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Ed Coan Bench Program review


I know this has been reviewed, but the posts are old. There is not much out there for reviews of this program, when I was looking at starting it I couldn't find much. So, I thought I would add my review for anyone considering trying it.
It works! I consider myself an intermediate lifter, on and off all my life and have 2 powerlifting contests under my belt in the IPF/CPU in the open 105 kg class. (I weight 225ish).

I started with my 1RM as 380. Took 5 lbs off my max (which is a sanctioned CPU lift).
It is a 12 week program doing the flat bench, close grip and incline. When I started I had no problem with the flat bench numbers and CG numbers, but struggled with the prescribed incline numbers. I stuck with it - and it paid off. By week 4-5 I was able to hit the prescribed numbers. The rest of the program I did not miss a rep until the 11th week on flat bench. It called for 390X2X2. I got the first 390X2, but could only get 390X1 after that. These are all touch and go, no pause. The last week which was basically a test of your new 1RM called for 423! I didn't get that, but I got 405 touch and go fairly easily. So, put 20-25 lbs on my 1RM. I haven't tested it with a pause, plan to do that today. I will update.


Just curious, what do you think your TnG bench was at the start? You said 380 paused, which sounds about like 400+ TnG anyway. Did you try 405, then go for 423? I ask because 390x2 should be more than 405 max. Probably solid 415.


Nice job! Did you do the secondary “light bench” day as well?

I’ve used this type of progression successfully on both bench and squat before.


This is a program ive considered quite a bit, Did you just move on from the incline after missing the prescribed reps? I hardly ever incline so i think it would be a problem for me at first


Thats a good point, I didnt check my tng bench before the program. Either way, I before this program the most I’ve ever benched was 385. I actually went higher a week later and I did 415X1 with a good pause.

Yes, I did the light bench day also. My light bench bench day was flat bench X2, BB OHP, Skullcrushers, DB raises and a finisher with cable tri press downs.

Ya, I just did what I could on the incline, and it caught up to the rest of the lifts by about week 4. I never did incline BB before this at all.

I am 2 weeks out from a meet right now so I am just maintaining strength at this point, but after the meet I plan to run this program again with new the new 1RM.