For women, the menstrual cycle can be a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it’s a natural and healthy part of being a woman, but on the other hand, it can also bring fatigue, cramps, and hormonal imbalances that can make it difficult to focus on working out. But what if we told you that you could use your menstrual cycle to your advantage when training? From understanding how hormones affect your body to creating strategies for getting in those workouts during the week, read on to learn about the benefits of training around your period.
The Science Behind Period-Specific Training
When you understand how hormones affect your body throughout the month, you can use this knowledge to inform your training program. During the follicular phase (the first half of the cycle), estrogen levels are higher which means that energy is high and strength is increased. This is an ideal time for more intensive workouts like HIIT or circuit training. During ovulation (around 14 days into the cycle) testosterone levels are at their highest which supports lean muscle growth and greater power output when weightlifting. Lastly, during the luteal phase (the second half of your cycle) progesterone levels increase in order to prepare for potential pregnancy. This can lead to feeling tired and bloated so opt for light exercises like yoga or Pilates during this time.
Strategising Your Workouts
It’s important to plan ahead so that you don’t overwork yourself during certain phases of your cycle. Try planning out your workouts several weeks in advance so that you have a good idea of when you should be doing intense workouts versus low intensity ones. Additionally, take into consideration any PMS symptoms such as cramps or nausea that might affect how much energy you have—if necessary give yourself permission to take some rest days if need be! It’s also important not to forget about nutrition—focus on adding nutrient-dense foods into your diet every day in order to help replenish lost nutrients from sweat loss during exercise.
Training around your Menstrual Cycle doesn’t need to be intimidating—on the contrary it can become an empowering experience once you understand how hormone fluctuations influence performance! By focusing on nutrient-dense foods and scheduling out workouts based on where you are in your menstrual cycle, you will be able to find a balance between pushing yourself while still respecting how your body feels at any given moment—allowing you get stronger both mentally and physically!