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Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower (P.H.U.L.) Workout

Average: 4.3 (171 votes)
4.3 5 171
Build both size and strength in this 4 day split based around basic compound movements. Get the best of both worlds with bodybuilding and powerlifting.

Workout Summary

Main Goal:
Build Muscle
Workout Type:
Split
Training Level:
Intermediate
Days Per Week:
4
Equipment Required:
Barbell, Dumbbells, Machines
Target Gender:
Male & Female
Recommended supplements for this workout:
  1. Protein Powder
  2. Beta-Alanine
  3. Citrulline Malate

Workout Description

Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower (PHUL) Workout

The PHUL workout is based around the basic principles of strength and size.  This 4 day program will allow you to maximize results on both fronts in an easy adaptable routine built off the following principles:

Frequency. Studies have shown muscle protein synthesis (MPS) to be elevated for up to 48 hours after training. That would make it ideal for you to hit each muscle more frequently than a typical once per week split. The PHUL program is designed to hit each muscle group twice within a week.

Compounds. The PHUL program focuses on the big compound movements for optimal progression. While isolation movements are included in this program as well, the main goal is to increase performance on the main lifts, as well as pack on pounds of muscle.

Power. This program uses 2 of it's 4 working days to focus on pure strength training. The key to getting stronger and bigger is to utilize progressive overload and time under tension. These 2 days will see that you'll be able to use more weight on your hypertrophy days.

Hypertrophy. In addition to 2 power days, your other 2 days on the PHUL program will focus on hypertrophy (bodybuilding) style training. This way, not only will you be seeing strength increases but you'll be building size as well.

PHUL Notes:

  1. Sets and Reps - When first beginning this program it is suggested to start with a lower amount of total volume until you become accustomed to the workload.
  2. Failure - Failure is a tool that should not be abused. All sets should be completed with at least 1 rep "left in the tank." Meaning you should struggle to complete your heavier sets, but not to the point where you're unable to get your goal reps.
  3. Exercise Selection - Main compounds should remain unchanged, however substitutions can be made for like exercises if desired.
  4. Abdominals - Ab work can be done at the end of training or on off days.
PHUL Schedule:
  • Day 1: Upper Power
  • Day 2: Lower Power
  • Day 3: Off
  • Day 4: Upper Hypertrophy
  • Day 5: Lower Hypertrophy
  • Day 6: Off
  • Day 7: Off
Day 1
Upper Power
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Bench Press 3-4 3-5
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3-4 6-10
Bent Over Row 3-4 3-5
Lat Pull Down 3-4 6-10
Overhead Press 2-3 5-8
Barbell Curl 2-3 6-10
Skullcrusher 2-3 6-10
Day 2
Lower Power
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3-4 3-5
Deadlift 3-4 3-5
Leg Press 3-5 10-15
Leg Curl 3-4 6-10
Calf Exercise 4 6-10
Day 4
Upper Hypertrophy
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Barbell Bench Press 3-4 8-12
Flat Bench Dumbbell Flye 3-4 8-12
Seated Cable Row 3-4 8-12
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3-4 8-12
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3-4 8-12
Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl 3-4 8-12
Cable Tricep Extension 3-4 8-12
Day 5
Lower Hypertrophy
Exercise Sets Reps
Front Squat 3-4 8-12
Barbell Lunge 3-4 8-12
Leg Extension 3-4 10-15
Leg Curl 3-4 10-15
Seated Calf Raise 3-4 8-12
Calf Press 3-4 8-12

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    Average: 4.3 (171 votes)
  • About The Author
    What initially started for Brandon as a way to improve sports performance has transformed into a life long passion of personal progression in strength and size.
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Comments (238)

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 15:08

Appreciate the opportunity.

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Sedale
Posted Wed, 01/01/2014 - 11:58

What would you recommend for losing weight while using this program?

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junie
Posted Mon, 01/27/2014 - 12:27

By eating less than maint.

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JR
Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 16:55

This workout is great. Looks like on of the best I've seen yet.

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Don
Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 17:11

Hey Brandon! Firstly, great material man! I was wondering however if you could post a link as to a few replacement exercises, for example, I don't have a leg press machine or a place to do lat pull downs, I was hoping you could suggest alternative exericses to these 2.
Furthermore, unfortunately my gym has only dumbells and I was wondering if I only used them instead of a barbell will that hinder my progress?
Lastly, I've been looking all over for a dumbell deadlift video but I can't find any, just videos on stiff leg deadlifts which I don't think are as efdective as a normal lift. Please correct me if I wrong and kindly try to hook me with a video ifits possible.

Once again, great stuff!

Thanking you in advance,
Don

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 18:06

Hey Don! For the leg press you could substitue in any other quad dominant movement, even if you wanted to just do leg extensions again on this day. Will really depend on what you have available. Same thing for lat pulldowns, although a great alternative would be weighted pull ups (or body weight if you're unable to do weighted). For deadlifts, there is no real direct replacement, but stiff leg or romanian deadlifts would be a great way to get in some hamstring and lower back work.

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Jay R
Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 17:32

Thank you for the routine Brandon. I really like it and want to start using it. I have a question though. I work 3 days for 13 hours, 3 days in a row every week. I have the other four days off in a row. It is next to impossible to fit in a workout during my three days of work, so I do all my working out on my four days off. Do you think this routine is okay to do for four days in a row, considering I will be resting for 3 days straight? My job is sedentary, by the way. Thank you Brandon, hope to hear from you soon.

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Sat, 02/16/2013 - 08:20

In that case I might suggest you take a step back on the volume at first to see if it's doable. But with that kind of schedule I might look into a push/pull/legs routine. So on your first four off days you'd do push/pull/legs/push, then the 2nd set of off days you'd pick up where you left off with pull/legs/push/pull etc...

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Jay R
Posted Sat, 02/16/2013 - 14:30

Thank you, that sounds like a good plan!

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Daniel m
Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 17:34

How does this work out compare to the 4day max mass workout
Ive been doing the max mass for a month now but want to give it atleast 3,6 months befor changing my routine ??? Any help there people

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gocsa
Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 17:54

Great article!

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 13:17

Appreciated!

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Amr
Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 17:55

Seems like a solid workout, I love training for pure strength .. I always thought you can only train either for strength or mass. but I have a question ... I'm not a big fan of front squats and lunges any substitutes?

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Sat, 02/16/2013 - 08:22

You can def train for both. I spent a good chunk of time doing Layne Norton's PHAT and I saw some great progress in both. However the 5 day split was just too much in my opinion. As far as exercise subs go you could do back squats again, hack squats, leg press, etc... Same with lunges.

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 13:17

Those are really up to you. Could do back squats again, leg press, hack squats, whatever else you'd like.

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Jake
Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 17:56

Looks pretty cool, the only thing that concerns me is doing heavy deadlifts the day after hitting the back hard on the upper body workout.

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Garrett
Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 20:55

I was wondering why this split seemed oddly good...then I saw it was Mr. Campbell writing it!

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Ben Bray
Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:12

Great video Brandon, big fan.

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Sat, 02/16/2013 - 08:18

Thanks Ben!

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Garrett
Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 21:14

Great routine Brandon! I was wondering why this was so good, then I saw it was you who wrote it, and it all made sense! I totally plan on using this as my next routine!

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Sat, 02/16/2013 - 08:21

Lol too funny!

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donovan depoe
Posted Sat, 02/16/2013 - 12:24

I like this alot. very similar to phat with out the speed days. i did phat for a few months and had decent gains but prefer a four day split over five. thanks.

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 13:15

I really liked those speed sets as well!

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panos
Posted Sat, 02/16/2013 - 12:35

Hey Brandon, thanks for the routine. It seems great just one question, how much time resting between the sets?

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 13:16

I used to be more specific in this regard but these days I just take as much rest as I need. Usually ends up being about 2 min for these heavier days.

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Chris
Posted Sat, 02/16/2013 - 13:04

Great looking Brandon. Made a spreadsheet for this routine this morning and will likely give it a try in the coming months. I had been following a DUP training protocol for the last 5 months of training and saw some very nice improvements with it but my time has since become more limited and a 4 day a week split makes more sense. I will say to anyone who thinks the volume would be too much, give it a try for at least a month before writing it off. Not everyone can do it but once I adjusted to 2x a week training I never wanted to go back to anything else. Thanks for taking the time and drawing this up!

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 13:16

Thanks for giving it a shot. Would love to hear any feedback you have.

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Chris
Posted Sat, 03/23/2013 - 23:27

Just finished week 5 with this routine and it has worked well for me. This is week 12 of my cut and I feel that this routine puts the right amount of focus on major movements, which in turn allows me to maintain my strength much better.
The only bit I found that I didn't like was the OHP on Upper Power days. After pushing hard on flat and incline bench the amount of fuel left over to keep good form on a heavy OHP is minimal. I ended up dropping the weight down and adding in another set for a total or 4-5.
I think this will likely work very well as I enter my next bulk. It is a great layout that can be adjusted as needed. Thanks again for writing down a routine that I think many people likely end up with only after many years of experience, it saves us all a bunch of trail and error!

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Frank
Posted Sat, 02/16/2013 - 22:13

I was looking for a new routine to mix things up and I think this will do the trick! Great work Brandon! STAY BIG!

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 13:18

Thanks big Frank!

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Frank
Posted Sat, 02/16/2013 - 22:15

I was looking for a new routine to mix things up and I think this will do the trick! I love the emphasis on not training to failure, as training to failure has hurt my progress in the past.

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 17:02

I've found since I started focusing on leaving a little in the tank I've seen a lot faster progress.

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darin
Posted Sat, 02/16/2013 - 23:24

do you superset these or do the number of sets for each lift before moving on to the next lift?

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Hassan shah
Posted Sun, 02/17/2013 - 10:10

hey brandon...
thanks for this...
i have a problem...
my triceps and biceps are good enough by cutting but my arm and muscle size is not big enough..
please tell me about this that what i have to do to build my size of arm....
thanks..

Hassan shah

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 13:18

Hey Hassan, it still boils down to progressive overload and time under tension!

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Miky
Posted Sun, 02/17/2013 - 11:51

On Day One and Day four, I would add the Decline Bench Press, to work the lower Chest as well
So
Day 1 : Decline Bench Press
Day 4 : Decline DB Bench Press
Both day as my 3rd exercise
How's that sounds to you?

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 13:19

I might actually say just replace one of the other chest movements. Don't want to go overboard with volume.

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Tony
Posted Sun, 02/17/2013 - 13:12

The only thing wrong with this workout is you don't have pullups anywhere, they are by far one of the most superior exercises one can perform... Should put those in place of pull downs!!!

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 13:20

The problem is for most intermediates pull ups are quite easy. So if you wanted to add weighted pull ups you could, however I find it more convenient to do one of the other exercises with added resistance.

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christopher shaddock
Posted Sun, 02/17/2013 - 14:13

Will be starting this on tuesday. Fits into my shift schedule. On off days I can do a variety of cardio, yoga/Tai chi and abs.

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 13:21

Would love to hear what you like/dislike with it.

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andres v
Posted Sun, 02/17/2013 - 16:08

can this routine be used to gain weight/mass if you eat a lot?

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 13:21

It can be used for cutting or bulking, just depends on your diet.

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Bronson Marlett
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 01:33

Hey Brandon! Love the videos & I think I'm going to start running this program this week. Been running a push/pull/legs split for the last 6 weeks or so. Just curious, what kind of rest periods are you taking between sets? shorter on the hypertrophy days & longer on the power days? Thanks.

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 13:22

I take as long as I need. I used to do specific intervals of rest, but since changing I've found no drop off in performance.

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Jesus Hernandez
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 08:03

Wow this workout is amazing! It has the muscle growth and strength gain you need for proper strength to size ratio!

Anyway, I had a quick question does it matter the order we do the workouts in? Every time I go to the gym every bench press spot is taken and I have to wait like 30 minutes it's really annoying.

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/18/2013 - 13:22

You can switch the back and chest movements if you'd like. However I'd suggest not doing bis/tris/shoulders until you've done your main compounds.

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Jason C
Posted Tue, 02/19/2013 - 09:47

Great routine, looking forward to trying it. my question is, usually I experience DOMS for at least a couple days after training. Only having a couple days rest might not allow for full recovery. Is that the point of this style of training or would be alright to wait at least 3 days between power/hypertrophy workouts? I would think my lifts would be compromised a bit if my muscles were still sore.

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Brandon Campbell
Posted Mon, 02/25/2013 - 14:28

You should find DOMS aren't so bad with this. One of the way we aim to combat that is by cutting back on total volume each day, which should help with DOMS.

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Jason C
Posted Tue, 02/19/2013 - 14:54

Had another question regarding this program. Would incorporating Reverse Pyramid style for Bench,Squats and Deadlifts be effective as well? Just modify the rep ranges to 3-5,6-8,8-10. I have had previous success with RPT that's why I ask.
Thanks!

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