Light Headed or Dizzy after Squats and Deadlifts

Updated February 22, 2018

Many people become dizzy after weight training, especially after performing a set of deadlifts or squats at some point during a workout. 

Blurred vision, lightheadedness, seeing spots, blackouts, vomit, and visions of hot women are common occurrences after heavy compound lifts. 

You may be worried that you may pass out and you rightly should be.  No one wants to either pass out mid-lift or pass out and smoke your face on some dumbbells, like this guy.

At least his buddy is a true friend… 

Squats and deadlifts take a heavy toll on your whole body and can cause an extreme change in your blood pressure which can make you dizzy from time to time. 

You will notice it the most when you are pushing new personal records in weight where there is a lot of strain to your body. 

It is typical that when you get dizzy that you are not getting enough oxygen to your bloodstream.

What to do?

barbellFollow these steps to prevent becoming dizzy or even worse, passing out:

  • Make sure you are well hydrated
  • Eat some light carbs before a workout to help blood sugar levels.
  • Before lifting take some deep breathes to get the oxygen flowing
  • Make sure that you are doing some warm-up lifts of lesser weight to get your blood flowing.
  • Once you are warmed-up begin breathing slowly during your concentric movements. This will help keep the oxygen flowing throughout the lift.  Too many times weightlifters will hold their breath to the bottom of a squat or dead-lift to tighten their stomach and back.  This can cut off a lot of oxygen and result is being fairly dizzy afterward.
  • You may have to try varying your breathing to find what works best for your body. If slow breathing doesn’t help you can try taking a big breath before the lift or ¾ of a big breath then exhale as you lower your dead-lift or rise from your squat.

Sometimes, depending on how much weight you are lifting, it can be unavoidable.

You will get dizzy and see stars. Just man up or woman up and swallow the vomit that may come up.

In the ultimate goal of building strength, there is going to be some tough lifts and side effects to fight through.

If you train with a buddy make sure to let them know that you have been getting dizzy or light-headed from big lifts.

This can help make them more aware when spotting to possibly catch you if you start to fade to the floor or catch that plate to the face. Hey, you wanted a cool scar, right?