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Courtney Babilya | Women's Fitness Nurse

Why cycle syncing may not be for you.

Published about 1 month ago • 3 min read

I'm about to give you a little insider knowledge:

Cycle syncing may not be for you.

Yep, let me explain.

When it comes to exercise, the term "cycle syncing" has become defined as doing different types of fitness throughout the cycle, such as strength training in the follicular phase, boxing or HIIT during the ovulatory phase, pilates in the luteal phase, and yoga in the menstrual phase.

This approach is fabulous if you want to move your body more, work on your general fitness and wellness, and improve your mental health. I say again: there is nothing wrong with this if it helps you move more and feel better.

‼️ But here's the thing: if you're trying to see results in the realm of muscle mass + strength, doing something for one week out of the month will NOT help you do that.

Let's say you wanted to become fluent in a new language - would you work on it for one week each month? It's likely that by the time you circle back to working on it the next month, you're only catching up to what you learned in the previous session.

This is NOT an efficient way to learn. And building strength? Muscle mass? It's learning! Your brain and muscles are constantly talking to each other during (and after) your workouts so that it can adapt. It's pretty freaking awesome.

So if your goal is:

  • to be able to lift that big box in your garage to the top shelf with ease
  • gym-specific like squatting your bodyweight or making a new PR on your deadlift
  • pack muscle on your frame for the metabolic advantages
  • generally feel like a powerful badass and show off your muscles (no shame girl)

...then "cycle syncing"/workout hopping is NOT for you right now. And that's okay!

Because who said that you have to do completely different types of exercise to work with your hormones? 🤔

Maybe you're like one of my KBM members, who recently had this epiphany and decided on the spot to join Unstoppable:

"I'm a little bit overwhelmed at the thought of structuring workouts by myself, because I've heard the commentary that it can be hard to make gains if you're switching workouts all the time...I'm used to structured programs, albeit ones that don't work out because they don't line up with my cycle so I work really hard, can't stick with it in my low points of my cycle, and feel like a failure and start over...wash, rinse, repeat."

Man, do I feel that (and that's literally what my program, Unstoppable, is here for).

So, how DOES the menstrual cycle come into play with strength training?

There's a huge misconception that training with your cycle means you have to change your workout style every week. Nope.

At face value, Unstoppable is a strength training program that uses progressive overload to get you strong AF. It will be effective for anyone - men, women, post-menopausal, on birth control, you name it. But a few things make it a total game-changer for cycling women.

[progressive overload = gradually making things harder]

Your training peaks when your energy, confidence, drive, and motivation peaks. You de-load when your energy is lowest and your body demands more rest. The sets, reps, load, and rest periods are all manipulated to play off of the strengths that each phase gives you. In other words, you're strength training all month long, but with your menstrual cycle there as a template to plug in the elements of timing and design.

✨More efficient use of carbohydrates for fuel in the follicular phase? You bet your butt we're going heavier to use that gift, and while we're at it, throw in a sweaty circuit for a finisher.

✨More efficient use of fat for fuel in the luteal phase? Got it, explosive power won't be the move here, so let's use this gift and work on muscular endurance - or as some people call it, lower weight/higher rep.

These are just two examples of using our hormones to our advantage to get us to our goals, and the cool thing is, the menstrual cycle leaves no stone unturned. It provides you with an internal environment that favors every bit of training you need to gain muscle each month.

Cuz guess what, your body wants you to succeed. It's as if you were built to move this way (oh wait, you literally were). And if you move the way you were built to, it feels so. much. freaking. better.

No more feeling like a failure for not being able to stay consistent with a program, no more deciding to "start over" for the 4th time this year, and no more feeling exhausted after your workouts, so that you barely have anything left to give to the rest of your day.

If you're a cycling woman, this is a no brainer. You can only get MORE out of training with your physiology, not less.

I am thrilled out of my MIND to bring you a brand new volume of Unstoppable on Monday - stay tuned and get your leggings ready, girl!

xoxo,

Courtney

Courtney Babilya | Women's Fitness Nurse

Creator of Keeping Balance Method, fitness app for women 📱

As a former ER nurse, I know how important it is to stick with the stuff that WORKS. I help women become stronger through sustainable + effective strategies that feel like coming home. I've made menstrual cycle-informed fitness the new natural way for women to train, helping thousands embrace their strength through my app. Welcome! Love, your friendly neighborhood fitness nurse.

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