Often when I deadlift, I start feeling quite dizzy after about 5 reps despite feeling that I am nowhere near failure. Usually, this makes me need to have temporary rests between reps and take a few deep breaths but that only makes overloading the muscles more difficult. Naturally, this also makes me want to stay away from heavier weights and prevents me from pushing myself

I thought that perhaps this was caused by incorrect breathing. I always take a deep breath, brace before the movement and release the air when the weight goes back down.

Are there any other breathing techniques that could help alleviate the dizziness or is there some other technique I need to use?

  • 2
    Another user posted the same thing a few days ago. When you take a deep breath, brace and hold your breath while lifting, you're basically performing a Valsalva maneuver which can cause dizziness. – JohnP Feb 21 at 13:39
  • Have you tried breathing normally instead? How much weight do you have to cut from your exercises before you can go on without this problem showing up? Dizziness after 5 reps is not normal. – Mast Feb 28 at 4:14
  • @Mast Breathing normally (breath in before lift, exhalation throughout lift) makes the situation a bit better, but I still get lightheaded before the end of the set. Cutting 10kg (from 55kg) makes the problem barely noticeable – TheBro21 Mar 3 at 15:15
  • Sounds to me like you're simply overdoing it. Have you tried practising with the cut weight for a week? What happens when you increase the weight slowly after that? Walk before you run. – Mast Mar 3 at 16:03
  • @Mast I will give that a try – TheBro21 Mar 3 at 16:18

It is normal to reset for every rep if you are deadlifting for reps below 5. I would not bother myself with overloading muscles with this exercise, because this is not an isolation exercise like a biceps curl, so you don't have to (I actually think you should not) go to failure.

  • Second this. Slow down and take your time. – Tehninjo0 Mar 11 at 0:40

I think the weight is too high first of all.

As for breathing i think you should continue to practice proper bracing technique. A quick youtube search of valsalva maneuver or proper bracing technique will help clarify.

Also as a someone who had trouble with headaches while deadlifting i would say make sure you're breathing in through your nose. Also try either 'resetting' after each rep or (what i do) take another breath before i brace, example below.

set up breathe and brace full rep while braced breath normally once or twice get into good position again breathe and brace full rep while braced etc

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