The power of the period

As a surfer, it took a while for me to realise the importance of a backup sport or hobby to indulge in while the surf was unfavourable. I learnt over time, that to 100% obsess over surfing only caused frustration when nature wasn’t playing along. That’s where strength training came in. Oh and an incredibly inspirational boyfriend. The thing was, every time it got to that time of the month, I felt I had to sit out for almost a week because I was taught through yoga to be gentle with my body around moon cycle. It wasn’t until I looked into research that the week of strawberry fields was one of the most powerful weeks, in terms of strength goals in the gym. This might be a time for males to tune out… 

When you get your period, sometimes all you want to do is pass out on the couch in and around coping with your already busy lifestyle. Some women get hit harder than others, lower back pain, bloating and heavy bleeding, being the joyous symptoms that come around all too soon every month. No matter how many inspirational workout clips you watch on your Instagram feed, it really isn’t enough to motivate you to get your butt off the couch and to the gym. But that’s all about to change. 

Being on your period is the only time you’re not concerned with getting pregnant 

Bold statement yes. But biologically and evolutionarily it’s true. Testosterone levels are atsmall bikini their highest when you’re menstruating, given there is more biologically active testosterone available during exercise. So pretty much during this period (no pun intended) you are closer to being a man than ever before!

I think that in itself is pretty amazing, given guys go about buying testosterone supplements, yet as women we have free flowing hormones given to us naturally every month! I see this as a huge advantage for females! That’s right, bleeding can be a gift! 

Muscular strength increases 

I found a study out of Sweden that showed that by training within the first half of your menstrual cycle, had the biggest effect in terms of muscular strength, power and muscle mass. This is so important if you’re into heavy lifting and can be a time when you break previous records in how much weight you push or pull! This adds an extra level of confidence for your next session. 

Personally, when I discovered those studies, it was enough motivation just to hold that thought in my head to drag myself into the gym on my period! The placebo effect alone truly plays wonders on the mind. Throughout a heavy weighted set, I’d be telling myself “oh wow I really do have more strength!”

So it’s time to let go of the thought that you cannot train on your period, or that your period is some kind of curse! Take your power back. Training large muscle groups, such as quads, buttocks and hamstrings requires at least one heavy training session a week to truly see results. So now you have every reason not to sit out one of those important sessions every month! 

 

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