T Nation

Exercise Induced Headaches

They started last week during a set of cleans. It was just a throbbing extremely painful headache. It didn’t make me puke or anything, but I had to stop working out. Monday I did heavy squats, then on to some OH presses and on my third set it came back. I took a rest, drank a powerade from the vending machine, and had another go at it. Headache came back, and I had to call it a day. Today I was doing 5/10/15 pullup/pushup/bw squat x 20 rounds for time, and after round 4 the headache came back. I didn’t even break a sweat or even start breathing hard.

I’ve searched all over google for this and found some posts on this site. I was wondering if anybody has experienced this. How long did you take off? Is there anything I can do speed up the recovery process?

I’m going to chill out until Friday, which I’m not happy about. I’ll probably do a lighter session Friday night and see how I feel. I’ve heard some people say it took a couple weeks to recover. I probably caused it by poor breathing on cleans or OH presses, I really don’t know and the squats could also have caused it.

If anybody has experienced this or has any input, I would really appreciate it.

I’ve been there.

What caused it was shitty breathing. What I think happened was I braced for the lift, lifted, and tension developed in my neck and traps and briefly limited the flow of blood and oxygen to my brain. Not enough to make me pass out, but enough to spark a pain that would start with heavy lifting, subside a bit in-between sets, and return with greater force on each progressive set until I had to call it quits.

I re-trained myself to squat, developing tension in my gut, focused on keeping my neck loose (moderately) during the lifting portion, and within a couple weeks stopped getting the headaches. Haven’t come back since.

Humorously enough, my brother is currently going through this. I think it’s a good thing, it shows you’re developing good tension in your body in prepping for and performing the lifts, and you just have to learn to keep the tension in the belly and not the shoulders/neck.

^^ word. Do some stretches for your neck and traps and breathe. I found that when I tried no-xplode i kept getting headaches, as soon as I stopped taking the crap ( i didn’t want to throw it out) they stopped coming around

Thanks guys. I’m really going to focus on good breathing technique, and try to remove unnecessary neck/shoulder tension, especially on cleans on OH presses where I think I’m the worst about it. Squats too, but I’m usually a little better with these. I guess this was my first real hurdle in my new training program, and it really sucks now that everything is starting to come together. I hate taking the time off, but at least I know I can get it to go away.

I was really starting to work on my breathing too, big bellyful of air every rep on squats and presses. I think I started this with cleans, because I started doing them more and my traps were sore for like 3 days after a workout last week I think it was. I was focusing more on time and exploding every rep and definetely did not pay attention to breathing/shoulder tension at all.

The only supplement I could attribute it to is Beta Alanine, but I’m pretty sure it was just poor technique that caused it. At least I hope. I’m going to get off the beta alanine for awhile until I get through some workouts, then get back on it and see if that has any correlation.