Lightheaded after dead lifts?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2013 5:40 AM GMT
    So I was working legs today at the gym (because ain't nobody got time for chicken legs!) I wanted to augment my program with more exercises to help me as I'm muscle building. Dead lifts seemed like a logical choice.

    So I started out easy, just with the empty barbell at first. All in all, my first attempts are at emphasizing proper form before I lift heavier. So I did 45, 55, then 65. Sets of 12.

    After each set though, I tended to get lightheaded. It got a little worse as I increased weights between sets. Is this a common problem? Is it just because I'm first doing them and it will resolve itself as I do them more often? Maybe my form isn't ideal? The iFitness app I used to tell me how to do them did say dead lifts were a very difficult exercise, though they were an excellent strength-developer when done well.
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    Apr 07, 2013 6:43 AM GMT
    They are a fantastic exercise. One that requires a great deal of strength and focus.

    They are not simple and a lot can go poorly.

    However a deadlift places a huge amount of strain on the body along with a great shift between two positions which can cause problems with a decrease in blood pressure while your body desperately attempts to compensate and push blood around to where it should be.

    getting dizzy is normal to a point. If it's a light dizziness it will improve with time as you adapt to the new exercise. However if it's a mild dizziness or you experience vertigo or feel like your about to fall over, pass out or everything else around you kind of feels out of whack then you need to go to the doctor for a check up with special attention paid to your blood pressure.

    Getting a little light headed is okay, some people get it from just doing squats, actually a lot of people do. some get it from doing crunches as well. Heck some people can get dizzy from just doing really heavy bench press. But it's really mild and subsides within seconds of the sensation hitting you.

    Most important though focus on form not weight. that comes later. Try finding someone at your gym who can watch you doing a dead lift and guide you through it or take a video for someone to check for you.
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    Apr 07, 2013 6:51 AM GMT
    are you holding your breath when you are doing these exercises?
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    Apr 07, 2013 7:48 AM GMT
    tuffguyndc saidare you holding your breath when you are doing these exercises?


    At first I was. But I realized I was doing that so I corrected myself to breathe. I still got lightheaded though.
  • kiwi_nomad

    Posts: 316

    Apr 07, 2013 8:42 AM GMT
    how long did you go between eating and going to the gym? I find sometimes I can get a bit dizzy or lethargic at the gym and it's because I didn't eat enough earlier. I often eat a banana and have a handful of almonds or walnuts along with a pre-workout shake just before going and it seems to have stopped that.

    also as above make sure you get your breathing in check too.
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    Apr 07, 2013 8:44 AM GMT
    Do you get lightheaded if you use no weight or bar at all?
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    Apr 07, 2013 8:46 AM GMT
    It's normal for these intense exercise, but if the problem gets worse at low weights, I think you're going to have serious issues at much higher weight.

    You wouldn't pass out during the exercise, but you could very well pass out immediately after.

    When you get lightheaded like that you need to sit down. If you sit down, you will not pass out and it will quickly resolve.
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    Apr 07, 2013 9:44 AM GMT
    guyfromnz saidhow long did you go between eating and going to the gym? I find sometimes I can get a bit dizzy or lethargic at the gym and it's because I didn't eat enough earlier. I often eat a banana and have a handful of almonds or walnuts along with a pre-workout shake just before going and it seems to have stopped that.

    also as above make sure you get your breathing in check too.


    I normally eat nothing right before I work out, because I've discovered in the past that eating beforehand worsens my post nausea. Then again, that was back when I was long-distance cardio crazy. This time, I did eat a PowerBar Protein Plus immediately before I started to see if it would overall improve my performance.

    My first set was 45 lbs. (meaning barbell without any additional weight). I got just a little lightheaded was all. What followed in the next sets was a bit more moderate. It's also possible that it affected me more since it was the last of my exercises I did. My routine today was barbell squats, then decline crunches, prone lying leg curls, leg extensions, calf machine shoulder shrugs and finally the new barbell dead lifts.

    I may need to experiment with order still to figure out when I should do them.
  • slimnmuscly

    Posts: 541

    Apr 07, 2013 12:42 PM GMT
    Doing deadlifts at the end of a full leg workout that includes squats may be too much for you at this point. Maybe you could try moving the deadlifts to your back day - or, if you're stronger doing squats, try doing the deadlifts first on leg day. You may need to use less weight on the squats following deadlifts, though.
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    Apr 07, 2013 12:47 PM GMT
    Some meds, prescriptions and over-the-counter, can cause slight dizziness when getting up or bending over. A prescription that I'm on does this, and interestingly the side-effect does not always show up on the information sheet the pharmacist provides.
  • GWriter

    Posts: 1446

    Apr 07, 2013 1:17 PM GMT
    I don't do squats and deadlifts on the same day because they are both so taxing on the Central Nervous System. But if you are just lifting the bar....
    You are light-headed / woozy just lifting the barbell? Even after squats and everything else, that seems a little strange. You aren't cinching up a weight belt too tight, are you?
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    Apr 07, 2013 2:07 PM GMT
    Sets of 12 deadlifts at any weight are taxing. I'm very active with lifting, mountain biking, skiing, hockey, etc. Deadlifts are the only exercise that get me light headed. (Happened just yesterday...) My powerlifting buddies say they see spots when they are deadlifting at max weights.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Apr 07, 2013 3:32 PM GMT
    more weight, fewer reps
  • coolarmydude

    Posts: 9190

    Apr 07, 2013 3:39 PM GMT
    The same thing happens to me. It's a good lightheadedness.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2013 3:42 PM GMT
    calibro saidmore weight, fewer reps


    still happens at 405 LOL
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Apr 07, 2013 3:56 PM GMT
    builtbinc said
    calibro saidmore weight, fewer reps


    still happens at 405 LOL


    yeah, but doing fewer reps will minimize the lightheadedness if he's not getting in enough oxygen
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2013 6:28 PM GMT
    You should eat before deadlifting, BUT.....wait a couple of hours to workout. And 12 sets is too much for anyone. You won't be able to walk tomorrow!
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    Apr 07, 2013 7:19 PM GMT
    Light headed ness is from pooling of blood in the legs. Simply flex your legs, do toe raises, etc. to push the blood back to the heart. Strenuous exercise tends to overtax the baroreceptors which regulate blood pressure, so you. May find you get light headed even when you stand up from sitting.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Apr 07, 2013 7:32 PM GMT
    Don't be this guy:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8RcDb_wZfQ&sns=em
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2013 8:56 PM GMT
    lilTanker saidThey are a fantastic exercise. One that requires a great deal of strength and focus.

    They are not simple and a lot can go poorly.

    However a deadlift places a huge amount of strain on the body along with a great shift between two positions which can cause problems with a decrease in blood pressure while your body desperately attempts to compensate and push blood around to where it should be.

    getting dizzy is normal to a point. If it's a light dizziness it will improve with time as you adapt to the new exercise. However if it's a mild dizziness or you experience vertigo or feel like your about to fall over, pass out or everything else around you kind of feels out of whack then you need to go to the doctor for a check up with special attention paid to your blood pressure.

    Getting a little light headed is okay, some people get it from just doing squats, actually a lot of people do. some get it from doing crunches as well. Heck some people can get dizzy from just doing really heavy bench press. But it's really mild and subsides within seconds of the sensation hitting you.

    Most important though focus on form not weight. that comes later. Try finding someone at your gym who can watch you doing a dead lift and guide you through it or take a video for someone to check for you.


    This.