T Nation

Deadlift Blackouts


I had my first one yesterday. Not sure if it was from weight or lack of food/hot gym.
worked up like usual and then pulled 455 easy. PR is 475. so i just put 495 on to give it a run. i got the bar to my knees and then came to with my forehead on the platform. my body was completely slumped over the side of the weights.

so i think i dropped the bar, took a step, then went down. i've never been knocked out or blacked out in anyway and id like to keep it that way from here on out. anybody have any ideas as to prevention/ know what the fuck happened?


When i read this it just reminded me of when kevin nee blacked out


Wow look at the dumbass description on the video followed by the dumbass comments. Fuckin morons.


its youtube?what do you expect?


shiiiiiit. i came running back here from my email hoping to find something interesting regarding my question. no luck. but i found an interesting video instead. im temporarily satiated.


Yeah, i did that once. i was deadlifting at home, I don't think the floor was even. I got the first rep (of the attempted triple) to my knees and strained a bit, but then ended up just putting it down. My mistake was after that i stood up straight and closed my eyes, and waited for the normal dizziness to pass. Not a great idea. Fell backwards, hit my head.

Got it for 3 the following week though. Good times.

... I'm aware that probably doesn't help you at all. Just letting you know you're not alone. Prevention? I have no idea. it hasn't happened to me since but dizziness is normal for me after a hard set, so i suppose it could happen again.


Youtube comment - "he pass out because bieffect of steroids,mariuz also use it but maybe more controlled"

wtf does that even mean?!

Do you keep a log book? You could have gone back to see if indeed you ate less in that time.

A hot gym could have been the problem as well. You did increase the weight 20lbs from your PR 1 reps max which is a big difference. Another thing is your hydration could have attributed to you blacking out but I don't think that is the case.

What's your blood pressure like? 120/80 being "normal".


I have slightly low BP according to my doctor. Always have. That day i ate one less meal than usual, spent the day bodysurfing the hurriane swell. i might have been slightly dehydrated, i was sucking water back the whole workout. the heat was horrible and the humidity. the weight moved well, the blackness stopped me lol. it was cool as shit with all the youngns at my old high school seein me black out but it still sucked not to finish the lift


Lol okay it really sounds like a few things could have possibly attributed to you blacking out. It might be hard to actually get one ping point answer.


It could have been the heat or lack of food. I wouldn't worry about it unless this becomes a recurring thing. We have had several guys at our gym blackout while lifting. I almost blacked out at the completing of a suspended good morning. I never had the problem again. As far as food goes the only thing that should affect you, is what you ate and how long it was since you ate prior to working out. You might have had low blood glucose levels.

As far as prevention make sure to eat something before you workout and it wouldn't hurt to sip on Gatorade or something similar during training. Also make sure to get a big breath before you deadlift. Running out of air during a deadlift could cause something like that as well.


Hell, I've done that on my opening deadlift after a much longer meet than anticipated, not having enough food with me, not hydrating adequately and being up late the night before.

I guess my point is the weight certainly contributed to it but most likely you had low blood sugar and were dehydrated.

Like Phil said, I wouldn't worry about it too much unless it keeps happening.


Probably too big of a weight jump


Vasovagal repsonse. Rapid drop in blood pressure. Due to increased intraabdominal pressure decreases cardiac output causing the drop in blood pressure and subsequent lack of oxygen to your brain. Lights out Gracy.


Likely 1) lack of food/water, 2) deadlifting itself

Just discussed about it a few weeks ago in class regarding fainting mechanics. Not really vasovagal response, but due to the Valsalva maneuver itself, causing a reduction in venous return to the heart.

Vasovagal response causing blackouts in exercise would usually occur after completion of the particular activity, not during (that would sound more like a cardiac pathological cause and needs investigation).

Sure you can optimize your hydration/food if that's the real issue, but I'm not sure how to prevent Valsalva maneuver-related fainting, considering that you need it to optimize core stability during deadlifts.


The chances that this individual was so decompensated from lack of caloric intake and dehydration caused the blackout he would have dropped on first set. He didn't state he was having issues during the workout. I think to make an opinion on this issue would be someone who has lifted seriously and has some medical background.


True dat regarding blacking out in the first set, it was something I overlooked. That's why I still included the deadlifting itself as the cause, just that I think it's more of a hemodynamic issue caused by the Valsalva maneuver than a vasovagal response which would be neuroregulatory and frequent.

My simple guess is probably + 20 lb PR leading to higher intraabdominal pressure than he's used to.

P.S. I've the medical background, but definitely not the lifting background (1 year of just bodyweight + DB at home, just 4 months ago entered a gym and do barbell stuff)


So, you would assert that hypoglycemia accompanied by a little dehydration wouldn't contribute significantly to what you have described?


i just had to get out a dictionary to keep up with what was going on here lol. but to clarify, my workout broke down as such:
dynamic warmups/hip mobility
squats up to 425x5
deads 135x3,225x3,315x3,365x3,405x3,455x1, blackout lol.
i was fine once i recovered. still did 45degree hypers and abs.

after reading the scenarios i think it was just a huge combination of weight jump, lack of food, dehydration, heat, whatever.
hoping it doesnt happen again


This is such a coincidence,I nearly blacked today first time ever,just going heavy I am cycling my carbs at the min;and didnt have any since 6.30am (trained at 7.25pm)thats why I nearly did and it was very warm.
Just had a proper head rush as I got it off the floor and lost vision,was still standing and was short of breath,sight came round after 20-30secs.


I've had that happen. Usually more on squats than on DL. I've hit a double and then damn near dropped when I finished the set. dropped half way then woke up and caught myself. I found It would happen when I was setting all my Intra abdominal pressure and then not breathing.

When your getting down for the DL you have to get big air, set, and pull. the longer you stay down the more likely the black out. I think if you let some of the air oxygen get used and try to keep the big air you'll be more likely to drop.

Try flexing every muscle in your body as hard as possible. then try to do it while holding your breath. sorry if that doesn't make sense. I still run into the fainting feeling a bit on max squats, but I make sure I keep my head by getting my air right.