Did you know that because your body undergoes such big hormonal changes over the course of each month, there are actually some weeks that are more conducive to gaining more from your workout than others?
Here is a rundown of the average female’s monthly cycle and how it will impact on her workouts:
Follicular Phase - This is the first phase of your cycle and it is in this phase that the hormone estrogen is at its highest which makes it ideal conditions for progression and gains. This is because heightened estrogen levels bring with it an increase in mood and energy, so take advantage of this time to push harder and longer, as your body will also be better equipped to handle and recuperate in this phase.
Luteal Phase - During this phase there is a dip in estrogen levels, however they do increase again slightly as well as an increase in progesterone. Because of these hormonal fluctuations this phase is best for moderate conditioning exercises. Reduce the weights slightly and opt to mix up your forms of exercises, for example use circuit-style training. It is in this phase that some women might experience PMS, so be considerate of your body and make necessary adjustments to suit how you are feeling in any given time.
Transition Phase/Menstruation Phase - Even though this technically falls into the follicular phase, some months can be harder than others and all women are affected differently. So for this reason I have added this as a third consideration because it is in this time that you should listen to and respect your body and mind. If you are full of energy and are happy to work, then refer to the above advice on the follicular phase. If you are feeling like a little TLC, then honer this, because you deserve it!