Female training is influenced by the different phases of the menstrual cycle. In view of the growing participation of women in the sports scenario, it is essential to understand how hormonal fluctuations impact on the most varied stages of training in this population. So, here you will find out what are the main particularities that should be taken into account when designing a personalized training program for women.
Menstrual Cycle and Training
In female training, when aiming for good sports performance, the physiological variations of sex hormones must be taken into account in order to have an increasingly personalized approach. Despite the conflicting results, data show that the menstrual cycle influences the type of substrate used during exercise. That is, whether the oxidation will be predominantly carbohydrates or intramuscular triglycerides, as the article shows. Substrate metabolism during exercise: sexual dimorphism and female specificities. In addition to sex differences and estradiol concentrations, exercise intensity is also a key factor in determining the energy substrate that will be oxidized during exercise.
Oral anticontraceptives and health implications
In the regard, in addition to the menstrual cycle itself, the use of oral anticontraceptives also exerts an impact on female training. About 50% of physically active women use such substances, which significantly affects several metabolic parameters. For example, high levels of progestogen is related to glucose intolerance, insulin resistance and also reduced levels of muscle glycogen use for exercise, which consequently reduces the athlete’s performance.
Menopause and Training
Concentrations of 17-ÿ estradiol in premenopausal women may impact the oxidation rates of lipid substrates, both in the resting period and during exercise. Thus, women with excess weight and higher concentration of fat mass during menopause lack more individualized strategies for gaining muscle mass and improving performance.
Thus, despite the sexual dimorphism between men and women, understanding at what moment the different energetic substrates are being used helps in understanding and employing the best training methods. Therefore, taking into account the feminine particularities during training generates several benefits for both the coach and the athlete, because they have an increased pain threshold compared to men, a fact that can and should be explored during training in order to enhance their results.
Therefore, female training has many particularities and understanding them is fundamental. Thus, although sports performance is influenced by several variables, the physical trainer must be attentive to the phases of the menstrual cycle of its athletes and appropriate to the type of training to each one, in order to enhance the performance of female athletes.
Read the full article:
Sexual Dimorphism and Female Specificities
Boisseau, N., & Isacco, L. (2022). Substrate metabolism during exercise: Sexual dimorphism and women’s specificities.
European journal of sport science
(5), 672–683. https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2021.1943713
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