6 reasons why nosebleeds occur when lifting heavy weights in the gym

Nosebleeds when lifting weights is a quite scary phenomenon that you can encounter in people who lift heavy weights, so is nosebleeds (or nosebleeds) when lifting weights dangerous? Let’s find out. understand now.

5 reasons why nosebleeds occur when lifting heavy weights in the gym

In 2016, 28-year-old Strongman Eddie Hall deadlifted 500kg (1,102 lbs.), breaking the world record and shocking the weightlifting community in the process.

Just five years earlier, many healthy people were struggling to break 460 kg (1,010 lbs.), and Eddie’s record was a monumental feat. But it didn’t come easy, and some of the most memorable images from that event show the Stoke-on-Trend native with a red face and bloody nose.

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Hall also passed out after completing the Deadlift and has been on record stating that he nearly died after pushing his body further than necessary.

The deadlift record was actually broken four years later (Game of Thrones actor Hafthor Bjornsson lifted 1 kg more in 2020), but Hall’s effort is still considered one of the most memorable .

Not only did he go through hell to get there, but that weight put him way ahead and it took four years before anyone surpassed him.

Hall is not the only heavy lifter to have a nosebleed while lifting weights, athlete Mikhail Shivlyakov at the 2018 Arnold Sports Festival also encountered this condition when Deadlifting and the question was asked, at Why does Deadlift cause nosebleeds?

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Most nosebleeds are caused by nose picking and they are usually harmless, so what causes such severe bleeding in weightlifters and athletes, and are they a sign of some danger?

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6 causes of nosebleeds when lifting weights?

Nosebleeds don’t just happen with deadlifts, but they’re more common with this specific exercise. The problem is that the deadlift involves the entire back and legs, requiring a lot of effort and force.

Bleeding can also occur in other locations such as the ears (rare) or the scalp (extremely rare).

1. Due to increased blood pressure

Multi-joint exercises such as the deadlift create intrathoracic and intra-abdominal pressure under the strain of lifting at maximum effort, and this increases blood pressure. High pressure strains the delicate blood vessels in the nose, and this increase in pressure can cause these small blood vessels to burst.

Remember, it’s not as simple as blood pressure. Many elite weightlifters (often in the heavier weight classes) carry extra weight, which can inherently contribute to high blood pressure. When you factor in things like an elite athlete’s weight, lifestyle, and maximum load (lifting intensity), you’ll find a lifter is more prone to bleeding.

2. Valsalva Maneuver

That’s still not all, as there are things that powerlifters and weightlifters do while performing lifts that can increase the likelihood of a nosebleed.

For example, the Valsalva technique requires them to exhale forcefully while holding their breath, essentially exhaling through their mouth while holding their nose. It slows the heart rate and creates the force the practitioner needs, but the Valsalva technique also increases blood pressure.

3. Weight lifting accessories

Weight lifting accessories (knee wraps, belts, clothing) can also be problematic, as it is designed to help athletes compress and provide greater stiffness, allowing them to produce more force. during weightlifting, so you can lift heavier weights but at the same time your nose is also under greater pressure.

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4. Type of exercise

Multi-joint movements that require the body to work hard to maintain tension and pressure can also contribute to nosebleeds when lifting weights. A study done on blood pressure and heavy resistance training found that squats and deadlifts put the most stress on blood pressure. This is due to their need for chest and abdominal pressure.

5. Environment

This is a smaller contributing reason, but the environment can also play a role in the likelihood of nosebleeds when lifting weights. For example, training in cold, dry areas, or even at high altitudes can make lifters more susceptible to nosebleeds.

6. Nutrition

Another uncertain but plausible factor that could cause lifters to bleed is their diet. For example, if a weightlifter is deficient in vitamins C, K, B-9/12, and iron, they are more likely to bleed. This point, like the environment is unlikely, but it is one to consider if you find yourself regularly experiencing things like nosebleeds.


In general, a high-level athlete performing a deadlift will do whatever it takes to perform that lift, even if it means bleeding their nose while lifting the weight, passing out, or causing their body to become incapacitated. Excessive tension.

Like any sport, weight lifting comes with certain risks. Another point is that if done properly, nosebleeds can be minimized. It is important to know that there is risk, but if strategized properly, the risk is short-lived and can be limited.

The good news is that although it makes for quite a bloody scene, weightlifters’ nosebleeds are rarely serious.

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It will go away on its own, but you will need medical attention if bleeding is heavy or lasts more than 20 minutes. If you are a non-competitive weightlifter or powerlifter who experiences frequent nosebleeds, you should consult a medical professional. You may have a problem with high blood pressure that requires medical intervention.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, especially if your nose bleeds when lifting a lot of weights or happens every time you lift heavy weights.

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