IS TOM RUINING YOUR PERFORMANCE?
Generally the first 14 days of your cycle, estrogen and progesterone will be high. During this time you may notice yourself crying at the new John Lewis advert, but within 10 minutes going mental at your partner for eating the last square of chocolate. During this phase, we want to prioritise carbohydrate intake as we tend to be more insulin sensitive. This means if we have any strength or hypertrophy goals, these are the weeks to hammer it. During this time, females blood also becomes thicker, and body temperature will increase slightly. This means we need to be more vigilant with fluid intake and possibly salt.
The ovulation phase typically lasts 2-3 days. If you’re a powerlifter or strength-based athlete, this is when you’re likely to hit a new PB. Don’t be OCD about this and start periodising your whole programming around your cycle; it creates a poor relationship with training.
During the last 14 days your luteal phase kicks in. This is probably this phase where your body is most similar to a mans. If programmed correctly, this phase is better for fat loss and allows females to increase their training volume. Unfortunately, you do lose some insulin sensitivity in this phase so you may want to pull back on carbs during these 14 days.
TAKE HOME POINTS
-Strength/Performance gains are more likely to be made before ovulation
-Your greatest time for injury is during ovulation with your lowest risk being in the luteal phase.
-Don’t beat yourself up in the second part of the cycle. You will probably feel worse in this phase and your endurance/strength may not be where it usually is.
-Increase carbs and fluid during the first 14 days, but consider reducing the carbs in the second 14 days.
-The second phase of your cycle is going to be the most challenging! Accept it, and don’t judge your performances based on training during this phase.
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