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Splitting Headaches During High-Rep Squats

Over the past few weeks I decided to do some higher rep squatting to try and put some more mass on my legs. However, each time I’ve hit my finisher set of 20, I get a splitting headache around rep 15 or 16. Has anyone else experienced this or have any ideas on how to avoid it? They normally last for a couple minutes after the set and then are gone, but they make the last 4 or 5 reps even more painful than they would be normally.

Fucking push through it, nancy!

Just kidding…

Intracranial pressure would be my guess as to the culprit. Breathing better would maybe fix that.

To be fair I finished all three even after my head felt like it was gonna explode lol. But as for the breathing would that look like taking more time to breathe between reps, or something else?

Interesting, hopefully mine are benign and I don’t have to get a spinal tap lol. So it looks like I’ll just have to live with them

A good rule of thumb is, if it hurts in a bad way don’t do it. I wish I had learnt that one earlier rather than forcing myself through the pain.

Can you do a set of 20 deadlifts and see if that causes the same issue? Do any other high rep activities cause these headaches?

I experienced something like that about a year ago doing higher rep split squat as assistance work. Felt like my head was going to split and didn’t completely go away for hours. I took a few days off, next time I trained, I felt a hint of it around the eighth or ninth rep of pull ups and immediately stopped. Never had it again, for which I’m pretty greatful. Heavy low-rep work wasn’t a problem on those days where it happened.

I used to get those when I had a sinus infection. Regular rinsing clears it up for the most part, but occasionally a round of antibiotics is required.

The most reps I’ve done in a single set of deadlifts is 10, but I didn’t even have a hint of a headache. If they are due to pressure then I wouldn’t anticipate the same response because you can afford to lose tightness briefly during the reset

Yeah I’ve had the same experience with low-rep work not affecting my head, even on the same day after the squats.

I dunno, man, I’m no doctor but my best guess would be your head is hurting from the intracranial pressure of doing horrible shit like high rep squats, forcing you to hold the valsalva for ages.

If I’m right, which I’m probably not, I’d wager it was the sort of thing that your body would just get used to over time. No pain, no gain.

I randomly started getting that when I was 17 every time I squatted, and I was squatting 3x a week. I got a CT scan and everything but nothing came up. I would start bringing ibuprofen with me and taking it right when they started. It would make it go away and I could lift. Long term not a great idea probably but they cleared themselves up within a few months even tho I didn’t change anything.

Never really happened to me when squatting, but deadlifting and high re/intensity leg presses would leave me with debilitating tension headaches. Started training my neck and they all went away. Take away here: start training your neck. You’ll look more bad ass, and not have headaches (hopefully).

That’s interesting, because I end up getting a ton of neck training being a wrestler. It already takes me forever to find collared shirts because I already have an 18 inch neck, and besides the pounding my neck takes in practice we do neck strength training during team lifts. Maybe my necks messed up and I should see a chiropractor or something lol

Excessive strain on your neck may be the cause of it. Not very uncommon for people who wrestle to get these.

Maybe try stretching your neck as well and relieve some tightness. Also, try and put your hand against a wall palm side with fingers pointed down, then stretch out arm extended while turning your chest away. Helped me a ton in terms of stretching out my forearms and biceps for front squats, but also my neck and chest as well which may help with the headaches