Align your training plan with your cycle.
Do you schedule your monthly workout plan according with your cycle?
We are women and and our bodies are ruled by hormones no matter how old we are.
Start to be more aligned with your body and mind needs based on your cycle.
Be careful about yourself and pay more attention to your body and mind.
Track your cycle and look into how you can optimise and balance your body.
The regular monthly cycle is generally the same for every woman.
There are 5 phases.
1. Menstrual phase starts on the first day of bleeding (not spotting). This phase lasts about 7 days.
Hormonally: there is a decline during this phase, low estrogen and progesterone levels negatively affect exercise tolerance, which means it is a great to go inwards, evaluate, get clear on your goals and reflect. You may need some solitude, observe and just be with your thoughts. It is great time to focus on how you feel.
Energy levels are the lowest during this phase so it is time to slow it down. You can reduce physical activity by decreasing your jogging distance, speed, exercise intensity, reducing the weight of the equipment or the number of repetitions.
You can use this period for Pilates, yoga, stretching, breathing practices, meditation, as well as for pleasant walks with loved ones and pets. If you have no strength for anything, lie down.
By the way, for some women light exercise helps to reduce lower abdominal pain and general discomfort in the menstrual phase.
If you experience pain, a strong decline in strength or any other discomfort when you exercise during this period, limit the load for the abs, reduce the intensity or refuse to train.
Focus on meditating, analysing, digging into data, to strategise on how you can get where you want to be.
Choose nutrient dense foods to support your body and stabilise your blood sugar. Healthy fats, proteins, low glycemic index food. Great time to provide your body with iron and zinc, which gets lost during menstrual phase.
This is the time to connect with yourself and take time for you. It is all about quality time with you and yourself.
2. After the menstrual phase comes the Follicular phase of the cycle. The production of the hormone estrogen in the ovaries begins to increase dramatically.
Estrogen has a positive effect on muscle performance and maximal intensity exercise - exercise where your heart rate is 80-95% of your maximum heart rate.
Estrogen can limit muscle damage caused by exercise. As a result, you'll recover faster and experience less muscle soreness after a workout.
Estrogen can help increase endurance by altering carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism.
It promotes better performance of short exercises by increasing glucose availability and uptake by muscle fibers.
Estrogen has an anabolic effect - it promotes the formation of new cells, building proteins, fats and carbohydrates. That is, muscle mass will be more readily added in this phase.
The follicular phase of the cycle is the best time to develop strength, endurance and speed. You can perform the most difficult planned workouts and activities: long runs, heavy weight training, high-intensity interval training.
During the follicular phase of the cycle, progesterone levels are low, and progesterone negatively affects exercise tolerance.
Thus, when making a training plan for the month, place the peak load in this phase.
Working out based on your cycle is the best way to get in tune with your body!
3. The next phase of the cycle is Ovulation: day 13-15.
During this period, estrogen levels are just beginning to drop from their highest point, and progesterone levels are still low. The ovum exits the follicle and ovary into the fallopian tube.
In these 2-3 days there may be weakness, rapid fatigue. Appetite and libido may increases in these day.
At this time it is worth reducing physical activity: decrease its intensity or devote these days to moderate exercise. For example, easy jogging, dancing, ballet, barre, Pilates, yoga, cardio machines in the gym.
Ovulation is also an injury-prone period.
Choose the type of workout to your liking and strength!
4. Postovulatory or Luteal Phase: Day 16-21
What happens during the postovulatory phase:
Estrogen begins to decrease and progesterone, on the other hand, begins to actively increase;
decreased performance, feeling of bloating and swelling;
metabolism becomes less active than in the follicular phase and the body is less willing to burn fat.
You may feel a rush of energy again during this phase, after a brief pause during ovulation. Most likely, it is not the same peak of activity as right after menstruation in the follicular phase, but the increase in performance occurs again.
During this phase of the cycle, exercise is recommended to help the body use fat as fuel.
Short intensive exercises, short interval running on a cardio machine, intensive aerobics, strength or active yoga (ashtanga-vinyasa yoga), tai-bo, swimming are suitable.
You can run medium distances at speed, do interval running, functional training, weight training, resistance bands and TRX exercises.
During this phase, you can increase your strength training. The rate of recovery from physical activity increases. In this phase, muscle soreness after exercise is the least.
Training for maximum endurance is best postponed.
5. Premenstrual Phase: Day 22-28
The ovaries' production of the hormones estrogen and progesterone decreases.
For many women, this is the period of the notorious PMS - premenstrual syndrome. Increased emotionality, tearfulness, loss of energy, mood swings, puffiness, increased appetite, headaches, increased greasiness of the skin and acne, breast soreness, weight gain, decreased motivation to exercise - 70% of women experience one or another of these symptoms during this phase of the cycle. This is normal and physiologic.
Decreased production of estrogen and progesterone reduces performance in this phase.
Performance in high intensity physical activity is the least effective.
In the premenstrual phase, the female body is predisposed to develop flexibility.
In this phase it is better to reduce physical activity, and even better - switch to stretching, Pilates and yoga. Light jogging with a low heart rate and pace is also good. Skip workouts if you don't have the energy. Remember the unstable emotional background and do not blame yourself for weaknesses in this phase of the cycle.