Workout Tips in the Luteal Phase
New to learning how to workout with your cycle? Women have 4 phases of the menstrual cycle; Menstruation, Follicular, Luteal, & Ovulation. Typically the luteal phase is also referred to as the Fall season. The Fall season is the time where we start to slow down, we might start to get organized, and do the busywork that needs to get done. When planning your workouts around your cycle preparation is key.
The luteal phase is usually around days 18-28 of your cycle. The start of your luteal phase you might still have energy but by the end of your luteal phase you will find yourself waning with energy.
One final note if you are on hormonal birth control pills you can follow the plan but your hormones are not syncing in quite the same manner. But this plan won't hurt you!
Training During the Luteal Phase
- Afternoon workouts might be best- During the luteal phase you might notice you have lower energy in the morning. Instead of your regular 6am workouts, maybe an afternoon workout might be best. Gauge your energy based on how you're feeling. Again days 22-28 might be your lowest energy so an afternoon yoga class or workout session could be best.
- Accountability- The luteal phase is often the phase where we stop working out. Often we start a workout plan and it's going great for 2 weeks but 2 weeks later we hit a wall and it turns out we are just hitting our luteal phase. Instead of throwing in the towel get some accountability. Hiring a trainer could be a great option to help hold you accountable. If you can't hire a trainer right now ask a friend. Be accountability buddies!
- Toning one muscle group- This time of your cycle can be used to train a specific body part that you want to make sure you tone. We all have that one area we want to look nicer. For myself I always hit up my triceps as they make up 70% of your upper arm strength and toning profile. Plus estrogen likes the triceps so women usually need a little extra tricep work to keep their arms toned. I add in an extra upper body day the 10 days of my luteal phase. But it can be any body part you want to work on for that phase!
- Slower paced workouts- The first half of your luteal phase you might still have energy for a more intense lifting session, or a faster bike ride but during the last week before your first day of bleeding you may feel the need to slow down. Listen to your energy levels. If you feel extremely tired and exhausted that's a rest day. Not a time to keep on pushing. Honor your bodies natural rhythm.
- Watch a video/workout vs doing it yourself- I enjoy following a video or an app during my cycle. I find I just don't have the motivation to take myself through a workout. But I will follow a video of someone telling me what to do. Personally I'm a fan of Kira Stokes app (though I don't recommend for anyone but advanced athletes). It's pretty intense and I modify the workouts based on my cycle.
What are your big takeaways?
What can you start to plan today to help you start to workout with your cycle? I like to map out my workouts on a weekly basis so I have a good idea of where I'm at in my cycle and energy level each week.
Let me know on Instagram what your biggest takeaways were in a DM or any questions you might have!
Dive Deeper with Your menstrual cycle with Self-Care with Your cycle
Instead of starting the day with a decision of "what should I do today?" Start your day with a clear plan. This program is geared to help you take away the decision fatigue many of us are feeling right now. You can look at your self-care calendar and you know how to make space for you that matches with your menstrual cycle needs. Most self-care programs miss the menstrual cycle as being a guide. Your bleeding phase you will naturally have less energy and start to feel introspective. Use that time to connect with your inner wisdom vs trying to do a more outward self-care focus.