Phase four – we don’t care anymore.
July 18, 2019 12:36 PM   Subscribe

We want to end the taboo: how the US Womens National Soccer Team (USWNT)) used science to overcome period-related performance deficits during the World Cup.
posted by jacquilynne (15 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm more a fan of USWNT every day
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:59 PM on July 18, 2019 [4 favorites]


Okay. So will they share their secret voodoo with us non-sports ladies. Cause I would dearly love to reduce the performance impact of my cycle as well.
posted by teleri025 at 1:04 PM on July 18, 2019 [24 favorites]


US Soccer has to protect its competitive advantage here, so they're not gonna talk too much about details. That said, I'm gonna bet that the actual state of the science here simply boils down to 'don't work as hard or focus on upper-body exercise on certain days in your cycle' (but in a rigorously quantified way). This knowledge will filter out as US league teams learn from the habits of nat'l team players, and down through college teams and academies etc., so we should get some folk version of this after a while.

I think the focus on Scott's actual methods here hides a more general point about US Soccer's program - that our advantage comes chiefly from elevating her to a prominent place in the team's hierarchy. No other team places such a focus on fitness or gives their strength coach such power, and the difference was telling in the record heatwave that they had to play through.
posted by suckerpunch at 1:24 PM on July 18, 2019 [5 favorites]


My wife: "Fuck the stigma story. I want the recipe".
posted by srboisvert at 1:29 PM on July 18, 2019 [19 favorites]


Actually, you might be able to get some form of this at home right now? Dr. Bruinvels and her company, Orecco, has a smartphone app called 'FitrWoman' that seems devoted solely to managing exercise in conjunction with the menstrual cycle.
posted by suckerpunch at 1:47 PM on July 18, 2019


US Soccer has to protect its competitive advantage here, so they're not gonna talk too much about details.

The article said they did seminars for all the club teams in the NWSL and allowing the consultant to share the info with other national programs so they aren't holding it terribly close.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:02 PM on July 18, 2019 [8 favorites]


argh, that's what I get for skimming the article at work, sorry
posted by suckerpunch at 2:08 PM on July 18, 2019


Okay. So will they share their secret voodoo with us non-sports ladies. Cause I would dearly love to reduce the performance impact of my cycle as well.

A quick google search turns up some interesting stuff, like this article that says "there may be a 'sweet spot' a day or two before ovulation where a spike in estrogen leads to optimal endurance performance."
posted by exogenous at 2:17 PM on July 18, 2019 [1 favorite]


So will they share their secret voodoo with us non-sports ladies.

A lady weightlifting coach of mine told a few years back that the days leading up to ovulation are the best for lifting the really heavy things like going for your next personal best. The first heavy day of your period, don't bother working out. Rest of period you can use for lighter weight, more reps. Then once period is over, start ramping up to heavier weight and less reps. It actually makes for a pretty nice 28 day lifting cycle.

(I'm sure there are more scientific articles on this, but I haven't had the time to dive into that yet)
posted by astapasta24 at 4:31 PM on July 18, 2019 [4 favorites]


Here's an article from a couple of years ago with more information on how to structure your program around your cycle.
posted by mosessis at 4:46 PM on July 18, 2019


The profound sense of peace and justice I just had reading that you don't have to work out on the first day of your period.
posted by bleep at 6:54 PM on July 18, 2019 [7 favorites]


I find that sometimes, the days just before my period are the days when I'm more determined or creative. For some jobs, those can be the very best days. They seem to come with a specific boost in energy that I can sometimes put to use. Surely I'm not alone in this?
posted by Too-Ticky at 2:34 AM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]


We were just having a discussion in a women’s group I’m in about the value of tracking your cycle in relation to your work and performance, as there can be significant changes in performance through the cycle. We were talking about work and performance like your job, but it’s also relevant for work like exercise.
posted by jeoc at 5:22 AM on July 19, 2019


do they tampon, pad, or cup, is what I want to know.
posted by Morpeth at 6:22 AM on July 19, 2019


(World) Cup, of course!
posted by Corvid at 1:36 PM on July 19, 2019 [7 favorites]


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