Fitness Bonerisms.2:48 PM
Remember I posted a while back that I exercised my period away? My 3 month experiment (gaining weight + reduced exercise) was 100% successful - a 10lbs weight gain and lowered exercise frequency (translating to more rest time) brought my period back to normal; I'm talking about regulated-to-the-day normal for 3 consecutive months, as opposed to the last year and a half of inconsistent or non-existent periods and menopausal-like symptoms.
Confession: I'm not liking this extra padding on me. I can't see my definition as much and I feel "heavier". My clothes still fit well (thankfully) but I just feel....bigger. It's hard to explain but I know that I want to get back to where I was...it's just a matter of finding the healthiest way to do it.
My acupuncturist and all around naturopath enthusiast told me about Hormone Training....the coach for the female Australian Olympic swim team does this with his female athletes - he trains them according to their menstrual cycle. I had never heard of this but when I read about it, it makes total sense.
Basically, you train according to where you are in your cycle:
-->When your period ends, you start to ramp up the exercise intensity/frequency.
-->On the 14th day (ovulation), you have a burst of energy (due to increased progesterone) so you can train hard for 2 weeks or so until your period starts. This is where you would lift your heaviest, train your hardest or get those PRs.
-->When your period begins, activity level drops to low to moderate intensity; often taking rest during this week. Yoga, walks or short runs are good alternatives to high intensity training.
By training according to your cycle, not only will you reduce/avoid any type of hormone instability (read: screwing up your hormones due to prolonged intense training and then experiencing inconsistent periods), you work with your body's natural rhythms to get the most from your workouts.
The mistake I made 2 years ago that led to the absence of my period/(early) onset of menopausal symptoms was training 6 days a week with no breaks; it didn't matter where I was in my cycle...if I was well (ie. not sick), I was at the gym. Even though there were days I felt lethargic and tired (due to my period), I continued to push myself through those rounds and kept going. Hell, I even kept going when I was injured; I think for most of 2016, I was taped up (with K-tape) during training.
Now that I know what my body needs to stay healthy and consistent with my periods, I'll be trying out this new routine for training...it actually couldn't have come at a better time since shark week just ended and I feel so alert and ready to smash pads.