T Nation

Anyone Tried Ed Coan Bench Routine?


Anyone ever run the Ed Coan bench routine?
If so, did it work well for you ( as in did you hit the projected max?)
Also, if you made any changes(conservative max, assistance work, lighter weight, etc...)
I'm thinking of running it, and would like to hear others opinions on it.
THanks in advance!


Don't push your Squat/DL hard while you're doing it.

I'd have some sort of plan for the Overhead day since there really isn't one, just a rough outline of doing it. I'd some like a very light 5/3/1 type thing, and really focus on doing a ton of reps.

Oh, and most importantly, do ALOT of restoration work on your shoulders and pecs. I can't stress that enough.


I actually compressed it into half the time and did the heavy day twice a week and it put like 15lbs on my bench


Is this bench routine similar to the Coan/Phillipi deadlift routine?


Det: Thanks for the advice, I'll definately take care of my pecs and shoulders. I wasn't going to be pushing my squat/DL hard at all.

Never back down: That sounds like a pretty cool idea, although I want to see how my elbows and shoulders hold up first.

S. Fisher: No, it's not at all like the CP routine. Its more of a linear periodization type thing, I'd say. Have a look for yourself: http://joeskopec.com/edcoanbench.html


If you did it right, you would have added 40lbs like I did :wink:


omg i want 40lbs on my bench.


2 different complete Coan routines (everything in them, including weights and reps where it matters) are on deepsquatter.

Pretty much bbing splits with some basic periodization and low volume per individual exercise.
The results are very similar to what you'd get off a Kenelly routine... The differences are that Kenelly has you do triples all the way through, but with somewhat similar percentages... Also reduces the total reps instead of reps per set... At the end, you'd take 12 weeks to triple your previous max, whereas Coan has you add about 5-15% (depending on how advanced you are) per cycle to your old max... Works out the same, more or less...

Coan did go heavy on BTN lockouts (it's written as BTN presses, but if you watch his old vids he only does lockouts to the top of the head, probably same as hoornstra. Popular exercise among quite a few big benchers) for shoulder training.

So if you want to try his whole style of training, find it at ds.

I don't think the calculators are accurate at all, though. Looks like they're based off on or two examples Coan gave in interviews, but he supposedly was not big on percentages (dunno, never spoke with the man)... My guess is... Like man guys (Kaz and lots of other old time guys, many current lifters here in eastern DE too) he just picks a weight a bit over his old max, starts at 60-70% of it, and works up to it while dropping reps over the weeks as needed...

Should be mentioned that a lot of the people who train like that (that I know), only go below 3 reps (many will not go below 5-6 even in the off-season) when prepping for a meet. They find it a waste of time as it only realizes their strength potential but doesn't add to it (with the way they train). So they'll just go from 8-12 down to 4-6, then start over with a weight somewhat higher than what they began the previous training cycle with.

The Coan calculators are often based off what seem to be peaking cycles.

Just some trivia... I always wondered why this style of periodization was so underrepresented at T-Nation... Many of the greatest lifters used it... With various different splits and such, but the overarching theme is that pretty much every muscle group gets assistance work and that most big exercises start at 60-70% of you target max and you get there over X weeks... Smaller exercises may stay at 10 reps or so throughout the entire training cycle though, but you still start light and add weight all the time until the cycle repeats.


(the weights on deepsquatter are calculated for some guy who tried the routines, not Coan, obv., but exact percentages don't really matter imo)


Det, what were your before and after numbers? While I'm at it, how long had you been lifting and what was your bodyweight before and after (if you happen to remember)?


365-405 jump

went from 210-220, and went back down to 205 afterwards while maintaining that bench after peaking.

I think I've lifting for about 3 years at the time?


Looking at the program, if your 1rm is 405 then by week 10 youre hitting 405x2, and week 11 420x2? for 2 sets a pop, is this realistic? or are they assisted.


Check out cseagles log. He is currently doing this bench routine with the assistance of ed coan himself. Seems to be working great for him

Only thing I'd say is you have to have experience with close grip and incline pressing too if you want to complete the routine.


I was about to say...

Anyways, seeing as how I actually train with the man, I know how this shit works. First off, be realistic in what you want to accomplish. If you're relatively new, then adding 30 lbs. to your bench in 12 weeks is pretty doable. If you're in the 4-500 range, 20 lbs. MAX.

Really, there aren't any percentages. Let's take me, for example. I started out with a bench of about 265 lb, 10 weeks ago. Ed wanted to put 30 lbs. on my bench, so we added 30 to 265 (295), and subtracted 10 lbs. from the weight each week for 12 weeks. Here's how it looks:

Week 1 - 2x10x195
Week 2 - 2x10x205
Week 3 - 2x8x215
Week 4 - 2x8x225
Week 5 - 2x5x235
Week 6 - 2x5x245
Week 7 - 2x3x255
Week 8 - 2x3x265
Week 9 - 2x2x275
Week 10 - 2x2x285
Week 11 - 2x1x295
Week 12 - 2x1x305 (optional)

Ideally, this would add 40 lbs. to my bench in 12 weeks. Not sure how far we're going to go with this, but just on Monday, I hit 285 for 2 sets of doubles. I've never benched over 265 with a full ROM. So, I've already put 20 lbs on my max, AND I doubled it - twice. So, the shit works.



CS are you running the one heavy day and one light day like the link above says to? What is your accessory work on that day if so? This actually looks like a bench press program i might like. I am going to do a 3 week Smolov then may jump into this.


Nice breakdown CS.. I've been looking for a bench routine (the sooner my 231 bench becomes 260+ the better) and I may well have to give this a try when I know I can do the full 12 weeks with no interruptions. At my level I may even aim for more then 30lb.. but either way that's faster progress then I'd have 5/3/1'ing it.


I run one heavy day, and then I replace the light day with OHP because OHP makes me awesome. And I like things that make me awesome.

As for assistance work, we go straight to paused close-grips, no warm ups. The paused close-grips follow the same rep scheme as the regular bench. Take about 20 lbs. less than your regular bench weight for that day. If you did 185 for 10 on the regular bench, then take 165 for 10 on the close-grips. Immediately after close-grips, move into inclines, no warm ups, either. Again, this follows the same rep scheme. As for the weight, kind of up to you. My inclines were the same as my close-grips.

After your benching movements, you can throw in some flyes, dips, or some dumbbells for some chest work. Nothing crazy, maybe 2-3 sets of 10-15 reps. Then, destroy your triceps. We usually do 3-4 exercise giant sets. Where this man comes up with this shit, I don't know, but at the end of the day, it should hurt to try and take off your shirt. We switch exercises almost every week, when it comes to triceps. Just make sure that you hate yourself the next morning.

Good luck, guys, and if you have any other questions, feel free to PM me.


P.S. - Take care of your shoulders. Lots and lots of prehab work.