Ladies (and the dudes who care to know) this one is for you. Cycle training is not a new concept but it is one that is gaining notice in the industry. Studies show that women benefit greatly from following a program designed around the hormonal fluctuations of their menstrual cycles. Here is a quick and simplistic outline I have been using personally. Depending on how you like to train (total body vs Split), days per week, etc. you will want to fill in the template accordingly.
FOLLICULAR PHASE: Day 0-14
Nutrition: Up Carbs
Training: Hard Heavy Intense Resistance and Power
Sets/Reps: 4×5 Explosive
Metabolic: HIIT – Tabata – Track Sprints 50, 100, 150 meter
OVULATION PHASE: Around Day 14-15
Nutrition: Balance Pro. Carb. Fat
Training: Estrogen is higher, interferes with collagen synthesis and neuromuscular control. Make sure form is on to avoid injury. Train hard but smart.
Sets/Reps: Supersets 4×5/4×10
Metabolic: Hill Sprints – Sled Push/Pull – Stair Repeats
LUTEAL PHASE: Day 15-28
Nutrition: This is when insulin sensitivity is at its lowest so you will crave more carbs but you want to drop your carbs and up your fat intake.
Training: This is going to be your least efficient time of the month and you will fatigue easily so reduce intensity and consider training more for stabilization, low impact, yoga, and balance.
Metabolic: Intervals 2/2, 3/3, 5/5 – Longer Walks – Swimming
Nutrition: Insulin sensitivity increases making moderate carb intake best. As you transition back to the Follicular Phase increase carbs to increase energy for lean mass.
Training: Transition back to higher intensity.
Metabolic: Intervals 30/15, 40/20, 1/30 – 5-10 minute Finishers: Burpees, Ball Slams, Squat Jumps, Jump Rope Drills, Box Jumps