T Nation

Question for the Other Women Here

T-men, let me start by saying this is the ONLY place I can ask a question about this to women who are serious about training. If you have something constructive to say, please comment!!! if not, just ignore the thread, ok? Thanks!

Ladies, have any of you noticed an increase or decrease in strength and/or endurance depending on where you are in your cycle? I’m wondering if it’s all in my head…I looked at my workout log and it seems there is a very regular pattern of gains and failures.

I haven’t noticed that, but I’ll be looking for it now. Interesting observation.

My wife has made similar comments regarding her “cycle”. Our view is that the various – and occasionally intense – hormonal changes almost guarantee some fluctuations in strength, etc.

Michelle, I believe it was Charles Staley or Paul Chek (I could be wrong!) that wrote about something similar in an old issue of MM2K. It mentioned that women on their cycle are more prone to injury during this time of weight training do to laxitivity in the joints or something like that. So there may be a good reason why you lose strength during your monthly visitor. I wish I remembered what the article was. It could have been the article called “Training Jane.” I have a copy at home, and will have to see if I can find out some info for you.

Hi Michelle, you might be on to something there, now that I think about it, but for me its not that noticeable. I would have to weed out all the other factors like sleep, diet, intensity of previous workouts (for recovery time)to give you more than a speculative answer. Maybe Bill or Brock has some thoughts on this :slight_smile:

My doctor once told me that a women’s body expends 300 more calories during menstruation than at any other time. I went to her because I would get so fatigued during that time of the month and since she knows that I’m very conscious of my diet and train very hard, she thought that my body wasn’t getting enough calories during that time. So I try and up my calories a bit, but the fatigue really affects my training.

Not only am I very tired when I am prementstrual, but I am uncoordinated! I drop things and stumble and trip over stuff. It’s bizarre. However, not all women are like this, apparently: Natalie Angiers book on women noted that many women report being extremely alert at that point in their cycle.

Nate Dogg,
I believe that it was Charles Staley who suggested the 4 day a week training during the folical(?) stage of the cycle and 2 day a week during the other (sorry, ladies, your menstral cycles are not the things about you that interest me). In his “Training Jane” article, I believe that Paul Chek addressed issues such as; hypermobiity of the knees and elbows, different loading parameters, and dependency on aerobics. I could be wrong.

If any of you are interested, Charles Staley has a few very good articles about training women (Charles Staley with a good article, big suprise, huh?) on his site ‘myodynamics.com’. . They are definately worth the time. I have now rambled enough, so I shall go.

do you mean steroid cycle?

OH NO! Rafael you have cracked our secret code!

Oh my GOSH! I can’t believe I didn’t see it before! All this time, I thought woman-kind had menstrual cycles, but now it makes sense.

  1. Periods of anger: caused by massive intake of steroids
  2. Bloating: water-retention due to steroid-related increased muscle mass and cellular volume
  3. “Access denied”: due to either abnormal clitoral growth or method of steroid delivery (okay - that may have been over the line - simply an attempt at comedy, here)
  4. Depression: fear of weight loss/gain coming off of cycle

HA! I have you FIGURED OUT!

(disclaimer: many of you don’t know me, yet, but I assure you this was an attempt - however feeble - at humor… I do not automatically associate any of the aforementioned symptoms to “the visitor”. Any flames from this point will result in immense guilt for even typing such a horrid, socially unacceptable post. Mr. Baran, please feel free to swoop in and reveal the darkness that exists within my deepest psyche, so that I may be enlightened and freed from the evil thoughts that are warping my mind.)


JEREMY!!! i’m gonna beat yo’ ass!!! did you read my post in ‘this forum is great, but who are the most liked/hated’ (or something like that) If you summoned him i’m gonna hunt you down!! laugh

Obviously woman knd now needs to hunt you down and kill you, as you have discovered our secrets. Of course, we’ll have to torture you first, 'cause we need to know the source of your info. snicker (then again, you may enjoy the torture, so that would defeat the purpose…)

yes, the change is quite obvious to me and very consistant over the years. I have passed by studies that look into this phenomenon … ie. it’s not all in your head. To me it only makes sense, and I look at the bouts of “superstrength” as days to push myself all that much harder in order to seize that day (actually about 3 days)!

Michelle, I hang out mostly on this site, but it just occurred to me that you could post this question on another board that has a forum specifically for women. I know we aren’t supposed to post other MUSCLE sites, but since this is specific to women’s CHEMISTRY I thought it might be of use to you. Hope this posts!

The Vixen works out with me 3 weeks of the month. She is one of those girls that during her “friend” drops everything, burns everything she attempts to cook, and becomes a witch at the slightest thing I say wrong. For us, we found it best if she just throws out the weight lifting log that week and goes with whatever she feels like doing. I also end up doing an “instinctive” workout that week because I end up being the one that cooks and cleans all that week and I don’t have as much time to hit the iron. But that is just life in the whopper household. I have a female dog that also gets a “sympathy period” with her each month…so I pretty much just hide a lot and don’t say very much…(behaves himself like a goood whopper…LOL!)

A friend of mine is a world class powerlifter (female of course). She swears she notices a marked increase in strength while she’s “on”.

I was under the impression that the loss of blood during the menstrual cycle accounted for the fatigue and whatnot. My exercise physiology teacher said that one of the reasons women have lower work capacities is a lower hemoglobin count. He said that this was partly due to loss of blood each month. It could be that during this time its just really low. just my two cents.

yes, as Derek mentioned, there is definately a marked increase in strength!