PHD 4 - RJ Perkin's Power Hyper Deload Training

RJ Perkins
Written By: RJ Perkins
May 6th, 2011
Updated: June 13th, 2020
101.1K Reads
Pro bodybuilder RJ Perkins combines aspects of Layne Norton's PHAT, Wendler's 5/3/1 and Westside training into a muscle building system that packs a punch.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
    Single Muscle Group
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration12 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout60-75 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female

Workout Description

RJ PerkinsIf you are like me you have probably tried every training regimen and then some on every single web-site across the internet. You have done straight power routines, high volume, athletic performance, BFS, hypertrophy and so forth.  There are so many titles and names of different regimens FST-7, P.H.A.T, HCT-12, German Volume Training, Occlusion Training, and them some. Well let me introduce to you my personal formulated training regimen that I personally created called “PHD-4” Training aka Power Hyper Deload Training.

Now I am sure you may be asking what to expect from this training program, well here is the deal 95% of us who step into the gym want to be big, strong, and aesthetically pleasing. This program allows you to be all of those and better yet an overall well developed lifter, this regimen incorporates powerlifting, explosive training, and hypertrophy work.

If you are looking to be bigger, stronger, and develop a well balanced physique this program is for you. If you are looking to push your body beyond physical limits and become dominant in the gym this program is for you. If you are looking to separate yourself from the weak and be obsolete this program is for you. If you answered yes and told yourself what I just stated in the previous 3 statements is what you want then let’s get to work!

Before I start with this article I want to make it very clear and give all due and credit to the following:

  1. Layne Norton for mastering the P.H.A.T routine.
  2. Jim Wendler for the creation of Wendler's 5/3/1.
  3. Westside Barbell Club for setting the standards for powerlifting training.

These three styles and formats of training allowed me to create my own personal training method that I call PHD-4. Now what does PHD-4 stand for? It stands for Power Hyper Deload every 4th week, hence the short expression PHD-4.

How and why did I create this training format? Let it be known, if no one has not figured it out yet, that during prep for my show back in October 2010 (where I obtained my pro-card), I was in the hands of Layne Norton. Prior to working with Layne I was a fan of his, and during my 2009-2010 off-season I learned the basics of his P.H.A.T. regimen. I used it as my off-season workout leading up to contest prep for my show.

RJ Perkins

Working with Layne I truly grasped the idea, practice, and concept of P.H.A.T. training. After my show, I started to research new training methods, not because P.H.A.T. didn’t work, but because a true bodybuilder always broadens his knowledge and practices. This is when I came across Jim Wendler’s 5/3/1 training. I had some buddies who kept logs of their personal experiences and had great results.

So being in my official pro off-season, I was able to give it a shot. At the same time I remembered the Westside Barbell program. I was at a crossroads, do I go with Wendler’s 5/3/1 or Westside Barbell? One thing people need to know is that this is where the beauty of P.H.A.T. training comes in. You can manipulate it anyway you want to meet your specific needs.

So after writing down what I liked most about the three different training styles, typing out a rough layout on an Excel file, making continuous changes, tweaking this, then adding that, I finally came to a confident closure and I ran my first cycle of PHD-4 training. I want to (finally) share PHD-4 with the world, and hopefully bring something fresh, new, and exciting to the bodybuilding and iron world.


  • Monday - Power Day - Incline Bench and Deadlift 5/3/1.
  • Tuesday - Power Day - Squat and Military Press 5/3/1.
  • Wednesday - Abs and HIIT cardio.
  • Thursday - Hyper Day - Chest and Arms.
  • Friday - Hyper Day - Back and Shoulders.
  • Saturday - Hyper Day - Legs.
  • Sunday - Off/cardio.
Power Day
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Bench Press  5/3/1 1RM
Deadlift  5/3/1 1RM
Accessory Exercises Sets Reps
Chest Accessory 4-8 6-10
Back Accessory 4-8 6-10
Bicep Accessory 4 6-10
Tricep Accessory 4 6-10
Power Day
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 5/3/1 1RM
Military Press 5/3/1 1RM
Accessory Exercises Sets Reps
Hamstring Accessory 4 6-10
Quads Accessory 4 6-10
Calf Accessory 4-8 6-12
Shoulder Accessory 4-8 6-10
Hyper Day - Chest and Arms
Exercise Sets Reps
Speed Bench Press (Dynamic Effort) - 60% 8 3
Chest Accessory 6-8 8-12
Bicep Accessory 4-6 8-12
Tricep Accessory 4-6 8-12
Hyper Day - Back and Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
Speed Deadlift (Dynamic Effort) - 60% 6 1
Back Accessory 6-10 8-12
Shoulder Accessory 6-8 8-12
Hyper Day - legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Speed Squats (Dynamic Effort) - 60% 10 2
Quads Accessory 6-8 8-12
Hamstring Accessory 6-8 8-12
Calf Accessory 3-5 8-15

RJ PerkinsGeneral Notes and Miscellaneous Information

The format and layout are that of Layne’s P.H.A.T. method. Monday and Tuesday are your power days, Wednesday is for cardio or completely off, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday are your hypertrophy days, and Sunday you can do optional cardio or be completely off.

The power days are based off of Jim Wendler’s recommendation for those who can only train twice a week (mainly those who can only train early in the week on Mondays and Tuesdays). So Monday is Deadlifts and Bench then Tuesdays Squats and Power Presses with the 5/3/1 set rep scheme.

On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday you will be doing speed work on your power lifts besides your military/power press movement. This is based of of Layne’s P.H.A.T format but the sets, reps, and percentages are based off the Westside Barbell principles. On these days I personally decided to add in resistance band and reverse band techniques to my speed work weights. You do not have to you can you use standard weight that falls under your percentage.

Every fourth week you will be deloading on your power days - Mondays and Tuesdays, as well as decreasing your accessory movement sets by half and weights by half. This practice and principal is based off of Wendler’s 5/3/1 regimen.

On your hyper and speed days during your deload week you have the choice to do speed work. Keep your hyper sets, reps, and weights the same.

On accessory and hyper work when it says "x amount" – x amount of sets for a particular body part. you can break up and utilize as you would like. So you can so BB Curls for a 6 sets on your Bicep Accessory work on Thursday, or you can do 2 exercise of 3 sets each, or 3 exercises of 2 sets each, etc.

If you are used to training once a week you will need to give this program a minimum of 2 cycles for your body to become adaptive to the volume aspect. Stick with it. You may feel weak in the beginning but once your body adapts the strength will grow and be on the up and up from then on.

If you have never incorporated power training into your regimen then this will be demanding on the body. Make sure you are eating enough to support the toll this will take on your body. Please practice proper form and technique when performing these lifts as serious injury can come about if proper form is not utilized.

For questions you can reach me at:

Chase Martino
Posted on: Wed, 01/21/2015 - 20:09

Hey RJ just to clarify for some people and correct me if I am wrong when you say a certain percentage of your 1RM aren't the numbers based off of 90% of their official 1RM as it is in Wendler for example I bench 330LBs. This would make my 1RM in regards to 5/3/1 equal to 297 I would then find my percentages off of this.

Week 1 Bench
Warm up set 1 120 x 5 reps, set 2 150 x 5 reps, set 3 180 x 5 reps
working set 1 195 x 5 reps, set 2 225 x 5 reps, set 3 250 x 5-10 reps (failure in rep range)

Please correct me if I am wrong since this is your program and know what your intentions are with this program I am just trying to help specify if at all possible since I have experience with Wendler 5/3/1, Stronglifts 5x5, GVT etc...

Posted on: Sat, 11/08/2014 - 08:18

Isn't it a bad idea to train front delts the day after chest?

Posted on: Mon, 09/08/2014 - 02:30

Hello RJ, I was wondering how long may I be on this program?

Posted on: Sun, 12/22/2013 - 15:11


I'm running 5/3/1 for a while and like the format, wanted to try PHAT so this looks like a perfect option.

However 5 days of training is not possible for me. What would you advise:
1) make my week 'longer' than 7 days (to fit in 5 workouts);
2) combine two hyper days (Chest and Arms and Back)


Posted on: Wed, 07/31/2013 - 11:42

how awesome is this, i couldnt decide which routine to go for for my next bulking cycle, if it should be 531 or PHAT, and I have come across this. Excellent.

Posted on: Fri, 12/21/2012 - 07:14

I'm not sure if it's been mentioned but it is quite hard to do back and shoulders the day after biceps and triceps.

Posted on: Thu, 09/27/2012 - 23:05

As HIIT. Could I hit up some cross fit? Thanks in advance!

Mike Cassata

Posted on: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 13:51

Hi RJ,

I enjoy doing Power Cleans - is there a spot where you would suggest placing them in the routine?

Posted on: Wed, 05/16/2012 - 18:07

Hey RJ, would it be more beneficial to switch the bicep accessory from Thursday to Friday? Is working your biceps the day before back enough rest time? Loving the workout, just wanted to know if switching the bicep exercises to hyper back day after a compound back exercise would help me.

Posted on: Mon, 04/30/2012 - 12:06

Hey RJ!! i've been working out for along time now and just trying to switch my routines on hyper day does that mean more weight but less reps?

Posted on: Wed, 04/18/2012 - 21:18

I don't see how you could do justice to your shoulders when you just worked chest the day before. Same thing with back. Bis were hit the day before. Yes, I know your bis shouldn't be hit that hard with back movements but they are hit do a degree. Why work a muscle group that should be resting?

Posted on: Thu, 04/12/2012 - 16:30

I have been doing the phd workout for two months and i have gotten MUCH stronger and i have grown so thanks a lot. the problem is that i keep eating a lot like anything and everything.
i have upped my protein shake consumption to three on a workout day to try and lower the amount of food i eat but this hasn't worked. Do you have any tips because i have a stocky build and i put on weight quickly.

Posted on: Fri, 03/16/2012 - 05:24

Can I be a cheeky kunt and skip the leg hypertrophy day?

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Fri, 04/06/2012 - 14:28

Sorry I missed this and am late, but if you want to be a woman the rest fo your life sure :)

Posted on: Wed, 03/14/2012 - 02:47

Just wondering if you think it would be ok to use this format in a 4 day split with the hyper days as upper then lower. Saturdays i normally like to chill and recover. Thanks for your help

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Wed, 03/14/2012 - 13:59

Yezir you sure can I have done so numerous times due to time and day constrictions and dedication to other things! Not easy but can be done!

Posted on: Sat, 03/10/2012 - 12:35

He RJ, how long does this workout usually take? It seems like a 2 hour plus workout.

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Wed, 03/14/2012 - 13:58

Power days can be about 75-90 minutes, hyper days can be 60-75 minutes, I mean all in all it depends on the person, their recovery rate, pace, etc.

Posted on: Sun, 03/04/2012 - 19:02

how much weight should i do for the accesory ones

Posted on: Sun, 03/04/2012 - 02:14

how much weight should i do to for all the accesory ones

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Wed, 03/14/2012 - 13:55

You should use gradual and pyramid your numbers, so say you are doing 3 sets of 8-12 reps, 1st set should be a weight you can get 11-12, 2nd set should be a weight you can get 9-10, 3rd set should be a weight you can get 8-9.

Posted on: Fri, 02/24/2012 - 11:54

On Hyper days do you lower the load on the accessory exercises and go for speed as well?

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Fri, 02/24/2012 - 13:00

No no no you lift heavy and push yourself to make those muscles grow, on the hyper days the only thing you should be putting speed emphasis on is the main lifts (squat/dead/bench/press)

Posted on: Sun, 02/12/2012 - 19:21

RJ, I'm 52 and have been following your routine for 2 months now. I love it! Best wishes from Scotland! Any recommendations for somebody my age?

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Wed, 03/14/2012 - 13:56

That is unreal!!!! 52 and still paying due much respect and thank you very much for the wonderful feedback! Never let anything especially your age slow you down, truly inspiring!

Mike Hunt
Posted on: Fri, 12/02/2011 - 09:39

Hi there, would it be ok to do barhitting on the hipertrophy days for chest, back and shoulders?
Great routine mate :)

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Fri, 12/09/2011 - 13:07

Whatever you choose to use as your primary power movement I would not utilize as a hyper exercise on your hyper days, so if you are using bb flat press for your power movement use incline bb as your hyper movement.

Thanks much appreciated!

Posted on: Tue, 11/29/2011 - 21:36

Hi there, I'm 18 year old and I wanna change my training plan. I see your plan and I think this would be nice and fit plan for me. I just want to know if I do need to do all the training work-out for accessory exercise like chest, back, bicep and triceps in 1 day? and all the work out on each muscle part? I'm hoping you'd gonna answer my questions. thank you very much and have a good day.

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Fri, 12/09/2011 - 13:06

Are you talking specifically in regards to the power days?

If so then in all honesty no, you don't have to but it is highly recommeded due to that science has shown training each muscle group twice a week increases protein synthesis in turn whihc promotes growth. Again it depends on your goal but yeah you can leave out all the accessory work if you feel it is too much.

Dev Thompson
Posted on: Mon, 11/28/2011 - 00:50

RJ: I really like the way you've set the workout up and plan on making this my routine, but I just have one question. I've been reading a lot lately about how much the anterior part of one's shoulders gets worked in doing heavy chest days. With that being said, splitting chest and shoulders up both for power and hyper days, the shoulders will be getting at least somewhat worked four days a week, isn't that a bit much?

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Fri, 12/09/2011 - 13:04

Hey Dev,

I shot you a response to your email in regards to this same question :)


Posted on: Sun, 11/27/2011 - 09:30

hey RJ,
great article, thumbs up !
just one question: how does your hiit cardio look like ?

thanks in advance

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Fri, 12/02/2011 - 13:59

I keep it fun and interesting with the cold weather here it is ha to get outside so I do a lot of box humps, rope slams, medicine ball slams, jump rope, butlers, kettle bell swings, etc anywhere from 10-15 intervals from 15-30you seconds each!

Giovanni Figueroa
Posted on: Sun, 10/16/2011 - 14:34

Can you please explain to me in detail how the 5/3/1 for power work is done and the dymanic effort speed lifts on hypertrophy work as well?

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Mon, 10/17/2011 - 15:13

Week 1: You will do 3 sets of 5 reps

Week 2: You will do 3 sets of 3 reps

Week 3: You will do 3 sets of 1st Set 5 reps 2nd / Set 3 reps / 3rd Set 1 rep

Week 4: You will do 3 sets of 5 reps but this is your deload week

Along with:

Week 1: 65% 75% 85% of your 1 rep max 3 sets of 5 reps (last set do to max rep effort no more than 10 reps)

Week 2: 70% 80% 90% of your 1 rep max 3 sets of 3 reps (last set do to max rep effort no more than 10 reps)

Week 3: 75% 85% 95% of your 1 rep max 3 sets of 5/3/1 (reps last set do to max rep effort no more than 10 reps)

Week 4: DELOAD 40% 50% 60% of your 1 rep max 3 sets of 5 reps (no max rep effort onlast set stop at 5)

Weeks 1 - 3 Warms up using 40% 50% 60% of your 1 rep max then jump into working percentages

Bench Speed = 8 sets x 3 reps at 60% of your 1 rm
Dead Speed = 6 sets x 1 rep at 60% of your 1 rm
Squats = 10 sets x 2 reps at 60% of your 1 rm

Posted on: Mon, 10/10/2011 - 18:10

Would you consider this a good off season program for college football? I will add to this workout some more explosive routines like power snatch and power cleans. And flat bench instead of incline. But would a 8 week be good?

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Tue, 10/11/2011 - 18:00

Being a former football player myself I would say in some aspect yes but maybe cut out one hyper day and do an upper hyper and lower hyper day and do some plyometric, explosion, and agility work in there like box jumps etc.

But with the heavy percentage lifts and basic lifts along with speed weight work yeah I can see this being utilized for so.

Posted on: Wed, 09/28/2011 - 21:51


I've been on the search for a new routine and really like this one. I'm new to a routine like this, and I've previously been using the power/muscle/burn routine until I hit a dry spell in gains. So I'm hoping this program will help. My only question is about the accessory excersise. For example on Monday it say's chest accessory 4-8 sets with 6-10 reps. Is this just one chest excersise that makes up the 4-8 sets such as decline bb bench? Or Can this be two excersises making up 4-8 sets? Such as 4 sets of decline bb benchpress and 4 sets of DB chest flys?

Once again this looks great and I'm really wanting to try this as soon as I find this piece of information out. Thanks for the routine.

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Mon, 10/03/2011 - 09:27

Thanks for checking out my routine and giving it a go!

So I generalize 4 - 8 sets, I do this because not everyone needs the same amount as the next one may be stronger in different areas as the other. I.E. say you have a lagging chest you may want to develop the upper chest, in this case after your power movement you =may want to do lets say 6 sets of chest accessory work. So maybe 3 sets of db press work then 3 sets of db fly work. See what I am saying maybe you have a well developed chest and you may only need 3 sets of accessory work and they are just cable fly's so the thing about PHD-4 is that you can utilize the exercises, sets, & reps to your personal goals and liking :)

Posted on: Wed, 09/28/2011 - 17:31

For the 5/3/1, can I just add 5lbs per workout for lets say bench on the 5x, and change the lifts from there. Like so I'm actually doing my real 5x 3x 1x every workout?

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Mon, 10/03/2011 - 09:23

The issue ith adding 5lbs per workout is that you may hit a wall or plateau faster than too adding 5 lbs at the beginning of every new cycle. Now I am not saying you can try but I think you will see that you will hit a wall faster and have to continuously revamp/recalculate your 1 rm.

I understand where you are going but the percentages are a basis so that it allows your body to properly adapt and exceed its own limits without failing at total failure.

Posted on: Tue, 09/27/2011 - 23:47

i want ur workout video 4 can i get dis

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Wed, 09/28/2011 - 13:35

There is no direct video for download but you can check it out here on at this link

Posted on: Wed, 08/24/2011 - 00:37

Ok RJ last question I promise! First up gotta say shes a beaut. Into my 5th week and I havent gone backwards at all as some have mentioned here. Gone the opposite. Definately getting stronger and have increased toning and bulk. 3 -6 months of this and should see some impressive gains. Will post back here down the track.
I just want to make sure I am getting these acessory excersises down pat.
1.On the power days do you load up on the accessories as well? Or lift the same and on hyper?
2.Also should there be a different number of sets/reps for accessory excersises for power days to what you previously outlined in another post on here?
Once again good routine. Only thing I did different was on deload week I did cardio circuit work based around the excersise groups.

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Wed, 08/24/2011 - 11:37

Not a problem dude keep'em coming glad i can help!

Awesome dude very happy to hear and see that you are getting results you are looking for, 3 - 6 months I will need to make sure I am on my A game.

1. Im a bit confused by this question, sorry?

2. Again need better clarification?


Posted on: Mon, 08/15/2011 - 05:09

Hey RJ me again. I know for hyper days you have mentioned use speed but dont drop form. Lets say its bench you explode on the concentric but on the decline should you come down slow/steady then pause for a sec and then explode back up on the concentric then slow/steady decline then pause for a sec and explode back up and so on?? Or is it just smash em out a quick as posible even on the decline?

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Mon, 08/15/2011 - 11:50

Just a controlled movement on the negative is all you need, a pause on the bottom is only necessary say if getting ready for a power meet.

Posted on: Fri, 08/05/2011 - 11:47

Hey RJ would I be able to do this Mon-Fri? Working out on the weekends is problematic for me and I can't do it.

RJ Perkins
Posted on: Mon, 08/15/2011 - 11:44

I believe you can I would switch up Thursdays and Fridays imo, but in essence you can just make sure you are eating enough and getting sufficient rest.

Posted on: Thu, 08/04/2011 - 12:24

Hi Mate

Can you be kind enough to clearly layout a routine as this is all a bit confusing.

So Monday for example, Incline and Deadlift followed by all the Accessory Exercises or do I leave those out?


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