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Maxxed DL and Passed Out


I have never fainted til today.

While re-maxxing DL today I had my new PR on the bar. I pulled, locked it out, and started to descend. I got about 1/2 way down my thighs and dropped the weight. I grabbed the sides of the rack I was in for support, then my vision blurred and the next thing I know I feel my head bounce on the rubber flooring and I'm on my back. I sat there for a couple of minutes dumbfounded that I passed out. After that I felt fine and finished my workout.

I was holding my breath the whole time. Maybe I'll start exhaling a little on the descent.

Has this ever happened to any of you?

Thoughts? Ideas on DL breathing technique?

I'm kinda laughing about it now, but I'm grateful I didn't split my noggin open.


Happened once but I hadn't eaten much that day. I woke up on the mat with a fat lip.


Did you try to eat a dumbbell rack on the way down?

Best thing to do is take another breath at the top of the lift. Sometimes judges will make you hold it to make sure you're locked out, so it's useful to get used to breathing at the top.


Google this - Valsalva maneuver


Seen it a lot but its never happened to me. Just like everything else in training, breathing needs to be trained as well. Personally, DL breathing technique for me is a couple double breathes standing up, get down to the bar, pick it up, and exhale after the lockout. I used to practice breathing technique because on heavy pulls, I found myself holding my breath fro up to 10 seconds and getting dizzy as shit, especially in gear.

Search for Ultimate Athlete Concepts and search through their store for their resisted breathing device. It seems silly but for someone whose breathing technique might be a weakness, like yourself, it could be worth looking into.

Valsalva was a pussy... haha.


Sounds like what you did was induce vasovagal constriction.

Typically this is caused by hyperventillation (lots of quick breaths) followed by a valsalva (attempt to exhale through heavy exertion without allowing any air out).

If that's the case it can usually be avoided through either skipping the hyperventiallation or the valsalva. The first is easy, just don't take all the quick little breaths before you lift, the second can be harder but try exhaling toward the top of teh lift. NOt everything but let a little breath whistle out.

Of course it could be indicitive of something more serious so if it happens again see your doc.