What is a Mesocycle?


A mesocycle is a training phase lasting 2-6 weeks that focuses on a specific training goal to structure a larger periodized program.


  • Mesocycles divide larger macrocycles or annual plans into smaller focused blocks that progressively build.
  • Mesocycles can emphasize different goals like hypertrophy, strength, power, metabolic conditioning or competition prep.
  • They manipulate training factors like sets, reps, intensity and rest periods to drive a particular adaptation.
  • A typical mesocycle lasts 4-6 weeks. Deload or rest weeks separate mesocycles to allow recuperation.


  • 6 week strength mesocycle – lower reps, heavier weights
  • 4 week pre-competition mesocycle – high intensity, low volume

Related Terms

  • Macrocycle, microcycle, linear periodization, non-linear periodization

Common Questions

  • How many mesocycles in a year? Varies based on competition calendar but 2-5 mesocycles are common.
  • How do I plan mesocycles? Assess your weaknesses, timeline and competitive season to structure appropriate mesocycles.

Do Not Confuse With

  • Mesomorph – A somatotype body type, not a periodization training phase.
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