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Old 09-08-2009, 03:34 PM   #1
Steve Forman
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 72
Default HA with oly's

7 Days ago I started a 7 week cycle for oly lifting.

4 days ago, I got head ache that hasnt gone away. I am thinking I may not being eating enough food. I was eating about 2500cal a day and now about 3000. (by the way I am in the medical field and have thought about all the other stuff, but thanks)

each day for 4 on 1 off routine, consist of 2 oly lifts for strength gains with 2 skill work exercises and then a 10 min metcon only twice a week.

I am not a typical HA guy and nothing else feels different, I dont feel week or like im not recovering. the workouts are hard and kicking me thought.

I eat, non measuring paleo about 3x fat. I know the simple answer is eat more and try it. just wandering if you have experienced the same symptom of not enough calories.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:03 AM   #2
Steven Low
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,045

Did you switch from a different diet to Paleo 3x fat?

If so, switching to generally "low carb" diet from a "high carb" diet does cause energy loss for 2-3 weeks and potentially headaches as well.

Otherwise, could be tight muscles from the shrug portion of the Oly?

Massage may potentially help. That would be the first thing I would check, especially since you're in the medical field and say you have checked out other options.
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Old 09-09-2009, 06:15 AM   #3
Derek Simonds
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Deland, FL
Posts: 4,204

There is a some stuff out on the net about exercise induced HA's especially if you are really pushing your internal pressure to stabilize your core.

One theory is that these headaches happen because the strain elevates the arterial pressure in the head so venous sinuses at the base of the brain dilate. In studies of weightlifters, an athlete lifting the maximum weight he can handle experiences a sharp rise in his blood pressure.
I had them for a while when I first started going heavier for me in the Olympic lifts. None that lasted for days though.

Best of luck with them.
What we think, or what we know, or what we believe, is in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do. -John Ruskin

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Old 09-09-2009, 07:01 AM   #4
Steve Forman
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 72

Thanks Steve and Derek,

those are great responses. Ill try to loosen those neck muscles. I absolutely am going heavy and harder than i have been. I haven't switched diets, always been low carb with cycling on and off.

never heard about the pressure thing. I wonder if there is a fix for that. Yesterday I took in an extra 800 calories to if that helped and it did not help, off to my friends house to see if massage works, maybe an adjust also in the neck if the muscles are pulling. the program has perscribed a lot of snatch and cleans pulls.

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Old 09-09-2009, 02:12 PM   #5
Donald Lee
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 620

I thought this would be relevant to the talk about internal pressure. I don't know if the Valsalva Maneuver is the cause of your headaches, but here it is:

Dr Siff noted:

When you exert any significant force, the body responds reflexively to invoke
the Valsalva manoeuvre (forced breath holding against a closed glottis) and
increase your intrathoracic and intraabdominal pressures. This increase in
gaseous pressure produces an accompanying increase in blood pressure, an
effect which is particularly evident in the spinal column, vessels of the head
and brain, even if there are some mechanisms which attempt to limit the extent
of the tress increase.

If this results in small capillary ruptures of vessels in the nose, face and
eyes, and nothing more, then one probably has little to worry about, but the
continued provocation of such events may increase the risks of rupture of more
vital vessels in the brain or around the heart.

If vessel rupture or haemorrhage occurs in the brain, this is known as a
stroke and the consequences for this vary from partial paralysis and brain
damage to death. If the increase in pressure to arteries supplying blood to
the heart is imposed on arteries (by increase in intrathoracic pressure) which
are already unhealthy or partially clogged with plaque, then you could damage
or rupture these vessels (e.g. causing an aneurysm or distension of the

Right, now that we are suitably terrified (and so we should be if one does
have significant cardiocirculatory risk factors), what can we do about the

First of all, it would be productive to accept that, if excessive rise in
blood pressure is the major problem, then you have to do something about the
way in which you control your breathing during lifting. Now, we know that the
frequently advised method of never holding one's breath in training is
impractical nonsense for someone who wishes to stabilise the spine while
lifting heavy loads. That well-meaning advice to suppress natural protective
reflex creates potential risks for one's back. So, where to from here?

What you can do is draw on Russian research (see Vorobyev "Textbook on
Weightlifting" 1978) which showed that the optimal support for the spine with
fewest side-effects is achieved with the lungs about 75% full. So, try not to
overfull the lungs with forced inhalation and try to use a belt which is not
excessively restrictive.

By experimenting carefully with how 'full' your abdomen feels or how much
your diaphragm seems to be depressed, relative to increasingly heavier loads,
you will soon find a degree of 'fullness' which seems to suit you best. The
wearing of even a fairly loose belt (you can fit one finger tightly between it
and your abs) can serve as a very useful proprioceptive learning tool to
achieve this posture.

While lifting submaximal loads you may try 'humming' out through the nose
little well-controlled whiffs of air to lower your intra-abdominal and
intrathoracic pressure to a level which is sufficient to stabilise you well,
but not too so high that you burst blood vessels.

Moreover, since part of the blood vessel rupturing is due, not only to the
rise in blood pressure, but also the duration of the pressure rise, you can
help to minimise the problem by trying to complete your lifts as quickly as
possible while maintaining good form. Interestingly, some other Russian
research (Siff & Verkhoshansky "Supertraining" 1998) shows that breath holding
and blood pressure increase is more prolonged among lifters whose technique is
inefficient and accompanied by ill-managed efforts at stabilisation. In other
words, make sure that your technique is so good that you can complete any
maximal lifts as quickly as possible.
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