Do you need to plan your entire training program around your mensural cycle?
(*I say female training considerations here as most other points here apply to all women in general).
When it comes to training as a woman, there is a lot of conflicting information.
Here’s the deal —
• Aprox ~47% of women report their cycle impacting exercise performance to some degree ( Bruinvels et al., 2017)
• The majority of research on this topic comes down to either 1) overstating phase effects or 2) missing individual effects because we look at phases, not hormone profiles. (Burden et al. 2021).
We can encourage better + more research on this topic. And we are! (Cowley et al. 2021).
But when it comes to applying this to your training as a highly or generally active menstrual cycling individual, here are a few key things I want to emphasize.
🌟 You have full permission to not worry about your cycle or pills’ effects on your performance if it doesn’t matter to you. If you’re moving for health, then focus on the basics + adjust if needed!
🌟 If you are interested in this/care, there are some key factors women traditionally lack in their training that have far greater impacts on performance than the cycle alone.
• Am I eating adequate calories?
• Am I sleeping enough & managing excessive stress?
• Are we actually following a structured, consistent, RPE-based workout program both specific to our goals AND being tracked so you can assess things like fatigue or exertion.
• & once doing that, are you structuring your nutrition specifically + strategically to support your training. Adequate protein, carbs & supplementing intelligently? Arguably nutrition may reduce a lot of negative impacts you may feel during different hormone phases.
Once you complete all these steps, you will have a FAR BETTER idea of whether it is X phase/week or did you sleep like Shit & under eat all week? This matters. Because randomly deloading without reason = loss progress vs. controlling what you can.
When we take this feedback, we can better learn our individual needs. But we need to train specifically first 💪🏻👏🏻