Always when I deadlift at the maximum load, my face looks more or less like this:

enter image description here

or this:

enter image description here

The same applies for when I do other heavy-weight exercises.

But what biological mechanism causes that? Face muscles, to the best of my knowledge don't participate in the mechanical system that contributes to the lift. Also lifting doesn't cause any uncontrollable emotions, that would cause my face to go >:( Furthermore, I don't see any biological gain my organism gets from a "deadlift face". It doesn't increase oxygen intake or improve cooling.

So why do I uncontrollably flex my face? I suppose it is something about my nervous system going into overdrive, but I have no idea what's the actual mechanism.

I did some research, but google only directs me to dubious "fitness lifestyle blogs", and I have no idea how to word my question in a way that would make sense on google scholar.

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    $\begingroup$ On this site, you need to show evidence of your efforts to solve the question. Google ugly gym face or something similar, and if you still have any questions, edit your post to show the specific problem you have. Many people take offense when informed that they need to show their attempt to answer this question first. Isn't this a Q&A site? Yes, but it's an "advanced" Q&A site, so to speak. This requirement is puzzling to many. Every site has a culture. This is ours. Thanks. $\endgroup$ Commented May 25, 2022 at 12:02
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    $\begingroup$ @anongoodnurse ah sorry. I tried some research, but google just returns some "fittness lifestyle" dubious blogs. And I don't know how to express it in scientific wording to do google scholar search. $\endgroup$
    – user46147
    Commented May 25, 2022 at 12:18
  • $\begingroup$ Did you actually try ugly gym face? Because that search was spot on for me. It’s so strange that almost everyone who’s asked to google something can’t find what I find easily. It’s a real mystery to me. Anyway, if you don’t show your research, you won’t get an answer. Sorry. $\endgroup$ Commented May 26, 2022 at 23:28
  • $\begingroup$ I don't make that face when I do my one rep max so it's not biologically necessary. I don't see it as any different from someone who tenses up when doing something where tensing up is of no benefit, like playing a musical instrument. The only difference is in this case is that it doesn't hurt either way so no one tells them to learn not to do it. Not all things you automatically do have benefit. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Commented May 27, 2022 at 5:17


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