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Questions About Ed Coan DL Program

Hello PLers, I have the following questions regarding the Coan routine. Thinking of running it for the first time.

  1. At my current gym i am able to set up a circuit for the rows, SLDL and good mornings. However the lat pulldown is far away and almost always frequented by other lifters. Can I substitute weighted chins for the reverse grip lat pulldowns in order to keep the circuit going smoothly?

  2. Would it be advisable to run the coan routine twice in a row with no deload in between? I would take out the week 11/max attempt since there would be no meet. So 20 weeks in total to run it twice. What would be an achievable increase in poundages per cycle?

  3. When doing the coan routine, what should my expectations be for my bench and squat? Ideally I want to do the coan bench routine concurrently with the deadlift routine, and do 5/3/1 progression on my squats. I would start at a conservative caloric surplus, at around 200-300 calories and perhaps scale up if required for recovery.


I’ve run the program a couple of times and did pull ups both time because I train at home and have no lat pull down. I also found the program very taxing and wouldn’t recommend running it back to back.

Thanks for the input. What were your gains from coan?

i just finished the coan routine and i also substituted pullups for lat pulls even being a bigger guy(280) still saw the prescribed gainz, i myself would not run the program back to back but what im starting to learn is to never say never when it comes to peoples ability to bounce back. My advice would be shoot for half of what you think you can do in the first round and then push it in the second round, so just go thru the motions the first and really go at it the second round. it took my no belt 2 inch deficit from 520 to 555

great gains! thank you for your advice.

how were your bench and squat while on coan?

The bench had no effect on the deadlifting but i would recommend a low volume program like 3 x 5 or 5/3/1, i ran a simple routine where i did one set of max reps on bench and incline tuesday then one set of military and behind the neck thursday and that was it. I put on like 10 pounds of bw during program but the bench went up about 30 pounds, 315 to 345. I squatted on mondays, breathing pause squats were really weak so i just ran 3x3 linear progression for them and they went from 315 for one to 405 for 3x3, max squat was 500 and it was at 555 at the end of the program. The gains i saw for deadlift went down about half after the peaking but the gains i saw from the squats stayed because normally i was still beat up from deads on friday so i always squatted sore. In addition i did extra back work and shrugs on saturday after my deadlift day and on wednesday i ran 10 sets of 2 speed for all my lifts(bench,squat,dead). Good luck man, if you can survive weeks 6 through 8, weeks 9 and 10 are fun. Where’s your dead currently sitting?

I,ve just finished the program and went from 175kg(385lb) to 190kg(418lb).
15kgs(33lb) may not seem like much, but I hadn’t increased my deadlift for quite sometime,so I was pleased.

1.If i couldn’t do a part of the circuit, due to other gym users, I either left the excercise till the end for regular sets or improvised. For lat pulldowns you can always ask to “work in”. I find most people will share. Dont stress. Its only assistance after all.

  1. Im running the program for a second time. I guess it depends on how big an increase your programing. I used 15kg(33lb) and dont feel the need for a deload. Why don’t you see how you feel at the end.

  2. I was running 5/3/1 on my other lifts and they were progressing as expected. My body weight remained the same.

Good luck.

thanks for the reply guys. i am currently sitting at a 405 1rm. deadlift has always been my lagging lift (for reference, my squat is 355 and bench is 245) so I am hoping to hop on a specialty program to build it up to a more competitive level. i compete in 74kg.

the coan routine looks like a great choice because i feel that i would greatly benefit from the assistance due to my weak back and posterior chain. it’s great to hear that skwats and bench progressed for you guys.