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    PowerliftingToWin.com IzzyT's Avatar
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    Ed Coan's Programming for Intermediate/Advanced Lifters

    Caveat: The remastered video is almost 20 years old and Ed probably learned a lot in 20 years. That said, this is what he was doing during his peak, so it is still interesting and valuable.

    I recently got a chance to see the Ed Coan SuperTraining DVD and I thought that his programming might be of serious interest to a lot of you.

    For those who don't know, Ed Coan is the greatest powerlifter of all-time (my opinion). To this day, he still holds raw deadlift records in four classes. I believe he still has single ply records in several classes as well. He competed in everything from 165 to 220 and, at one point, was the strongest man in powerlifting despite competing at 220. Pretty ****ing awesome.

    Anyway here is his programming:
    Monday:
    Squat Pyramid*
    Deep Single-leg Leg Press 3x10-12
    Leg Extensions 2x10-12
    Single-leg Leg Curls 2x10-12
    Seated Calf-Raise 3x10-12
    Abs: 3x10-12

    *Actual Squat Training Cycle:
    Weeks Out:
    16: 755x5, No Suit, No Wraps, No Belt
    15: 770x3, No Suit, No Wraps, No Belt
    14: 785x2, No Suit, No Wraps, No Belt
    13: 800x2, No Suit, No Wraps, No Belt
    12: 770x5, Wraps, Belt, No Suit
    11: 790x5, Wraps, Belt, No Suit
    10: 810x5, Wraps, Belt, No Suit
    9: 830x5, Wraps, Belt, No Suit
    8: 850x5, Wraps, Belt, Suit but straps down
    7: 870x5, Wraps, Suit but straps down
    6: 890x5, Wraps, Suit but straps down
    5: 910x3, Wraps, Suit but straps down
    4: 930x3, Wraps, Suit but straps down
    3: 950x2, Wraps, Suit but straps down
    2: 975x1, Wraps, Suit but straps down
    1: 625x5, Wraps, Suit but straps down

    Tuesday:
    Off

    Wednesday:
    Bench, No Pause Pyramid*
    Paused Close Grip Bench Pyramid*
    Paused Incline Bench Pyramid*
    Standing Calf-Raise: 3x10-12
    Abs: 3x10-12

    *Actual Bench Training Cycle:
    Bench, Close Grip, Incline
    1: 395x2x10, 335x2x10, 285x2x10
    2: 410x2x10, 350x2x10, 300x2x10
    3: 425x2x8, 365x2x8, 315x2x8
    4: 440x2x8, 380x2x8, 330x2x8
    5: 455x2x5, 395x2x5, 345x2x5
    6: 470x2x5, 410x2x5, 360x2x5
    7: 485x2x5, 425x2x5, 375x2x5
    8: 500x2x5, 440x2x5, 390x2x5
    9: 515x2x3, 445x2x3, 405x2x3
    10: 530x2x3, 470x2x3, 420x2x3
    11: 545x2x2, 485x2x2, 435x2x2
    12: 555x2x2, 500x2x2, 450x2x2
    13: 585x1 paused with a bench shirt (1st week with a shirt)

    Thursday:
    Behind the Neck Press Pyramid*
    Dumbbell Lateral Side Raises 2x10-12
    Hammer Grip Dumbell Dumbbell Lateral Raises 2x10-12
    Bent Over Dumbbell Raises 2x10-12

    *Ed doesn't outline his BTN press programming but says it mimmicked his bench. He did the exact same rep/set scheme and went heavy and even tested for a single at the end of the cycle. In his video, he goes to 400x1.

    Friday:
    Conventional Deadlift Pyramid*
    Sumo Deadlift Pyramid*
    SLDL full ROM off 4inch block 1x8
    Yates Row off 4inch block 2x8-10
    Wide Grip Pullups 2x8-10
    One Arm Dumbbell Row 1x10-12

    Actual Ed Coan Deadlift Cycle:
    Weeks from Meet:
    15: 710x5x1, Conventional, No Suit, No Belt
    14: 725x5x1, Conventional, No Suit, No Belt
    13: 740x5x1, Conventional, No Suit, No Belt
    12: 755x5x1, Conventional, No Suit, No Belt
    11: 770x5x1, Conventional, No Suit, No Belt
    10: 795x3x1, Conventional, No Suit, No Belt
    9: 805x3x1, Conventional, No Suit, No Belt
    8: 780x3, 815x3, Sumo 1st, Conventional 2nd, No-No
    7: 800x3, 825x2, Sumo 1st, Conventional 2nd, No-No
    6: 820x3, 835x2, Sumo 1st, Conventional 2nd, No-No
    5: 840x3, 845x2, Sumo 1st, Conventional 2nd, Belt, No Suit
    4: 860x2, 865x1, Sumo 1st, Conventional 2nd, Belt, No Suit
    3: 880x2x1, Sumo, Belt, Loose Suit straps down
    2: "Off", still did other back assistance, but went light on rows
    1: Meet (I believe he pulled over 900 for that meet)

    Saturday:
    Wide Grip Paused Bench Press Pyramid*
    Tricep Pushdown: 3x8-10
    Weighted Dips: 1x15
    Tricep Extensions: 2x8-10
    Preacher Curls: 2x8-10
    Hack Squat Calf Raises: 2x20-25
    Abs: 2x20-25

    *Ed doesn't outline his wide grip scheme, but it is meant to be a recovery lift. When he benched 555x2x2, Ed used 335x2x2 on wide grips. This is approximately 60%.

    Overall:
    Ed had a very evident bodybuilder/physical therapist flair to his training. He constantly emphasized form and used his assistance exercises primarily for hypertrophy and balance to prevent injury. He echoed the usual bodybuilder broscience when it came to the assistance exercises. He talked about tempo, controlling the weight, and trying to feel the muscle you were using. He even went as far as to pause his dips and triceps pushdowns to give you an idea.

    He treats all of his warm-ups like work sets. He has literally the exact same preparation for every set. His philosophy was to "make the warmups easy"; he claimed that if he did this, the work set was already done. In a roundabout way, he was getting speed work done during his warmups.

    Ed did offer a few 3 month cycles for intermediate lifters. He recommends the SAME assistance. The programming basically looks exactly like his, but if you were interested in trying this stuff out, take a look:

    Squat:
    Max: 300
    Goal: 330

    Weeks from Meet/Peak:
    10: 205x2x8 (~67%x2x8)
    9: 215x2x8 (~72%x2x8)
    8: 230x2x5 (~76%x2x5)
    7: 240x2x5 (~80%x2x5)
    6: 250x2x5 (~83%x2x5)
    5: 260x2x5 (~86%x2x5)
    4: 275x2x3 (~92%x2x3)
    3: 285x2x3 (~95%x2x3)
    2: 295x2x3 (~98%x2x2)
    1: 305x2x3 (~102%x2x2)
    Meet: 330x1x1 (110%x1x1)

    Bench*:
    Max: 275
    Goal: 300
    *He would use the exact same programming to increase his CBP and Inclines. TnG bench, but paused CBP and Incline.

    Week outs:
    10: 180x2x10 (~65%x2x10)
    9: 190x2x10 (~69%x2x10)
    8: 200x2x8 (~73%x2x10)
    7: 210x2x8 (~76%x2x10)
    6: 230x2x5 (~84%x2x5)
    5: 240x2x5 (~87%x2x5)
    4: 250x2x3 (~91%x2x5)
    3: 260x2x3 (~95%x2x3)
    2: 270x2x2 (~98%x2x2)
    1: 280x2x2 (~102%x2x2)
    Peak: 300x1x1 (109%x1x1)

    Deadlift:
    Max: 475
    Goal: 500

    Weeks Out:
    10: 350x10x1 (~74%x10x1)
    9: 365x8x1 (~77%x8x1)
    8: 380x8x1 (~80%x8x1)
    7: 395x5x1 (~83%x8x1)
    6: 405x5x1 (~85%x5x1)
    5: 420x5x1 (~88%x5x1)
    4: 435x3x1 (~92%x3x1)
    3: 450x3x1 (~95%x3x1)
    2: 465x2x1 (~99%x2x1)
    1: 480x2x1 (~101%x2x1)
    Peak: 500x1x1 (105%x2x1)

    Really cool stuff. Ed claims not to be a big fan of percentages, but you can see that his programs definitely incorporated intelligent programming of intensity even if "percentages" weren't used.
    Last edited by IzzyT; 12-04-2011 at 01:18 PM.
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  2. #2
    Registered User BombDonald's Avatar
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    I remember reading that he never used a suit for deadlifts. What's with the straps down stuff?
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    PowerliftingToWin.com IzzyT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BombDonald View Post
    I remember reading that he never used a suit for deadlifts. What's with the straps down stuff?
    In the DVD, in regards to squats, he said that never training with the straps up gave him confidence that he could smoke the weight at the meet.

    He didn't use a suit on deadlifts for most of his career. In the DVD, he says a tight suit ruined his form, but there were meets where he used a loose suit. In any case, you can see that he rarely ever used a suit for deadlifting and benching even in training.
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    Registered User GDA's Avatar
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    quick question on the following two accessory movements ....

    SLDL full ROM off 4inch block 1x8

    Is this standing on a 4 inch block (increased ROM) or with the plates on a 4 inch block (decreased ROM)? I'm reading it as if it's increased ROM, but I'm not sure what good can come of increasing the ROM with a stiff leg.

    Yates Row off 4inch block 2x8-10

    This confuses me as well ... is this supposed to be a pendlay row? If not, I'm not sure how the block would factor into the lift one way or the other.
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    Im currently using programming with George Leeman.


    On the question on the Yate-row,

    He was able to convince me by asking me to stick it out and then we can come back to it later.

    Long story short. It mimics the portion of the deadlift that most people get stuck on during a conventional pull (my type).

    Which is just above the knee to lockout.

    Dave Tate as well has people doing a version of this with a more Romanian deadlift component to it. Forgot what they called it.

    So yah yate rows be awesome.
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    Registered User GDA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Startinup View Post
    Im currently using programming with George Leeman.


    On the question on the Yate-row,

    He was able to convince me by asking me to stick it out and then we can come back to it later.

    Long story short. It mimics the portion of the deadlift that most people get stuck on during a conventional pull (my type).

    Which is just above the knee to lockout.

    Dave Tate as well has people doing a version of this with a more Romanian deadlift component to it. Forgot what they called it.

    So yah yate rows be awesome.
    But what does standing on a block do for the movement? That's why I was wondering if it was supposed to be pendlay rows .... The block would change the ROM with the pendlay row, but not the Yates row, so far as I can figure.
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    Originally Posted by Startinup View Post
    Dave Tate as well has people doing a version of this with a more Romanian deadlift component to it. Forgot what they called it.
    Dimel Deadlift?
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    Everything listed is sets X reps correct?

    Also why so much calf work, whats the carry over?
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    Originally Posted by GDA View Post
    quick question on the following two accessory movements ....

    SLDL full ROM off 4inch block 1x8

    Is this standing on a 4 inch block (increased ROM) or with the plates on a 4 inch block (decreased ROM)? I'm reading it as if it's increased ROM, but I'm not sure what good can come of increasing the ROM with a stiff leg.
    an intelligent guess would be that he did stiff legged deads with a rounded back thus the plates would obviously hit the floor unless he stood on a block

    Having the plates on a block would make no sense at all
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    http://articles.elitefts.com/trainin...he-death-lift/


    Originally Posted by Ed Coan
    I usually changed it up after a contest and did a variation of the deadlift for a whole cycle. I usually picked a deadlift variation that worked my weakest spot. For me, I liked to do a stiff legged deadlift cycle. It lasted nine weeks while standing on a three-inch block. Then I did three weeks of eight, three weeks of six, and three weeks of four. I also paused them on the bottom.
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    Registered User GDA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by j2nicee View Post
    Everything listed is sets X reps correct?

    Also why so much calf work, whats the carry over?
    I think Coan just liked to mix in a little bodybuilding into his routines, though I could be wrong.
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    Registered User GDA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by John Prophet View Post
    Thanks, man. That's what I figured and I actually tried them out tonight. Not sure I'm sold. I really don't like going into lumbar flexion, so a lot of the reps wanted to turn into a regular deadlift while standing on a block.
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