Women's Health Week // Lift Heavy and Periodize Your Training


It’s Women’s Health Week and studies show that while women today are leading healthier lives physically, there are still quite a few missing pieces to the overall picture of health and well-being.

Over 6 days I’m sharing scientifically proven biohacking tips on taking charge of your overall health and wellness.


Biohacking is the process of making changes to your lifestyle in order to “hack” your body’s biology and feel your absolute best. Everything we put into our bodies — our foods, our thoughts, our physical movement ­— are inputs to our biology and have an enormous impact on our outputs — how we behave, feel, function, and perform on a daily basis. 

If the goal is better outputs such as increased energy, clearer thinking, better moods, happier relationships, reduction in illness, optimum performance, and so on, then we need to adjust our inputs.

DAY 3 // Periodize Your Training and Lift Heavy Weights

As women, we are biochemically different than men so it’s important we adopt different approaches that are designed to work for our unique differences and this includes our exercise.  

There is a time and place for short intense workouts, lifting heavy, meditating, and doing yoga and barre classes. And each of these is not how you should work out all the time. It’s important to vary your movement consistently, periodize your strength training, and perhaps even periodize your training throughout the month based on your cycle (though optional). How you workout in the first half of your cycle isn’t necessarily how you should work out during the second half of your cycle.

Think about it…you probably don’t feel like kicking your own ass or catching a Barry’s bootcamp class during your period, nor do you want your trainer barking “5 more!” at you when all you really feel like doing is laying in savasana in a warm yoga room. Listen to what your body needs and mix it up. (note: this is not to be used as a consistent excuse for not working out).

If you’re interested in optimizing your health and wellness and performing and feeling your best, start periodizing your training.


Periodization involves systematically planning various aspects of your training program in order to continually challenge your system to adapt and improve while ensuring the body is adequately recovering to reduce the risk of injury and over-training.

Here is an example of the most basic form of periodizing: Think about your overall fitness goal for the next 3-4 months. Now, create 3 separate phases that build on top of each other, each lasting 4-6 weeks, and each with their own goal.

Phase 1 - Work on foundational movements and create your baseline for strength and conditioning

Phase 2 - Progress each of the movements in Phase 1 by increasing weight, intensity, or number of sets and reps

Phase 3 - Continue to progress each of the movements in Phase 2 by increasing the skill needed to perform each movement

Within each phase, create 1-3 strength workouts that you complete every week and program in 1-3 other modalities such as mobility, running, hiking, a yoga or dance class, or anything else active you enjoy.

After all 3 phases are complete, take a lighter recovery week and start back over, but with your new baseline.

Note: For you super active and high intensity ladies out there, it’s incredibly important to rest and schedule in lighter training days, sometimes even weeks. Research shows that individuals can handle around 3-4 weeks of consistent high intensity training and then need a rest, recharge and regeneration week to be scheduled to avoid risk of burnout or injury.


For the ladies who choose to #yogaeverydamnday…while it might feel good and provide you with the mental clarity (and sanity) you crave (been there done that), your body needs more. I promise. Consider balancing out each week and adding in other types of movements such as strength training, boxing, functional range conditioning, and cardio.

Choose weights that are actually a challenge to your system without allowing your form to breakdown. For example, if you’ve designated 10 reps as your rep scheme, your weight should be heavy enough to just be able to complete the 10 reps, only maybe being able to do 1-2 more.

And if you’re worried about getting bulky from lifting weights, I promise it won’t happen. I’m not saying to go out and go crazy and become a cross-fitter, although, you do you. But research doesn’t lie — lifting heavy will not make you bulky unless you have poorly planned nutrition and you lift with a crazy amount of volume.


Once you understand how your hormones shift throughout your cycle and what phase you’re in, you can begin to maximize (and appreciate) your hormonal superpowers (again, see Day 1) and gain better control of your overall health through the foods you eat (see Day 2) and the workouts you choose.

Menstrual Phase During this phase, progesterone drops and estrogen rises and then falls. It’s best to let your body be your guide and do what feels best each day. Aim for lighter workouts, yoga, stretching, or walking with a friend. It’s best to avoid high-impact workouts since they can stress the uterine ligaments and you’re more sensitive to pain.

Follicular Phasehormones are at their lowest point but are starting to rise so more intense workouts, heavy weights, and challenging movements will start to feel good.

Ovulation Phaseestrogen is at an all-time high, testosterone surges, and you’re on an energy high! Get your higher intensity workouts in like running, strength training, HIIT classes, and boxing. You’re also feeling like a social butterfly so it’s a great time to check out that new class or studio you’ve been thinking about.

Luteal Phase hello rollercoaster. Hormones are waving up and down. Support this phase with making sure you are eating enough to support your workouts and recovery (See Day 2) and individualize your workouts based on how your energy is each day. If you’ve got energy, get your strength in, if you’re lower on energy one day, choose either a lower intensity but longer duration cardio day or a short and quick workout to get in and out.

Here’s my recommendation for being a better functioning human.

  1. Start listening to your body

  2. Periodize your workouts

  3. Ditch the 5 pound dumbbells

  4. Add in heavy weights regularly

  5. Explore what it takes to speak to your joints directly

  6. Consider cycle syncing your workouts

Day 1 - Hormones. Are. Real.

Day 2 - Nutritional Biohacking


Do you periodize your training? Do you lift heavy? Have you tried syncing your workouts with your cycle?

What other adjustments have you made to your lifestyle to support your overall health and wellness? Share your favorite tips in the comments below — others in the community might benefit from your recommendations!

Come connect with me on Instagram @running_with_forks

Do you have any questions not answered in this post? Comment below or send me a note so I can continue to add information to answer your questions.



Here we are in the second week of 2018. While most people take the holidays to reflect on the past year and put their intentions and resolutions out there on January 1st, I needed some extra time this year. Time to really think about what you want from me, how I can help you, what's been holding me back from giving it to you, and how to actually make it all happen moving forward. So if you want to get right to it, scroll down to THE TAKEAWAY. Or if you want to read the brief emo/reflective side of Kirsten, read on.


On a personal note, this past year did not pass by without challenge, questioning moments, or deep heartache, but it was also filled with SO much gratitude, excitement, growth, love, adventure, and motivation. All of you, and the experiences, conversations, frustrations, opportunities, hurdles, and moments in between the moments that have filled the last 12 months have been nothing short of strengthening and heart opening.

On a professional note, I have to admit, when I left Los Angeles 3 years ago, I had this underlying feeling that maybe leaving wasn't the best choice for my career, but thank you, Seattle, you proved me wrong in 2017. 

Now for 2018, I want to give you more.

chloe beach.jpg
chloe last day.jpg


As you look back on 2017, I challenge you to reflect on the things you’re proud of, the moments you felt powerful and strong in your body and your mind, and also those moments that have taken you to your knees and made you vulnerably human. Because being human and striking a balance is what it’s all about.

Life is going to happen. And along with all of life's greatest moments, you're going to have the not-so-great ones that throw you off track, or maybe even prevent you from getting on track in the first place. You'll get sick, your kids will get sick, burnout will happen, you won't have enough time, you'll will eat that cake that you think you shouldn't eat (but I want to tell you why you should) and you're sometimes going to feel the weight of the world on your shoulders.

So the question is, moving forward, how do you work around and through "real life" and stay on track with your health?


Here's what I'm getting at. I chose this path years ago for the same reasons I have today. I want to help you, support you and guide you so you don't feel alone on this journey of figuring out what works for you and what will help you accomplish your goals amidst the chaos. I want to help you figure out where to start, how to continue, and help you live a healthy and balanced life. 

And that means more from me in new ways.

My priority for 2018 is to help you feel even more in control of your health and body, optimize what you're doing, help you understand the how and why so those adjustments you're making stick, and simplify it all. 

green soup.jpg

I want you feel you have a resource to the thousands of opinions out there on health and wellness. Because let's face it, there are more than thousands, there are a bagillion, and it can be really effing confusing!

As most of you know, RWF isn’t focused on any one particular style of fitness, nutrition or lifestyle. It’s not about gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, whole30, keto, crossfit, HIIT training, yoga, or any other wellness trend (but those all have their place and they all work for different reasons and different goals).

RWF is about taking you, and where you're at, along with your health history, personal struggles, experience, and the real life that surrounds you daily, and building a solution that works for YOUR body, and YOUR life, right now.


SO, in 2018, What can I do to help you be your best this year? 

I want to help you through better services, tools, more communication, less communication, whatever your schedule and heart desire. So tell me what you need and want from me.

Here’s to good health, happiness and being more human in 2018,

xx Kirsten


Running With Forks 10 Lifestlye Changes for Lasting Health MindBodyGreen

Head on over to MindBodyGreen to read my latest post on healthy, lasting lifestyle changes for a better you!

The path to a healthy lifestyle, reaching your goals and making lasting changes has great rewards, but also plenty of obstacles that attempt to steer you off track. 

After years of working with a variety of clientele, as well as pushing myself, I've established a few tips and tricks I give all my clients to help them make a permanent shift to a healthier life. I hope these tools help guide you along the road to becoming your best self as well.

  1. Take a moment and determine what makes you happy...

  2. Set a schedule for your workouts, put them in your weekly calendar and stick to it...

  3. Make deeply restful shut-eye a priority...

  4. Think of food as high quality fuel...

  5. Add weights to lose weight...

  6. Cultivate a support system...

  7. Incorporate radical forgiveness into your life...

  8. Practice santosha...

  9. Ditch self-doubt, stay positive and trust in the universe...

  10. Don't take shortcuts...