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
12 weeks
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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1.2K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:08
Colton Roberts

Shoulders and arms are only hit with one exercise each upper day, is this effective enough to illicit growth? I know the compound movements will activate the muscle groups as well but would adding maybe one or two more exercises to each be better?

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Posted Thu, 12/06/2018 - 19:20

Would it be okay to wear a belt on power days?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/10/2018 - 10:18

Hi Ben,

Yes, that is fine.

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Posted Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:24

First thank you for helps
İs it ok adding arm movements to lower days just because add for extra moves upper days , like shrugs ext.

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Posted Mon, 12/03/2018 - 09:53
Dick Tracey

This is way too much volume. People are going to get badly injured working this program

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Posted Wed, 11/28/2018 - 21:00
Mark n

Hey. Wondering since muscle groups could be hit in 48 hours post last workout. If I workout 5 days a week should I just skip the second rest day in a row or should I add in another day of different workouts? thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 11/29/2018 - 10:29

Hi Mark,

You can skip the second rest day if you like.

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Posted Wed, 11/14/2018 - 13:22
Benchpress XxX

Why the number of sets for legs are so much more than other muscle groups? (Please reply :)

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 11/16/2018 - 11:00

Hi Benchpress,

Because legs are the largest muscle group in the body and require more work.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 11/13/2018 - 09:37

I've been using your plan for 3-4 weeks but my knee injury came back and im unable to do lower workouts.
Should I skip these days and focus only on upper untill my knee gets well or would you recommend something else ?
Thanks :)

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Posted Mon, 11/12/2018 - 13:27

Is ok to switch the days around so do lower, upper ,lower, upper?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 11/12/2018 - 16:11

Hi Phil,

Yes, that is ok to do.

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Posted Fri, 11/09/2018 - 21:16

What are the rest times in between sets and what tempo?

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Posted Tue, 10/30/2018 - 09:16

I've been using PHUL for a while and had great progress, I was stalling before
I have now been finally diagnosed with arthritis, herniated and torn discs in my lower back, and I have been told not to lift heavy, and avoid squats and deadlifts! Not really sure where to go from here?!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 10/30/2018 - 09:46

Hi Darren,

My best piece of advice is to seek out a professional you can work with in-person. Perhaps your primary physician can recommend someone from their network to work with.

It's going to be tough to find answers over the internet. This case is going to be more of a hands-on approach as someone will need to examine your movement patterns to provide the best exercise recommendations given your conditions.

I know it's probably not the answer you were hoping for, but I hope that it helps.

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Posted Tue, 10/30/2018 - 07:53
Ian Manaloto


For the Power days do we increase in weight each set for each exercise or is the same weight for all 3-4 sets?
Same thing for Hypertrophy days, do i increase weight each set or same weight for the 3-4 sets?


JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 10/30/2018 - 09:47

Hi Ian,

Depends on you and your training benefits - and what will work best for your body. Personally, I like to pyramid my weight up on strength lifts and leave most of my accessory work weight the same.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 10/27/2018 - 11:27

45-60 minutes!? No fucking way, I can't even finish Bench that quick for a 3x5

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

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

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?

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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 ?

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

Hi Romil,

Yes, you should use heavier weight on power days.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 11/14/2018 - 09:09

Thanks Josh...It really helped. It was my upper power day today and I did 3 sets of 5 reps for barbell bench press...I did with the same weight throughout. Is that the right way?

Also, does the motion speed of doing reps need to be slower on power days than on hypertrophy days?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 11/16/2018 - 11:05

Hi Romil,

Awesome! How'd it feel!

Yes, that is one way you can perform this workout. Tempo is generally faster on power days than hypertrophy days.

Hope this helps!

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

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.

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

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

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.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 10/01/2018 - 10:17

Hi Stefan,

Sure, that should be fine.

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

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

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

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

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

Can i add an arm-shoulder day inthis split?

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

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

Should you do any cardio in your days off ??

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

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

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

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 ?

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

Hi Ad S.

Sure you can!

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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.

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

Hi Arslan,

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