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Anyone ever go BLIND during a workout???

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by Enigma66, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. Enigma66

    Enigma66 Well-Known Member

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    This is something that happened to me one time during a workout many years ago, and I've never really heard a good explanation as to why. For some reason I've never mentioned it on a forum before, I guess because it was so long ago and I just don't think about it that much, but today it was on my mind so here we go.

    I had at least a couple years of training experience under my belt and had recently joined a Nautilus gym through a radio promotion, $99 for a year. Pretty good deal actually. I had read a few Nautilus books by Arthur Jones & Ellington Darden, and the whole concept made sense to me - put everything you had into one set of several different exercises that worked out your whole body. So I liked the concept, and really liked using the machines at the gym. I'd start with the biggest muscles and work my way through until I had a whole body workout. Of course I also rested a few minutes before starting the next exercise. I also got a few free training sessions with one of the gym's instructors as part of the enrollment promotion, so after I had been there a month or so I asked one of them to put me through a workout. I still remember his name, Terry. Not really into weightlifting, but he was really flexible and practiced yoga and tai-chi.

    Anyway, on the day of the workout he asked me what amounts of weight I was using for the various machines, and he adjusted all of them down except for the first exercise. He said it was because we were gong to do a circuit training workout. So we did legs, back, chest, with minimal rest between machines and I'm breathing like a freight train. Don't remember if we did shoulders or not, but I got halfway through a set on the biceps machine and I told him I had to stop and sit down because I was dyin'. And I remember sitting down and not passing out, and then boom, I just lost my vision. Just like being in a pitch black room with your eyes wide open and seeing nothing. Not being able to see Terry I had no idea how he was reacting, but I remember that he sounded really calm when he was talking to me. He went and got me a can of juice that I drank quick, and over the next 10 min my vision slowly came back, like being in that pitch black room and then the sun rises and more and more light creeps in until you can see everything normally.

    I'd really like to know WHY my vision cut off. I know I was probably at or near my max heart rate for several minutes straight, but is that the reason? I mean, what about world class runners who run the mile? They don't lose their vision after they cross the finish line and they're almost sprinting for 4 minutes non-stop. Is it just a matter of them working at 85-90% of their max heart rate and I was at like 95% or above, or what? I really don't know.
     
  2. Shane Reid

    Shane Reid Well-Known Member

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    Wow that does sound like a scary thing. I can't give you any reason for why it happened but I've had a similar thing happen to me one night when I was drunk adn stoned, back in my careless days a few years back, so I can relate, I went totally blind aswell, pitch black with eyes open for at least 5 minutes.

    Maybe it's a hidden function of the body? shutting down your visuals to tell you to stop doing what your doing because it's to strenues? I don't know, we override what our body tells us all the time, maybe it just had enough?

    Well at least it hasn't happened again, which means it's not a serious thing. I don't know if it would be advisable to try it again now, but it does make me curious like you.

    Hope someone can give you a good explanation sir.
     
  3. JoeSchmo

    JoeSchmo Well-Known Member

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    Wow, my mother always warned me about things that would lead to blindness and hairy palms, but working out wasn't one of 'em. The only thing I can think of is that you may have been doing the valsalva maneuver resulting in blood pressure changes which can affect your vision.
     
  4. Sureal2day

    Sureal2day Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that must have been scary. Could it be that there was inadequate blood pressure near the eyes b/c of intensity?? Only time I experience vision impairment is while doing leg curls. Not vision loss, it just just gets blurry. because my head is beneath my heart.
     
  5. PAF

    PAF Well-Known Member

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    Do you have diabetes?

    Had you eaten anything?

    Pretty scary.
     
  6. Sureal2day

    Sureal2day Well-Known Member

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    Found somthinh on google
    http://www.emedicine.com/neuro/topic480.htm

    Transient visual obscuration (TVO) - Episodes lasting seconds that are associated with papilledema or increased intracranial pressure.

    Intracranial pressure from high intensity exercise could be it.
     
  7. marcus

    marcus Well-Known Member

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    lol, I've passed out in the gym before but I've never been blinded by a workout.

    If it happens again I'd consult a doctor because it may be a symptom of a completely unreleated issue simply and coincidently revealed by instense training.
     
  8. JoeSchmo

    JoeSchmo Well-Known Member

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  9. swole

    swole Well-Known Member

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    I am not sure, but it sounds like you temporarily blacked out from lack of oxygen. You did too much and were out of shape for those exercises you tried. Now you can probably do them no problem, right? It was like the first time I tried a 20 rep squat. It was right after I did my regular squat workout. Well, I was dying after rep 15, breathing very hard, but kept pushing, doing deep breathing, kept trying for one more, I would not be denied, I was stubborn. Did two more reps, had to take more deep breaths. Did two more reps and almost lost it, I started to see stars, but I took more deep breaths and did two more gut busting reps, almost dropping the weight twice, for a total of 21. After I set the weight in the rack, I could not stand straight and had to bend over so I could breathe. All I saw was black for about 15 seconds. A trainer came over and sat me down, he said he thought I was having a heart attack! But after sticking with it, I can go 20 reps now and even higher without feeling like I am going to black out.
     
    #9 swole, Feb 16, 2006
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2006
  10. Enigma66

    Enigma66 Well-Known Member

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    Twice I've gotten kind of hazy and seen stars after a really hard set of 20 on the leg press and felt like I was going to pass out, and had to sit down and put my head between my legs and rest for at least 10 minutes. Physically both those times felt a lot worse than when I lost my vision.
     
  11. George

    George Senior Member

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  12. vatechguy

    vatechguy Elite Member
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    I've gotten dizzy and had blurred vision at the gym before - especially on leg day.

    What you described sounds a lot like what would happen in the military when soldiers are forced to stand in these ridiculous formations for long periods with their helmets on listening to some dumbass officer run his mouth for an hour - and they would lock their knees.

    I don't know the specifics of why it would happen - (and it did to me once) - but the process would basically go something like this:

    1. You feel like you're about to fall asleep.
    2. Your ears get muffled - to the point where you can't hear whats going on around you - and this is important as this is about the time when others realize whats happening and attempt futily 'wake you up'
    3. You start to sway and rock on your feet.
    4. Your vision starts to black out slowly from the peripheral to the center.
    5. Most guys would hit the floor at this point - I was fortunate that the asshat shut the fuck up at just that minute - they dismissed us and my buddy next to me grabbed me and took off my helmet.

    I came around in the exact reverse order.

    I don't know if its a combination of the heat from the helmet and the locked knees - but we were always warned to never lock your knees when standing for long periods. Just my 2 cents.

    Some scary shit.
     
  13. PAF

    PAF Well-Known Member

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    vatechguy, so you were just about to faint. That was due to the heat and standing still. Blood pools in your legs (veins) and because you're not moving, the mechanical muscle pump doesn't help you push the blood back up your body.
    Combined with the heat, it causes your blood vessels to vasodilate, bringing blood to the surface so you can radiate more heat - prevent your system from overheating.

    This combination lowers the blood pressure and leads to fainting. When you fall on the ground, gravity doesn't come into play as much, so you can get blood back to your upper body/brain more easily.


    The reason I asked if you're diabetic because temporary loss of vision is a symptom for some people. It's just a shot in the dark; Terry gave you some juice. Puts fluid and sugar back in your system. I guess we don't really know if the juice helped you get your site back, or just resting + time.
     
  14. mrgrieves

    mrgrieves Well-Known Member

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    Go. Ask. A. Doctor. NOW !!!!!!!

    Don't fool around with stuff like that.
     
  15. Shane Reid

    Shane Reid Well-Known Member

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    Wel he said it happened many eyars ago, so I don't think it's that serious :p But I suppose a checkup wouldn't do any harm.
     
  16. Enigma66

    Enigma66 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your concern, but it happened in the late 80's. :D
     

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