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Old school powerlifting routine image

As a beginner, it can be a little tough to break your way into the powerlifting scene. Though you’ll be doing exercises you probably already do (squat, bench press, and deadlift), powerlifting requires you to do them at near-maximal power.

So, let’s go over a routine developed by powerlifting champion Ed Coan that can be useful by powerlifting noobs like you.

About the Creator – Ed Coan

Ed Coan is a former American powerlifting champion. During his tenure, he won the USPF Senior National Championship seven times and the IPF World Championship six times between the 1980s and 1990s.

Coan amassed over 71 different world powerlifting records during his career. Here’s a look at his best career lifts.

  • Squat: 1,019 pounds
  • Bench Press: 584 pounds
  • Deadlift: 901 pounds

Ed Coan’s Training Program Overview

Ed Coan’s training regimen is a split-routine. It consists of four heavy days in the gym, one light day, and two rest days over a period of 10 weeks.

Since it’s a powerlifting routine, you’ll notice that you’ll be focusing quite a bit on low reps while using heavier weights. The goal of Ed Coan’s routine is to stimulate muscle growth and boost power for the three major lifts.

For something like this, once you’re past the initial “noob gains” phase, you’ll want to consider strapping on a belt. Check out our picks for the best leather powerlifting belts for more info.

Workouts vary in length and time, but most can usually be completed in 30 to 60 minutes. To perform the routine exactly as Ed Coan intended, you’ll need access to barbells, dumbbells, a pull-up bar, machines, and a T-bar.

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Ed Coan’s Workout Program Schedule & Details

A quick search of Ed Coan’s training program will bring you to a rather complicated table with a whole lot of numbers. So, here’s a quick overview of Ed Coan’s training program in much simpler terms.

Day 1 – Squat Day

  • Squat – 7 sets x 2-8 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Single-Leg Press – 2 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Single-Leg Curl – 2 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Leg Extension – 2 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Seated Calf Raise – 3 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Ab Exercises – 3 sets x 20 reps (90-120 seconds)

Day 2 – OFF

Day 3 – Bench Day

  • Bench Press – 7 sets x 2-8 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Close-Grip Bench Press – 2 sets x 2-8 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Incline Bench Press – 2 sets x 2-8 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Tricep Extension – 2 sets x 2-8 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Ab Exercises – 3 sets x 20 reps (90-120 seconds)

Day 4 – Press Day

  • Behind the Neck Press – 5 sets x 2-8 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Front Dumbbell Raise – 3 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise – 3 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)

Day 5 – Deadlift Day

  • Deadlift – 8 sets x 2-8 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Straight Legged Deadlift – 2 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Barbell Row – 2 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • T-Bar Row – 2 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Chin-Up – 2 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Pull-Down – 2 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Rear Deltoid Dumbbell Raise – 2 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Seated Calf Raise – 1 set x 20 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Ab Exercises – 3 sets x 20 reps (90-120 seconds)

Day 6 – Light Bench Day

  • Wide Grip Bench Press – 3 sets x 10 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Dumbbell Fly – 2 sets x 10-15 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Weighted Dip – 1 set x 15 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Tricep Extension – 2 sets x 2-8 reps (90-120 seconds)
  • Barbell Curl – 1 set x 20 reps (90-120 seconds)

Day 7 – OFF

Ed Coan’s Training Program Pros

1. Short Workouts

Even though you’ll be in the gym five days a week, the workouts only last about 30 to 60 minutes each. Some days are shorter than others and you’ll be pleased to know that there won’t be a 10-minute rest period between sets like some other routines call for.

2. Addresses Minor Muscle Groups Too

Powerlifting focuses on three major lifts, but it’s great that this routine targets some of the minor muscle groups as well. You’ll be hitting abs three times a week and also targeting biceps, triceps, and calves for added assistance during the major lifts.

Cons of This Old School Powerlifting Routine

1. Emphasizes Bench

What’s quite interesting is that the routine seems to focus most on the bench press. If you take a look at the routine, you’ll notice that upper-body exercises mostly focus on power (2 to 8 reps) while the lower-body exercises seem to focus on strength (around 10 reps), so you might want to adjust the routine if you want to boost lower-body performance too.

2. Will Be Draining for Beginners

The fact that each workout is less than an hour is ideal for anyone short on time, but exerting maximal power for this long might be a bit draining if you’re not used to it. It might be a good idea to work up to the routine instead of burning yourself out every day.

Powerlifting Diet Plan

Since you’re looking to build muscle mass and strength, you’ll need to adopt a high calorie, high protein diet to see improvements. We don’t have a specific diet plan from Ed Coan, but we do have some guidelines for a powerlifting diet, such as:

  • About 5+ grams of carbohydrates for every kilogram of bodyweight
  • About 2 grams of protein for every kilogram of bodyweight
  • About 30% of calories coming from fat
  • Up to 3,500 calories a day
  • Around five meals a day with snacking in-between meals

Ed Coan’s Training Program Conclusion

Ed Coan’s training program is a solid choice for anyone new to powerlifting. But, you might want to adapt the routine and make it a little less intense until you can work up to the true intensity.

Remember, it takes time to see results. So, make sure you’re focusing on getting enough calories during the day to help you to power through your next workout and see gains as they develop.

Are You Ready to Take Powerlifting Seriously?

Now that you’ve checked out this awesome routine by one of the powerlifting greats, you need to make sure you fully prepared to handle it.

That’s why if you want to put up maximum weight and avoid serious injuries, you should consider strapping on a powerlifting belt.

A belt can not only keep you safe during the “Big 3 Lifts,” but it’ll boost your total quickly!

Check out our complete list of The 17 Best Powerlifting Weight Belts to get started!

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By BestFitness-News

I am a fitness enthusiast and have been training for many years. I wanted to share a few of my experiences and experiences with you.

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