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I train a lot every week and sometimes after a very intensive training, when I hold my breath, I start to become dizzy. I did that about 3 times in the past, and the last time I did it I completely passed out.

It was quite scarry, mainly because I never passed out before. Is this an extreme case of something like thumb-tripping enhanced by the intensive training? Or is there something wrong with me?

Needless to say, I haven't repeated it since then...

(Also, I become dizzy after 10 seconds, but in normal conditions I can hold my breath over 2 minutes...)

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closed as off-topic by JohnP, FredrikD, Lego Stormtroopr, LarissaGodzilla, Kneel-Before-ZOD Aug 10 '14 at 15:51

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

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The only thing wrong is holding your breath. Why would you want to dot that? Are you training for an underwater sport? – rrirower Feb 26 '14 at 13:27
When you say intensive training, what are you doing? Some activities require holding your breath for proper bracing, and other activities where it is both ill advised and potentially dangerous. Do understand that as effort increases so does your need for oxygen. – Berin Loritsch Feb 26 '14 at 14:30
@rrirower It's common to do the Valsalva maneuver while lifting weight, which is what, I believe, the OP is referring to. – maxywb Feb 26 '14 at 18:57
no, not in a lifting weight maneuver, I actually have no problems during the activities, it's only after I'm exhausted, and already rested a little bit. I swim and do fitness, hence the holding breath. I'm usually doing cardio when I get that feeling. – camel Feb 27 '14 at 13:56
Why on earth would you hold your breath either during or after cardio?? – JohnP Feb 27 '14 at 14:57
up vote 1 down vote accepted

When you work out, your body needs to produce more energy to accommodate you. To do this, it begins to undergo the process of aerobic respiration. This process requires oxygen, so the more you work out, the more oxygen you need to use. When you stop working out, you don't immediately stop producing the most energy you can, and your body is trying to make up for the deficit you caused, so you keep respiring and consuming lots of oxygen. When you then deny your body oxygen, you can't make enough energy for organs like your brain to function, so your brain, in a "why the hell are you doing this" type response, stops you from not breathing by forcing you to cease whatever exercise in stupidity you happen to be engaging in at the moment (in this case, holding your breath). There is something wrong with you, but it's only that you decided to hold your breath when you most required oxygen.

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thank you for explaining this in a very ammusing way :) – camel Mar 2 '14 at 21:36
@camel No problem. Thank you for posting this (sadly) amusing question. – KnightOfNi Mar 2 '14 at 21:41

The same thing happens to me when I haven't eaten or slept properly before a strenuous lifting session. It will also happen to me when working with heavy singles. The only trick I've found to deal with the light-headedness is to take very quick, shallow breaths and try not to move. This trick also works for me when doing clean&jerk if I have to pause after the clean and before I attempt the jerk.

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Sounds like acute hypoglycemia to me.... – Ellocomotive Feb 27 '14 at 2:27
@Ellocomotive Not really. It's mostly to do with rapid rise in blood pressure that comes with lifting heavy. – maxywb Feb 27 '14 at 15:48

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