Effects of Menstrual Phase-Dependent Resistance Training Frequency on Muscular Hypertrophy and Strength

J Strength Cond Res. 2016 Jun;30(6):1727-34. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001250.


The present study investigated how different training frequencies during menstrual phases affect muscle hypertrophy and strength. Fourteen eumenorrheic women performed 3 sets of arm curls (8-15 repetitions) until failure for 12 weeks. Depending on the menstrual cycle phase, each subject trained each arm separately after either a 3- or a 1-d·wk training protocol during the follicular phase (FP-T) and a 3- or 1-d·wk training protocol during the luteal phase (LP-T). Cross-sectional area (CSA), 1 repetition maximum, and maximum voluntary contraction significantly increased 6.2 ± 4.4, 36.4 ± 11.9, and 16.7 ± 5.6%, respectively (p ≤ 0.05 vs. before training), in the FP-T group and 7.8 ± 4.2, 31.8 ± 14.1, and 14.9 ± 12.7%, respectively (p ≤ 0.05 vs. before training), in the LP-T group. Changes in CSA between the FP-T and the LP-T groups significantly and positively correlated (r = 0.54, p ≤ 0.05). There were no major differences among the different training protocols with regard to muscle hypertrophy and strength. Therefore, we suggest that variations in female hormones induced by the menstrual cycle phases do not significantly contribute to muscle hypertrophy and strength gains during 12 weeks of resistance training.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy
  • Menstrual Cycle / physiology*
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle Strength / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Resistance Training / methods*
  • Young Adult