10/30/13

WWW | We Heard You're On The Pill

google search birth control. You can thank me later.

So, we heard you got on the pill like almost every other young woman in America. If you aren’t, you’re getting injections, patches, or other various new ways to prevent pregnancy, regulate cycles, control cramps, and get rid of acne. I tried to find statistics but only found 3 in 5 have some sort of prevention and one third of teens are on the pill. It has great reasons for a woman to stay on it, but have we ever considered what else it is doing to our bodies, specifically its effect on working out?


There’s been a lot of research in this area but a lot of ideas and hypothesis are still under examination. One finding that makes a lot of sense was that being on the pill reduces the ability to gain muscle in comparison to women not on the pill. In fact, women not on the pill gain 60% greater muscle mass. 

Still worried about lifting and bulking? 

This makes sense since testosterone builds muscle and the pill is primarily estrogen and progesterone. Also, going along with this research, women on the pill take almost 2 days longer to recover their muscle strength after working out. 

These findings are more important for women focused on muscle building and competitive lifting athletics. 

However, for every woman, we often hear how much weight we gained when we first went on the pill. In all honesty, this is more of a mental and emotional weight gain. Let’s face it, girls crave stuff when their hormones are fluctuating and it’s ironically always something not super healthy. For example, for me last week it was Taco Bell, Abyss, Raising Canes, Reese’s pieces, Sweettart chews, and mint chocolate chip ice cream. There’s definitely not a lot of nutritional value there. However, it’s all about mind over matter. 

You won’t gain that weight if you don’t eat it. Plus, when on the pill, estrogen increases the size, not the number, of your fat cells. This makes it all the more possible to retain more fluid, which will show in your hips, thighs, and breasts. Most of those bad foods have a lot of unnecessary sodium and cause your body to hold on to all that. This weight gain and bloated-ness may cause some discouragement to go work out. However, if you go work out, you’ll lose water, lose bloat, make you feel better and skinnier, and become more refreshed. In fact, it may even balance some of your cravings and release some endorphins to make you not feel as crazy.

The one thing that most people didn’t discuss though was the awful feeling you get when it’s that wonderfully dreaded time of the month. For some it is no big deal. For others, it causes cramps, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, bloating, and an overall sense of feeling blah. How do you combat that? I still struggle with it. But again, it’s mind over matter. 

If your performance decreases, it’s only because you’re allowing it.


So get up- take some ibuprofen or Midol if you need to, get mentally strong, and go get physically strong women of Endu!

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About Me

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BS, MS - exercise Physiology
EPC - Board Certified Exercise Physiologist

Published Thesis
The impact of three different forms of warm up on performance

Graduate from Midwestern State University, founder of Endunamoo Barbell Club, and Endunamoo Strength and Conditioning. Working to help athletes physically reach their goals and achieve scholarships while spiritually pouring into as many people as possible on all platforms.