Do you ever notice during your workout routine, you are barely clinging to consciousness on some days, whilst on others, you are leading the pack without even breaking a sweat? This is because each phase of your cycle grants you with a certain amount of energy output, also known as a fluctuation in hormones in order to keep the femme cadence going. There are several factors that contribute to a somewhat failed attempt at lifting a weight or running up that fucker of a hill. Rest assured, it’s not you, it’s her.
Before we start doing jumping jacks and testing the above theory, lets discuss the phases that cultivate a woman’s cycle and where best to place our sacred energy –
A bloody time is initiated on day 1 of your cycle, when that red, red, wine pours out of us between 3-7 days. You can expect a scarlet shade and low energy due to decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone. Whilst your uterine walls are shedding, you are also letting go of energy that no longer serves you. For XX chromosomes, we tend to hold a lot of our energy, trauma, and triggers within our womb space so, this phase is also a time to ring in the new, accompanied by a sigh of relief. She came and you conquered. Restorative movement i.e., yoga, Pilates, walking, and swimming are best suited when haemorrhaging. Slow and steady wins the race.
Flo has officially left the building and our gal pal estrogen is on the rise, and so is your energy. This phase preps your egg for maturity so that it can gear up for its grand entrance and be released into the wild. Think strengthening via weights or your own body weight aka push-ups et al. Not the kind that will give Hercules a run for his money, but big girl weights.
If you are letting out big O’s around the clock, your chances are looking pretty bloody good for a mini me, or not, the choice is yours. Lutenizing hormone (LH) will stimulate the release of an egg, just as estrogen reaches its peak. This will occur on days 12-17 of your cycle, but the shining star day is 14. When your estrogen levels are high, your body tends to conserve its glycogen stores (aka glucose, our main source of energy), which results in an increased ability to burn fat. When you rely on your fat stores, you may feel more comfortable during sustained periods of exercise and less likely to fatigue cue HIIT classes, spin, boxing, and running. All cardio options. You are a fountain of youth, glowing, and bouncing out of that skin of yours. Nothing can stop you so, run Forest, run.
We either just created the gift of life or we’re due for a crime scene in our pants. Estrogen has just dropped us like its hot and progesterone wants our number. All the good stuff is about to whack us in the face cue PMS-like symptoms – bloating, fatigue, mood swings, cramping, acne, and tender breasts. To clarify, these symptoms are not ‘normal’ per se but are common amongst the femme community. Your body is beginning to feel a wee bit sensitive in every shade and you have permission to feel all the feels. Due to a decrease in energy, your workout routines are best taken down a notch and infused with barre classes, Pilates, yoga, and walking.
Let the games begin.