It happens to the best of us. We wake up one day, groggy, no energy. Did I sleep funky? Did I not go to bed early enough? Did the toddler in my bed, kick and punch me all night long? Whats the deal? Why do I feel like I got hit by a Mac Truck? No IDEA! We chalk it up to a crappy nights sleep, chug a pre-workout, eat some breakfast and head to the gym for some strength training, all along, praying this expensive pre-workout lives up to its hype. Walking into the gym, feels like a chore. However we push through. As you begin your strength program, you notice your struggling to hit weights, on any other day, you would warm up with. Today, those weights feel funky, feel like they weigh a million pounds. Whats the deal? I could lift yesterday? What so different in the last 24 hours? There is one culprit, we as Women, always fail to remember. Our…..MENSTRUAL CYCLE! That dreaded time of the month, that sends every other part of our bodies into a down ward spiral. Its not until the evidence of our cycle, rears its ugly head, that we then think…..so that’s why I felt like crap!!! But WHY? Why does this affect our strength so much? How can this cycle make that much of a difference in our lifts, in a 24 hour period?
According to the Oxford Journal, during the mid to late Luteal Phase of your cycle, is when you begin to notice your feeling off. Your core temperature rises, your metabolic rate rises as well. So this explains those sudden uncontrollable appetite, and the need to turn down that furnace and strip down the clothes. You may begin to notice the change in mood, as well. This is believed to be caused by the increase in the hormone progesterone. If your appetite has sky rocketed and your blood sugar is low, you may begin feeling lethargic, so weights that were easy a few days ago, are now just a stressor. Also, mood plays a huge factor in your lifting. If you walk into the gym, in a bad mood, not feeling what is planned for the day, your already tired, you forced your self to come, when you really didn’t even want to get out of bed, don’t expect your lifts to be phenomenal. Try something different. Something more relaxing, less taxing on your system. Yoga, meditation, Pilates. Throwing something new into a routine, to help you out of a funk, wont break your progress. Honestly, some days, your body just needs a break. And if, prepping your body for a baby is taking its toll, sit back, drink some tea, watch your recorded shows, and let nature takes its course. In a day or two, all will be back to normal and you will feel refreshed walking in to the gym, ready to kill some iron.