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

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.

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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 Workout 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
2K Comments
Ethan
Posted on: Mon, 09/19/2022 - 20:13

Hello

I am planning on starting this routine next week however I am a little confused about the weight increases, when should I increase and how often and by how much?

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 09/24/2022 - 09:19

Use more weight during the strength workouts than the hypertrophy workouts.

When you're in the workout, gradually increase the weight from one set to the next. The amount is based on how strong you are. Some people may be able to jump 5 pounds while others can jump 20. That is up to the individual.

john johnson
Posted on: Sat, 09/17/2022 - 15:50

i dont have a machine, what can i replace the machine exercises for? all i have is a leg extension machine.

should i also add wrist curl?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 09/22/2022 - 16:59

The Exercises section at the top of the M&S site offers numerous exercises you can choose based on the equipment you have.

I like wrist curls. Sure, throw them in.

dom
Posted on: Wed, 09/14/2022 - 03:20

first of all isint that too many excersises in one day?and squat with deadlifts sounds taxing wondering if i could just do those two on L power days and arent you supposed to do flat bench 2x a week to get higher in weight??

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 09/20/2022 - 16:11

No, not too many exercises. If you wanted to just do those two on power days, you can. I've done that and found it worked for strength. You don't have to flat bench twice a week to make progress, though.

Jay
Posted on: Wed, 09/07/2022 - 19:09

I feel like there are too many unnecessary movements in here. I done away with the arm isolation exercises and added a face pull on one day and lat raises on the other, also changed the one armed row to pull ups. There’s plenty of arm activation the isolations are probably not worth it, I may just do them on rest days. Also two calf exercises on same day seems strange, i do one ab workout instead and I swapped out the leg extensions (horrible excercise) for a hip thrust to get that hip extension movement in there. Just my two cents…

Paul
Posted on: Fri, 09/02/2022 - 16:29

Finally a workout with up to date comments. Going to start this next week. I have been out of the gym for a little over a year. Was an avid crossfiter and powerlifer. Since then I gained a few pounds. Can this workout shed some pounds as well as put on some muscle at same time?

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 09/02/2022 - 20:41

It can help you lose a few as long as your nutrition and cardio are on point, Paul. You could notice a little muscle growth as well.

Richard
Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2022 - 23:54

Hi, is there any way to replace deadlifts and would it be okay if I just skip that exercise? Thanks!

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 08/30/2022 - 09:23

You can skip them or replace them with rack pulls, Richard.

Shane
Posted on: Mon, 08/29/2022 - 11:49

Hey Roger, this is exactly the program I’ve been looking for. After loosing 60lbs focusing on long distance running the time has come to put on mass. At 185 I just repped 240lbs on bench after week 2! My question is, to avoid unnecessary fat gain can I still incorporate my medium distance runs say 7-10 miles 3x’s / week? Or will this interfere with the muscle building process. Thanks for your help!

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 08/30/2022 - 09:19

Hey Shane, I think two of those runs a week would be better for you than three. You should still see results on that schedule. Hope this helps, and thank you for reading M&S!

Frederick
Posted on: Thu, 08/25/2022 - 11:45

Hi, are you supposed to use the same weights on both power and hyperthropy days?

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 08/26/2022 - 09:17

No, Frederick. Use heavier weights on power days.

Luthfi
Posted on: Mon, 08/22/2022 - 23:25

Hi, can I incorporate calisthenics such as push up and pull up? I also want to be good at calisthenic movement like one arm push up and one feet squat, thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 08/23/2022 - 08:48

You sure can! Let us know how you improve with those movements while doing this program. Thanks for reading M&S!

Me
Posted on: Mon, 08/22/2022 - 16:09

Hello,

I started this program a couple of weeks ago and like it, but I have one concern: Doesn't performing deadlifts only once per week too little?

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 08/23/2022 - 08:41

It is not too little. If you train intense enough, it will be plenty.

rge
Posted on: Wed, 08/17/2022 - 11:04

Hello,

I want to make some changes on this program by considering my own muscle priority. Instead of some lower body exercises I want to focus on my shoulder and arms. I would like to know if I change leg extension and calf press with the shoulder press and arm exercise, is it against the idea of this upper-lower workout or is it going to be useful considering my weak areas.

Also, I want to add dips and pull ups on the upper hypertrophy day to increase volume. Dips after dumbbell fly and pull ups before cable row, is it a good idea?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 08/18/2022 - 18:57

For the purpose of balance, I suggest keeping the leg exercises in for now. The dips and pullups in addition on the upper hypertrophy day is ok. That actually may help the rest of your upper body as well since the shoulders and arms are active in a supporting role.

Hope this helps!

Aaron
Posted on: Mon, 08/15/2022 - 12:02

Hello Rodger,

What do you recommend the weight progression should be and how often? I was thinking of increasing the weight by 5lbs every two weeks.

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 08/16/2022 - 10:12

That is a great gauge, Aaron. Don't be surprised if you find yourself getting stronger and need to bump up every week at some point. Good luck, and thanks for reading M&S!

Jacob
Posted on: Tue, 08/09/2022 - 08:48

Hey Rodger. I am 4 weeks into the program and I mostly like it so far, but I have a question. Genetically I have really big and strong legs, but the area where I lack are my arms. I have a good bench and like the chest exercises here too, but I feel that I need to put more of an emphasis on my arms, and I don't think one bicep and one tricep exercises are enough. What should I do? I feel like im going a little overkill on my legs and quads which are big, but not enough on my arms, which I would like to grow

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 08/14/2022 - 09:56

Thanks for reading M&S and for the question, Jacob. If you have an extra day for the gym, go for this.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/armergency-workout

If not, take whatever exercises you like from that one and add it to the workout you're doing. You can also back off of quad work by skipping the leg extensions.

Keiton
Posted on: Mon, 08/01/2022 - 09:49

with three off days, do you recommend a cardio day or pump focus day on the muscles you felt like you didn't hit ?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 08/11/2022 - 08:13

A cardio day would be a good idea, Keiton. I don't know about the pump focus day. I personally would want the most time to recover as possible, but if you tried it and like it, keep it in.

Yazan
Posted on: Thu, 07/28/2022 - 18:19

Was wondering if it's a good idea to add a third upper body day to target lacking areas like triceps and so on

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 08/09/2022 - 08:22

You can, Yazan, but you may not see the same results because your recovery time is decreased. Try it for a couple of weeks, and if you feel good with it, carry on and let us know how it goes. Thanks for reading M&S!

Edward
Posted on: Sat, 07/23/2022 - 17:03

Hi! Been doing this routine for two months and I'm seeing very good progress on both strength and hypertrophy! I have two questions: 1. After the suggested 12 weeks of training can I still run this program or should switch for something else? 2. I rarely do cardio on the gym after work outs but I started boxing just on Saturdays, will it affect somehow my rest day or it doesn't matter as much? Thank you!!

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 07/30/2022 - 09:21

Hey Edward, thanks for reading M&S.

Glad you're seeing results. Congrats on the progress. You can run the program again if you want.

If the boxing sessions aren't too long, you should be ok when it comes to recovery. If you do notice that you're not recovering as well, back off the boxing to every other week.

Hm
Posted on: Mon, 07/18/2022 - 09:31

Hi, how many seconds rest between sets is recommended?

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 07/26/2022 - 19:41

On the power days, shoot for around 2 minutes of rest, even 3 if you need it. On the hypertrophy days, 60-90 seconds will be plenty.

Bodii
Posted on: Sat, 07/09/2022 - 23:10

Hii ..
I have been training for 5 years but to no avail because I was going in the wrong way, so I decided to train again, but I wonder how much muscle I will gain in the first year, knowing that I'm not a beginner
Will I gain 12 or less
Thanks.

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 07/20/2022 - 08:50

There is no accurate way to determine that. The only way to know is to proceed. You can make gains on this program, but how much is determined by your effort, consistency, recovery, and discipline.

Bodii
Posted on: Sat, 07/23/2022 - 23:32

I mean, can I gain muscle even if I'm not a beginner, with discipline in exercise, food and recovery?

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 07/30/2022 - 09:28

You can absolutely gain muscle! It's just hard to pinpoint how much because of the factors in my previous comment. Give it all you got, and you should see progress to be proud of.

Andrew
Posted on: Sat, 07/09/2022 - 16:57

How should I progress weight in this program? In other programs (such as 531 BBB) you would do 4 weeks, increase 1RMs by 5-10 lbs, repeat. Would I use a similar progression here?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 07/20/2022 - 08:45

Hi, Andrew. That would be the way I suggest doing it. Jump 5 pounds every 4 weeks unless you notice real strong gains, then jump 10 in that case.

ANFit
Posted on: Wed, 07/06/2022 - 11:33

I do all my workouts at home and would love to build mass. I have a flat bench, incline bench, rower, exercise ball and 2 sets of adjustable dumbbells, heaviest being 50lbs. Can I make this workout doable with what I have?

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 07/08/2022 - 09:25

You can! Go to the Exercises section at the top of the M&S site, and you can find several exercises that you can swap in place of the machine movements. If you have trouble finding any replacements, let me know and I'll try to help.

ANFit
Posted on: Mon, 08/22/2022 - 11:51

Thanks so much! Do I just find the right replacements or is there a list/swap section?

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 08/23/2022 - 08:38

Just find the replacements you want. The list/swap idea is a good one, though. Hopefully we can make that happen someday.

Sharyn Price
Posted on: Fri, 07/01/2022 - 21:20

Hi guys. This programme looks perfect for my goals. The only exercise I can't get with my home equipment is the leg press. What would be the best barbell or dumb bell sub for it, please?

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 07/08/2022 - 09:23

Hi, Sharyn. I like dumbbell goblet squats as a substitute. Pause at the bottom and drive yourself up with the weight as quickly as you can. I hope this helps!

onur sezen
Posted on: Thu, 06/30/2022 - 16:35

I want to use this program for more than 12 weeks.
Is there a problem (for strength and muscle development)if I do?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 07/07/2022 - 08:26

No problem at all, Onur. Keep us posted on how you progress.

Nazzu
Posted on: Mon, 06/20/2022 - 02:36

Thanks for the program. Have 2 questions: 1) is the overhead press the one that use barbell? If it is, can i substitute it with db shoulder press? I don’t think i can do it with barbell just yet, 2) when’s the time for deload?

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 06/24/2022 - 10:00

Hi, Nazzu. It is supposed to be barbell, but you can sub dumbbells in.

Do a deload after 8 weeks.

E
Posted on: Sun, 06/19/2022 - 13:47

1. Can I swap incline bench on upper hypertrophy for flat bench?

2. What would be a good leg curl alternative please that target hamstrings apart from Romanian deadlifts?

3.Should I aim for the weights to be about 2-4kg lighter on the hypertrophy days?

Thankyou.