T Nation

Breathing While Deadlifting


Im new to training just passed my year 1 mark. Recently I pulled a new PR 405 and I had ask this big guy at the gym to watch my form. I had never seen him Dl before but he gave my feind some good dl pointers and he was pretty big and lean so i figured he might no a thing or to. Normally when i dead i try to feel my belly with air and hold it until i lock the weight out.

He said my form looked good except that i shouldnt hold my breath the whole time or i could pass out, he referenced a you tube video. I watched it and the guy did indeed pass out after holding jhis breath for the duration of the lift. However i have seen many people who deadlift who hold there breath but dont pass out.

So my question is should i breath thru out the lift or just at lock out? Will breathing thr out the lift cause me to loose some of the tightness in my abbs? Is it just a personal preference thing?


i usually hold for anything that requires me to use a belt. if i do need to breath due to multiple reps i will slowly exhale during the movement and i will take a breath at the top and bottom.


Do not breathe.

You can exhale after your sticking point if your blood pressure tends to be a problem, but "exhale" here means "slowly let the air out naturally as you go up."

Passing out is not likely to happen until AFTER you've set the bar down, if at all. I black out sometimes. Ammonia/nose tork helps a lot by dilating the blood vessels in your head/eyes and reducing the pressure in your head.


If I reset at the bottom of the movement I usually take a breath there, but if I'm doing touch and go then I breath at the top.


i exhale once locked out. never passed out before


Passing out is due to the heavy breathing before the lift causing the blood vessels in your neck to dilate, then a huge straining manouever reinforcing that and pushing heaps of blood to your head. Once you let go of the bar at the bottom, release all the strain and since the blood vessels are well dilated which was fine when you were strainging pushing blood into your noggin, which suddenly stops, causes the blood to rush out of your head resulting in blackouts, seeing stars, passing out etc.

If I am 1RM'ing Ill hold until the top, or on multiples exhale on the way up, breathe in at the top and then hold for the next rep.


I hold till the top; if I breathe out (eg shout) whilst pulling I feel my stability disappear and it makes the lift harder.

Most experienced lifters I take advice from advise to hold your breath and brace your core.


Hold til top, ive also been known to growl when i get stuck.


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I'm from this camp.


For singles I hold it til the top unless its a grind I slowly let it out through my sticking point. For multiple reps i breathe in when the weight is on the ground. I also black out regularly though. I cant remember a single DL I've hit in a meet




I'm hoping Andy Bolton will post his preferences.


I <3 you.