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

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

Build Muscle
Split
Intermediate
12 weeks
4
45-60 minutes
Barbell, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female
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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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1.1K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 10/16/2018 - 13:20
Mehdi

Hi.
are this plan suitable for a low weight person?
Height=178 cm
Weight=67 kg

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Posted Fri, 10/12/2018 - 10:15
Ivo

Hi,
Mi question is: is it better to perform on exercise with one same weight for all the sets and progresively increase the weights on the following training days or just with every set increase the weight by for example 10 lbs?
Thanks

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Posted Wed, 10/03/2018 - 00:28
Romil Kumar

Does doing fewer reps on power days than on hypertrophy days mean that we have to use heavier weights on power days ?

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Posted Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:15
JoshEngland

Hi Romil,

Yes, you should use heavier weight on power days.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 10/01/2018 - 11:09
Gabi

Is it okay to replace lat pulldowns with weighted pullups? Is it even possible to replace something with weighted dips, weighted chinups, weighted pushups or pistol squats? I like this program but I would absolutely love if It would be able to increase my calisthenics exercises as well.

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Posted Tue, 10/02/2018 - 09:21
JoshEngland

Hi Gabi,

The program is simply a template - feel free to make any alterations to it to make it better fit your individual needs and goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 09/29/2018 - 09:08
stefan

Is it ok to replace the dumbbell flye with cable flyes? 2 sets of 12 upper chest cable flyes and 2 sets of lower chest cable flyes.

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Posted Mon, 10/01/2018 - 10:17
JoshEngland

Hi Stefan,

Sure, that should be fine.

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Posted Tue, 09/25/2018 - 15:33
Chris

Can I add Arnold presses on both power and hypertrophy days?

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Posted Tue, 09/25/2018 - 00:31
Niman Shrestha

Squat and Deadlift on the same day? Can we replace deadlift with something else?

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Posted Mon, 09/17/2018 - 11:22
Ryan

Can I do it with lower power on day 5 while lower hypertrophy on day 2 due to the equipment I can access? Thanks you!

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Posted Mon, 09/17/2018 - 01:40
Niman Shrestha

How much weight(??% of 1RM) do we use on these workouts and how much should we overload over what period of time?

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Posted Sun, 09/16/2018 - 07:09
Tarik

Can I do more than one biceps or shoulder exercise per day?

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Posted Fri, 09/14/2018 - 16:17
giorgos

Can i add an arm-shoulder day inthis split?

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Posted Fri, 09/14/2018 - 06:09
Hanna

If i only want to have big muscles (purely hypertrophy) should i only do the hypertrphy workouts?? Or can you link to a pure hypertrophy workout (focusing on upper body) i want that women physique look

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Posted Wed, 09/12/2018 - 17:05
Frank

Should you do any cardio in your days off ??

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Posted Wed, 09/26/2018 - 17:51
Blake

Do whatever you'd like on your off days, but diet and this regimen would be sufficient for both muscle gain and fat loss as long as your macros and calories are calculated properly.

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Posted Wed, 09/12/2018 - 03:52
Manoj

Is it okay if I skip the rest day and do it in 4 days then 3 days rest?

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Posted Mon, 09/10/2018 - 10:30
Youssef elmassri

i dunno if i dont get it right or not but isnt 1 exercise for (triceps, biceps and shoulders) not enough ? like day 1 we do 1 exercise for each and day 4 the same happens again 2 for chest 2 for back and 1 for the rest (thank you)

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Posted Sun, 09/09/2018 - 21:35
Qadz

How much do you increase the weight you lift? 2.5lbs or 5lbs and when do you increase the weight ? is it only on the power lifting days or every workout ?

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Posted Sun, 09/09/2018 - 02:04
Ad S.

Hi , I am 21 years old and have a lean body. Height - 175 cms and weight - 74 KGS.
Can I adopt this workout program for lean muscular but noticeable gains ?

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Posted Mon, 09/10/2018 - 08:55
JoshEngland

Hi Ad S.

Sure you can!

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Posted Thu, 09/06/2018 - 07:54
Miro

I did this program for about 3 months should i try doing 1 month only hypertrophy and then again to power/hyper

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Posted Tue, 09/04/2018 - 13:15
Daniel

Hi.
I Am 18 - 175cm - 60kg
I've been going to gym for 2months.I've a good body but i am lean.
I'm looking for a good workout to get bigger & also stick 2 a good diet.
Is it cool workout to start or you recommend another workout routine.
Thank You

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Posted Mon, 09/03/2018 - 15:45
Stephen

In what world is this routine able to be completed in 45 minutes, or even 60 minutes?

This will take 90 minutes if you are actually doing 4 sets of everything.

I'd love workout programs to actually be honest about how long they'll take for once.

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Posted Fri, 09/07/2018 - 19:36
Mik33

Lol assuming you stop to check your phone, talk to someone...yeah probably it will take you 90 min if you do it properly I’d say easy 45min maybe 50min...every low rep exercise assuming it’s low rep range high volume you’d do a bigger rest so let’s give it 2min....for high rep range ideally you want less weight so let’s give it 1min, for arms just 45 secs just in rest times for the first upper day you got 33min and assuming you’re doing the max sets suggested....just saying I do understand if you go at a time when the gym is packed it might take a while if you need to wait for some specific machine/bench to be available but just find alternatives or move to the next one as I do and then come back see if it’s free :)

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Posted Thu, 08/30/2018 - 23:12
Arslan Sana

First off, thanks for all the quick replies. Just had a few more quick questions:

(1) For upper hypertrophy day: Is it okay to replace the flat bench dumbbell fly's with flat bench press? Or even add that in as an additional exercise? I wanna be able to do flat bench press twice a week.

(2) I will not be doing Lower Hypertrophy day. Instead I will use this day to work the shoulders, biceps and triceps, as they seem to be lacking in the other days (only 2 exercises for each for the whole week). I may also throw in abs on this day. Is this fine?

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Posted Fri, 08/31/2018 - 10:54
JoshEngland

Hi Arslan,

1. Sure, that is fine.

2. I'd recommend keeping 2 leg days during the week. However, if you feel you need the added work on those areas, you're more than welcome to alter your program in this fashion.

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Posted Tue, 08/28/2018 - 10:26
Arslan Sana

Is it okay to skip over lower hypertrophy or just replace it with another lower power day? I dont want hypertrophy in legs, just strength.

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Posted Tue, 08/28/2018 - 12:51
JoshEngland

Hi Arslan,

That is fine - that being said, building muscle on hypertrophy days will help with your strength.

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Posted Wed, 08/22/2018 - 04:53
Harry

Can I superset this programme?

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Posted Wed, 08/22/2018 - 08:31
JoshEngland

Hi Harry,

You can, but it's not ideal for maximum strength gains as you'll limit the weight you're able to move based on your cardiovascular ability.

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Posted Mon, 08/20/2018 - 20:26
Nathan G

So what days am I supposed to lift heavier? Are hypertrophy 75% your max plus some resistance?

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Posted Thu, 08/30/2018 - 14:06
Zach B

The first 2 days are heavy days. 3-5 rep range. Figure out what that is and adjust. Should be 80ish%

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Posted Fri, 08/17/2018 - 15:31
Jackson Rogers

Hello! I like the set up of this program but have slightly altered it. I've been progressing well now that I'm in a caloric surplus but wondering if I have too much volume on my upper days. Here's what the split looks like for me:

Tuesday (upper 1)
Barbell rows (4 sets) (6-8 reps)
Dumbbell bench press (4 sets) (8-10 reps).
Single arm dumbbell rows (4 sets) (8-10 reps)
Chest fly (3 sets) (12-15 reps)
Tricep pushdown (3 sets) (12-15 reps)
Decline dumbbell curl (3 sets) (12-15 reps)

Friday (upper 2)
Chin ups (4 sets) (6-8 reps)
Barbell bench press (4 sets) (6-8 reps)
Seated cable rows (4 sets) (8-10 reps)
Decline dumbbell bench press (4 sets) (8-10 reps)
Lat pulldown (4 sets) (8-10 reps)
Tricep push down (3 sets) (12-15 reps)
Barbell curl (3 sets) (12-15 reps)

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Posted Fri, 08/17/2018 - 16:38
JoshEngland

Hi Jackson,

That looks like a fine adaptation to this program.

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Posted Sun, 08/12/2018 - 01:37
Arslan Sana

Can I substitute the front squat for a regular back squat? I feel I will have trouble doing a front squat.

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Posted Mon, 08/13/2018 - 11:22
JoshEngland

Hi Arslan,

Sure, that is fine.

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Posted Thu, 08/09/2018 - 17:05
Karl

Can you recommend a ab workout for after my training days or rest day?

Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 08/10/2018 - 08:52
JoshEngland

Hi Carl,

You may enjoy one of these programs: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/abs

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 08/14/2018 - 14:57
JoshEngland

Hi Ricky,

I'd recommend on lower days personally.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 08/13/2018 - 15:43
Ricky

Hi Josh,

When would you fit in an abdominal routine to this program?

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Posted Thu, 08/09/2018 - 01:11
Naim

Is it alright to substiture all dumbell chest with barbell chest workouts?

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Posted Thu, 08/09/2018 - 08:38
JoshEngland

Hi Naim,

Sure, that should be fine.

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Posted Wed, 08/08/2018 - 02:47
Shubham goyal

Sir Am skinny fat guy
Can i follow this program?

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Posted Wed, 08/08/2018 - 08:38
JoshEngland

Hi Shubham,

Sure you can.

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Posted Wed, 08/08/2018 - 11:36
Shubham goyal

Sir i need some tips please whats app me 8376000091 am from india

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Posted Wed, 08/08/2018 - 11:38
Shubham goyal

Please reply me
Bro am very confuse

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Posted Mon, 08/06/2018 - 12:15
Rafael Encarnacion

I want to do competitive cycling but still lift weights. Would there be muscle imbalance if I replaced day five with a hard bike day? Would also be biking the days I'm not PHULing.

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Posted Tue, 07/24/2018 - 20:25
Raphael Rheault

Hello,
I will be following this program, however, I feel that it lacks shoulder work. In both the upper body days, there is only one shoulder-specific exercice. I understand that the shoulders work a little bit while pressing, but am I wrong to assume it's not enough if I'm aiming for the V-taper look with wide shoulders? Should I add one more shoulder exercice for each upper body day (shrugs, upright rows maybe)? Thank you very much!