Exercise Programs for PCOS Women

Hi, My name is Dustin. I’m a recently certified Personal Trainer, and I have a client with PCOS and her weight loss has hit a plateau. She has help with her diet online, and it’s been the same diet for a while.

I have her do high rep complex exercises with short bouts of cardio between sets as to keep the HR elevated. She does Zumba two hours a week, trains with me twice a week, and a bootcamp on Saturdays.

Do you have any helpful suggestions to help modify her program?

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Editor’s comments:

Hi Dustin,

It’s very common for women to hit a weight loss plateau. Sometimes, they may stay on a plateau for quite some time before losing any additional weight.

Your program sounds good and I can’t think of anything to add in that respect. Perhaps she could add some brisk walking once or twice a week, just for variation and keep her metabolic rate up.

A few observations:

1) Women with PCOS often have insulin resistance, including in muscle tissue. This condition is makes fat-burning in muscle cells more difficult.

Exercise reduces insulin resistance but dietary modifications and/or specialized nutritional supplementation may be required.

2) A very strict diet, such as described in The Natural Diet Solution for PCOS and Infertility e book, can be instrumental in reducing insulin resistance, and therefore weight as well. It’s not just a matter of reducing carbs, it’s a matter of choosing the right kind of carbs.

3) There are selected nutritional supplements that may help to reduce insulin resistance. A few of them can be found here.

4) Many women with polycystic ovary syndrome have low thyroid function, which is often overlooked by doctors. Any degree of hypothyroidism can prevent weight loss.

One final thought. As we all know, muscle is much heavier than fat. So the real question is, is this person’s body fat percentage going down even though the total weight is not? In other words, maybe she is gaining muscle weight while simultaneously losing fat weight. Besides total weight, waist circumference is a good biomarker for progress with weight control.


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