Chelsea become first football club in the world to tailor training to players' menstrual cycles

Team manager Emma Hayes first came up with the idea after her side’s defeat in the 2016 FA Cup final.

The Chelsea club have been working on this initiative since August.Image: Tess Derry

CHELSEA WOMEN HAVE become the first football club in the world to tailor their training methods to suit the menstrual cycles of its players.

In an exclusive by The Telegraph, Kate Rowan writes that the Women’s Super League side have been working on this landmark initiative since August in an effort to improve performance levels and reduce injuries.

The club is devising individual plans for players based on the phases of their menstrual cycle in what could be a revolutionary step for female athletes.

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes first came up with the idea to look into the menstrual cycle of her players after her side’s defeat to Arsenal in the 2016 FA Cup final.

“We had a lot of players in and around their period for that game,” she explained to The Telegraph. “I remember watching players close the ball down and thinking everything was reactive and second-best. That was the starting point.

“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.”

As part of the programme, players are also being advised to download the FitrWoman app which allows them to submit information about their menstrual cycle and the symptoms they typically experience.

With the consent of each player, coaches at the Chelsea club can look at their information on the app and tailor their training accordingly.