Why do People Pass Out After Deadlifts: 9 Tips To Avoid

If you are a new or intermediate lifter, you may have seen videos of people passing out while deadlifting.

Thankfully passing out after deadlifting is not that common, so it should not be your biggest concern in the gym.

However nobody wants to pass out, so there are things that you’ll want to avoid while deadlifting heavy to prevent this.

Keep reading to find our 9 tips to avoid passing out while deadlifting.

Why Do People Pass Out After Deadlifting?

The main reason why people pass out after deadlifting is because they do not have enough oxygen running through their brain.

There are many things that cause a lack of oxygen, so keep reading to discover the nine most common factors of passing out after deadlifting!

Holding Their Breath for Too Long

When deadlifting heavy it is important to monitor your breath.

You do not want to take a deep breath and then get your feet into place, adjust your straps, check to see if your back is straight, and then lift. 

Instead, you want to do all of this before you inhale, and then right when you are ready to lift the bar you should take a deep breath and then lift the bar up, when at the top release your breath and drop the bar.

Hyperventilation: Breathing Too Much

Breathing uses energy from your body, so when you begin to hyperventilate you are wasting energy that could be used for the deadlift to pull more weight.

Hyperventilation can also cause your blood vessels to contract which means your brain has less blood to use, which could lead to passing out after deadlifts.


Another factor that may cause people to pass out after deadlifting is dehydration.

It is extremely important to stay hydrated while lifting, especially when lifting heavy because your body is undergoing crazy amounts of stress, and it needs liquids to sustain itself.

Milk is a great liquid to drink before lifting heavy because your body can retain milk a lot longer than water because of the high caloric content.

Your Blood Sugar Is Too Low

If you are lifting on an empty stomach and you feel like passing out after a heavy deadlift, it probably means your blood sugar is too low.

A way to prevent this is to eat a small snack before your workout, or even during your workout.

What I like to do is eat a granola bar before a lifting session, or even during the lifting session, this allows me to push my body to the maximum without worrying about passing out while deadlifting heavy.


If you are a gym rat or just need a little boost before you go to the gym, then you have probably used Pre-Workout, but does Pre-Workout make people pass out while deadlifting?

When you consume Pre-Workout, you consume caffeine, and that caffeine will go into your brain causing you to think you have more energy because it blocks out adenosine receptors (A2ARs).

Now your brain is telling you that you have more energy and therefore you think you can lift more. This will cause people to load up the bar a bit too much and then try and lift it.

This could cause people to pass out after deadlifting. So just be aware that if you took Pre-Workout your brain may be ready to lift 400lbs, but your body may only be able to lift 350lbs.

You’ve Lifting Lazy!

An important thing to watch out for so that you do not pass out while deadlifting is sitting around too much in between lifts.

Because when you are sitting for a long period in between sets your body begins to rest and your heart rate drops, to prevent this I would recommend not taking more than a two-minute rest in between your heavy deadlifts.

Releasing Your Breath (and Pressure!) Too Quickly

When you are deadlifting heavy, it is extremely important to monitor your breath.

So before you lift the bar off the ground you want to inhale a gulp of air, and then start pulling, however you do not want to release your breath until you are at the top of your lift.

Once at the top you can release your breath and then drop or lay down the bar. If you release your breath before you reach the top of your deadlift, then you increase your chances of passing out.

Recent Alcohol or Blood Pressure Medication

So if you were out partying last night and you have a morning workout, then maxing out on deadlifts may not be the smartest idea.

When alcohol enters your body it lowers your blood pressure which means lower amounts of blood flowing through the brain.

This causes lightheadedness and the chances of passing out increase.

Hanging After Your Deadlifts

For most lifters deadlifting heavy often will cause tension in the back, this results in them wanting to stretch it out.

A common exercise for stretching out your back is hanging from a pullup bar. However, DO NOT DO THIS after lifting heavy!

When you hang from a bar your lungs contract which means that you are not able to inhale as much air as you need, which could then lead to passing out after heavy deadlifts.

How Often Do People Pass Out After Deadlifting

So is deadlifting safe?

The answer is YES!!

Deadlifting is a very safe lift that just about any person can do, you do not need to worry about passing out while deadlifting.

I personally do not know nor have seen anyone in the gym who has passed out after deadlifting, and I have been lifting for over 6 years now. So if you want to go hit a deadlift PR, go lift that bar!

What To Do If You Feel Like Passing Out After Deadlifting

If you do feel like passing out after deadlifting, STOP!

It means you are pushing your body too hard, have low blood sugar levels, or are dehydrated.

You do not want to pass out after deadlifting because there are objects all around in the gym and you do not want to fall while passing out and bang your head on one of the objects. The actual action of passing out is not dangerous, the dangerous part is hitting your head during your fall.

Final Thoughts

Passing out after deadlifting heavy is extremely rare, and you do not need to worry about it.

Personally the most important things for me to remember while deadlifting are to stay hydrated, and to keep my blood sugar levels up by eating snacks before and during the lifting session.

If you have seen someone pass out while deadlifting, make sure to tell them these tips for the next time they deadlift.

Drop a comment below saying which tip you think is most important when it comes to not passing out while deadlifting.

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