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THE LSUS PROGRAM aka Pierce 10-5-3-peak

Posted by Sean Hutchinson on September 2, 2013 at 6:50 PM


So, I’ve had a lot of questions over the last few years about the LSUS (Kyle Pierce/Kendrick Farris) Program so I figured I would put together a little blog to cover this topic for anybody considering starting the program on their own. I would say this is a program designed for more advanced athletes but in my personal opinion it can be done by anybody who has good technique with the snatch and clean and jerk. The majority of the program is strength work, which is the basis Dr. Kyle Pierce’s theory on creating a great weightlifter. My favorite quote of his would be that “Once you get the basic lifts down you have to get stronger!”, and it’s as simple as that people. Learn to lift with good technique and get as strong as you can!


So let’s go over the basic LSUS program. We have a basic 12-week training cycle consisting of 3 weeks of 10’s, 3 weeks of 5’s, 3 weeks of 3’s and a competition phase featuring 2 weeks of peaking and 1 week of tapering. Each week you perform a variety of exercises for that number of repetitions (10,5, 3, etc). The training calls for 5 sessions a week, with 1 session a day, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, Saturday being more emphasis on the classic lifts from the floor.


The exercises are broken down in a push pull split with Monday and Wednesday being push days consisting of things like squats, jerks, push press, bench press, military press, lunges, etc, and Tuesday and Thursday being pull days consisting of exercises like snatches, cleans, deadlifts, shrugs, pull ups ,etc. Each day usually consist of anywhere from 5-8 exercises with only 2-3 of them being relatively heavy. For example, a Monday workout might look like this: Back Squat, Power Jerk, Push Press, Bench Press, Press, Lunge, Dips, core work like planks, weighted sit ups, etc.


The order of exercise is very important when designing this program but very simple. Always perform more explosive movements or heavier movements first when necessary. For example, you wouldn’t do deadlifts for 10 reps then turn around and try to do cleans from the power position would you??? NO, you always perform the most explosive movement first so remember snatches, cleans, and jerks will always be performed before deadlifts, squats, bench press, etc.


Now one thing I keep seeing floating around the internet is that Kendrick doesn’t follow whatever program is floating around and the truth is he doesn’t. Nobody at LSUS follows the same program to the T. Most of us have our programs modified by Dr. Kyle Pierce depending on our strengths and weaknesses. If you look at the original LSUS Program you will notice a huge emphasis on upper body lifts for ex: Power jerks, push press, bench press, military press, jerk recovery, dips, etc. This program was originally designed for 2 of Kyle’s best original lifters (Kendrick Farris and Cody Gibbs) with emphasis on their weaknesses.


So, if you plan on trying Kyle’s program consider your own personal weaknesses before attempting this program. Consider adapting it to your needs. It is not set it stone but more like a basic outline. As long as you stick to the basic structure of the 10’s, 5’s, 3’s and peaking you should have great progress. Just make sure you get plenty of snatches, cleans, jerks, and squats and you can’t really go wrong. This program is constantly changing and growing and you have to adapt it to your own personal needs as an athlete or coach.


One other thing I would like to point out is intensity during the program. You can’t expect to PR every single day, every single week for 12 weeks straight. You have to have some sort of balance of intensity in this program. I’ve been doing this program for over 7 years now so I have a little more experience then pretty much anybody out there besides Kendrick Farris and Cody Gibbs but I can tell you that you WILL NEED TO TAKE A LIGHT WEEK. That is right a light week, deload week, whatever you want to call it take one. I usually take a light week at least once every 4 weeks, sometimes even if you just need a light day it is better than going balls to the wall and getting burnt out or even worse, injured! So keep that in mind when trying this program. I know the goal is to get stronger and hit PR’s but at the same time your body needs proper recovery which leads me to my next point.


Recovery. So many of you choose to ignore that. You train your ass off everyday, then you go out drinking, or you stay up late partying, or just simply eat garbage. Your body needs to recovery and stressors can play a huge factor in that recovery. Some of those factors may include but are not limited to: sleep, nutrition, alcohol consumption, social life, school, work, family, significant others, relationships, and anything else that can create stress in the body. Stress, whether it be good or bad can affect your recovery and your ability to perform in the gym so keep that in mind if you are having a bad day or even a bad week in the gym. Sometimes you have to consider all the other things in your life and back off the training. Your body can only handle so much stress and still progress. Stress management is key to being successful on any program so take time to find that balance in your life. Is your training going bad because the program sucks or is it going bad because you are simply overloaded in your everyday life???



So with that I’ll leave you with some pictures I took of the program back when I lived in Shreveport, LA. I’m going through a few surgeries right now so I can’t really train but when I do start training again I plan on starting back on my own modified version of the LSUS Program. Good luck guys and keep up the hard work.

Last piece of advice I can give you...LISTEN TO YOUR BODY!


AHAP= As Heavy As Possible


-5%,-10% = Drop set within 5% of xRM, Drop set within 10% of xRM

Cluster= reps must be completed no more than 30 seconds apart.

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Reply Davin Terrell
11:52 AM on September 22, 2013 
Thanks for posting, what's a reasonable de load week look like?
Reply Kevin
10:49 AM on January 16, 2014 

Thanks for sharing and apologies for replying to an old post.

Have you ever modified this template to be 4x/week as opposed to 5? I am running through this program (template and principles) and successfully ran the 10s/5s at 4x/week but am not sure how to schedule the 3s and the peaking/taper weeks for 4x/week.

Reply Andrew
12:28 AM on October 16, 2016 
When you say drop snatch do you mean no dip/drive, like this


or with a dip drive, like this


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Reply Pete
9:36 AM on August 29, 2017 
just making sure, is week 3, peaking phase, also competition week? aka, after the first 4 workouts I assume you compete on that saturday or sunday? o is there a "competition week"
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