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Old 05-30-2007, 07:28 PM   #1
Steve Tracht
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During the 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 Deadlift workout last week, I was progressing up on weight. When I got to 325 lb I was able to lift it, and felt that I could do more, but I was definitely working at it. After I set the weight down, I started to walk away and got extremely light-headed almost to the point of passing out. I dropped the weight down to 305 and finished out the session doing 3 reps instead of 1. I didn't have any more problems.

This was my first time doing this workout. I take atenolol ( a beta blocker) for migraines, so my heart rate and blood pressure are typically low. I do get light-headed when I get up too quickly. I was working out in the morning, and hadn't eaten breakfast yet.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? I was bummed, because I was finally getting some decent numbers for a WOD.
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Old 06-01-2007, 07:33 PM   #2
Carl Herzog
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I tend toward low blood pressure. Doing max deadlifts when dehydrated results in an experience similar to what you describe.
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Old 06-02-2007, 04:53 AM   #3
Steve Tracht
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That's good feedback. I probably didn't drink anything that morning.
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Old 06-03-2007, 09:34 AM   #4
Theresa Meyer
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I've had the same sensation--with much lighter weight, however. I only take Zyrtec for allergies, so the hydration theory may have some validity. Also, exertion and other phenomena may stimulate the vagus nerve, which can cause syncope (fainting and/or lightheadedness). A prime example of vagus nerve stimulation occurs when a person faints at the sight of a needle or something similar. The exertion can create the same effect.
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Old 06-03-2007, 12:14 PM   #5
Steve Serrano
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As you tighten up and lift that weight, you experience a temorary spike in your BP (pneumatic tension / whole body exertion).

I experience that post-lift headrush every time I get near my max, as do many of the guys (with normal BP and no meds) that lift at our affiliate. The old "put your head between your knees" works. Squat down take a couple breaths, you should be fine.

If you take the Atenolol daily it may have a factor in this that your Doc should be able to give input on. Maintaining hydration should be a constant for you though. Never hurts to keep a close eye on it.
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Old 06-04-2007, 05:03 AM   #6
Cal Jones
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One thing to watch out for is not holding your breath - some people do it unconsciously.
I get LBP too sometimes - I grey out completely if I get up too fast after sitting at my desk a long time. I've been OK with the deadlifting so far, but tend to do it in the evening, and I chug water at my desk at work. I'm on my third litre already and it's not even lunchtime (and that's not including what I drank before I left for work this morning!)
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Old 06-04-2007, 12:05 PM   #7
Garrett Smith
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I have fallen due to lightheadedness after DLing a single (not a max attempt).

I believe it was from taking in an excessively BIG inhale breath before lifting. This is known to cause issues. Since not doing that anymore, I have not had the issue again.
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Old 06-04-2007, 06:13 PM   #8
Elliot Royce
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"One thing to watch out for is not holding your breath - some people do it unconsciously."

I've been taught to hold my breath during the lift in order to preserve the integrity of the body structure. If you exhale, your chest will dip and you run a risk of losing good posture.
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Old 06-04-2007, 10:09 PM   #9
Matt DeMinico
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From my coach (who happens to be a former olympic coach). She got it from another source...

From Go Ask Alice:
"When someone works out, his or her heart pumps harder and faster, increasing blood flow to the actively exercising muscles. Blood vessels in the skin expand to dissipate heat. When exercise ends suddenly, the heart slows down its pumping activity, decreasing blood circulation even though blood vessels remain dilated. As a result, blood pressure can fall and a person can feel dizzy or even faint.

It can be common for someone to feel lightheaded or dizzy when s/he abruptly stops arduous physical activity. Feeling this way after exercising is probably not dangerous. However, if a person feels lightheaded or faint during exercise, that may indicate a serious heart condition. S/he needs to stop exercising and get medical attention and evaluation."
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Old 11-05-2007, 06:13 AM   #10
Daniel Schenck
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Re: Light-headed during max deadlift workout

I did a search on light-headedness during ME deadlift and came across this discussion.

I did ME DLs today, and was getting prettylight-headed at the top of the lift - not pass out dizzy, but I think close. It passed a few seconds after I put the weight down, and then I felt fine (as if I could do even more weight, actually).

I am doing valsalva breathing (or rather holding).

Anyone else experience this with dizziness at the top with heavy DLs?

If I read the quote above from Go ask Alice, it seems to apply more to aerobic exercise, since it talks about dissipating heat. I've experienced this light-headedness only when doing heavy lifting, never during running, biking or rowing...

Any tips for minimizing it - or should I just treat it as evidence that I am working hard enough?!

Last edited by Daniel Schenck : 11-05-2007 at 06:17 AM.
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