Article written by Talia VanDoran All the ladies if ya feel me help me sing it out….this one is for you!
Let’s get real for a minute. There are some very specific and unique issues that women have to deal with when it comes to training. That of which men will never experience and can’t understand. The biggest of the big happens to be the lovely monthly occurrence of getting our period. We all know that it’s unpleasant enough to deal with what our body does naturally. Throw in being an athlete, training on top of feeling like you’ve been pummeled by the menstruation fairy, wanting to cry, scream and simultaneously get your murder on and you’ve got yourself a little predicament.
So how do we cope with and overcome the negative effects of our monthly cycle? Here are some of the things that I have found to work in my favor:
1. DO NOT….I repeat DO NOT stop training. It’s easy to wallow around in your aches and pains, but the best medicine is activity. Unless I am in so much pain that I can’t walk (which is extremely rare), I will not miss a training day. Keeping my body moving relieves stress physically and mentally. If I’m irritable or aggravated, the best way to get that aggression out is to resolve it in the gym. Your friends and family will be thankful that they are clear of your warpath and you just may hit some PRs. Who doesn’t like cracking the whip on some weight? This is LBEB!
2. After you’re done training, REST. I know you probably think you do rest, but you need more rest during this time of the month. It sounds contradictory to my first point, but what I’m trying to say is be diligent in your rest post-training and on designated rest days. Make it a priority. Get quality rest. Now is the time to pop them Bonbons and catch up on some TV shows or Facebook to your heart’s delight. I personally enjoy ordering some sushi, snuggling up on the couch with a blanket and popping in a funny movie. It makes for a happy JuggerNugget.
3. As per the LBEB mantra…..EAT BIG! A lot of women I know eat well leading up to their period, but then it takes a back seat because they are tired, moody, and feeling a little lazy. Sometimes it’s a struggle to get the food in. We have all been there and I am no exception. You may not feel like eating, but guess what? There are things in life that are just plain old good for you and a hamburger and sweet potato fries can never be a bad thing. Plus, you MUST feed the booty. Always feed the booty.
My first two strongwoman shows were blessed by visits from my monthly treat. I was thrilled! Luckily, I knew what I needed to do to compensate for not feeling 100% and still go to work on competition day. Just call me The Menstruation Sensation!
I’m sure there are plenty of other things I could add to this list, but I find that these are the most important tips I can impart on you lovely lifting beauties. If you happen to know of something else that is helpful, feel free to share your wisdom. We encourage it!
For the male coaches/training partners etc, I’ll tell you this…..have PATIENCE. Hormonal fluctuations are no joke and the women in your lives are dealing with stupid amounts of physical, mental and emotional stress during this time of the month. Coming into the gym and hitting big lifts requires an extreme amount of commitment and badassery when a woman is wanting nothing more than to crawl in bed and never leave. A lot of times it’s hard for us to tell our male training partners and coaches what we are experiencing. Pay attention to your lady lifters and if they are having an off day or tell you to jump off a bridge when you suggest they go down in weight, ask yourself if this may be one of those times you should give her some dark chocolate and a few kind words.
Champions aren’t made overnight and champions aren’t going to use excuses to get out of putting in work. While it’s a sucky situation to deal with your period during training and competing, it’s a fact of life. Accept it, embrace it and learn to deal with it to the best of your ability. Strong women aren’t strong for no reason. We understand how to push ourselves to limits that others only dream of. In my opinion, that makes women some of the best strength athletes in the world!