Do You Get Dizzy While Weightlifting?

Ray Back Squat

Recently, one of my athletes told me that they were getting dizzy doing squat cleans. I watched them do another rep and noticed that they were holding their breath during the movement. The process of holding one’s breath while weightlifting is called the Valsalva Maneuver and it’s what most experts recommend that weightlifters do while performing near maximal lifts. The Valsalva Maneuver helps to increase intra-abdominal pressure which in turn helps to protect the spine from injury amongst other potential benefits. However, as with most good things there can be a potential downside and that is that performing this maneuver may cause you to get dizzy or in extreme cases even cause unconscious.

The dizziness may be due to improper barbell placement in the front rack position while performing cleans or front squats that results in compression of the carotid arteries and restricts blood flow to the brain. Couple this with holding your breath and exerting yourself simultaneously causes your blood pressure and heart rate to slow down. However, I’ve seen athletes get dizzy even doing deadlifts or back squats (me included) where the barbell could not possibly compress your carotid arteries. In these cases, the dizziness is most often caused by holding your breath because just holding your breath will raise your blood pressure which can also lead to dizziness.

If this is happening to you, you may want to try to leak a little air out of your lunges at the point of maximum exertion;  such as the sticking point of a squat. Ultimately, leaking all the air out of your lungs as you complete the lift. I’ve personally seen this work for many of my athletes. Give it a try and let me know if it helped.


Kristi Seagrave: A Welcoming Experience

Kristi Seagrave

After leaving a previous CrossFit gym, Crossfit Bradenton was the first on my list to try. Needless to say my list never continued any further. Going to my first class, I had an ongoing welcoming from every member in there to make me feel welcome. What I loved about this gym the most is this didn’t stop after the first day. Over a year later, everyone is just as welcoming! The owners and coaches have made this gym feel like a true second home by making an effort to not only help you reach your health goals, but by getting to know you personally. I’m now addicted!! Not only am I addicted to my results, gains, and lifestyle changes, but to all the special people and memories I continue to make daily!

Ginger Moritz: I Found What I Was Missing

Ginger Moritz

My fitness journey has landed me at CrossFit Bradenton (CFB) about 2 years ago.  Before coming to CFB, I was seeing a personal trainer, which was helping me with my weight loss goals but was expensive and I felt like something was missing.  That something, being CrossFit, was introduced to me by my good friend Denise.

The first time I stepped into CFB I was welcomed by the warm smiling faces of other box goers and coaches.  The coaches are all amazing and work hard at helping me achieve my fitness goals.

CrossFit has helped me attain achievable lifting goals. Although I am not one to RX many workouts, I am always challenged by the Olympic lifts, which was a big struggle when I started.  I was really intimidated by the weights because I was at such a deficit.  It took a while but I actually enjoy the lifting, believe it or not!

It is hard enough to stay on any diet/fitness routine, but to find a place you can go to that everyone is welcoming and eager to cheer you on, this really makes you want to show up.

Coaches/owners Paris and Beth have worked hard to create a box of friendly professionals with like minded fitness goals.  I would highly recommend CFB to all levels of athletes!