The Ed Coan

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The Ed Coan


Yesterday on The Barbell Life Podcast, I had the honor of interviewing the best powerlifter of all-time, Ed Coan. I am not going to give away all of the details. You need to listen to the podcast for all the good stuff. Today I want to talk about a few of Ed’s key characteristics that we should all strive to emulate.

The biggest trait that all of us should focus on is that Ed is one of the nicest guys that I have ever met. There is no ego or arrogance anywhere to be found. All of the up and coming lifters should take some lessons from the Ed. With social media there is a big platform for some of these lifters to express themselves, and unfortunately most of them come across as arrogant.

Yesterday Ed told us that his biggest goal was to be remembered as the strongest lifter and an all around nice guy. He explained that the trophies and awards mean nothing to him. It is the relationships that he made along the way that are the most important to him. I totally agree. This goes for weightlifters, CrossFitter, powerlifters, and all strength sports. Who cares how amazing you are? Help the people around you and just be nice, and more people will remember you for that than the amount of weight you lifted.

Ed also gave some very practical advice about programming. He suggested sticking to a very basic routine, and as long as it is working, don’t change a lot of things. He suggested slowly trying one or two things at a time. If they work, keep them. If they don’t, ditch them. If simple is working, keep it simple. When things stop working, start adding the advanced programming and exercises.

Ed’s Routine looked something like this:

Squat using linear periodization
Single Leg Leg Press
Leg Ext
Leg Curl

Bench Press with Linear Periodization
Closegrip Bench
Incline Bench

Seated Behind the Neck Press
Shoulder assistance

Deadlift using linear periodization
Deficit Stiff Leg Deadlifts off 2-4 inch blocks
Back assistance work

Wide Grip Bench
Arm Work

As you can see he mostly used a basic linear periodization model with bodybuilding. This should open the eyes of everyone out there. Is a fancy complicated workout better? So far no one has put up the numbers that Ed did, so until then sticking with his program only makes sense.

Don’t get me wrong; Ed tried some advanced movements and principles along the way. He kept a few of them, but mainly he stuck to what was working. I use bands and chains as an example. If you are progressing at a fast rate, don’t use bands and chains. When your progress slows, try using a small chain. If things start increasing, slowly use more chains. The key is to remember that there are no chains in competition, so you do need to practice under competition standards.

Ed also gave some hope to all of you hard gainers out there. In 9th Grade he was 4’11” and weighed 98lbs. That is when he started weight training. By the time he left high school he was in the 165lb weight class putting up some of the best numbers of all-time. It just goes to show that the Barbell can transform lives.

Interviewing Ed was an all-time high for me. I grew up wanting to be like Ed Coan. Chuck and Loren, my co-hosts, said that I looked like a little kid during the interview. I am sure that I did. It was like interviewing Superman. Ed was my hero. I watched his video everyday during college before I would train. I remember being awe struck the first time that I met Eddie. I am still awe struck.

Ed was one of my biggest supporters while I was competing. I will never forget all the kind words of advice that he gave me while I was coming up. Having him on The Barbell Life was without a doubt the greatest moment for the show.

The Show drops Friday at 8am! You can get it here: The Barbell Life Podcast

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