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Thread: Blacking out

  1. #1

    Default Blacking out

    Dear Mark,
    when I deadlift and power-clean I often get very dizzy and faint. Today while deadlifting I came very close to fainting (couldn't stand up, couldn't see). I've had my blood pressure checked very recently and told I was healthy in that regard. I've never encountered this before except with heavy deadlifts/PCs.

    Have you encountered this with any of your trainees? Can you recommend a solution? Barring the possibility of falling and hitting my head, is there any inherent danger in fainting?

    Many thanks,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    North Texas


    Blacking out is not a normal feature of training. It happens most commonly when a bar is racked against the throat and the carotids are occluded, but I have never experienced this either myself or with a trainee during a deadlift. You must be doing something strange with your valsalva, and I can't help you from here.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008


    I've gotten a tad dizzy, seeing stars, things of that nature.

    Is that what you're referring to?

  4. #4


    Okay. On a possibly related note, is it common for ones eyes to be quite bloodshot for a couple minutes after a really heavy PR, or are my brains being splattered against the inside of my skull?

  5. #5


    Happens to me. Try letting up on your valvalva just a touch by hissing or sputtering on the way up.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Heidelberg, Germany


    valsalva on top of hyperventilation. don't force your breathing just before the set of heavy stuff. Vorobiev described this phenomenon.

  7. #7


    I feel like that when I dont eat enough to lift or when i'm dehydrated.

  8. #8

    Default I asked Coach about this awhile back...

    He said I'm probably in the worst shape in the history of mankind & then he insulted my mother.

  9. #9

    Default yeah

    Hey man
    just wanted to kind of echo what some of the other guys have said. I have noticed the same thing on deads and I realized it only came when I took a very large breath and then held the valsalva. I have decreased the volume of the breath a bit, while still maintaining what I feel like is adequate thoracic and abdominal fullness and still hold the valsalva--this has taken care of the fainting feelings. So in short, try not taking a really large breath and hopefully that will help. cuz yeah, it was scary to me the first time I did it, I thought I was gonna freakin pass out and bust my head open on the bar.

  10. #10


    This happened to me on my last workout while doing Squats. I felt a little lightheaded. Nothing worrysome, but the sensation was there. I only felt it after my work sets. The Valsava manuever has helped me a great deal in keeping my body tight on the squats, but I wonder if I may be overdoing it.

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