Ed Coan Deadlift Routine

Workout Overview

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Introduction to the Ed Coan’s Deadlift Routine

The Ed Coan Deadlift Routine was created by Ed Coan himself for Mark Philippi. It is also known as the Coan/Philippi Deadlift Routine. Philippi added 35 Lb to his Deadlift after finishing this 10 week program, and stands by its effectiveness.

Is Ed Coan’s Deadlift Routine for you?

Ed Coan never had beginners in mind when creating this routine. You should at least be an intermediate lifter before attempting the program. This is a very difficult program, and some of the numbers may even seem impossible. This is one of the only programs that helped Philippi increase his Deadlift, and he says he’s had 100% success with it.

This is a tough routine, one of the toughest I have ever tried. You may think you’re in shape but wait till you start this, the Puke factor on a scale of 1 to 10 is a 12!! – Mark Philippi

Ed Coan’s Deadlift Routine Explained

Ed Coan’s Deadlift Routine is a total of 10 weeks, and you will be Deadlifting once a week. You will want to run this routine alongside your current routine for the other lifts. Each workout consists of heavy deadlifts, speed deadlifts, and various lower back assistance work. Before starting the routine you will need to know your current 1RM (1 rep max), and your desired 1RM. Your desired max can be anywhere between 20-40 Lb above your current max, the average is about 30 Lb. All Deadlift work set percentages will be based off your desired max.

The first 4 weeks of Coan’s routine are focused on working up to a heavy top set, and then decreasing the weight to focus on speed and acceleration. Ed Coan’s reasoning for this was to get the back pre-fatigued, and put you in a similar situation as when you compete at a meet.

The last 6 weeks of the program is focused on peaking your deadlift. Your volume will start to decrease, and the rest periods between your speed deadlifts increases.

Accessory work is planned for 9 weeks out of the 10 week program. Weeks 1-4 will been done in a circuit format, weeks 5-6 will not be performed in a circuit, weeks 7-8 volume drops, week 9 most assistance exercises are dropped and volume drops, and week 10 does not require any assistance work.

*Make sure you perform your usual warmups prior to starting the prescribed sets.

**All percentages are based off of the Desired 1RM

Ed Coan's Deadlift Program

Week
Work Sets
Speed Sets
1(75%) x 2 reps(60%) 8 sets x 3 reps (90 sec rest b/w sets)
2(80%) x 2 reps(65%) 8 sets x 3 reps (90 sec rest b/w sets)
3(85%) x 2 reps(70%) 6 sets x 3 reps (90-120 sec rest b/w sets)
4(90%) x 2 reps(75%) 5 sets x 3 reps (90-120 sec rest b/w sets)
5(80%) 3 sets x 3 reps(65%) 3 sets x 3 reps (120 sec rest b/w sets)
6(85%) x 2 reps(70%) 3 sets x 3 reps (120 sec rest b/w sets)
7(90%) x 2 reps(75%) 3 sets x 3 reps (120 sec rest b/w sets)
8(95%) x 2 reps(70%) 3 sets x 3 reps (120 sec rest b/w sets)
9(97.5%) x 1 rep(70%) 2 sets x 3 reps (Rest as needed)
10(100%) x 1 rep(60%) 2 sets x 3 reps (Rest as needed)
11MEET DAYMEET DAY

Assistance Work

Power Shrugs are added starting at week 5. You will base your shrug numbers off of your original 1RM deadlift, not your desired 1RM.

Weeks 1-4:

A total of 4 assistance exercises will be performed (see table below). They must be performed in a circuit format, resting 90 seconds between each exercise, but do not super set. Perform 8 reps with each exercise resting 90 seconds between each. Take 2-3 minutes between the end of one circuit, and the beginning of the next. Perform this for a total of 3 sets. At the end you should have completed each exercise with 3 sets of 8 reps.

Week 1-4 (Circuit)

Exercise
Reps
Rest Period
Stiff Leg Deadlifts890 seconds
Bent Over Rows890 seconds
Underhand Grip Lat Pulldowns890 seconds
Arched Back Good Mornings82-3 minutes
*Repeat circuit 3 times

Week 5-6:

5 exercises will be performed as seen in the table below. Do not circuit. Perform each exercise for 3 sets of 5 reps, rest for 90-120 seconds and move onto the next assistance exercise.

Week 5

Exercise
Sets x Reps
Rest Period
Power Shrugs(60%) of Original Deadlift Max 3x5
Stiff Leg Deadlifts3x590-120 seconds
Bent Over Rows3x590-120 seconds
Underhand Grip Lat Pulldowns3x590-120 seconds
Good Mornings3x590-120 seconds

Treat week 6 the same way, but increase the weight to 65% for the Power Shrugs.

Week 6

Exercise
Sets x Reps
Rest Period
Power Shrugs(65%) of Original Deadlift Max 3x5
Stiff Leg Deadlifts3x590-120 seconds
Bent Over Rows3x590-120 seconds
Underhand Grip Lat Pulldowns3x590-120 seconds
Good Mornings3x590-120 seconds

Week 7-8:

The amount of sets decrease to 2. Again, do not circuit. Perform each exercise for 2 sets of 5 reps, rest for 90-120 seconds and move onto the next assistance exercise.

Week 7

Exercise
Sets x Reps
Rest Period
Power Shrugs(70%) of Original Deadlift Max 2x5
Stiff Leg Deadlifts2x590-120 seconds
Bent Over Rows2x590-120 seconds
Underhand Grip Lat Pulldowns2x590-120 seconds
Good Mornings2x590-120 seconds

Treat week 8 the same way, but increase the weight to 75% for the Power Shrugs.

Week 8

Exercise
Sets x Reps
Rest Period
Power Shrugs(75%) of Original Deadlift Max 2x5
Stiff Leg Deadlifts2x590-120 seconds
Bent Over Rows2x590-120 seconds
Underhand Grip Lat Pulldowns2x590-120 seconds
Good Mornings2x590-120 seconds

Week 9-10:

During week 9 you will only perform power shrugs and stiff leg deadlifts as seen in the table below. Again, do not circuit. Perform each exercise for 2 sets of 5 reps.

During week 10 you will not perform any assistance exercises.

Week 9

Exercise
Sets x Reps
Rest Period
Power Shrugs(75%) of Original Deadlift Max 2x5
Stiff Leg Deadlifts2x590-120 seconds

Full Coan’s Deadlift Routine

Below is the full routine, and a link where you can customize, print, or download to your device. Just plug in your max, and let it do the calculations. Bring a pen to the gym, and scribble off the days/sets as you go!

To edit the spreadsheet customized to your lifts, click HERE. You can also print, or download.

Coan Phillipi Deadlift Routine

Progression and Gain

There have been claims of Deadlift gains anywhere from 20-50 pounds from this routine. Around a 30 pound gain is the average. Your potential gain will come from the desired 1RM you enter in the spreadsheet above. Each week you will progress by approximately 5 pounds.

History

Ed Coan originally created this routine for Mark Philippi. Philippi was having difficulty with his deadlift, once Coan gave him this routine he was able to add 35 Lb + to his deadlift. It has not been confirmed if Coan had ever used this routine for himself.

I am a believer in this routine, I had tried many things for my dead but until my good friend Ed Coan got me to do this nothing really worked. This jump started me and then some!! – Mark Philppi

Tips for Ed Coan’s Deadlift Routine

  • Be conservative with your desired max. If you set your desired max too high, you may fail sets during the 10 week program. On test day you can always shoot for a higher max than is prescribed.
  • If you fail a week either keep moving forward, or attempt the week you failed the following week. If you do decided to attempt it again, you will be finishing the program one week later than anticipated.
  • The assistance work, especially early on, is key. You really have to push the Stiff Leg Deadlifts, Rows, Good Mornings, and later the power shrugs.
  • Assistance work weights are never mentioned, but around 60% is a common recommendation.

One Comment

  1. Anna Jamison

    My husband did some deadlifts before but for like, 2 to 3 years, he stopped because he had this rare medical condition. Thank God, he’s feeling better right now with the help of constant medications. In relation to that, I would like to ask if someone who’s been sick for years, is it advisable that he performs a routine as physically demanding as the deadlift?

    Reply

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