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Old 03-09-2014, 08:53 PM   #1
David Kiesling
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Light headed during cleans

I have been doing clean and jerks for a couple years, not really focusing on increasing the weight much. Lately I've gotten light headed while doing heavy cleans, and especially the jerk, and I'm trying to determine why.

I've started bike riding 4-5 times a week, but I don't overdo it, and I sometimes feel energetic enough a couple hours afterwards to do a workout. The bike riding has improved my overall energy and endurance and gotten me to breathe deeply when I need to, so I don't think breathing is the issue.

I also cut some protein out of my diet, essentially living on multiple large salads a day with gobs of goat cheese and olive oil, and bowls of oatmeal, and occasionally an egg thrown in. I know that isn't a lot of protein, but I always suffered a drop in energy after eating any type of meat, milk or nuts, as well as too many carbs (oatmeal is fine for some reason), so this diet is what I've settled on as what is working better than anything else I've tried.

I don't feel exhausted at all, and mentally and physically I feel better than ever. I feel like I could do more weight and a longer workout if I could do something about the light headedness. I don't feel sick when it happens, and it goes away in a few seconds when I put the weight down, leading me to do cleans in singles eventually. Other exercises don't bother me, but I don't do WODs, so I don't do a great variety of exercises.
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Old 03-10-2014, 09:29 AM   #2
Bob Butz
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Re: Light headed during cleans

If you're getting lightheaded during the lift and then it quickly goes away, it's probably because you're breathing wrong. If you're taking a deep breath before the lift and holding it in you chest/face/head, that's a problem. Google "valsalva maneuver" and learn to breath with your belly.
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:26 AM   #3
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Light headed during cleans

Are you pinching your carotid artery with the bar when it's in the rack position? That's not too unusual, and if you do some YouTube searching you can find videos of even high-level lifters passing out after standing up a clean because they cut off blood flow to their brain.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:23 PM   #4
David Kiesling
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Re: Light headed during cleans

It might just be me needing to adapt to the new diet. I am able to do more heavy work before getting light headed now. When it would come on, it would start at about the catch, before there's enough time I think for a pinched artery or bad breathing to have an effect. That's the only strength work I've been doing where I lift near my max, so I think it's just a matter of that general type of work I'm re-adapting to.

Thanks for the replies!
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