T Nation

Squats, Vomiting, and The Shakes!?

So, I’ve been plagued with this problem for some years now, and I’m finally beyond fed up with it and determined to fix it.

Whenever I squat for reps higher than say 4 or 5 I end up feeling like death within a few sets. I’ll be struggling not to vomit, have to leave the weight room to through water on my face/neck to cool off. Every once in a while I’ll run off to puke. I don’t know why! I’m hoping someone here can give me some advice.

Before you say I’m just out of shape, let me explain more. Cardiovascularly I’d say I’m good, I sprint a mile 3 times a week (sprinting as in I run a sub 5 minute mile), fallowed by shorter distance sprint work (during which i feel fine).

On top of that most guys who know me would consider some phases of my yearly workout cycle are bordering on insane (as in I don’t leave the gym until I’m crawling out.) But those or rare, and I only mention them because I want to iterate that I am capable of some extreme intensity in my workouts (as a whole).

So I am cardiovascularly fit, and can handle intensity… But squatting can near kill me if I push it too hard. If I jack up the reps in hopes of adding a bit of size, I go white in the face and feel like death.

As such I’m relegated to dropping the weight waaay down… as in sub 200, while I am capable of leg pressing (which i dont do regularly) quadruple that and I deadlift more than double.

Whats going on?

Do you have a pre-workout shake before you train, and if so what kind and how soon? I ask because my pre-workout shake used to make me nauseous, but I upped the liquid to protein ratio, and I drink it at least 20min before training and have no problems.

Try laying down flat on a bench in between sets, with your knees bent. That may keep more blood in your head, preventing dizziness. That is what you feel before puking, right? Dizzy, lightheadedness?

Try taking more time between sets, too. Sorry, but your leg workout may take a lot of time.

Yeah, I can’t handle the lactic acid very well either. I take a lot of time between sets for my legs to recover.

Just w/ squats? or what about any hard working sets of other weight bearing exercises?

I use to train w/a few friends, an one guy, just literally didn’t have the stomach fortitude to train heavy on squats & other compound movements. He tried w/ an empty stomach an w/ a full stomach and couldn’t handle it either way. Just my .02 cents.

It sounds to me like your body produces an incredible amount of lactic acid when you squat. It produces so much that you exceed your lactic acid threshold (also called anaerobic threshold or lactate threshold) and thus puke. Generally, whenever I squat (or run stairs), I try to at least reach my lactic acid threshold. Most people with nice quads have vomited many times while training legs.

(Incidentally, squatting causes my body to produce way more lactic acid than sprinting or running of any kind.)

So here’s my question: After a certain number of workouts, are you able to increase volume?

As an experiment, I would try BETA-7 or whatever the hell the stuff sold here is called. It’s supposed to help your body clear lactic acid. Use that and see if you feel better. If it doesn’t work, then you likely have some blood pressure issue.

I would do the following:
LOG EVERYTHING!!!

  1. Do a squat workout. Once you feel yourself about to puke, stop the workout.
  2. On your next workout, use the same weights and reps as last time. Are you able to increase your reps by at least 1 before feeling like death again?
  3. Repeat step 2 for a couple more workouts.

If it’s a lactic acid issue, you should be able to increase volume, as your lactate threshold increases. If you aren’t able to increase volume, then you have something funny going on.

[quote]Little Jon wrote:
I sprint a mile 3 times a week (sprinting as in I run a sub 5 minute mile), fallowed by shorter distance sprint work (during which i feel fine).

As such I’m relegated to dropping the weight waaay down… as in sub 200, while I am capable of leg pressing (which i dont do regularly) quadruple that and I deadlift more than double.[/quote]

You run a mile under 5 minutes and deadlift over 400 pounds?

Assuming you have enough carbs on board to squat, take a handful of Tums, Rolaids, whatever 1/2-1 hr prior to squatting.
Helped me on my quest for 400x20 at 200lbs. Give it a try.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
Little Jon wrote:
I sprint a mile 3 times a week (sprinting as in I run a sub 5 minute mile), fallowed by shorter distance sprint work (during which i feel fine).

As such I’m relegated to dropping the weight waaay down… as in sub 200, while I am capable of leg pressing (which i dont do regularly) quadruple that and I deadlift more than double.

You run a mile under 5 minutes and deadlift over 400 pounds?
[/quote]
I can perform that “feat.”