Your Period is Your Super Power!
I am enrolled in Dr. Stacy Sims online Menopause course. I am learning SO MUCH about female hormone cycles. Dr. Sims asserts that women are not small men and what I'm learning in the course certainly emphasizes that!
Obviously, the biggest difference between men and women are our hormones. We women have an amazing and fantastic super power, it is the regular hormonal shifts of our menstrual cycle. It really is a source of POWER and not a curse!
There are four distinct phases to our menstrual cycle. Tracking your cycle can help you harness your super power and understand what is happening to you in each phase.
Week One: Early Follicular or Menstrual Phase - sex hormones are low and we adapt especially well to training. This is when we are actively bleeding. This is a great time to set new PRs and lift heavy shit. Here are Dr. Sims's tips for this phase.
Performance tips: Take advantage of your hormonal profile and be sure youâre well fueled and go for it. Even with heavier bleeding and cramping, a few sets of 20s sprints will help promote a boost in growth hormone and anti-inflammatory responses, to help get through these few days; but if you feel like you need to rest, go for it; listening to your body is key. â
Week Two: Ovulation and Mid-Follicular Phase - When you ovulate you get a surge of estrogen, an anabolic hormone, which means we build all the muscle and get STRONG during this phase. Here are Dr. Sims's performance tips for this phase.
Performance tips: Some women may feel flat around ovulation and then bulletproof a day later; others feel the opposite. Take advantage of this bulletproof feeling and nail your lifts. Sleep has a performance boost here too. Your core temperature is at its lowest point when estrogen surges, which can help you get into a deep, restorative sleep.
Week Three: Early-Luteal Phase - The body prepares for a potential pregnancy by increasing both estrogen and progesterone. This reduces our training adaptations and we may experience low energy. This is a good time to not push the lifting PRs and go for moderate intensity in our workouts. Showing up is a win in the early-luteal phase. Here are Dr. Sims's performance tips for this phase.
Performance tips: Progesteroneâs main job is to shuttle glucose and amino acids away from the liver and skeletal muscle to build a lush endometrial lining. This increases your energy needs slightly, so you may feel you need to eat more. Make sure you fuel well in and around your training to keep out of a low energy state, and to signal muscle synthesis, not breakdown!
Week Four: Mid-Luteal Phase - This is HIGH PMS time! Bloating, cramping and all the other symptoms are making life challenging. This is a great time to allow yourself to work on technique and reduce intensity. Give yourself permission to go at 70% effort during this phase. Here's what Dr. Sims advises:
Performance tips: If you experience significant PMS symptoms, you can try countering the inflammatory responses that create these: taking 250mg magnesium, 45mg zinc, 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids, and 80mg aspirin or white willow bark. â
If you still have a monthly cycle lucky you! You can track it on your Whoop or with a Period Tracking App. By knowing your hormonal shifts you can learn WHY you feel the way you do and make appropriate decisions about your training. You can also give yourself some GRACE!
For those of us in menopause we have a wholly different hormonal shift and I'll explore that in the weeks to come.
Click here to read the entire article on understanding your menstrual phase.
Here's to being informed and being a women in total control of herself:)
February Show Your Love Challenge - Thank Your CrossFit Coach
Our crew of TSCF Coaches are terrific! They help you transform into better, stronger, more capable humans. For today's February Show Your Love Challenge, tell them how much they've impacted you.
Kendra, James, Nick, Dover and Anne all show up and GIVE their hearts to you everyday. They're service to improving your health and fitness is an act of love. Let's show them some love this week.
Did you forget to download your February Show Your Love challenge?
The CrossFit Open is a worldwide ALL-LEVELS competition that is open to everyone! One of the things I LOVE about the Open is that we are all competing together and there are levels accessible to all participants. In fact, there's an adaptive category for anyone with limited mobility. Kelsi (in the photo above with the knee brace) did the lower extremity adaptive category for 2022 Open when she was recovering from knee surgery.
There's a level for everyone! Imagine the Olympics or the Superbowl hosting a competition that included the elites AND the novices. That's the Open!
We always enjoy the Open vis a vis our Intramural Open in-gym competition. It's a great time to work together to encourage and support our gym-mates to do amazing things, to push a bit harder, to commit to being part of a team, and to test our fitness.
This year we have divided the gym into 2 teams based on where you like to workout on the north side of the gym or the south side. Here are the teams.
The CrossFit Games Open workout will be the Workout of the Day every Friday starting Feb 117th and ending March 3rd. You're going to do The Open workouts anyway, so you might as well participate in The Open. Plus you earn points for your team when you officially sign up!
The Intramural Open is a FREE team event in which we compete against each other. We support, encourage, count reps and help our teammates do fantastic things.
You can earn valuable pre-season points NOW for your team.
You earn points for your team as follows.
Pre Season Points
1. Teams are given 1 point for every athlete who officially signs up for The Open.
2. Teams are given 5 points for every athlete who officially completes the Judges Course.
1. Teams are given 2 points for every athlete who completes a given Open workout
2. Teams are given 2 points for every athlete who PRs or does something as Rx'd (including scaled Rx'd) for the first time, e.g. first toes to bar, pull-ups, double unders, etc.
3. Teams are given 3 points for every athlete who finishes among the top 3 women or top 3 men in the gym per workout (Rx’d, Scaled, Age groups, Foundations ).
6. Teams are given 5 points if they win the “Spirit of the Open” award on any given week (this is determined by the coaches so be ready to nominate an athlete each week)
You can earn up to 6 pre-season points for your team NOW through Monday, Feb 20th! Often times the teams with the most pre-season points gets out ahead and stays there. Want to help your team via your brains not brawn? Take the Judges course!
North Side: 33 Points
South Side: 32 points
Sunday Read - 4 Ways to Make Exercise Great Again by Michael Easter
Swipe through Micheal Easter's IG post on the four key problem with modern "exercise," and then read the full newsletter below.
Read the full 2% newsletter here.
Feb 17 - March 3 - THE OPEN
March 6-11 - Femme Fatale Week
Record your WOD on Beyond the Whiteboard.
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