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How your period cycle can benefit or inhibit performance while weight training

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Feeling strong and hitting new PB’s one day, and then feeling weak the next? It could be your menstruation cycle.

There 4 phases of this cycle, and here how learning about them can allow you train better

Phase One: Menstruation

  • Higher levels of testosterone means better spatial awareness, which improves coordination. This is a great time to try something new!

  • Lower levels of progesterone can help the body build and repair muscle better than usual

  • Due to the fluctuation of oestrogen, you may be prone to more injuries. This is why it is important to work on your mobility, and warm-up before you train

  • Rest & recovery is the most important during this phase because of inflammation. Make sure to get enough sleep!

Phase Two: Follicular (Pre- Ovulation)

  • Higher oestrogen levels give you more energy and alertness, so it’s time to attempt those PB’s! Your body will also have better recovery during this time (rest is still important tho- so this doesn’t mean you skip it)

  • It’s still very important so spend time warming up as your neuromuscular control is reduced

Phase Three: Ovulation

  • Increased body temp can affect hydration, so make sure your drinking lots of water

  • Your progesterone levels are increased during this time so recovery is slowed. Prioritise sleep, stretching, foam rolling, and manage the amount you lift

  • This also means your ability to build muscle is slower, so it’s a great time to focus on building endurance. Make sure you’re hitting your protein intake during this time, as it’s easier for the body to break down muscle

Phase Four: Luteal (Post- Ovulation)

  • You’ll feel a lot of fatigue and PMS during this phase, which will make working out the last thing on your mind. Exercise is still important during this stage or if you can’t then take part in active rest days/ LISS cardio

  • Sleep may be disrupted, and stress may be elevated. Try keeping your bedroom cool and engaging in mindful exercises.

  • Good nutrition is vital during this phase, eat lots of dark leafy greens to help support your body

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