Yes you read right!
For women without any major female reproductive issues, you’re not going to experience menopause until maybe 45-50 years old. This means you have to deal with menstruation every month until that time. (YAY!! Rolls eyes).
If you’re serious about training, you’re not going to want to take an entire week off every month for this issue. There is a way to get around that. Personal training to the rescue! However, if you plan on training yourself at home, these are just some tid-bits I’ve picked up from reading Nardia Norman’s work on this specific topic. Yes, I read tons of articles and I’m going to help you cut through the noise and just give you the relevant info.
If you’re working with a trainer or training yourself, the first step is to figure out your cycle and date. For each phase of your cycle, your training should be manipulated to ensure that you still hit your goals.
Phase 1: The Follicular Phase
The Follicular phase is the period between your first day of menses and ovulation; basically it’s the first 2 weeks of your cycle. During this phase there will be increases in your estrogen level and as you near ovulation, there will be increases in your testosterone levels as well. These hormones have a positive effect on your strength, making it the best time to focus on strength and muscle building. At this time your body is able to cope and recover from a greater training volume. So your workouts should have an emphasis on hypertrophy with hiit scattered between them.
Phase 2: The Luteal Phase
This is the period where the egg has been released from the ovary and is waiting to be fertilized (Third week of your cycle). During this phase there are fluctuations in your estrogen levels and a rise in progesterone. All bad behaviour begins here lol. You begin to feel the pre-menstrual symptoms i.e. mood swings, cravings etc. At this point, training begins to shift to match energy levels. Workouts are altered at this point to accommodate clients who are susceptible to bloating, cramping etc, because such experiences will affect the client’s ability to activate their inner core, which will now be compromised and leave them vulnerable to injuries if heavy lifting is taking place. Here the focus shifts to conditioning work, which can be done in the form of circuit training.
Phase 3: Transition phase
The transition phase occurs from the first day of bleeding. Here you prescribe exercises to honour a client’s emotional & physical state, i.e. if they feel strong you can do a regular workout, if not you tailor to suit. Once the transition phase is over, return to the strength phase.
Another trick I personally use when working out during menstruation is eating a banana 20 minutes before working out. The potassium in the banana acts as a natural painkiller and numbs the pain somewhat.
If you’re interested in getting more in tune with your body and training in a women’s only facility, feel free to contact us at 497-3467 or email firstname.lastname@example.org