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Old 01-24-2006, 10:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
Hyperventilating from weight lifting?

I had the strangest thing happen to me at the gym today. Nothing like it has ever really happened to me. I was doing dead lifts (for the first time in quite a while), finished my last set and just started gasping for air. Itís like I couldnít catch my breath at all. I got really dizzy, could barely walk around. I had to sit down for a whileÖ even while I was sitting down/laying back with my arms over my head, it was just hard to breath. After about 5 or 10 minís I finally settled down a bit an noticed both of my arms were very tingly, almost like I had a constant static charge being released or something.

Iím 27, 6í1Ē 235, strong build. I try to go to the gym 3 times a week, I did take a couple of weeks off from ~x-mas to last week but Iíve been taking it a bit light (except for the dead lifts) since I got back into the swing of things.

I just panicked I guess, I couldnít breath so I kept trying harder to breath if that makes sense. Iíve never had asthma or anything like that..

What does this sound like to you guys? Should I be worried? Or is this some what normal from over exerting yourself?
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Old 01-24-2006, 11:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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First off, Dead Lifts are a bitch, and the chance of injury from improper form is alway in the front of my mind.

Yes, I have had that happen to me, and I can trace it back to a couple of things; I was not breathing properly during the power stroke, and my muscles were paying me back; secondly, the pressure that the dead lift puts on your diaphram is significant.

Did you really hit the stack hard? Were you doing your max that day? What did your spotter say? Did they notice a difference in your set? What about diet and proper rest? Were you in the right frame of mind?

The tingling arms? (arnold accent) That is just your huge muscles pressing against your tiny little nerves, squashing them like weak little noodles.
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Old 01-24-2006, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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First and foremost, I would talk to your doctor about this because it's definitely a cardiovascular issue that could be serious. However, it sounds to me like you aerobisized all the oxygen in your system during your last set. That would explain the dizziness and tingling and any nausea that you felt (but didn't mention). It's a pretty common occurrence in heavy-stress activities like dead lifts or wind sprints. There's a sudden increase of lactic acid in the bloodstream that keeps oxygen from bonding with the blood cells.

I'm not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV.
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Old 01-24-2006, 03:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure the_jazz hit the nail on the head. Your muscle cells had used all the available oxygen in your bloodstram they could grab, went absoloutly nuts in anaerobic respiration providing you with the energy, then demanded you repay your oxygen debt, leading to all the problems as your body tried to restore itself.
Panick wouldn't have helped the situation either. If anything like that happens again, go to your doctor right away.
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Old 01-26-2006, 04:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Not quite sure. I'm no professional though. Take my opinion with a grain of salt.

I always breathe pretty heavy (for 30sec) after a serious deadlift actually, as opposed to a getting back into shape one. So the breathing heavy and sitting down sounds normal. Mind you, it's more the sitting down and rest period (time) that seems to help with recovery.

Dizziness... hmm. Well I've had that during exercise too. And sometimes I've had this if my pulse shoots way up too (or past) the advertised limit. Maybe check the pulse next time, or have a helper do it.

Thinking about the tingling though. This sounds like hyperventilation. If you check out hyperventilation - you'll see this as a symptom.

My guess is that you managed to use a heap of energy in a short space of time (esp as you have a reasonble size and have a history of training) and your body went into overdrive to compensate. Did you do a lot of sets in a short period of time perhaps?

It sounds plausible that you hyperventilated slightly in the following ten minutes. I have seen that one a lot in a first aid context and it seems quite self-perpetuating.
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Old 01-27-2006, 04:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sure it will happen. Make sure you breathe throughout the movement. Be careful you don't go too heavy. Part of the problem is that so much of your body is involved in the excercise and you are straining - which can cause you to change your breathing process.

Hell, I can do this after doing back extensions.
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Old 01-29-2006, 10:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well I probably don't lift as intensely as you, but a heavy set of deadlifts will absolutely stun me in a way no other exercise will; heavy breathing for a prolonged time after, much greater than average post-set mental haziness, trembling muscles, etc. It does help to keep track of your breathing; I do a long negative and try to take two breaths on the way down, then breath out just as I begin the next rep.

I once learned the hard way what happens when you don't breathe correctly; I held my breath too much during some heavy leg sets and ended up with a sudden and violent headache as a result. It didn't last long, but for a bit there I thought I was having a stroke.
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Old 03-01-2006, 05:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Man. Breathing on deadlifts bothers me.

Can you explain this. I have toubles with this - reason is because I believe that I'm supposed to be bracing with the abdominal muscles. But I find it hard to breathe while I do that

Perhaps the ideal is to breathe each time I get to the full upright position.
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Old 03-04-2006, 06:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Breath out on your way up (in on the way down), which you need to hold your abs in to do effectively as you need to use your diaphram to make that happen. And the heavier the weight, the more time between reps you need to take to manage your breathing.
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