Why is it that one week, your workouts feel amazing, but the next you can barely drag your body out of bed? Don’t worry, you haven’t lost all those hard fought gains. Instead, hormones may be to blame. The solution? Sync your workouts to your cycle.
While men’s bodies’ function on a 24-hour cycle, women’s function on a 28-day one. Rather than feeling the same highs and lows every day, women fluctuate from week to week.
To get the most out of your workouts, and ensure you’re healing and strengthening your body, rather than overriding its needs, work with your cycle. There’s no point fighting those hormones: they’ll win.
Follow this workout routine to avoid burn-out, exhaustion, and disappointment:
This is the beginning of your cycle. During this week, pamper yourself. Show your body the tenderness and care it needs. Gentle walks, a slow-paced yoga class such as yin, meditation, and naps should be your go-tos. This time should be used to recover, ease tension, and rest.
The week following the menstrual cycle is when your hormone levels are lowest, so it’s time to ease gently back into those workout sessions! Focus on cardio: run, take a flow yoga class, and dance. But don’t push for more than an hour as your lower testosterone levels mean your stamina won’t be so strong.
This is the week to train hard. Your testosterone and estrogen are now at their maximum, so push yourself! Interval training, high intensity workouts, and hot yoga classes are yours for the taking!
The luteal phase should be split into two halves. During this week, estrogen and testosterone levels are gradually fading, and progesterone is increasing.
In the first half, continue to push yourself. A challenging yoga class, bootcamp, or cardio workout will be perfect. Your body is most effective at burning fat and creating muscle at this time.
In the second half, start to slow things down. Roll out your yoga mat and head to a restorative yoga class or gentle pilates session.
If this sounds like less exercise than you currently do, don’t dismiss it. Try this routine for a month before you judge it. By mindfully moving in sync with your cycle your body will feel stronger, more powerful, and more energized.