I just started weightlifting a couple of weeks ago. Right now, I'm deadlifting 65 lbs for 3 sets of 15. When I'm done deadlifting, I usually breathe heavily and have a high heart rate, like I had just sprinted for a couple minutes. Is this normal for weightlifting?

  • Out of interest, what program are you following?
    – user5376
    Oct 30, 2014 at 11:04
  • I'm not following a program. A friend showed me some lifts, and now I do a few lifts that work out most of my body and that I enjoy. My goal is to be in good shape, but not to be especially strong or perform better in a sport. I am already in good shape in terms of cardio exercise, but I've only been lifting for a couple months.
    – Kevin
    Oct 30, 2014 at 15:58
  • Yup; it's normal for weightlifting, especially as you begin to lift higher loads. Mar 9, 2015 at 15:08
  • Are you breathing properly or holding your breath
    – user19347
    Feb 8, 2016 at 22:24

5 Answers 5


It's impossible to say nothing's wrong with you. I'm not a doctor. If you have medical concerns, see a doctor.

But that aside, I would say it is normal to be out of breath after a hard set of any compound lift. Heavy squats (for 5 reps) almost always leave me feeling somewhere between out of breath and about to pass out.

There are things that can make post-set exhaustion worse, like low blood glucose, dehydration, or electrolyte imbalance. So make sure you're eating enough carbs, staying hydrated, and getting enough sodium/potassium/calcium. And like Dave Liepmann said, make sure you're breathing. That sounds obvious, but it's instinctive to hold your breath when you're straining and it's easy not to notice.


You're supposed to breath a bit heavy after deadlifting. 65 pounds is a bit light for this to happen, but it's fine. (Maybe you're holding your breath?)

Lifting is hard work. If you're not breathing hard with a pounding heart and maybe some sweat after a long deadlift set, something is wrong.


I would reccomend upping the deadlift weight and only doing 3-8 reps max. Deadlifts seem to help when they're heavier. Most people are gonna feel pretty out of breath when they do any compound movement for that kind of rep range.


If you know your diets good then you should be fine. Running out of breath on deadlifts are normal. I powerlift and after a warm up set on my Deadlift I breath heavier an heart rate increases. Then after a max set my heart rate is beating out of my chest and I'm breathing very heavy. And I'm in light weight class so I do some cardio to keep of some extra lbs.


it seems normal, but as you stated you are doing this for couple months I am asuming you were using lower weights before.

To soothe your problem try doing some breath exercise which will increase your capacity to breath more calmly in these situations.

Plus also, please don't over lift or over rep anything if you feel that you really feeling breathless try decreasing your sets as you already stated you are only doing this to be in good shape, or you can also try increasing the rest time in between each set.

Some explanation

When you try lift something heavier especially in a sequence your veins and your muscles get full pull it's a common human body reaction when lifting something heavier your lungs and mind tend to hold breath to give your body maximum capable power as if you were breathing out it will result in relaxing that decreased the body power.

The solution for this is by lifting weight that your body can easily handle so you can breath in and out but do it fast so you can maintain the power.

It is same like throwing a punch, when you are angry you - first you take your punch back holding your breath and then release it to the opponent to produce maximum damage and releasing the breath.

This kind of reactions can make your heart beat faster and make you breathless in couple of shots, leaving you immobilize to think that I can run more than 1 - 2 km without any difficulties "but why I become breathless so fast with few punch ?"

The answer is simple you ask your body to provide you maximum power possible, your body reacts to your command and start burning even the single oxygen taken in the lungs and to process energy your heart start pumping at the max possible rate "Providing you maximum power possible sacrificing breath and heart beat rate"

Hope that answer your Question.

  • 1
    "The solution for this is by lifting weight that your body can easily handle so you can breath in and out but do it fast so you can maintain the power." - sure, if you never want to train heavy weights then this is great advice. Otherwise it's terrible and can result in back injuries since his/her abs won't be tight.
    – Eric
    Mar 10, 2015 at 16:28
  • I totally agree with @Eric Kaufman but since the Questioner state in his question that he is not doing this to be a part of heavy weight lifting but to remain in shape and I assume he will not do heavy weights exercise.. Mar 13, 2015 at 11:46

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