Updated: Apr 15, 2021
How much do you listen to the natural ebb and flow of your energy levels throughout your menstrual cycle?
Have you noticed that there are certain times of the month where you feel amazing and others when you are lacklustre and have no drive?
One thing I learned this year is how our female hormones influence our energy levels throughout the month. I have to say that this information really changed my perception of my fitness regime and my perception of myself based on my capabilities on any given day.
Once I accepted that the first half of my menstrual cycle my body is much stronger and recovers more easily than in the second half of my menstrual cycle, this is when the game really changed for me.
"But do I stop exercising because my energy levels are flat and I feel less energised"?
I have to say that I wish I had known this information years ago. Women have been treated like men when it comes to planning their training sessions for too long. All those times that I thought I was being too lazy to train hard, I now know this was messages from my body telling me that it needed more rest.
"Women are not smaller versions of men".
But do I stop exercising because my energy levels are flat and I feel less energised? Not necessarily. I often still go to the gym but I choose less intense and demanding sessions or I go for a long walk. Rather than planning heavy deadlifts once a week on Wednesday, I now plan my heavy deadlifts into the first two weeks of my cycle when I know I can recover from the increased demand. On my off weeks, I focus more on building small muscle stability through lighter deadlifts on one leg or with the cable machine. Doing my training his way helps me to avoid feeling like absolute c**p for days and reduces my risk of injury. Win-win!
But what if you are post-menopause and no longer have a menstrual cycle? This same principle applies. You could start a diary noting your energy levels and mood, looking for a regular rhythm of your own. Postmenopause we still have hormones in our body, they just function in a different way than before menopause. You can find your own natural rhythm and train with your own natural ebb and flow.
Women are not smaller versions of men. Every day of the week we are in a different hormonal state than the day before. Our menstrual cycle is not just the days that we bleed, it is every single day of every month of the year.
If you are interested in an application that I use that helps me to monitor the ebb and flow of my body, you can check out Wild AI. This is an app built by a woman for women who want to train in a way that supports their body throughout their natural cycle. I believe they have now added two new life stages to include perimenopause and post-menopause women. Go have a look!
Have any questions? Send me a message through the contact page.
Happy training ladies & cheers to a stronger and more powerful YOU!