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Modi's Coan/Philippi Experiment


My experiment with the Coan/Philippi Deadlift Cycle.

I used to keep my log over in the Westside thread. But I'm going to be trying some different things for the next few months, and I thought it would be good to keep a new log for posterity sake.

A quick background...I've been lifting on and off for the past 15 year or so. I got into Powerlifting about a year and a half ago, and I've been using a modified Westside template since then.

My last 5 month training cycle was about as close to a tradtional cycle as it got, with the only changes being that I trained my lats on my lower days, and that I rotated 2 weeks of DE work with 2 weeks of RE work.

I have 4 PL meets under my belt, and I compete in the 275 unequipped division right now. I have nothing against gear, and I usually use as much gear as is allowed in the "raw" division. I use a belt for my squats, wrist wraps for my squats and bench, and knee sleeves for my squats. I don't use a belt when I deadlift only because it is uncomfortable.

My best unequipped lifts so far in competition:

Squat - 502
Bench - 365
Deadlift - 605

This thread is started in an effort to improve these numbers and move me closer to a Raw Elite total.


One of the things that I've learned is that in order for my deadlift to go up, I need to pull from the floor.

During my last Westside cycle, I relied on variations, deficit deads, rack pulls, RDL's, GM's, etc. I didn't get the carryover I was hoping for, so I'm going to give the Coan/Philippi DL cycle a try.


On paper it looks like it's going to get pretty brutal. I know some beginner's that have used this program with success, but as a beginner, pretty much anything will work.

This will be a test to see what will happen to a 600+ deadlifter who is drug free. I'd love to get a 5% increase out of the program. I've used my current max as 605 and my desired max as 630 (actually a 4% increase).

The program calls for deadlifting every week along with speed deads. In addition it adds in a circuit of SLDL's, BOR's, Reverse Grip Pulldowns, and Arched Back GM's.

This will either boost my DL significantly or you'll watch me crash and burn. I figure I spent the past 5 months putting 4lbs onto my deadlift, so I figure this 10 week cycle can't be any worse. Stay tuned.


This was 2 days after my last meet. I just wanted to get the blood flowing without doing anything too taxing.

I use the russian notation of weightxrepsxsets in my log.

05/12/08 - Squat (ME)

A) Back Squat

B) Lat Pulldown

C) Kneeling Rope Crunch


05/14/08 - Upper (ME)

A) Bench Press

B) Medium Grip Manpon Press

C) DB Side Raise

D) Rope Pushdown

I'll be using an ME and an RE day for my upper for the next 8 weeks. On my ME day, I will be focusing on a rep range of 1-3, and for my RE day I will be using 3-6 reps.

The Manpon is a 4 inch foam roller, used just like a 3 board, except the bar sinks pretty deep into it. It probably compresses a full 2 inches on each rep. I'll be incorporating a lot of Manpon and board pressing in the higher rep range, after my full ROM Benching is done.


So here's the split:

Monday: Squat (ME/RE)
Wed: Upper (ME)
Thurs: DL (ME)
Sat: Upper (RE)


Video from my last meet on May 10, 2008:


Another link to the Coan/Philippi DL cycle. This one does a nice job of laying out all the sets/reps/percentages in an easy to read format.


Whereas the tsampa.org link does a nice job of giving exact weights for all exercises throughout the cycle.

Today will be the first day of the cycle.


Coan/Philippi DL Cycle Week 1

05/15/08 - Deadlift (ME)

A) Deadlift (75%)

B) Speed Deadlift (60%) (90sec rest b/w sets)

C) Back Circuit (90sec rest b/w exercises, 2-3 min b/w circuits)

C1) Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

C2) Bent Over Row

C3) Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown

C4) Arched Back GM's w/Elite Yoke Bar

Today was Day 1 of the Coan/Phillipi DL Cycle. I'm going to run this cycle pretty much as it's written. My only changes will be to perform RDL's instead of SLDL's, and I'll be using the Yoke Bar for my GM's so I don't have to raise and lower the same bar I'm using for RDL's and BOR's. It will also take a little strain off my shoulders and elbows so I can save them for Upper Day on Sat.

This should prove to be a challenging cycle. DL's and Speed DL's felts solid. I may have gone a little heavy on the weights I chose for my circuit.

I'm used to resting as much as needed between sets, and I could tell that my conditioning was a little sub par today. My plan was to simply add 5lbs to the bar each week for each exercise as tolerated. I still may do this, but I will be cautious with how heavy I go with the accessory work, as I know this has caused burn out in some trainees in the past.

Overall, everything felt solid today, but looking ahead, this program ramps up very quickly. Should be a fun ride.


I woke up this morning and everything from my ass to my traps were sore. Kind of like being beaten repeatedly with a baseball bat...This program will be a welcome change.


I started doing a modified version of Matt Rhodes raw squat template about 6 weeks ago and was destroyed the first week. I didn't think I would make it, but my body adjusted quickly. I imagine yours will do the same.


Yeah, I've seen that you've made some great progress as of late. Definitely keep up the good work man.

I actually enjoyed that feeling of being run over by a Mack truck...it let me know I did something my body wasn't used to.

The reason I started this log was because I couldn't find a lot of information on people who had gone through the whole Coan/Phillipi cycle. I've seen a few logs out there, but a lot of them were beginner/intermediate trainees. I'm hoping that I can both learn and share something from this cycle.


I always use the same warmup for my Bench sessions, unless I'm feeling super tight, in which case I'll take an extra set or two at 135 or 185.

'...' means:

05/17/08 - Upper (RE)

A) Bench Press

B) 45 Degree Incline Press

C) Shoulder/Triceps Circuit (90sec b/w sets 2-3min b/w circuits)

C1) Close Grip 3 Board Press
275x8x3 (baseline PR)

C2) Rolling Triceps Extensions

C3) DB Side Raise

C4) DB Rear Delt Raise

Pressing felt pretty good today. I probably had one more in the tank on most of the sets.

I've decided to stick with straight weight for my accessory sets, rather than ramping it up after each set. While it was a lot of fun hitting PR's on a weekly basis, I feel like I just got better at doing the movement, rather than getting a lot stronger or packing on the mass. I'll be doing 3 sets of 8 with the same weight, and increasing the weight slowly throughout the entire cycle.


This is looking like a good log. My Coan/Phillipi experiment was ended after the first day when I reinjured my leg!!

Looks like I'll be living vicariously thru you!


Thanks Hanley...Someone's got to be the guinea pig right?

Well, I suppose since I made it through the first day without injury that's a good sign...

I'd be interested to see what other people have done for their Squat and Bench while running this cycle. Whether they continue to try to push those numbers up, or just maintain them and only focus on the DL. I have a difficult time with the idea of maintenance, so hopefully this doesn't run me into the ground.


Good luck!

I was an absolute n00b to deadlifting when I did the cycle, pulling a mere 275. It took me to an easy 340 however. I somehow think that I would have gotten similar results out of any other program that FORCED me to pull every week because that was what I needed.


Obviously I didn't do it so this might now work... but my plan was to do the following...

3 weeks each on the following boxes; below, at and above //
followed up by max reps on shoulder width squats on a specific weight (for me, 5 weeks at 140, 5 a 150 or 160)

I'd just bench as normal tbh.


Yeah, I pulled every week from about 315 to 495. Then I decided that I was too strong to pull every week, and that's when my progress slowed.

I think if you're pulling a maximal weight every week then yes, you will probably fry your CNS, but hopefully by cycling the weights I can prevent this.

I still rely more on brute low back strength when I pull, so the speed work will be good for me to concentrate on form.


That's probably not a bad approach. I'm going to be doing 5x5's for my Squat, and following it up with a Box Squat.

I'm really working on getting the bar into a lower bar position on my squats. The lower the bar, the easier the squat for me, but it also puts a ton of stress on my right shoulder (biceps tendon), and it can really screw up my bench day if I'm not careful. I'm doing a ton of prehab/flexibilty stuff, and it feels good right now...let's just keep it that way.


05/19/08 - Squat (RE)

A) Squat

B) 13" Box Squat w/Yoke Bar

C) Pullups (32" grip)

D) Situps (weight behind head)

I've moved my Squat stance in a few inches since my last meet. I had been squatting with my feet all the way out to the edges of the rack and it was putting a lot of stress on my right adductor. It was much easier to hit depth today and I still felt just as strong. I'll be adding about 15lbs to the bar each week for a few weeks then back off and cyle up through the weights again.

I've also move my box height down to 13". I used a 14" box all through my last cycle, but I want to work a little more on bottom end strength. The weight felt pretty managable today. I think I'll keep the weight the same and add a 5/8" chain to each side of the bar every week until I get up to 3 chains per side, then increase the weight and start over without the chains.


05/21/08 - Upper (ME)

A) Bench Press (first rep paused)

B) Manpon Press
275x12x2 (medium grip)

C) Beach Circuit (90sec rest)

C1) Seated Shoulder Press from Pin #15 (just below chin)

C2) Plate Raise

C3) EZ Curls

Bench felt solid today, my right shoulder was a little tight going into it, but it didn't seem to bother my pressing.

I was hoping to get 275x12x3 on the Manpon Press, but it wasn't going to happen, so I stopped short of failure on the last set.

Beach circuit because summer is almost here...Shoulder Press felt harder than usual because of all the other pressing beforehand.