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  1. #1
    Registered User boxler's Avatar
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    Headaches When Working Out.

    Last Saturday, I went to the gym to workout. After warming up and stretching I did the leg press machine. I did 250 lbs 36 times. But, after I think 20 or so reps I felt my heartbeat in the back of my head and got a bad headache. I did 2 more sets and the headache only got worse so after that I went home.
    Today (Wednesday), I decided to go to the gym again and work out. I did a warm up and stretched, then i did the leg press machine. I put the weight at 300 lbs and I felt fine until my 10th rep, when the exact same thing happened as the week before. Instead of doing any more reps or any more sets of anything I went home.

    The only supplements that I take are whey protein isolate (30g protein) and glutamine and i take them after working out. I also drink regular protein shakes throughout the day. I haven't taken glutamine since sometime last week, Friday i think. I eat a really healthy diet, and i drink a good amount of water, and a lot of water when working out, so i don't think its dehydration, but i guess it could be. When lifting, i breathe correctly too. Just wondering what you guys think the problem might be. Also, I've never gotten headaches from workout out before.
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  2. #2
    Howdy! toneekay's Avatar
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    I use to have this same exact problem and I found my reason to be overtraining (5 days a week) and lack of sleep. How are your sleeping patterns?
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  3. #3
    Registered User steve weiser's Avatar
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    Exertion headache. Usually always happens when working lower body. Pretty sure it has to do with a sudden spike in blood pressure and improper breathing ( holding your breathe too long) I had one that lasted about a a week and caused me to go to the hospital thinking it was something far worse. I haven't had one since though.

    edit: some people also get them during sex.
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  4. #4
    Howdy! toneekay's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by steve weiser View Post
    Exertion headache. Usually always happens when working lower body. Pretty sure it has to do with a sudden spike in blood pressure and improper breathing ( holding your breathe too long) I had one that lasted about a a week and caused me to go to the hospital thinking it was something far worse. I haven't had one since though.

    edit: some people also get them during sex.
    I use to get these from working out ANY part of my body; not just lower.
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  5. #5
    Registered User boxler's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by steve weiser View Post
    Exertion headache. Usually always happens when working lower body. Pretty sure it has to do with a sudden spike in blood pressure and improper breathing ( holding your breathe too long) I had one that lasted about a a week and caused me to go to the hospital thinking it was something far worse. I haven't had one since though.

    edit: some people also get them during sex.
    yea when i only work upper body I don't get headaches
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  6. #6
    Registered User boxler's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by toneekay View Post
    I use to have this same exact problem and I found my reason to be overtraining (5 days a week) and lack of sleep. How are your sleeping patterns?
    I think i'm getting enough sleep. i usually fall asleep at like 10-11 and wake up at 6:30.
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  7. #7
    Registered User jwmallett's Avatar
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    Im willing to think it is from incorrect breathing technique due to too much weight. Maybe. Lower the weight to where you can flex the target muscles without straining other body parts such as the neck and abs. If you cant breathe properly while doing your sets then its probably too much. I am guilty of holding my breath towards the end of some of my sets, but then again, I havent experienced headaches either. Yet.

    A google search could come up with more but here is a link that may help.

    w*w*w.fitnessmagazine.com/health/body/pain-relief/stop-exercise-related-headaches/?page=2
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    The BACKMAN DJAuto's Avatar
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    A variety of issues can cause exertional headaches including hypertension, dehydration and incorrect breathing technique as mentioned above.
    Bodybuilding is 60% training and 50% diet. Yes that adds up to 110%, because that's what you should be giving it. Change the inside, and the physique will follow.
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  9. #9
    Registered User boxler's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jwmallett View Post
    Im willing to think it is from incorrect breathing technique due to too much weight. Maybe. Lower the weight to where you can flex the target muscles without straining other body parts such as the neck and abs. If you cant breathe properly while doing your sets then its probably too much. I am guilty of holding my breath towards the end of some of my sets, but then again, I havent experienced headaches either. Yet.

    A google search could come up with more but here is a link that may help.

    w*w*w.fitnessmagazine.com/health/body/pain-relief/stop-exercise-related-headaches/?page=2
    i don't hold my breath but i do clench my teeth and breathe out through them.
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  10. #10
    Registered User wwkingms's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by boxler View Post
    i don't hold my breath but i do clench my teeth and breathe out through them.
    its the fact ur ont he leg press.. ur doing high output and the blood is rushing to your head

    ive personaly felt a pop before on the leg press and had a migraine from hell for about 4 hours...

    ive heard tons of stories too about people popping vessels int heir head from the leg press...


    if its a general workout head alot of times the release of NO will give you a headache..

    if your taking a NO pre workout supplement this can be causing it....
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  11. #11
    Registered User COOLMAX's Avatar
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    I experienced this only 2 months ago – I was “devastated”. Do a search on the forums on “exertional headache”.

    Assuming you are “fit” and no health issues then most likely it’s exertional headache.
    I encountered mine by doing HIIT. Then the next workout session was max’ing out on PULLUPs. Then the 3rd session was sex with the wife!

    I took a whole 2 week break … focused on proper breathing … and stayed really well hydrated.

    This has NEVER CAME back since and I am pushing it hard in the gym again.

    One poster did mention (sorry I do not have the link but came across it in my research) was once you hit one headache, the vessels in your head are “inflamed” and very sensitive to trigger again and again and again. You really need to REST for it to go away and then gradually start the gym again.

    I also saw a doctor who checked me out and said “Exertional headache”. I only mention doctor as I do not know you or your health condition – in case it is something more serious.
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  12. #12
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    I get this a lot, but not that bad. I get floaters during the heavy compounds and one time I almost passed out under a barbell because all the blood from out the brain to the muscles. It was like a 5-second thing. I couldn't hear anything but a ringing, the world swirled a bit, but I finished it and racked up the bar.

    Also, have you ever noticed all the guys in the gym with red eyes? That's from high-intensity work.
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  13. #13
    Registered User boxler's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by wwkingms View Post
    its the fact ur ont he leg press.. ur doing high output and the blood is rushing to your head

    ive personaly felt a pop before on the leg press and had a migraine from hell for about 4 hours...

    ive heard tons of stories too about people popping vessels int heir head from the leg press...


    if its a general workout head alot of times the release of NO will give you a headache..

    if your taking a NO pre workout supplement this can be causing it....
    I'm not taking any NO pre workout supplements but i realized that I only get headaches when I use the leg press. Should I stop using leg press?
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  14. #14
    Registered User boxler's Avatar
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    Also, high blood pressure runs in my family but last time I checked my blood pressure, which was before i started getting headaches at the gym, my blood pressure was fine.
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    Registered User Nathan94's Avatar
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    Could it be highblood pressure? I used to get headaches sometimes when I would workout and my blood pressure was a little high whenever i went to the doctor, but now my blood pressure is fine and I dont get them.
    Last edited by Nathan94; 09-02-2010 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Sorry didnt see the post above =p
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    if your holding your teeth.. its likely your going to be pushing hard on leg press.. pressure builds up and give you a "head ache"

    just liek when you going to take a dump and the mofo wont come out and you push realy hard and you get a "head ache"


    what kind of "headache" is this ? one that lasts or one thats there when you doing you reps
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  17. #17
    Registered User steve weiser's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by boxler View Post
    Also, high blood pressure runs in my family but last time I checked my blood pressure, which was before i started getting headaches at the gym, my blood pressure was fine.

    doesn't matter man. If you are working with heavy enough weight that compromises your breathing your BP will spike no matter what. I used to take my BP after a heavy set of squats just for the hell of it and lets just say i stopped taking it lol.
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    Registered User Militman's Avatar
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    I either forget to breathe, don't have a steady breathing pattern, or I am exhausted from to much gym time or a hard day at work. You look like you know what to do at the gym so I would go with checking your exhaustion level. Too much stress on the body at one point IMO.
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    Registered User boxler's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by korey1993 View Post
    if your holding your teeth.. its likely your going to be pushing hard on leg press.. pressure builds up and give you a "head ache"

    just liek when you going to take a dump and the mofo wont come out and you push realy hard and you get a "head ache"


    what kind of "headache" is this ? one that lasts or one thats there when you doing you reps
    it lasts a while. like 4 hours or something. but within like 20 mins of stopping working out it wasn't very bad at all.
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  20. #20
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    I also used to get this ONLY when doing Leg Press. I made sure I was breathing correctly but I still got them. I would have to stop working out when I got them they were that bad. I since just stopped doing leg press and just do front squats instead. I like them better anyways.
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