Katie has a fantastic question, and Katie’s question is; what kind of training should I do whilst I’m on my period, because I don’t feel like training.
Katie, that’s a fantastic question. I’m going to actually expand on this topic a little bit as well, and I’m going to try and explain some of the other processes that are going on in your body when you’re on your period, and in the build up towards your period as well. Because there are some things going on that you might not have realised, and hopefully I can shed some light on this.
Now, obviously I’ve never had a period so bear with me – I know this is a guy talking about periods! Now it’s 2017; guys if you’re a PT and you train girls, have you talked to them about their period? Do you actually know that they are on their period as well, because you might make some wrong decisions in terms of, if you take their body fat for example, and they’re in their two week run up to their period, you might think that their body-fat readings have gone up.
Now actually, what is happening, the two week build up to your period, your body takes on a bit more water, so you might actually, if you stood on the scales, be as much as five pounds heavier. Now this isn’t body-fat, you haven’t put on five pounds of body-fat, that’s nuts!
What’s going on is that your body is holding a bit more water than it would do normally. So all this means is that, yes, you might be a bit more bloated, but it’s just water, don’t panic, it’s not body-fat.
Personal trainers, if you’re taking a client’s body-fat reading and you don’t know that their period is just around the corner, you might think they’ve put on body-fat and you might think they’ve put on weight, because they stand on the scales and they’re a little bit heavier, and body-fat readings have gone up. Actually they’re just holding a bit more water than normal. So you then might make the wrong decision when it comes to programming their nutrition. You might think their calories should come down a bit, and actually you haven’t asked them; ‘Are you about to have your period?’. And if the answer is yes, then you should really be taking body-fat measurements until after their period. So that’s a good one guys, bear that in mind.
So the other thing about the two week build up to your period, now this only applies more so in the week before, the period is such a high-energy process, that your body is going to be burning an extra 200 calories per day.
If you feel hungry in the build up to your period, that’s because of your metabolism. This extra energy that’s being burnt up in your body. So let’s say for example that you’re a girl. Obviously. Let’s say you’re a girl and you’re about to have your period. And let’s say you’re doing some kind of fat-loss program. You might not be doing a fat-loss program, this applies to anyone who’s not doing a fat-loss program. But you’re hungry in the week prior to your period, what you need to do is look at your diet daily and factor in another 200 calories from either carbohydrate or protein.
And that’s not a bad thing that you’re eating more. Because what you’re doing is breaking even essentially with your diet. So don’t worry that you want to eat a bit more in the week prior, that’s because of what’s going on in your body. And you aren’t going to put on any excess weight from that, because you’re just breaking even.
Okay, so holding more water and being hungrier, those two covered. What kind of training should you do? Now I train a lot of girls, and when they’re on their period, you’re not going to have a fantastic training session. So what I’d do is treat it like a de-load session. So we might go a bit lighter with all the weights that we do, we might fewer reps.
If however, you weren’t really sure what to do in the gym, you could just keep it very light, do a body-weights circuit. Find something like a medicine ball or a light kettle bell, do some squats with that, go straight into a TRX bodyweight kind of row, finish with something simple as, you know, a very light dumbbell press, or press-ups on your knees. You can rotate that round a few times. But as long as you’re doing something, that’s great, and what you’ll probably find is you’ll feel better for having done the exercise.
So, I’m not sure if you’ve seen many guys speak about what’s going on when you’re on your period, but, these are the kind of protocols I’ll use with the girls that I train, and I train a lot of girls, so far.
So, Katie, I hope that’s answered your question and also maybe given you a bit of an insight into what’s going on. I know that it’s weird – there’s a guy talking to you about periods. And this is part of my job, so I don’t really see this as an areas where I don’t really know much about, because more than half my clients are female so you have to know about these things.
Any questions, any more. Remember guys, if you want your own question answered in your very own one-take answer, subscribe, comment below, and I will do my best to give you the best answer that I can.
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