T Nation

Strength Loss During Menstrual Cycle


#1

I am writing in concern to my girlfriend. She has begun her road down powerlifting, and has been very impressive in a short amount of time. My question is, a few weeks back she 1 repped 205 on deadlift with relative ease, but 2 days ago, during her cycle she couldn't get 185 off the ground. Is this normal? Does anyone else notice a huge drop in strength during that week. She is not on any sort of birth control but is very regular, and they aren't generally difficult on her after the first few days. Any thoughts? Thanks in advance.


#2

There’s an article that addresses this question in detail in the Articles (under Training) section. Written 11/19, it’s called the Hormone Cycle and Female Lifters.


#3

I read that article when it came out, I was looking for someones personal experience with the matter. We have been trying to take that article into consideration when planning her lifting routine. I just felt like that big of a loss in strength was really high, but the female cycle is a mystery to me, I’ve never had to work around it.


#4

I’m a little old lady now, but when I was younger and had horrible menstrual cramps and felt like shit, I would just give myself permission to take a day or so off from lifting. That worked much better than trying to push through a workout when I felt crappy.


#5

[quote]rbpowers wrote:
I read that article when it came out, I was looking for someones personal experience with the matter. We have been trying to take that article into consideration when planning her lifting routine. I just felt like that big of a loss in strength was really high, but the female cycle is a mystery to me, I’ve never had to work around it. [/quote]

A strength loss of that much is completely normal, at least it is for me. I’m sure it varies among women. That article kpsnap mentioned is a very good one although the times when I am strongest/weakest are different than the timeframes mentioned in the article. Again, I’m sure it varies among women. What I learned is to not get down on myself when I find I can’t lift as much as I did the prior week. Drop the weight and do more reps. Or, ditch the lift altogether and work on weak areas such as doing rack pulls or stiff-leg deads instead of doing deadlifts. The strength will come back and often comes back more than what it was. Just don’t derail yourself mentally when it does happen. Realize it does happen and have a Plan B for when it does.


#6

Its totally normal. Also its can go both ways, sometimes you feel stronger during your period, sometimes you back feels like its going to fall apart and a bar is all you can handle. Maybe then she can do something else.

My advice is let her listen to her body and don’t push it one way or the other! She’s the best judge on when its a good time to do lifts when her periods’ concerned. As she gains experience lifting she’ll get better at doing that too. And tell her way to go! She’s going to love being a lifter!


#7

She’s a monster and impresses me everyday as she pushes herself along side me. Thanks so much for the responses, I will relay the messages to her and know that we have a plan now so she doesn’t feel down. Again, thank you so much!


#8

I think see should take rest during these menstrual days, as it is not good to give so much of stress to the body, atleast for the first two days. You may also recommend her to use menstrual cups during her menstrual cycle, so that she feels more comfortable and relax. You may check it from here http://www.cupissima.com