Charlie Mac
Apr 6, 2021

Training and the menstrual cycle!

REAL TALK! Training and the menstrual cycle! 

Ladies, we all know that feeling, month in month out, highs and lows in our mood and energy. If you notice massive slumps in your training and energy then there is a good reason for it. Understanding where you’re at in your menstrual cycle can help you work alongside the dips and slumps and stay on top of progress. 

Let’s break things down: 

Our menstrual cycle can be anywhere between 28-35 days, it can also change from month to month. 

Our menstrual cycle goes through phases and these phases will have a huge impact on our energy levels, mood and strength as well as our ability to perform at an optimum level.

The follicular phase(this can be anywhere from about 10-17days): At the beginning of this phase our estrogen levels are highest. Our body will be able to cope with greater demands placed on it, our recovery will be good and we’ll feel like embracing the challenges. Towards the end of this phase we get the ovulation stage where our testosterone rises. During this phase it is not surprising if we manage to hit our PRs in strength due to this rise in testosterone. 

We can therefore place heavier demands on the body during this time. 

After the egg has been released during ovulation it will wait to be fertilized, we now enter the luteal phase(this can be anywhere between 11-17days, most commonly 12-14days). This is the phase between our ovulation and menstruation, our hormones dip and rise during this phase and we may notice the impact it has on our mood and energy. As we near the first day of menstruation we might start to feel bloated, experience cramping, feel irritable and generally uncomfortable. During this phase it might be advisable to work on lighter training programmes and conditioning work. 

Each women is effected differently of course and understanding how you feel during these phases can help you stay on top of things and work with your body to optimise results.  If you are working with a personal trainer, don’t be afraid to check in with them and discuss your menstrual cycle, this can help them programme accordingly for you! 

 

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