Ever hear the phrase “Sync your Menstrual Cycle”?
Better yet, raise your hand if you are one of those women who thought your menstrual cycle and period were the same thing:
*Raises hand in shame*
I went years (literally till this year, and I’m 26) thinking my menstrual cycle was just the five days a week women bleed every month.
A menstrual cycle is actually, well… the entire month.
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The goal of syncing your menstrual cycle + workouts
We can’t train like men.
And that for sure is not an “anti-feminism” statement, trust me!
But we as women, cannot treat ourselves as if we have the same biological function as men, especially when we train.
Men have a TON more testosterone, which gives them a big advantage when it comes to building and maintaining gains.
Related content: Carb Backloading for women
To sync your menstrual cycle with your workouts, you need to know exactly what your cycle is, how it functions, and where your endurance is at its peak.
This will help with more efficient gains, weight loss, and over all more satisfying workouts.
The menstrual cycle can be broken down into four phases: Menstrual, Follicular, Ovulation, and Luteal.
This is the phase all of us are familiar with, the flow phase.
Cramps, pads, and fatigue.
All due to the big drop in Estrogen and Progesterone. If you have a hormone imbalance it may also cause mild to severe PMS symptoms.
The energy boost phase!
This is when your period starts tapering off and you feel like yourself again.
You may feel the need to get out of the house, do some intense exercise, lifting or cardio, and feel like you need to get stuff done.
During this phase, Estrogen starts to rise, and your body preps itself for Ovulation and potential implantation.
Ovulation phase is likely where you will feel happiest, the most social, and the most sexually… ready to go.
During this phase (typically about 2 weeks before your period starts) your body releases an egg from the ovaries and prepares for potential pregnancy.
The good thing about this phase is the big increase in energy and stamina we have.
You will likely start feeling your energy levels decline by this point, as your body prepares for your next period.
The luteal phase is that week and a half, two week period before your period. This is also when women start to notice PMS symptoms if you have them.
Sync your Menstrual Cycle and your Fitness level
Because of the fluctuating levels of hormones we experience through the month, working out at different levels only makes sense.
Here, I will do a quick break down of the BEST exercise types depending on where you are in your cycle:
Menstrual: VERY light exercise.
Light yoga, walking, meditation and stretching are the best for this time of the month. Take it easy!
Follicular: Go as hard as you want.
This is the phase when Estrogen starts to rise and we have the best chance to burn fat and lose weight. We are at our strongest in this phase.
Lifting, more HIIT workouts, cardio. Whatever floats your boat. Get it girl!
Ovulation: The PEAK time for performance.
When we ovulate, it is our body preparing to become pregnant. We have a thick uterine lining, the egg drops, and our hormones are at their highest.
We have the most energy during this time and typically feel our best.
The best workouts to do in this phase are anything that gets you moving and breaking a sweat!
Run, Bike, Swim, do intense yoga, HIIT training, kick boxing. With any workout, just remember to warm up properly first!
Luteal: Restoration time.
Now we are in the Luteal phase, where hormone levels start to dip in preparation for mensuration.
Endurance and stamina are about to start decreasing for the month, and focusing on mobility and restorative movement is key.
How does this work with Hormonal Birth Control?
The short answer?
I’m not sure that it can.
Hormonal Birth Control is designed to throw your hormones out of balance.
Some side effects of HBC are hormonal imbalance, not experiencing a real monthly period or ovulation, increased stress, and even gaining or losing more weight than is normal, etc.
If you want to know more about the potential side effects, I have a full article here called: 7 scary side effects of Hormonal Birth Control.
This being said, because Hormonal Birth Control disrupts your cycle, there is no real way to track your cycle properly while on it. (To my knowledge.)
Fitness & Cycle Syncing Video
If you are a fitness buff like myself, you will LOVE Marissa’s channel: MissFitandNerdy.
I’ve suggested her videos before in a few of my posts, but seriously, go check out her channel!
The video below is amazingly informative if you want to learn everything about cycle syncing and your fitness as a menstruating woman.
If you like this video, be sure to head over to MissFitandNerdy on YouTube, like the video, comment and subscribe!
It does help with her channel, and I am sure she would appreciate it.
If you want to learn more about getting your hormones on the right track, and resetting them naturally, checkout my digital program 3 Week Hormone Reset here!