Menstrual cycle training for women

How the menstrual cycle affects training and what coaches should know

Menstrual cycle training

Breaking with taboos to coach members better

“You just don’t talk about this” – A sentence that couldn’t fit better to anything but the topic of menstruation. It is still a rare topic to address in a private setting, so you can imagine that it is barely existent in the public fitness context. However, talking about it, especially in the fitness area, is extremely important.

When being a fitness coach, personal trainer or nutrition coach, you should be aware of the female cycle and the effects it has on the body and the training/ training results, in order to serve your female clients better.

Menstrual cycle training and why it is important 

Since only a few people address this topic so far, even though it is very important, there is lots of potential for you! If you become an expert in menstrual cycle training or at least know the basics, you will be able to serve your female clients better and improve your clients’ training results.

This is why we have asked Jasmin Laura Caviezel for an interview about menstrual cycle training. She is an expert in this field and talks about what it is about, what you need to be aware of and why it is so important to offer menstrual cycle training to your clients.

Interview with Jasmin Laura Caviezel

Image: Jasmin Laura Caviezel, menstrual cycle coach
Jasmin Laura Caviezel, menstrual cycle coach

Hi, Jasmin. You are a menstrual cycle coach. What does that mean?

I educate women about the menstrual cycle process as well as guide and support them through my coaching programs. I help them adapt their lifestyle to a more period friendly one. The Jalistic coaching program focuses on nutrition for better periods, stress management, and exercising with your menstrual cycle to reach fitness and health goals.

All together, my coaching program helps clients find a new passion for their bodies by understanding what is happening every month with their menstrual cycle. The lifestyle changes help clients live with less pms, mood swings, tender breasts, acne, etc for better quality of life.

How and why did you decide to become a menstrual cycle coach?

Living in Switzerland I worked as a holistic pharmacy technician. I learned all about health and well being. It has always fascinated me how we can help our bodies feel better by changing simple things in our day to day life. I continued my education in the US to become a certified personal trainer and group fitness instructor to help me master the physical fitness of the body as well.

Additionally, out of my personal experience with cycle related problems and overexercising I started reading into the menstrual cycle and what is happening on a hormonal level. During my research and personal trial and error I developed this beautiful passion for helping women in similar situations that I found myself in and made it my mission to coach and educate women (and men) about this “taboo” topic of the menstrual cycle. 

What does your work as a menstrual cycle coach entail? What topics do you focus on with your clients?

I work on lifestyle changes with my clients and the goal of my practice is to help my clients find healing and understanding for their own bodies holistically. This holistic approach consists of developing an exercise routine that keeps the hormone changes a woman goes through every month in mind.

It helps women workout smarter and with their bodies rather than against them. It also entails nutrition, so optimizing a woman’s diet by helping educate about different macro and micro nutrients that support the body during the menstrual cycle. We’re talking about fueling the body rather than restricting it. I often encounter women that follow low calories, low carb, low fat diets and really suffer from month to month because their body doesn’t have the much needed fuel for balanced hormone levels.

Additionally, we’ll focus on stress management because stress is the number one hormone disruptor and cause of many other diseases unfortunately. So we come up with action plans to integrate into the clients life to reduce stress and cope better. This includes a self care regime, tips to reduce environment stressors, scheduling work and social life with the cycle, etc. So paying attention to the three big pillars exercise, nutrition, and stress management help balance the body and hormones for a very natural harmonious menstrual cycle

What should everyone know about the menstrual cycle and how it affects women in general and when working out?

The most important thing and usually the first step in understanding the menstrual cycle is knowing about the four cycle phases that every woman goes through as well as the main hormones included in those phases.

Image: Menstrual Cycle Phases
The Menstrual Cycle Phases

As illustrated above the four cycle phases have different hormone levels which can affect a woman’s energy levels. These fluctuations are important to keep in mind when working out because they can determine a woman’s success in the gym.

Image: Energy Changes Throughout Cycle
Energy Changes Throughout Cycle

How would a specific training plan look like based on the menstrual cycle? (is there an example, we could share?)

Now that we know how a woman’s energy fluctuates due to her biology we can make sure that we build a workout that keeps that in mind.Here’s an example:

Sarah, 32 wants to lose 10lbs over a curse of three months. She doesn’t have any limitations that keep her from exercising.

During her follicular phase and rising energy she is able to do lots of cardio, high intensity exercises and strength based training (80% of 1 rep max). This carries on through her ovulatory phase with her energy peaking. The first couple days of her luteal phase she is most likely still able to push herself hard.

After the initial couple of days it’s recommended to avoid high intensity exercises and focus more on strength training at about 30-40% of 1 rep max, reducing her cardio to walking, if she experiences PMS symptoms reducing the intensity more is advised. During her menstrual phase depending if she experiences symptoms with her period, doing yoga, stretching and walking is recommended.

Do you have some specific tips for gym owners and trainers on how to take into account the female cycle when writing training or nutrition plans?

If a woman feels comfortable sharing information about her menstrual cycle it can be very beneficial in helping her reach her fitness goals. Here are a couple tips that can further assist in serving female clients:

  • Be sure to ask about usual symptoms felt before and during the period. This can vary from woman to woman and needs to be taken into account for an optimal training experience. 
  • The client should be encouraged to listen to her body and how the exercises feel for her.
  • Keeping an eye out for overtraining and exhaustion is very important. Rest days are often undervalued but can be crucial for a woman’s menstrual health and well being. 
  • Making sure the woman eats complex carbs, high quality fats, and protein with every meal and snack will benefit her menstrual health tremendously.

Overall, helping a woman connect and understand her body better can lead to greater compassion for herself and build internal motivation which ultimately will not only benefit the client but also the fitness facility because they are able to serve and help women in an amazing way.

Thanks, Jasmin for your time and for being so open about this topic.

The topic of menstrual cycle training interests you?

Then check out Jasmin’s  website or Instagram:

Creating individual training plans with Magicline

Magicline can help you to create individual training plans for your female clients that you can base on her cycle.

Don’t be shy to ask your client about her menstrual cycle and how she feels in each phase when doing an assessment. You can completely customize your training assessment sheet in Magicline and save the relevant information there.

Now you can start creating the training plan based on her cycle and assign the right workouts for each cycle phase using Magicline’s training plan feature. You can even include videos showing the exercises in detail. 

Image: Creating a training plan in Magicline
Creating a training plan in Magicline

All plans will be provided to your client via the MySports app. After finishing a workout, she will be asked automatically about her well-being. If you receive a negative answer, make sure to talk to her and adapt the plan, if needed.

If you want to know more about Magicline and how to create training plans, check out our website or make an appointment with us now!

Any questions?
Maike from Magicline will help you.

Want to know more about Magicline and how to create training plans? Reach out to me. I am happy to assist! Maike

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