New studies on female athletes are opening up a world of performance advice. Why it matters: Sports research has ignored female athletes for decades, but studying women has recently led to breakthroughs for everyone. Quick updates before we dive in:
Great article Michael... As a personal trainer and functional health coach, I keep an open dialogue with my female students. We are deliberate with the menstrual cycle: heavier strength training when progesterone/testosterone rises 7 days after menses, a higher conditioning focus 14 days after menses and until menstruation, then full-body maintenance (usually around 60-70% loads for 6-8 reps) during the cycle.
Great article and so glad that research is starting to focus on female athletes! (I’m def checking out Christine Yu’s book.) The point you made about gear is a huge one for me as a 5’4” woman — so many times training gear isn’t made with women’s bodies in mind, more or less short or tall women’s bodies. It’s incredibly frustrating to have to fight my gear or figure out how to work around it in addition to doing the actual workout or endeavor.
In particular, I see a lot of brands offering packs (rucks or other exercise packs) in one height or torso length with a reduced volume that say they were designed for women in mind. This is frustrating to me because it’s not the volume of a pack that determines the fit, but the height/torso length. And inevitably, this length is usually longer than what would fit most women or anyone with a shorter torso. It’s surprising to me when athletic brands don’t take this into account because torso length is widely used in the backpacking world to ensure fit for both men and women.
I just love you for sharing this! I’m no feminist but it’s very frustrating how little value is placed on research for female athletes. Let alone an average female like me that just wants to thrive well into my old age. This was GREAT! Thank you Michael 🤍🙏🏽
Thank you for sharing female focused information. It’s so valuable especially when as you say women are so underrepresented in research.
As someone with endometriosis and who restricted carbs for a while, I know how important this info is. I found a lot of resources in the eating disorder recovery circles to help understand recovering from restrictive eating (check out the Minnesota starvation experiment). The body wants to gain weight to heal and then it slowly comes off. Slowly ramping up calories doesn’t always work. It’s a natural famine followed by a feast like our ancestors would have had. I’ve also found a lot of relief from my endo pain with myofascial release therapy.
This is an amazing article. Thank you!