For those of you who do not know Ed Coan, he is basically the Michael Jordan of powerlifting. He has accomplished pretty much everything possible in his sport. I have a book about Ed, The Man, The Myth, The Legend, and in it there is a section of his statistics up until June 1999. Some of them are just ridiculous to think about such as:
1000 Kg plus (2204 Lb) Total - 20 times
900 Lb plus squat - 29 times
1000 Lb plus squat - 1 time
500 Lb Bench Press - 37 times
800 Lb plus Deadlift - 32 times
900 Lb plus Deadlift - 1 time
22 IPF World Records
24 APF (WPC) World Records
12 USPF World Records
Total of 58 official World Records
The list goes on and on. "Ed has set 75 official and unofficial world records in four different weight classes over a 16 year period".
I have been fortunate enough to attend a seminar of Ed's. Not only is he a great athlete, he is a great man. He would take the time to explain things to people, and was very approachable. He was a pretty easy going type bloke who enjoyed having a laugh. He didn't care about fame and at times seemed embarrassed when Paul Carter would speak of how great Ed is. There are many stories told where Ed has been at big competitions and see to be wrapping the knees of the most raw beginners. He just loves helping people out and helping them reach their potential. He would often say that he didn't care about other people's numbers, that the numbers you lift are yours and you should be proud of them. So as long as you are training hard and increasing your numbers you are doing well, you don't have to be the strongest bloke in the world to be happy with your results.
His approach is quite simple, yet like all greats, Ed advocates hard work and consistently working hard. "One key to my powerlifting success is regularity. Long term, repeated behaviour assuming that behaviour is beneficial and positive, forms the foundation for my future physical progress." Ed always speaks about longevity in the sport and believes you should not max out in training too often, if ever, and even in comps believes a young lifter should make all their attempts and leave a little on the platform instead of having near misses. This helps to avoid injury and gives you somewhere to improve.
This is my best deadlift which I performed in front of Ed. Up to this point my best was about a 190kg and here I got 220kg. I wasn't going to dog it with a great like Ed standing in front of me.
The above video is of Alfie Tropea front squatting 107.5 kg for 3 reps. Alfie shows some pretty solid form here and decent strength levels for a 17 year old who has only been lifting properly for the past year.
The thing that impresses me is that he was told he would need shoulder surgery earlier in the year before we referred him to Dr. Kuah who said he would be able to rehab it without surgery. To be able to rack the bar and support it on the shoulders pain free shows the great progress he has made with this injury. He has also played his entire rugby league season since coming back from the injury which is the main goal.
I am lucky enough to have some rehab techniques up my sleeve to help his progress and I am grateful I have invested the time and energy in learning proper program design. If Alfie trained with anyone else he would have been booked in for surgery, missed the season, and probably still doing some rubber band work trying to get his shoulder back to normal function.