T Nation

Light-Headed During Workouts

So I’ve been lifting seriously for about 6 months, but it just seems like I can’t push myself hard enough to get good results.

It’s always been like this, whenever I push myself really hard I get light-headed and feel like I’m going to pass out. Sometimes I even feel nauseous and feel like I could pass out at any second.

I was just wondering what I could do to help remedy this, because I really want to be able to hit the weights hard and I feel like this is holding me back. Is the problem in my pre-workout meal? I try to get in lots of carbs/calories, maybe I’m just not getting enough?

Anyways, any help is appreciated, thanks.

I think the problem is you aren’t conditioned to do the work you are attempting. Post what you do. It’s possible what you are doing is just too much for you right now. Remember, even the pro’s (bodybuilders, powerlifters, O lifters, whatever) started small at first. Volume is something that the body has to get used to over time.

I’ve been at this for some time now and I experience the same thing on occasion. I don’t have an answer as to a cause, but I can give you some suggestions.

First, make sure you are breathing while lifting and not bouncing around a lot. Chin-ups make me light-headed more than anything. I have to deliberately keep a certain pace instead of just hammering them out to prevent it.

Keep track of your preworkout meal and when you eat it. Try to stay on a very precise schedule. I cannot eat before a workout or I get sick. I have to make sure I eat a big meal about 4 hours before lifting to keep energy levels adequate without upsetting my stomach. If you feel like you are going to crash before a workout, a sports drink seems to be the best way to prevent it. Stay hydrated all day before you lift, and if you don’t feel right drink a gatorade before heading to the gym. Make sure to take another gatorade with every time, so that if you start to crash you can sip on it throughout your workout.

[quote]luigisacs wrote:
I think the problem is you aren’t conditioned to do the work you are attempting. Post what you do. It’s possible what you are doing is just too much for you right now. Remember, even the pro’s (bodybuilders, powerlifters, O lifters, whatever) started small at first. Volume is something that the body has to get used to over time.

[/quote]

Well that is one possibilty… But honeslty man, you might just need to accept that you might pass out. That’s exactly what Arnold says in Pumping Iron. He says he has passed out in the gym before. I’d say it’s common to feel that way, reguardless of how much you are eating and drinking.

[quote]tedro wrote:
First, make sure you are breathing while lifting and not bouncing around a lot. Chin-ups make me light-headed more than anything. I have to deliberately keep a certain pace instead of just hammering them out to prevent it.[/quote]
I’ll definitely try that, I didn’t even think about my breathing being the cause of it. I usually try to inhale/exhale with the reps but I’m sure I forget sometimes.

[quote]Stength4life wrote:
Well that is one possibilty… But honeslty man, you might just need to accept that you might pass out. That’s exactly what Arnold says in Pumping Iron. He says he has passed out in the gym before. I’d say it’s common to feel that way, reguardless of how much you are eating and drinking. [/quote]
Wow I didn’t know that, at least I’m in good company. I guess I just need to deal with it then. Thanks for the help everyone.

I’ve had this sensation when doing heavy squats. Holding my breath and keeping my core tight.

Same as TheDude, I’ve gone lightheaded on heavy squats and deadlifts. Actually, I’ve gone lightheaded on most squat type heavy lower body exercises thinking about it.

I agree with the timing of meals. I used to have trouble until I found my sweet spot: eat a big meal 1 hour before I hit the gym; supplement BCAAs 30 minutes prior; sip a workout drink (e.g., the new Surge Workout Fuel, which I got two weeks ago and am in love with), and get a PWO drink IMMEDIATELY after you stop (I carry a dose in a baggie and fill my bottle as soon as I hit the locker room, and it’s gone by the time I’m out the door.)

Followed by a good meal of protein and veggies about an hour later.

Also, I think it’s really a mental thing: the longer you’ve been lifting, the more you come to know your true limits, and the more you can push through the pain/dizziness/etc. when lifting.

It’s not uncommon for me to get lightheaded on squats and deads now, and I know (I KNOW! I’m 3000% positive, dammit!) I can push through that last rep, at new PRs.

A trick I’ve been using myself for a while, and I saw written up in the Weekly Dose this week, is to not use the biggest single weight for your load. E.g., rather than slapping another 45 on the bar, I’ll use 3 10s and 3 5’s, or something like that. Or if I’m about to need a 25, I’ll use 2 10s and a 5 instead. It keeps me from psyching myself out when I look at the bar, which leads to me dumping trying to come up from a heavy squat or something.

As I become more closely acquainted with what real, 100% exertion feels like, I become more likely to push through getting dizzy, getting tunnel vision, seeing the veins in my forehead about to burst forth and shatter the mirror, etc. :slight_smile: