Regarding progression: Not a bad overall layout. You're not nearly as retarded with progression as you might think, your instincts are good. Make sure you keep your goal in sight though. I mean for the first 3 normal lifts don't go too far below 45 sec rest--they're strength training not circuit training. Go through with your plan for the 6 week progression model. After that increase weights and reset rest periods to 60 seconds strict, but cut off a set-- in other words go from 5 sets @ 45 sec rest on week 6, to 4 sets @ 60 sec rest with heavier weights on week 7. From there you can either do what you laid out in your post or you can try to add another set (for 6 total sets), then tweak rest periods. You can do block progression
Example: 3 weeks of dropping rest periods from 60sec-40sec, then 3 weeks of adding more sets of work with 60 sec rest (go from 5-7 sets but keep rest periods constant), then 3 weeks of dropping rest periods but only doing 5 sets of work.
The pattern: 60 sec 4 sets/50sec 4 sets/40sec 4 sets, then 5 sets 60sec/6 sets 60 sec/7 sets 60 sec, then 60 sec 5 sets (+ a little weight)/50 sec 5 sets/ 40 sec 5 sets. You see it? It's a wave. I wouldn't go any higher than this though. Start this 9 week cycle over with more weight on the bar--i.e. 60 sec 4 sets with heavier weight. OR you could keep the weight on the bar the same but do more reps per set--60 sec 4 sets but add 2 reps per set, so for example go from 6 reps to 8 reps after nine weeks and start the cycle over, then after anther nine weeks go to 10 reps, then go back to 6 repetitions and see how much more you can do.
So either way you get progression: you can add reps for 3 cycles, then add weight for 3 cycles. That's 56 weeks of progression right there. And of course if it gets easy to do but you aren't *supposed* to add weight you can still add some anyways to challenge yourself on the repetitions :). That's the beauty of a guideline vs. a hard RULE.
ONE WARNING---- I would not attempt to add a bunch of circuits while you are adding sets to your first three lifts. So at any point you start going 5 sets, 6, 7 on your normal strength lifts, keep the circuits frozen. I don't see a practical reason to go through a circuit more than 5 times in this pattern. In other words there's no need to push up circuits to 6,7,8 times through after doing strength work. 4 sets on a circuit is a good average. Hell, 3 circuits might fry you depending on what you do--there's just not a really strong case to be made for doing a ton of circuits after strength work.
It's very fluid, and that is just one example. As I said, you have good instincts and your progression that you wrote down makes sense. Just keep in mind there is more than one way to progress--which you have already grasped--and make sure there is a recurring pattern to how it works. The rest is experiment that you have to learn in person lol.
I apologize about the confusions, but you are right... I'm talking about progression after the blitz.
I have a feeling that I shouldn't really worry about the blitz coming up on the final weigh-in if I'm finally within standards, right? Once I'm within standards, I think my goal will be to keep up the training in a slow and controlled fashion similar as to what we've discussed in the past.
I agree with all points, and will just have to really really really schedule well (MBA program starts final semester on 7/29) in order to make my full out blitz (if it happens) prior to the final weigh in. I also copy your suggestions on the progressions for the current program I am doing to facilitate the de-fatting while I have my personal training sessions.
I'll continue, stay off the scale, and monitor my waist accordingly. The best attestment to my waist has certainly been my work pants fitting looser. I've gone down one hole on my belt, and can get the next one fairly easily (not quite time yet). I'll continue to monitor and shift into a mode more representative of slow steady fat loss. I also whole heartedly agree with you about the fat loss.... I've squeezed every bit out, so now it's time to set up for the next one if/when it's needed.
So the timeline is as follows:
This week: Blitz
7/29 - 8/18: "normal" reduced calorie eating and exercise
8/1 - 8/13: Potential Blitz (This is 2 weeks prior to advancement. Will find out if I get selected in last week of August).
8/14 - 8/15: Possible "check-in" weigh in... Not official
9/10ish: Final weigh in
The blitz the second time around may be a little screwy. If I get selected, I will have to go through 3 weeks of reindeer games where I meet up after work and on the weekends from the moment I'm selected (last week of August) until pinning (September 13th). Luckily I'll be forced to do ass loads of cardio (mucho running) during that time, so as long as I pause my Muay Thai and make it to the gym for some heavy lifting, it looks like it might auto-regulate itself. Again, I'm only moments away from fitting into 36" khaki pants, so I may not need the second blitz (as 36.5 is the smallest waist I foresee myself needing, though extra would certainly be nice).
Thank you all so much for your help and patience. This has been hellacious, but I'm grateful that I have the support unit that I do here. I'll continue to bust my ass and make ya' proud.
Sorry for making your hesitant to answer Aragorn, but I certainly do appreciate it!
Thanks so much for the help... Almost 4 weeks, and I was able to reduce my waist from a 41 to a 36. My work pants will need to be replaced soon and I'm almost to the last notch on my belt. I pulled out the ole' size 36" khakis today, and they fit wonderfully. I'm not exactly sure about the weight, but I weighed myself about a week and a half ago at 196. If I'm lucky I can get down to 32" by Halloween :).
I'll continue with the program as discussed on this thread, but I think it's appropriate that I retire this conversation for the sake of having achieved a mere milestone toward a greater goal.
Aragorn, if you don't mind I'd like to PM you to get my programming down, lest you'd prefer that I start a thread? There are several other quality contributors, but I'm not sure there will be much interest in the thread...
Anyway, I am very very greatful for everyone who contributed and helped me blitz my way to a much more manageable "starting point."