Why Cycle Syncing Workouts are the Way to Go

Do you crush intense HIIT sessions one week only to hit burpees the next week? If so, cycle synchronization of your workouts can help you create a routine that respects your energy levels and improves your workout results. Understanding how your hormones affect your training empowers you to choose the best form of exercise for your body, no matter where you are in your menstrual cycle.

Medical specialists and wellness experts have recently begun to emphasize the importance of changing your exercise routine throughout the month to suit your hormone levels. Functional nutritionist Alisa Vitti first introduced women to this concept in her book Women’s code. She has since branded her hormone balancing protocol called the Cycle Syncing® method. The Cycle Syncing® method helps menstruating people to move, eat and work in a way that respects their hormones throughout each phase of their cycle. People who do cycle synchronization workouts often experience mental and physical benefits, including better sleep, reduced PMS, and increased energy.

Alisa Vitti, HHC, AADP


Alisa Vitti is a functional nutritionist and female hormone expert, the founder of the modern hormone health care company FLO Living, bestselling author of WomanCode, and creator of MyFLO, the # 1 paid period app on iTunes. She has expert appearances on The Dr. Oz Show, Women’s Health, MindBodyGreen and The Huffington Post.

What are the benefits of cycle synchronization of your workouts?

According to Vitti, planning your workouts around your cycle can help you bio-hook your metabolism, which increases your workout efficiency. “Your metabolism changes speed and your resting cortisol levels change into a cyclical pattern,” she said. “Since they are not the same every day, it makes no sense to eat the same amount of calories or do the same workout types or intensity every day. You want to match your calorie intake, workout type and intensity to each phase of your cycle so that you can optimize the use of stored fat as fuel and build lean muscle more efficiently. ”

Not only does cycle synchronization help you burn more fat and build more muscle, but it also encourages you to reconnect with your body. Once I removed the pressure to exercise at peak intensity all month, I was able to listen to what my body needed. Some days I had the energy for an outdoor jog, other days I just wanted to stretch on my yoga mat. Regardless of the day, I knew I was moving in a way that matched my hormones and my energy level.

What to keep in mind before you start synchronizing your workouts:

If you’re a type A girl like me, you’ve probably taken out your calendar and started scheduling next month’s workouts carefully. While the Cycle Syncing® method is a great tool to help guide your exercise plan, Vitti recommends abandoning perfectionism. “Let go of perfectionism and instead accept to become dynamic and responsive. Listen to your body, monitor your cycle, monitor your symptoms, notice how you feel in each phase, notice how certain activities make you feel in each phase, and regain the healthy relationship with yourself and your body that you are supposed to to have. ”

How to exercise during each phase:

Menstrual phase

During your menstrual phase (also known as when you bleed), your estrogen and progesterone tanks. This causes you to have little energy and generally feel less social. If you feel a little sluggish, do not push it. Swap your high-intensity workouts for something more restorative, like walking or gentle yoga. Research shows that an hour of strenuous activity during your period increases your chances of exercise-induced inflammation. You do not want to add sore muscles on top of a sore uterus, so skip your intense workout over this time.

Follicular phase

Your follicular phase begins on the first day of menstruation and ends with ovulation. During the middle of your follicular phase, your estrogen and progesterone begin to rise. You will probably notice more energy and start to feel more social. Now is a good time to look at a quick group fitness class or see if a partner wants to run with you.

Ovulatory phase

During ovulation, your estrogen and testosterone peak, and your body is at its most fertile. You will probably feel full of energy, so this is a good time to achieve fitness PRs (also known as personal records), such as your maximum squat or fastest 5k. Thanks to your high hormones, you are also the most upbeat and confident. So go ahead and talk to those cute ones you watched in the spin class. Your rise in confidence may just lead to a hot date.

Luteal phase

After ovulation, you enter the luteal phase of your cycle. Elevated progesterone levels will lower your energy and you may feel more withdrawn. When you notice that your energy is taking a dive, scale your workouts down a notch. Replace high-intensity workouts with lightweight circuit training, hiking and yoga. It is also a good idea to take your workouts indoors if you live in a warmer climate. Since your basal body temperature is higher in the luteal phase of your cycle, you can a decrease in your athletic performance when you exercise in the heat.

On your period? Here is a Self-Care Guide for that time of month

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