your blood is supposed to pass through your constricted vessels, give them some time to adapt, but in the meantime, eat some fruit or granola with some PB or something with protein, and elevate between sets.
 

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I think dizziness is normal, especially if you're doing hi-reps each set (20+ reps per set).

After squats and deadlifts I usually have to sit down on a bench and catch my breath, and I do a lot of sprints, interval training, etc, so you would think I could take it. They're still incredibly difficult.

If it lasts more than a minute I would be concerned, but 30 seconds is usually normal to me. I also get an upset stomach if I go crazy on the squats and deadlifts. Aren't they great??

For a real butt-kicker, try doing decline sit-ups in between sets of squats and deadlifts. That really keeps your heart rate elevated.

I'm 34 and in good shape, so we're not too far apart in age or fitness levels.
 

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My money is on orthostatic hypotension. When you do your squats, the contracting muscle occludes blood flow to your legs resulting in low oxygen delivery to the leg muscles. The body responds to inadequate oxygen delivery by dilating the blood vessels. This response doen't help the oxygen delivery to the legs during the lift, because the contracting muscle continues to occludes the blood flow. After you stop the lift, your body overcompensates with excess blood flow to the legs and, as a result, momentarily reduces blood flow to the brain which can cause dizziness. Endurance athletes can be especially susceptible to this because endurance training like cycling increases the vascularization of the legs - thus increasing the area in which blood can pool. From your other posts it appears that you are particularly susceptible to this condition.

I would suggest taking a seat after each set, rising slowly and walking around a bit before starting the next. I wouldn't elevate your legs if I were you. Elevating your legs between sets is going to reduce the blood flow to them causing the blood vessels to dilate and may magnify the condition. The condition can also be magnified by dehydration. I doubt that hypoglycemia has anything to do with it since you only seem to experience the condition when doing squats.

If you want more info on the condition you are experiencing, you might try googling the term vaso-vagal syncope

Hope this helps

Dave
 
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