Exercise to lose weight with PCOS

by Barbara O'Leary

Hi Gemma

I'm 45 years old and was diagnosed with PCOS 10 years ago. I have tried various forms of exercise over the years without much success, well having said that I should say that I haven't had much success in losing weight but I should measure the level of success by my health rather than my weight.

I have been a member of my local Contours gym for 3 years now and yes I do go regularly, on average probably 4 times a week. And yes to the next question that I can hear you thinking, I have increased my weights gradually over the last 3 years. I don't know if you are aware of the machines that Contours use but they are apparently specifially designed for women and if you do know the machines I am on the hightest weight on a couple of them and then probably 3/4 of the way down the weights on the remainder of the machines.

What I would like to know is if you have any comments on what I can do at gym to start losing weight. I have talked to the ladies at the gym and I have been seeing a physio who told me to up my weights really high where I work to fatigue or failure every second day and on the alternative days work on the cardio side of things. I have been feeling very fatigued doing this and the physio has suggested twice a week really heavy weights with at least two days recovery in between.

With your PCOS experience what do you think of this sort of training regime?

Thank you for your time.



Hello Barbara,

It is great to hear from you, and great news that you have embraced the fitness lifestyle.

Fatigue isn’t a great feeling, and I tend to stick to the things that make me feel good and happy – tired of course, as you will feel some tiredness when training, but not fatigued. :( High reps = BIG YES, but personally I don’t like the word "failure" so its not something that I do with my clients!! :) Plus working out everyday (or 5/6 out of 7 at least) makes you feel much more balanced than having two days off after one training session to recover.

What worked really well for me was to combine cardio-vascular work (i.e. 30 minutes fast walking, cross trainer, running etc…) with high reps of weights also. (There is a great plan for people already attending a gym in my book)

Do the “cardio” as the final part of your exercise routine, this way you have already warmed up your body with you weight workout and all the cardio that you do is burning fat.

But one thing is for sure, you must change your training plan every 6 – 8 weeks. This way your body is sure to respond much better.

Hope that this helps and have fun with your training!!

Personal Trainer for Women with PCOS

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