T Nation

Mesocycle Planning Advice


Hi everybody, I am looking for a little advice planning out my training through the end of July.


Age: 31 Height: 6'0 Weight: 210 lbs. Body Fat: 20%

I am on my 7th cycle of 5/3/1. Here is my progress so far (all in pounds):
Press - 100x5 to 120x2
Bench - 125x5 to 175x2
Squat - 215x5 to 270x3
Deadlift - 240x5 to 300x3

Goals (in no particular order, open to advice)

-Press to 150, then to 200
-Bench to 225, then to 300
-Squat to 315, then to 405
-Deadlift to 405, then to 495
-Increase foot speed and RFD (I am a fencer, and I have gotten slower after a long break from action)
-Increase overall conditioning
-Decrease body fat% at least to 15%


-I am a single dad, a teacher, and I'll be directing the school play starting in March. I timed my current cycle to end the week before the play starts. I will probably only be able to go to the gym on weekends until the play is over May 10th.


-During the play, Jim's busy man plan with Squat and Deadlift on Saturday, Bench and Press on Sunday. Possibly some bodyweight work (calisthenics progressions) on Tuesdays and Thursdays at home time permitting. Back to 5/3/1 BBB in May.

School is out at the beginning of June. That is where I am really looking for advice. We have an 8 week summer break. I'm not working, and my daughter will be spending the summer with her mom in Florida. I could conceivably train twice a day, any days of the week. The only other thing I would be doing is fencing training M-F, 5-8pm.

What do you guys think?


I would pick the Rest/Pause challenge. It teaches you a lot about what you are made of, as well as pounds home the importance of the four main lifts alone. This sort of knowledge will greatly benefit your training when you move to a different version of 5/3/1.

After that 6 weeks is up, providing you gave the R/P challenge everything you have, you will be wanting a week or two to deload and let your body catch up to the beating of this challenge.

Good luck.


Looking at the Rest/Pause Challenge, I can see how that would fit in with my strength and conditioning goals. I’m thinking I could give it a shot come May when the play is over. That’d still leave 6 weeks of summer for something else.

Any advice on speed and RFD, though?