Chelsea make history as they become first club to tailor training to players' menstrual cycle
Women's Super League team Chelsea have made history by becoming the first side to tailor their training to the players' menstrual cycle.
In recent months, many female athletes have said that they do adapt their training to fit with their cycle. World Cup winning team the US said that they adapted their training for the tournament last summer, though The Blues are the first club to commit to it.
Chelsea's Fran Kirby revealed in October that she and other Blues players use the menstrual app Fit For Women to adapt their training.
The initiative at the club was fully backed by manager Emma Hayes who has said she felt female players were treated the same as men physically for too long.
“It is fair to say, I am a female coach in an industry where women have always been treated like small men. The application of anything from rehab to strength and conditioning to tactical all come from the basis of what men do.
“The starting point is that we are women and, ultimately, we go through something very different to men on a monthly basis. And we have to have a better understanding of that because our education failed us at school; we didn’t get taught about our reproduction systems.
"It comes from a place of wanting to know more about ourselves and understanding how we can improve our performance,” she told the Telegraph.
She highlights their loss in the 2016 FA Cup final to Arsenal as the turning point and when she started really pushing for the adaptation of training.
“We had a lot of players in and around their period for that game. I remember watching players close the ball down and thinking everything was reactive and second-best. That was the starting point.
"These players are going to be the first generation of women who are well educated about their menstrual cycle and they will spread that knowledge as far as they possibly can and we hope that becomes a culture within every football club in the world, so everybody can cope better with their menstrual cycles.”