Programming Considerations for the Menstrual Cycle 07:33

General Early Follicular/Menstruation guidelines: 

  • Mechanical: Increases in Joint Laxity and impaired Motor Control means Linear-based exercise may be best. Intensity and Volume should be minimal with 0-1 Mechanical sessions during this time.
  • Metabolic: High Intensity is best avoided if possible, sticking with low-intensity cardio sessions as aerobic ability may be impaired. 
  • Recovery: Stress and Inflammation is high with low energy and greater catabolism. Increase the amount of Recovery this week, focusing on reducing systemic inflammation, managing overall stress, extra naps, or sleeping in, and focusing on healthy eating choices.

General Late Follicular/Ovulation/Early Luteal guidelines:

  • Mechanical: Ideal time for Heavy lifting, Movement Strength, and Power-Based Training. Volume and Intensity can be high, training 4-6 days during this time
  • Metabolic: Greater Energy, V02, and EPOC mean HISS and HIIT should be introduced with trained females and longer duration sessions can be utilized for less conditioned females.
  • Recovery: Females Recover extremely well during this time. More social events, “cheat”-meals and active recovery may be introduced during this time

General Late Luteal Guidelines:

  • Mechanical: Heavy lifting or Power Training performed linearly may be considered at the beginning of this phase prior to any PMS symptoms as increases in progesterone, cortisol and relaxin may impede tissue quality. Reduce volume and intensity as Menstruation approaches and focus on Unloaded-based exercise.
  • Metabolic: High Intensity only at the beginning of this phase, switching to SISS and SIIT as Menstruation approaches. Duration and Frequency should decrease relative to the client’s “normal”
  • Recovery: More Recovery sessions and Days should populate the latter half of this phase as the body switches to a stressed state as this cycle concludes and another begins