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  1. #1
    GrandmasterSpank's Avatar
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    Unhappy Headache following heavy Squatting session now re-occurs each time I train!?

    Hi there.

    I trained legs heavy just over a week ago with Squats & Leg Presses, and I think I was holding my breath for the last couple of reps of each set, particularly the last and hardest sets of each, which were to failure. Anyway, pretty soon after I was feeling a little dizzy and a dull headache developed, located right at the back of my head, the top of my neck. I'm pretty sure bar placement and general form was good, so that's what left me thinking it was the holding of my breath (I.e. pressure buildup), that may have caused the initial headache.

    Anyway, I've done two more body-part sessions since, Chest last tues and Back on thurs , and as soon as I begun the 1st heavy set of each sesh the dull headache returns and persists for the duration of the workout, so whatever went wrong has not quite come right. I've had a few days off now....

    Has anyone had similar experience or know what I've done exactly? Any advices appreciated!

    Cheers y'all!
    Last edited by GrandmasterSpank; 12-09-2008 at 03:25 PM. Reason: Spelling errors

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    I know that holding one's breath can cause a significant build up in the cardio-pulmonary system. I know that when I do heavy squats till failure, like others, I get dizzy and nauseated. I've never had the headache like what you're describing but twice. I'm pretty certain that it was due to being on clen . I stopped using the stuff on leg days and never had another problem. Hope it helps.

  3. #3
    MuscleScience is online now AR-Hall of Famer
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    You performed whats called the valsalva maneuver, which can cause a increase in systemic blood pressure. You may want to visit with your doctor if the headaches persist.

    Next time you workout make sure you do not hold your breath, always breath!!!

  4. #4
    Fat Guy's Avatar
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    Lifting (especially squats) can increase your blood pressure which in turn can cause headaches. You can take an aspirin which will thin your blood and decrease you blood pressure and also you might want to talk to your doctor about it. I get headaches when I lift too heavy too but I still lift anyway....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuscleScience View Post
    You performed whats called the valsalva maneuver, which can cause a increase in systemic blood pressure. You may want to visit with your doctor if the headaches persist.
    Valsalva maneuver
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    'The Valsalva maneuver is performed by forcibly exhaling against a closed airway. Variations of the maneuver can be used either in medicine, as a test of cardiac function and autonomic nervous control of the heart or to ‘clear’ the ears and sinuses (equalize pressure) when ambient pressure changes, as in diving or aviation.

    The technique is named after Antonio Maria Valsalva, the 17th Century physician and anatomist from Bologna, whose principal scientific interest was the human ear. He described the Eustachian tube and the maneuver to test its patency (openness). He also described the use of this maneuver to expel pus from the middle ear.'


    ...sorry MuscleScience, I'm not seeing how this is related, it's sounds like the vasalva maneuver is purposeful medicinal technique, unless your suggesting that I might have took it to an extreme, which caused some damage!?

    Anyway, I tried doing a lighter Full-body session today to see how I was getting on and the familiar pulsating headache returned immediately. So I'm knocking my training on the head (pun intended) until I can see a Doc and figure out what the hell I've done to my noggin!

    Once I find out I'll post some info in case anyone's interested.

    Thanks for the input guys! Keep adding in the meantime if you have anything!

  6. #6
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    i used to get massive headaces durring heavy lifting sessions. i took a week break then started out using lighter poundages. it eventually went away maybee like 2 weeks or so.it sucked but at least it went away eventually.i think i may have overtrained and "taxed" my central nervious syslem and that was the problem.i never did see a doctor thou so that purely speculation.good luck with it bro.

  7. #7
    MuscleScience is online now AR-Hall of Famer
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrandmasterSpank View Post
    Valsalva maneuver
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    'The Valsalva maneuver is performed by forcibly exhaling against a closed airway. Variations of the maneuver can be used either in medicine, as a test of cardiac function and autonomic nervous control of the heart or to ‘clear’ the ears and sinuses (equalize pressure) when ambient pressure changes, as in diving or aviation.

    The technique is named after Antonio Maria Valsalva, the 17th Century physician and anatomist from Bologna, whose principal scientific interest was the human ear. He described the Eustachian tube and the maneuver to test its patency (openness). He also described the use of this maneuver to expel pus from the middle ear.'


    ...sorry MuscleScience, I'm not seeing how this is related, it's sounds like the vasalva maneuver is purposeful medicinal technique, unless your suggesting that I might have took it to an extreme, which caused some damage!?

    Anyway, I tried doing a lighter Full-body session today to see how I was getting on and the familiar pulsating headache returned immediately. So I'm knocking my training on the head (pun intended) until I can see a Doc and figure out what the hell I've done to my noggin!

    Once I find out I'll post some info in case anyone's interested.

    Thanks for the input guys! Keep adding in the meantime if you have anything!

    Also form wikipedia,

    "A pathologic syndrome associated with the Valsalva maneuver is Valsalva retinopathy.[12] It presents as preretinal hemorrhage (bleeding in front of the retina) in people with a history of transient increase in the intrathoracic pressure. The bleeding may be associated with a history of heavy lifting, a forceful coughing, straining on the toilet, or vomiting. The bleeding may cause a reduction of vision if it obstructs the visual axis. Patients may also note floaters in their vision. Usually a full recovery of vision is made."


    This is an excerpt from me....LOL

    In the medical field when a patient performs Valsalva they only have a mild increase in blood pressure. In a weightlifter that improperly performs valsalva, there can be a mild to severe increase in blood pressure. When a weight lifter bears down, they occlude the descending thoracic aorta as it passes through the diaphragm into the abdominal cavity. Couple this with increase intra-thoracic pressure, increase venous return from the contracting muscles and left ventrical backpressure, this can cause a increase in systemic blood pressure. Strokes, heart attacks, and other vascular complications are well documented in the medical literature. Manly in older individuals and those that are already predisposed to complications.

    Though complications are rare, there is a chance in prone individuals to have complications. Headaches are a common manifestation of improper breathing techniques while lifting.

    Im Just saying make sure to breath naturally and not hold your breath when you exert yourself very strenuously.


    Elvis died form valsalva when he blew out a gasket in his head.
    Last edited by MuscleScience; 12-11-2008 at 01:24 PM.

  8. #8
    GrandmasterSpank's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuscleScience View Post
    Also form wikipedia,

    "A pathologic syndrome associated with the Valsalva maneuver is Valsalva retinopathy.[12] It presents as preretinal hemorrhage (bleeding in front of the retina) in people with a history of transient increase in the intrathoracic pressure. The bleeding may be associated with a history of heavy lifting, a forceful coughing, straining on the toilet, or vomiting. The bleeding may cause a reduction of vision if it obstructs the visual axis. Patients may also note floaters in their vision. Usually a full recovery of vision is made."


    This is an excerpt from me....LOL

    In the medical field when a patient performs Valsalva they only have a mild increase in blood pressure. In a weightlifter that improperly performs valsalva, there can be a mild to severe increase in blood pressure. When a weight lifter bears down, they occlude the descending thoracic aorta as it passes through the diaphragm into the abdominal cavity. Couple this with increase intra-thoracic pressure, increase venous return from the contracting muscles and left ventrical backpressure, this can cause a increase in systemic blood pressure. Strokes, heart attacks, and other vascular complications are well documented in the medical literature. Manly in older individuals and those that are already predisposed to complications.

    Though complications are rare, there is a chance in prone individuals to have complications. Headaches are a common manifestation of improper breathing techniques while lifting.

    Im Just saying make sure to breath naturally and not hold your breath when you exert yourself very strenuously.


    Elvis died form valsalva when he blew out a gasket in his head.
    Wowser, too-shae (or however it's spelt!) MuscleScience, I should have read up a bit more before posting eh! Thanks for elaborating bro, I appreciate it! I'm definately going to get checked out with a Dr asap now!

    R.I.P Elvis!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrandmasterSpank View Post
    Wowser, too-shae (or however it's spelt!) MuscleScience, I should have read up a bit more before posting eh! Thanks for elaborating bro, I appreciate it! I'm definately going to get checked out with a Dr asap now!

    R.I.P Elvis!
    dude, you should say, "thank you, thank you very much". Kinda gay,, I know, but so is Elvis.

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