FEMALE HORMONES AND HOW TO TRAIN BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER YOUR PERIOD.
Yup, this isn’t an ordinary topic you’d hit with your trainer, especially if you’re a female and he’s a male. Yet, female hormonal changes have a tremendous impact on their fitness performance and very few are aware of them, including women themselves.
This post is for women who train regularly and need somewhat of an insight into when, what and why they feel certain ways during their workouts and what their male trainers are downright clueless about.
Why do you feel sluggish, your workouts suck and you just want to crawl up with a bag of Cheetos into the covers with Netflix one day while a couple of days later you feel like you can kick anybody’s ass in squats and presses?
Key word: HORMONES
You see, female muscle strength reflex decreases just before we ovulate. Meaning: our hormonal shifts influence our fitness and quite often, cause some injuries. Different hormonal phases call for different trainings, period. I've used this strategy with my clients for almost 10 years now. All you need to do as both a trainer and trainee is to be educated enough for your workouts to be beneficial and not deleterious.
(Noticed I always ask you about your whereabouts of your menstrual cycle? It is so I can alter your trainings, save myself and you from a dreary useless hour of a workout which is counterproductive when your hormones aren't participating. Use them instead to bring the best of what they're for at this particular time, ...but certainly not to deliver a bucket of ice cream to sooth you! ha!)
WHAT HAPPENS ON:
YOUR PERIOD DAYS
The follicle stimulating hormones rise, prompting your ovaries to start prepping for an egg. Your hormones levels (luteinizing hormone an progesterone) remain flat. Estrogen levels are the lowest at this time, cuing your body to burn carbs in place of fat for energy. Hence carbs and chocolate cravings (yes, your iron supplies are being dipped into hence chocolate for replenishment).
BEST WORKOUT ADVISE DURING THIS TIME: fast, cardio, interval training, anything high cardio related. I actually do that on the days leading to my period...when my energy levels are too low for high weight training. Despite fatigue, soreness and ‘I don’t feel like it’ this is the time to train ad make gains in your fitness regime. The best benefit of it though is: YOU’LL FEEL HAPPY AND ENERGIZED vs blah, lazy, water retaining and just out of it.
2-14 DAY OF OVULATION:
This is when you’re most prone to injury. Why? Hormones again: Your estrogen is jumping high, eggs travel down the fallopian tube . Typical female complains: hamstring pulls, knee pains.
WEEK 3-4 – LUTEAL PHASE
Estrogen falls, progestoreon rises. You feel sluggish, since your body turns fat as a fules instead of carbs. Lack of motivation, falling off the claean diet (aka eating crap tendencies).
My suggestion: prep for it in advance. Keep your sweet potatoes (backed) readily available, leafy greens, and lots of ready to eat proteins (chicken, lean beef, scallops, turkey, etc) to banish cravings.
Be cognizant of your body peeps, so it can serve you well:)
To your health!