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Training And Your Cycle - Work With It, Not Against It!

Nerissa Shea


I am in no way, shape or form claiming to be in any way an expert in the field of the female reproductive system and I highly recommend that if you have any issues in this regard to seek medical advice from professionals.

I do, however, feel that there is still a wealth of information that women could benefit from by simply becoming more aware of our menstrual cycle and the impact each phase has on our training, mood, cravings, etc.!

Most of the time, your body knows what it needs better than you do!

Last week –

My energy levels were comparable to a sloth.

My appetite was comparable to an elephant.

My mood was comparable to a hungry tiger.

My sleep was comparable to a bullfrog (Apparently, bullfrogs do not go into a sleep state, but they do go into states of rest throughout the day)

Overall, just not wanting to slay life last week. I managed one resistance training session and the rest of the week opted for yoga and long walks – for mental reasons as much as physical ones. My poor housemates can vouch for that.

Now, if this was last year, I would have beat myself up over having such a ‘bad’ (for want of a better word) week. I didn’t listen to my body and expected it to perform consistently 'well' week on week, four weeks of the month, and twelve months of the year.

WOMEN ARE NOT LITTLE MEN and thus, cannot train like men.

There’s a fine line between making excuses and genuinely knowing when to honor your body and give it what it needs. As a dancer, I ABUSED my body for YEARS, not listening when it told me to slow down, and going to bed HUNGRY for fear of gaining a pound.

If I was my body and I could have punched my mind, I would have, quite a few times.

Over the past year and since becoming a qualified Personal Trainer who specializes in Female Fat Loss, I have become a lot more educated on the topic of the menstrual cycle. This has come from books and from actually slowing down and listening to my own body for the first time in thirty years. If you honor your body and treat it with the respect it deserves it will repay you tenfold. I am not talking about self-care Sundays or treating yourself to a holiday, I am talking about fueling your body with good, nutritious food, getting good QUALITY sleep, training in the RIGHT WAY at the RIGHT TIME (see below for examples of this) and overall, just looking after your body. You only get one, so make sure you aren’t waiting until the latter half of your life to take care of it!