Fitness for Females: How to Optimise Your Gains Throughout Your Cycle

Have you ever considered that the secret weapon to maximising your fitness gains might just be your menstrual cycle? Yep, you heard right! By aligning your workout routine with the phases of your cycle, you can enhance performance, recovery, and overall gains. So, let's break it down phase by phase.

Phase 1: The Menstrual Phase (Approx. Days 1-5)

What's Happening: Your period marks the start of the menstrual phase, with hormone levels hitting a low. You might feel less energetic and maybe even deal with cramps or other discomforts.

Optimal Workouts: This is a time to embrace gentler, restorative movements. Think yoga, light walking, or even stretching routines. The aim is to stay active while allowing your body the rest it needs.

Phase 2: The Follicular Phase (Approx. Days 1-13)

What's Happening: Overlapping the tail end of the menstrual phase, the follicular phase sees a rise in oestrogen, leading to increased energy levels and mood improvements. This is when you'll likely feel at your strongest and most energetic.

Optimal Workouts: Capitalise on this energy surge with higher-intensity workouts. It's a fantastic time for personal bests in strength training, challenging HIIT sessions, or trying new and demanding fitness classes.

Phase 3: The Ovulatory Phase (Approx. Days 14-16)

What's Happening: Ovulation is the short phase where oestrogen peaks and your body is primed for peak performance. Your pain tolerance is higher, and muscles are primed, making it ideal for pushing your limits.

Optimal Workouts: Since you're at your strongest, focus on peak performance workouts. Think heavy lifting, sprint intervals, or challenging cardio sessions. Just be mindful of the increased risk of injury during this time, so warm up properly and maybe dial back just a tad on the intensity.

Phase 4: The Luteal Phase (Approx. Days 17-28)

What's Happening: Progesterone rises, and if you're not pregnant, both progesterone and oestrogen levels will gradually decrease. You might experience premenstrual symptoms, making high-intensity workouts more challenging.

Optimal Workouts: As energy levels dip, it's time to switch to moderate exercises. Opt for steady-state cardio, moderate strength training, or Pilates. Focus on maintaining consistency rather than pushing limits.

Listen to Your Body

The key takeaway? Listen to the symphony of your body. By tuning into your cycle's phases, you can optimise your workouts to match your body's natural rhythm, leading to enhanced performance and gains. Remember, this is a guideline—everyone's cycle and body response are unique, so feel free to adjust as necessary to suit your individual needs.

Empowering your fitness journey by syncing your workouts with your menstrual cycle isn't just about optimising gains; it's also about honouring and listening to your body. It encourages a harmonious balance between pushing your limits and nurturing yourself.

Some of our favourite products to support performance, energy levels, and muscle recovery include:

If you’re ready to take your fitness journey to the next level and if you need some support harnessing the power of your cycle, book an appointment with one of our experienced naturopaths today. 

Schedule Your Naturopathy Appointment Now 

Share this article