Podcast Ep. 326: Does Your Cycle Affect Your Workout?
Workout Of The Week:
This week's workout is a hero wod called "Helton" in honor of Lt. Joseph Helton who died in Iraq in 2009.
While Murph is the most popular hero workout, there are hundreds of others and it was a privilege to share this workout with my studio ladies.
30 Squat Cleans (40lb dumbbell)
Give it a go! Make sure to snap a pict/video and tag me on insta: TrainerKindal.
How does your cycle affect your workout?
It differs for everyone and surprisingly (or maybe not surprisingly) there isn't a ton of research on how a women's cycle affects her workouts and fitness.
But here are some thoughts from the little research there is:
During the 2nd and 3rd weeks of a 28-day cycle is the time where most women can push hard. This is the best time to go heavy, go intense and potentially aim for PRs.
During the last week of the cycle, around days 23-28... hormones can affect joints causing them to relax. This COULD increase risk of injuries. During this time, it might feel better to decrease intensity, slow down and focus more on simple movements.
During your period... that's tricky. But most women feel tired and do better with workouts like yoga and even taking a few extra rests days.
The great thing about the female body is this:
Your body will tell you what you need.
If you feel like you need rest, take it.
If you feel energized, go with it.
But if you're into tracking, I suggest tracking your energy/strength with your cycle to see if there are any recurring patterns.
If you're trying to lose weight, should you do a bulk?
Of course there are always exceptions, but in general, no.
Bulking is a phase where you go into excess calories to purposely gain muscle and fat.
Unfortunately, you can't gain one and not the other.
If your goal is weight loss, you need to be in a caloric deficit.
The exception is:
If you've been in a deficit for a long time, 12+ weeks... it wouldn't hurt to do a refeed for a few weeks where you're increasing calories to stay in maintenance and adjust your metabolism.
However, if your goal is to gain muscle, then you might want to think of performance and bulk vs. weight loss.
As someone who loves to workout and uses fitness as a way to "be in control", I get this.
I've worked hard over the years and continue to work hard to balance fitness and recovery.
Here are a few tips when you know you need to rest:
Take off your tracking watch. Fitbit, Apple watch, Garmin, whatever it is... take it off. Don't be pressured to hit xxx steps, increase your heart rate, or whatever else your watch tries to encourage you to do. Sometimes, you need to do nothing.
Remind yourself how important rest days are. They help your body recover which allows your hard work to pay off!
Have a plan. Fill your day with fun things like a coffee date, walk with a friend, movie day... whatever you want that can take up your workout time. Plan it ahead so you have something to look forward to.
Tips To Help A Hamstring Strain?
Talk to a doctor or PT.
Don't rush recovery.
Injuries are upsetting and it's normal to be worried if you'll lose strength/results.
But the body is amazing and capable of awesome comebacks. You will bounce back quickly once you have the go ahead to return to normal activity.
Focus on light mobility, especially in the knee and hip of the injured leg.
Try to increase blood flow to the hamstring via light massage and possibly electromagnetic therapy.
Stay hydrated and possibly increase protein to help recovery.
Don't go straight to "normal" training when you're healed. Start small and build back up for your muscle and confidence.
Quick Fire Questions:
Injuries? Broken fingers, nose, leg, wrist and tailbone. Dislocated shoulder, herniated discs and that's it (I think)!