Are You In Tune With Your Body?: A Guide to Menstrual Cycle Energy Levels

Cycle syncing has become a hot topic lately, and for good reason. Understanding your cycle is beneficial for anyone. The ebb and flow of menstrual cycle energy levels can effect much more than your sunny disposition.

Understanding your cycle as an elite athlete (which dancers are btw) is even more important.  

That’s why, we are kicking off this cycle syncing series by walking you through the rise and fall of menstrual cycle energy levels. 

That’s right, where you are in your cycle will likely have an effect not only on your mood, but your energy levels. This is due to the rise and fall of estrogen and progesterone as your body prepares for pregnancy and then sheds it’s preparation if you don’t become pregnant.

Understanding that your cycle will influence your energy levels can help you be strategic about when you go up in weight during certain exercises.

 It can help you determine when your body is up for adding in that extra dance class. 

And it can help you be more gracious with yourself on those days when you just can’t seem to wake up. 


Let’s Talk Through Your Cycle

Your menstrual cycle is simply divided into two phases

The Follicular Phase:

The follicular phase starts on day one of your period and ends once you begin ovulating. 

The Luteal Phase:

The luteal phase occurs post ovulation and ends when your cycle starts over again and you get your period. 

However, within your cycle there are four hormonal shifts:

 The early-follicular phase

 The late-follicular phase

 The ovulatory phase 

 The luteal phase 


Now that we know each phase, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what happens during each of them. 



mindfulness for self-care, mental health support for injury recovery



Menstrual Cycle Energy Levels and their Phases

Now, obviously the degree to which these hormonal fluctuations affect us will vary person to person. However, there are some constants worth noting. 


 The early-follicular phase: (week one)

I don’t know about you, but the first day of my period is always the worst.

 You see, day one of your menstrual cycle (otherwise known as day one of your period) is marked by both low levels of estrogen and progesterone. This dip in hormones will likely have you feeling a bit sluggish. 

However, as the week goes on, these hormone levels will start to rise and you might actually find yourself feeling more energized than the week before.


The late-follicular phase: (week two)

Week two of your cycle your estrogen levels will rise, while progesterone stays fairly low. 

This rise in estrogen often leads to increased mood and productivity.

This time in your cycle is the perfect time to increase the weights in your workouts. It’s a great time to pad your schedule if needed. 

Some women even plan important dates like vacations or travel to sync up with this portion of their cycle!


The Ovulatory Phase, and its drop into the Luteal: (week three)

When discussing menstrual cycle energy levels, it’s important to note that week three can be pretty wild. 

Week three of a 28 day menstrual cycle is when *most* women experience ovulation. 

Estrogen levels peak on the day of ovulation yielding high energy and (generally) more outgoing and social moods!

However, as soon as ovulation ends, estrogen levels will begin to drop.  

This drop in estrogen is followed by a rise in progesterone and is often accompanied by a dip in energy levels.  (The beginning of your luteal phase).

Exercise can help moderate this menstrual cycle energy level swing.

However, this week it’s important to be especially mindful when you exercise for two reasons:

First, you will likely be pushing yourself due to higher energy at the top of the week and increasing workout intensity the week prior. 

Second, studies have shown that women are more likely to sustain an injury during ovulation due to the swift hormonal fluctuations. Don’t push it if you’re feeling like you’ve hit your max- even if that means you aren’t lifting what you did last week.


The Luteal Phase: (week 3.5 and four)

Between ovulation and your next period is your luteal phase. For each woman this “week” varies in length. 

In the first portion of the luteal phase estrogen levels lower after reaching their peak at ovulation. As they drop progesterone levels rise.

 Studies have shown that many women experience feeling a bit lower energy during this phase of their cycle. 

The final portion of the luteal phase has estrogen levels remaining low and progesterone leves (if not pregnant) also dropping to an all time low. This drop leads to a period and thus the cycle starts all over again

This dip in both progesterone and estrogen yields low energy and mood for many women. 

During your luteal phase it can be helpful to increase the activities in your life that refill you. 

Take relaxing walks, increase your self-care and recovery methods, give yourself the space you need to recharge.


Recapping the Science and What it Means for You

Learning about your cycle and its varying energy levels can seem a bit overwhelming.

After all, everyone’s body is different and you might not feel like you experience the menstrual cycle energey levels outlined above. (And that’s totally OKAY!)

What I can say is that tracking your own cycle and taking note of your moods, energy levels, headaches, anxieties, etc can help you optimize your workouts and training. 

If you know that you have a ton of energy after your period and leading up to ovulation, what a gift! 

You can take advantage of that energy and use to push you to the next level in your workouts, dance training, and social life.

If you know you’re headed into your luteal phase and might feel a bit more sluggish and unmotivated you can plan your week around that. 

For example:

Maybe you have a week full of auditions but you know you usually feel a bit down right before your period. Care for yourself by planning relaxing evenings at home to refresh and recharge. 

When you’re armed with information about your own menstrual cycle energy levels, you can tailor your life to fit you like a custom built costume piece!

Want to learn more about your cycle and how to use it to your advantage? Follow along on the Dancers Who Lift blog for our monthly cycle syncing series!


Don’t want to wait that long? Here are some blogs we think you’ll love that are ready to read right now: Overcoming Plateaus and Setbacks, 7 Epic At Home Core Exercises (That Aren’t Crunches!), In and Out Fully Body Workout For Dancers

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