Coan/Phillipi Deadlift Routine

By Mark Phillipi

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I used this routine the last 10 weeks to take my deadlift from 505 to 540. I had at least another 20-30lbs left as well!! I am a believer in this routine, I had tried many things for my dead but until my good friend Ed Coan got me to do this nothing really worked. This jump started me and then some!! Since I have had so many request about it and now it been tested in a meet I am posting for all to see.

There are two parts to this, first I will list the Weekly progression of sets/reps and assistance to be performed, how they are done and how much. The second part is gonna be an Excel Spreadsheet with formulas that you need to download and plug in your numbers to get the weight to be used each week on Deadlifts, Speed Deads, and Shrugs.


The percentages are taken from this projected max. The first 4 weeks are based on working up to a heavy set and dropping to work short rest period sets concentrating on speed and acceleration of movement. This will help condition your back. This will prepare you to lift with your back pre-fatigued which happens at the meet.

The last 6 weeks are used to peak out with all volume work taking place on the way down with short rest periods.

DEADLIFT PROGRAM (Do your regular warmups prior to doing the below)

(75%)x 2 reps
(60%)8 sets x 3 reps (90 sec rest b/w sets)
(80%)x 2 reps
(65%)8 sets x 3 reps (90 sec rest b/w sets)
(85%)x 2 reps
(70%)6 sets x 3 reps (90-120 sec rest b/w sets)
(90%)x 2 reps
(75%)5 sets x 3 reps (90-120 sec rest b/w sets)
(80%)3 sets x 3 reps
(65%)3 sets x 3 reps (120 sec rest b/w sets)
(85%)x 2 reps
(70%)3 sets x 3 reps (120 sec rest b/w sets)
(90%)x 2 reps
(75%)3 sets x 3 reps (120 sec rest b/w sets)
(95%)x 2 reps
(70%)3 sets x 3 reps (120 sec rest b/w sets)
(97.5%)x 1 rep
(70%)2 sets x 3 reps (Rest as needed)
(100%)x 1 rep
(60%)2 sets x 3 reps (Rest as needed)


WEEKS 1-4: Work through the following exercises in a circuit format. Resting 90 seconds between each exercise (DO NOT SUPER SET). Do 8 reps and rest 2-3 minutes between the end of the circuit and beginning of the circuit again. Do this 3 times for a total of 3x8 reps on each exercise.

1.) Stiff Leg Deadlifts
2.) Bent Over Rows
3.) Underhand Grip Lat Pulldowns
4.) Arched Back Good Mornings

WEEKS 5-6: You will do the following exercises for 3 sets of 5. (DO NOT CIRCUIT, Do one exercise finish all your sets and move on to next exercise. Rest 90-120 sec between sets.)

1.) Power Shrugs
2.) Stiff Leg Deadlifts
3.) Bent Over Rows
4.) Underhand Grip Lat Pulldowns
5.) Arched Back Good Mornings

Now here is where it gets tricky. In the following table you will see what percentage to use on Power Shrugs ONLY. Do sets/reps as prescribed in table above for weeks 5-6.

WEEK 5: Power Shrugs (60%) of Dead max
WEEK 6: Power Shrugs (65%) of Dead max
WEEK 7: Power Shrugs (70%) of Dead max
WEEK 8: Power Shrugs (75%) of Dead max
WEEK 9: Power Shrugs (75%) of Dead max

WEEKS 7-8: Now here is where the volume will drop and you will start to drop the number of sets you do for each exercise on assistance. Use the below table as a guideline for sets beginning with week 7.

Week 7--2 sets of each exercise
Week 8--2 sets of each exercise

WEEKs 9-10: Now we drop most of the assistance to start to rest up for meet by reducing the volume of work done. Follow the below table for the last two weeks of Cycle. Do only the assistance listed below!!

Week 9
Week 10
2 sets of Shrugs(75%)
2 sets of St Leg Deads


Download the Excel spreadsheet and plug in your current max and desired max at the top and it will automatically calculate what you are to do weight wise for each week as detailed in the first chart above.