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Veteran Thread Female guide: Training, diet, misconceptions and the menstrual cycle

Veteran Discussion
a lot of good information on this and many of the things also carry over to men too especially with the body image issues

Many people in body building are extremely insecure which drives them to work out and it's not necessarily about thing
see it's funny, gen pop (people who don't train/it's not a big part of their lives) often have the assumption that lifters, especially the big guys in the gym, are egotistical and standoffish. I even had this assumption before i started lifting. Then when you start talking to other lifters you realise those assumptions are completely false and see how much these people struggle with body dysmorphia. In my experience, the nicest and most welcoming people in the gym are the super muscular men and women. any time someone has been a bit of a dick it's always newbies and people who don't train it's odd. a lot of the people who have been lifting for years have come from obesity or were always the skinny kid, and have always had body-image issues so they are very understanding and patient.
@Supertiredwantfood my experience is almost 100% of women I've met have overtrained, too much cardio or too much weight and so on.

Your advice is Golden. I hope more women learn from this.

@Eicamyal @RoidRageWife @rememberTHE5 @gymlife4me @Kindafitkindafat I hope you can comment on this great thread
a lot of the reason behind over-training in women is media, fitness magazines etc that encourage extreme diets and training... then when these women inevitably fall off the program they're made to feel like it's something wrong with them, then conveniently there's something they can sell these women to help 🤦‍♀️
we need to get more females on here I'm sick of seeing pictures of men all the time LOL
hopefully this post can bring in some more females to post we love all of you
i don't mind seeing men here all the time 😏 haha but i agree and i think evo is definitely seeing more active female members which is awesome
my favorite thing is women who are into fitness like me
it's such a turn on and I love to see it
same, good thing is muscular women are into muscular men and vice versa so we all got a good chance of scoring a hottie
that women cannot win it's just not fair because a guy can look however he wants and no one says a thing
but men are always giving women a hard time no matter what
honestly i've found it's pretty 50/50, men seem to have more negative things to say about my body and women seem to have more negative things to say about how much i eat. the amount of times i've had a female come up to me while eating and say "wow, i could NEVER eat that much"... i'll just respond with "cool well don't, then" bitch almost chokes it's hilarious
monstro showed this to my gf
she said was good info but said she has no self esteem issues. she is a proud Portuguese woman who loves herself
that's awesome then, more women should have that mindset
sister my wife goes nuts on her menstrual cycle
attacked me with a hammer the other day all cuz I forgot to take out the trash
maybe i should feed her more beef during it?
if ur wife goes nuts just don't say anything... grab her chocolate and a heat pack and put on her favourite movie then go out and have a beer she'll love you forever
Look up female athlete issues and injuries related to ovulation and menstruation. It's crazy. The amount of knee and hip injuries increases at various periods of the cycles because of : hormonal variations, laxotyy, strength, body temperature and neuromuscular control.

Studies show a 32% increase. ACL tears are more common during certains phases, from 4 to 8 times higher in female athlete than male athletes.

Periods also cause calcium loss which is a key factor in bone stress injuries.
that's super interesting i'll have to do some research on that
I’ve been blessed, never had issues with my periods that have conflicted with sports or training. I never understood girls who skip phys Ed all the time in School cuz their period! I always feel better after training during a cycle. Releases stress moves your blood. Focus on the workout va the side effects. While I get it some women have legit sides due to menstruation cycles are super sensitive to hormonal changes. Supplements or nutritional support definitely I recommend, iron calcium along with electrolytes. In general if your weight training you’re already increasing your bone density which is why they recommend old people do resistance training. But osteoporosis is no joke! Very common in women. I tend to apply same methods for women as men. Is def harder for women cuz it’s often a slower process both to gain muscle size or strength as well as trying to lean out. But women won’t turn masculin for sure. That takes a different level. Interesting Info. In this article. I struggled with being self conscious when I was younger despite being in sports. Always been on pudgy side. But I just don’t worry so much about what others think. I work hard to take care of my body. More than the average. I love being strong. It works for me. Slow steady wins the race. Don’t overtrain. Get enuff protein & water. Nice share. 💪
in high school i'd just say i had period to pain to get out of doing sport because i hated it 😂 and it's proven physical activity helps reduce period pain, and living an active lifestyle can help reduce the length and heaviness of period. My period used to last over a week really painful and heavy, then when i started training now it's at 4 days, super light and only mild pain on the 1st day! and yes absolutely as long as you feel energetic and strong and your body is functioning well, you're healthier than 95% of women
The purpose of this is to provide information on training and diet, clear some misconceptions regarding training as a female, and the effects of the menstrual cycle on diet and training. I've noticed many misconceptions and misinformation present online in the fitness community regarding female muscle building, nutrition, and menstruation. This may be useful information if you're a female yourself or have any females in your life that do not have an up-to-date, adequate understanding of female health and fitness. I'm aware there are potentially a number of female members on EVO who are inactive/don't post, so this may be helpful information for you if you're looking to improve your knowledge on training and diet as a woman.

Key differences in male vs female health and fitness:
- Women have a larger Q-angle in comparison to men, meaning we may benefit from a wider squat and even deadlift stance
- Women tend to have a higher reliance on fat as a fuel source in comparison to men, and some women may find it beneficial to increase their fat intake and decrease their carbohydrate intake
- Women have additional micronutrient requirements, majorly iron due to menstruation. Women over 40 are at higher risk of developing osteoporosis and require additional vitamin d and calcium to support bone health
- Women may find it beneficial to structure their deload week during the luteal phase

Do women need to structure their training differently to men?
Yes and no. Men develop lean mass, strength and cardiovascular endurance to a higher degree than women are capable of, and past a certain point men also develop these more quickly. Male and female beginners in the gym generally progress at the same rate up until a point, in which men will continually improve at an impressive rate, and women will typically observe their progress in all three aspects slowly. This is of course due to factors such as lung capacity and size, hormones and baseline lean mass. However, this doesn't mean that women should train at lower intensities, avoid certain movements or train less than men. This includes during all phases of the menstrual cycle, which i will explain in more detail below how our cycle affects training. In short; structure your workouts based on your goal. For example if your main goal is increasing lean mass, begin with 2-3 compound lifts, followed by 1-2 accessory lifts. Aim for the 6-12 rep range with 30-90 seconds of rest. Ensure adequate range of motion and time under tension - 1-2 seconds on the concentric or "effort phase" and 2-3 seconds on the eccentric or "release phase". Of course this will vary drastically depending on your goal E.g if your goal is maximal strength and power, the concentric phase would benefit from being an explosive movement as opposed to a slow one. If anyone would like me to create a post on how to create an effective workout, just ask and I'll do so happily.

How menstrual cycle can affect training and diet:
The phases of a menstrual cycle include menstruation, the follicular phase, ovulation and the luteal phase. Many women find a decrease in strength and motivation, as well as an increase in fatigue from the end of ovulation to the beginning of menstruation (the luteal phase) and observe increased strength and endurance from the beginning of menstruation to the end of ovulation (the follicular phase). This is important information that can explain why we feel our training is regressing or progressing throughout the month - HOWEVER this does not mean you need to structure your training differently based on what phase of your cycle you are in. This is a huge misconception I have seen spreading throughout the fitness community recently - the idea that we are only supposed to participate in high intensity training during the follicular phase and only low intensity training during the luteal phase. This is completely false. Yes, you may find that you are not capable of lifting as heavy or training to as high intensities in your luteal phase in comparison to what you are capable of during your follicular phase. This does not mean you shouldn't lift. If you followed this advice, you would not progress athletically whatsoever. Instead, you may structure your deload week to fall on your luteal phase, so that you can take full advantage of this. During the luteal phase, up to a week or so before menstruation begins and then throughout menstruation, we may find we have an increased appetite and develop cravings for certain foods. This is normal and due to hormonal fluctuations in our body. If you find you develop a significantly increased appetite and develop craving for energy-dense foods during this phase, it's best to plan in advance if you would like to avoid unwanted weight gain. Experiment with a method that works best for you, such as focusing on nutritionally dense whole foods including healthy fats for satiety and energy-sparse whole foods such as non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits. If you are able to control your portions, it can be responsible to allow yourself a serving of the food you're craving alongside whole foods. E.g if you often crave chocolate, limit yourself to a certain amount and eat it in conjunction with some raspberries and an apple. It's also important not to pay too much attention to scale weight during your period due to retaining extra water weight. If it is affecting your self-esteem or motivation, avoid weighing yourself during this time entirely.

All three macronutrients (carbohydrates, fat and protein) are critical to maintain performance, concentration and healthy body function, including hormone function. Carbohydrates are generally speaking the body's preferred fuel source, and will enhance training performance. Fats are necessary for maintaining healthy hormone and brain function, as well as assisting in satiety. Protein is incredibly important to encourage the repair and maintenance of lean mass. For optimal health and performance, it is advised not to significantly reduce or entirely eliminate any of the three macronutrients. Fat contains 9 calories per gram, whereas protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram - this is why foods high in fat (healthy or not) are more calorie-dense than foods that are low in fat. This is why we can eat an entire bowl of apples for less than 250 calories, yet just 2 tablespoons of oil carries the same amount of energy. Focus on balance and aim for between 0.8-1g of protein per pound of bodyweight. Ensure adequate intake of healthy carbohydrates (oats, starchy vegetables, quinoa) and healthy fats (salmon, egg yolk, beef). To achieve your protein requirements, make an effort to consume lean meats such as chicken breast, tuna, basa, lean beef, kangaroo, venison etc. Do your best to avoid protein bars, shakes and other protein supplements. They can get expensive, are full of artificial sweeteners and preservatives and can cause digestive upset.

Women require more than twice as much iron than men due to menstruation. Iron deficiency is incredibly common and can lead to physical symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, low immunity, headaches and cold hands and feet as well as psychological and behavioural symptoms such as low libido, struggling to concentrate and depression. Some great sources of iron include organ meats, red meat (venison, kangaroo, beef) and some plant foods in lesser quantities such as legumes, quinoa and tofu.

Fat loss and muscle gain:
Fat loss is something that will take a considerable amount of time, especially as a female. As women, we have lower energy demands and a higher degree of body fat in comparison to males. Depending on your beginning weight, it is advised that 0.25-1 kg of weight loss per week is healthy. However if you are of a healthy weight and/or have a large amount of relative lean mass, it's best to stick between 0.25kg-0.5kg per week of weight loss to preserve lean mass, maintain energy levels, performance and hormone function. If you are in this for the long-term game, it's worth considering bulking before you cut (again, this depends on your current body composition). Women do not expend as many calories as men on average- if this pisses you off (like me), focus on increasing lean muscle mass. Lean muscle is metabolically active tissue and increasing the amount you carry will increase your energy demands. You can increase lean mass while eating at maintenance or in a surplus, however eating in a surplus while weight training is far more effective for gaining lean mass. The downside to this is that you will gain fat alongside muscle if you decide to eat in a surplus to gain lean mass. This is where you can follow your bulk with a cut to lose fat and reveal the muscle you've built.

Body image and self-esteem:
I will preface this by saying that I have received unsolicited negative comments about my body and eating habits when underweight, of healthy weight and when overweight - as a woman you cannot win, and everyone will feel entitled to comment on how you look and how you eat. While the way women are spoken to in regard to these things is questionable at best, it has provided me with an incredibly freeing mindset and approach to my own health and fitness: A "fuck it" mindset. I realised I could never please everyone by looking a certain way, regardless if I was anorexic, chubby or muscular. I can never win anyway, so I decided to just do what makes me feel good. If people don't like it, they can deal with it. Do what you want with your body unapologetically- your body belongs to you and you only!

Hope you all enjoyed this and found some of the information useful :)
Right on! Nice article!!
great info right here
Great write up! A lot of good information.
in high school i'd just say i had period to pain to get out of doing sport because i hated it 😂 and it's proven physical activity helps reduce period pain, and living an active lifestyle can help reduce the length and heaviness of period. My period used to last over a week really painful and heavy, then when i started training now it's at 4 days, super light and only mild pain on the 1st day! and yes absolutely as long as you feel energetic and strong and your body is functioning well, you're healthier than 95% of women
@Supertiredwantfood physical activity I think is directly related to long term health, period or overall positive feeling is based on training quality and quantity, great write up
Great info right here!!
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