Posted by: Yas | 2009-02-08


Hey doc Im 22 years old in good shape I do strength training 4 times a week I am having a major problem at the momment when I do a a flat bench press or say for instance an incline bench press or a squat I get this feeling of my head being heavy and dizzy but this happens when I complete a set and get up .When I load the weights on more the more exertion the more like dizzy HEavy I feel when I get up from that postion I havnt trained in 3 weeks this is very upsetting for me I have been to a doc I have also been to an ENT they checked my pressure etc and it was fine what else could cause thisbe?I drink a protein shake but it has never caused an issue before this concerns me alot I am however on a SSRi anti depressant called Cipramil for panic attacks but my doc does not believe at all that this med can cause it I have been on it before anyway and it never did can you help me out I feel I am going to go soft and fattty by the end of the 4th week!

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Our expert says:
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Hi Yas

Sounds like a blood pressure thing, based on the fact that it happens when you stand up. That happens to many people, it's called orthostatic hypotension. It wouldn't be picked up by a basic check, because the pressure only falls when you do exertion or lift weights, so it's not a chronic thing, but an acute one brought about by how the body adjusts the circulation when you lift weights. There is an increase as the pressure builds up during the lift, and then a decrease after.

There are a couple of conditions that can cause this, however. It can be quite normal, and nothing to worry about, but it's good that you've had a few basic checks. That said, I'm not sure what they've checked, so I can't comment on whether they've eliminated the important things.

I don' tthink its the shake. It may be related to the anti-depressant, that's not my area, though it seems unlikely and I'd agree with your doc in that case.

I think what you need to do is try to lift lighter weights for a while, and also try not to get up straight away after lifting. Just take 10 seconds to first unload your system, then get up slowly. That might help. It'll feel strange and unusual, but it should help a little. Then hopefully, it's just a phase and you'll find that in a few weeks, it's completely gone.

Good luck

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