Ed Coan Deadlift Program

Unlike most of the other programs, you will be doing much of real deadlifting volume in the Coan/Philippi deadlift routine. This program is designed specifically to elevate your deadlift, this is minimalist and one of the most effective program.

The deadlift is something you wish to push limits with. You lift more weights in deadlift than almost all other lifts. This 10-week grind would help you push that further.

If you have been lifting weights for a while, you probably are lifting much higher weight in deadlift now than what you could when you began lifting.

But there comes a time in every lifter’s life when any amount of strength training or conditioning doesn’t help them to raise the weights. Mixing and varying workouts may help a bit, but there is a distant possibility that these will make a significant improvement.

You can get into this program at any point, but it is when you hit a deadlift plateau where your progress freezes, you must opt for the Coan-Phillipi 10 week deadlift.

Why You Should Do The Ed Coan’s Deadlift Routine

The creator of this program, Edward “Ed” Ignatius Coan is one of the greatest powerlifters.

Having set about 71 powerlifting world records and a deadlifting best of 901 pounds at 220 pounds body weight, he is capable enough to preach us about lifting.

Ed created this program for Mark Philippi went on to win America’s strongest man in 1997. Mark Philippi claims to have improved his deadlift 1 RM by 35 pounds in 10 weeks using this program.

Coan/Philippi deadlift routine is not an easy program, but it can raise your deadlift 1 RM by 20-50 pounds.

History of Ed Coan Deadlift Routine

While Ed Coan was making news in the powerlifting world, his buddy and strongman competitor Mark Philippi was at 505 pound deadlifts max. While this might be an impressive weight to lift for a normal gym guy, but for a serious strongman competitor it needs improvement.

This deadlift program was developed by Ed Coan to help his buddy, Mark. This program helped Mark improve his deadlift by 35 pounds in 10 weeks.

Since then Coan Philippi deadlift routine has helped hundreds of lifters to improve their performance.

Ed Coan Deadlift Program Overview

This Ed Coan’s deadlift program is suited for all the intermediate to advanced level lifters who wish to improve their deadlift. You can easily couple this program with your regular training regime, as it needs only one work day per week.

The only gym equipment needed is the barbell and weight plates, and you will mostly be doing deadlifts during the entire Coan-Phillipi 10 week deadlift routine. Even the accessory exercises are partially deadlift movement.

This program will lead you to your desired max and beyond. It has built-in desired max set on the 10th week.

The pendulum structure periodization of the workout program, swings focus from workout capacity to max strength through the schedule.

This is not a composite powerlifting program; it is specifically a deadlift program. Using traditional progressive loading method, and single work day per week, this is a well-balanced program laser focussed towards improving your deadlift capacity.

Ed Coan Deadlift Program

Ed Coan Deadlift Program

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The Coan Philippi deadlift routine can be broken into three sub-sessions namely, work sets, speed sets and assistance work. The work sets and speed sets are both just deadlift work. The assistance work sets consist of exercise that are composites parts of deadlift motion.

For assistance work, for the first four weeks, you will be performing exercises in circuit form. For the next four week, you will be performing separate sets with varied capacity.

This program follows the principle of specificity to the core. As you wish to target and improve your deadlift capacity you will be mostly doing deadlifts at a different speed, reps and weights.

Sets and Reps

For work sets, you will be performing only one set with the progressively increasing weight each week, except for the 5th week, when you drop the weight a little and do 3 sets of 3 rep each at 80% of desired max weight. All the single sets on 1-4 and 6-8 weeks are 2 rep sets. On 9th and 10th week you do single rep at 97.5 and 100% of your desired max respectively.

All the speed sets are three rep sets. You will be performing 8 sets on week 1-2 with 90-sec rest, 6 sets on 3rd and 5 sets on 4th week. For 5-8 weeks you would be doing 3-speed sets with 120-sec rest in between. On 9th and 10th week there would be only 2-speed sets.

The assistance work consists of 3 sets of 8 rep each exercise in a circuit style for week 1-4. For week 5-6 there would be 3 sets of 5 reps, and on week 7-8 the number of sets would reduce to 2. On 9th week only two 5 rep sets of power shrugs and stiff leg deadlifts are performed as assistance work.

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Important Guidelines

  • There might be delayed onset muscle soreness as you will be working out near limits
  • If you fail to perform any sets during the program, repeat the same work next week. This would extend the program form one extra week
  • If you are an intermediate lifter, consider consulting to your trainer or some more experienced lifter while deciding your desired max
  • For the first four weeks, aim at increasing the weights used for assistance work.
  • Assistance work is not just an accessory, do not skip it
  • You can run this program along with your current training routine

Work Sets

You will be working with heavier weights in all the work sets during the whole Coan-Phillipi 10 week deadlift program. The weight percentage is with reference to your desired 1 rep max and not the current one.

Basically, you will be performing only one max weight set as work set on all days except in week 5 where you perform 3 sets.

This set is done right after the warm-up when you are at peak strength for the day, as the aim is to lift the heavier load for a low rep set.

The poundage of your top set increases progressively. By 7th week you will be lifting 90% of your desired max that is very close to your current max.

  • Your desired max can be anywhere between 25-35 pounds higher than your current max. You can aim for higher or lower based on your current capacity, age and judgment.

Week

Percentage of Desired Max x Sets x Reps

1

75% of desired max x 1 set x 2 reps

2

80% x 1 x 2

3

85% x 1 x 2

4

90% x 1 x 2

5

80% x 3 x 3

6

85% x 1 x 2

7

90% x 1 x 2

8

95% x 1 x 2

9

97.5% x 1 x 2

10

100% x 1 x 2

11

Meet Day

Speed Sets

You will be performing these set after the work sets. These are called speed sets because you will be performing speedy deadlifts with limited rest in between the sets.

  • These sets aim to improve your cumulative work capacity. You will be doing these sets at 60 to 75% of your desired max through the program.

All the speed sets are three rep sets. The number sets per session start at 8 sets in the first week and reduce to 2 set in 10th week. And the rest period slightly rises in the later weeks.

Week

Percentage of Desired Max x Sets x Reps

Rest Between Sets (sec)

1

60% of desired max x 8 sets x 3 reps

90

2

65% x 8 x 3

90

3

70% x 6 x 3

90-120

4

75% x 5 x 3

90-120

5

65% x 3 x 3

120

6

70% x 3 x 3

120

7

75% x 3 x 3

120

8

70% x 3 x 3

120

9

70% x 2 x 3

As needed

10

60% x 2 x 3

As needed

11

Meet Day

Assistance Work

After you are done with the work sets and speed sets, you move on to assistance work. This part might seem a bit complicated to remember but don’t worry, we have included a downloadable spreadsheet in this article which you can personalise for your desired max, print and carry it to the gym.

  • For the first four weeks, you would be performing 3 circuits of stiff-leg deadlifts, bent rows, underhand pulldowns and arched back good mornings 8 reps each.
  • For 5th and 6th weeks you add power shrugs to the mix, perform the exercises separately and reduce the number of reps per set to 5.
  • For week 7 and 8, you reduce the number of sets to 2.
  • On week 9 you will do only power shrugs and stiff leg deadlifts and that is the last of assistance work for the whole cycle of Ed Coan’s deadlift program.

Weeks

Exercise

Sets x Reps

Instructions

1- 4

Stiff-Legged Deadlift

Bent Over Rows

Underhand Lat Pulldowns

Arched Back Goodmornings

3 x 8

Do it as a circuit workout with 90 sec rest between exercises

5-6

Power Shrugs

Stiff-Legged Deadlift

Bent Over Rows

Underhand Lat Pulldowns

Arched Back Goodmornings

3 x 5

Do not perform as a circuit workout.

Take 90-120 sec rest between sets.

Power Shrugs:

1. Week 5: 60% of your deadlift max

2. Week 6: 65% of your deadlift max

7-8

Power Shrugs

Stiff-Legged Deadlift

Bent Over Rows

Underhand Lat Pulldowns

Arched Back Goodmornings

2 x 5

Do not perform as a circuit workout. Take 90-120 sec rest between sets.

Power Shrugs:

1. Week 7: 70% of your deadlift max

2. Week 8: 75% of your deadlift max

9

Power Shrugs

Stiff-Legged Deadlift

2 x 5

Rest as needed.

Perform Power Shrugs with 75% of your deadlift max.

10

None

11

Meet

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Ed Coan Deadlift Program Spreadsheet

This is not a run of the mill program having simple tweaks in your routine which you can easily follow. The Ed Coan’s 10 week deadlift routine is a comprehensive program with an intricate structure.

To follow this program to the tee you need to decide on your desired max and calculate the different weights you would be lifting in work sets, speed sets and assistance work through the program.

Basically you need a Ed Coan deadlift program calculator. To make this easy for you, we have created this editable spreadsheet. This will do all the calculations automatically. You can download it, put in your desired max and it will be a personalised workout plan for you with all the weights pre-calculated.

You can print it and carry it to the gym to follow the workouts and track your progress.

Commit to Meet Your Deadlift Goal

This program has the potential to raise your deadlift max by 20 to 50 pounds. if you commit to the program and follow all the sets and reps exactly, you will definitely be able to lift your desired max on the 10th week and maybe outperform it on the meet day on 11th week.

This is a demanding, goal specific program. Commit to it for 10 weeks and you will be reaping the benefits for sure.