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


1.1K Comments+ Post Comment

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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)

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

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.

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

Hi Arslan,

Sure, that is fine.

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

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


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

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

Hi Ricky,

I'd recommend on lower days personally.

Hope this helps!

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

Hi Josh,

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

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

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

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 08/09/2018 - 08:38

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?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 08/08/2018 - 08:38

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

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!

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Posted Mon, 07/23/2018 - 15:37

This program works miracles! I’ve given a try for 10 weeks and I can see massive gains in both strength and size. Ain’t no bullshit but I truly vouch for it. Thank you so much!

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Posted Thu, 08/09/2018 - 05:31
Shubham goyal

ashraf can u help me please

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Posted Fri, 08/10/2018 - 08:59

How may I help you?

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Posted Mon, 07/23/2018 - 09:08

1. What are recommended rest times for both power & hypotrophy days?
2. How / where can weighted pull-ups & weighted dips be fit in?

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Posted Fri, 07/20/2018 - 10:38

Do you have an upper/lower muscle building routine that I can do after this one ,the 12 weeks for this routine is almost up.. great results btw!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 07/20/2018 - 11:07

Hi Aroun,

You could give this one a shot: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/4-day-advanced-upper-lower-wo...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 07/17/2018 - 06:39

If I'm on Bulking and want to start Fat loss (Calorie deficit),
what changes should I adapt to this program?


JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 07/17/2018 - 08:41

Hi Daniel,

Your calorie intake. To lose fat, you'll need to burn more calories than you consume. Training doesn't necessarily have to be altered.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 07/10/2018 - 11:00

Hello Very nice guide.

Just a question regarding the progressive overload and the 3-4 sets,Am i supposed to to 3 or 4 ? or if I complete the 4th set I am loading and jump to a 3-set exercise.

Thanks a lot

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:05

Hi George,

Start with the lower set counts and progress to the higher set counts.

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Posted Wed, 07/04/2018 - 12:14

Looks like a solid routine, I'm going to give a crack for the next 2 months, whilst I train in a new gym
One observation, is there's little direct shoulder movements in here, only 1 exercise for each of the power / hypertrophy. Is the feeling that shoulders don't need as much volume? Just concerned I'd be working myself towards lagging shoulder development / in balances?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/05/2018 - 08:49

Hi Phil,

There is plenty of shoulder work - both directly and indirectly, to elicit muscle growth with this program. No need to worry about that.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:00

Thanks buddy,
I guess the benching work which is indirect and the direct movements is enough to typically elicit growth etc. Rather than needing to have a routine where there's an emphasis on direct shoulder work like most routines, where there's a day dedicated to shoulder

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:01

Exactly. You'll notice the rear delts are also involved in a lot of back movements.

If you do find you need additional isolation work, you can always add some in as well. The program is simply a template - it needs to be altered for everyone's specific goals.

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Posted Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:02

I'll stick with as is for now and tweak later
Thanks buddy

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Posted Tue, 07/03/2018 - 02:36

Hi, I'm looking into this workout, but want to make a rest day between first upper/lower session:
1. Off
2. Upper
3. Off
4. Lower
5. Off
6. Upper
7. Lower

My question is it crucial from MPS point to do so?
Thanks in advance!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 07/03/2018 - 08:38

Hi Max,

Yes, that is fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:24

Hello Josh,
I don't have much middle shouder progression, should I do more exercises for it stick with the same stuff?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:42

Hi Miroslav,

You're more than welcome to alter this template to better meet your individual goals. If you'd like to build more medial shoulder muscle, and aren't experiencing enough stimulus currently, you can add in additional exercises to target the medial delts.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:45

What exercise would you recomment and on the power or hypertrophy day, and sets and reps

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 11:56

Hi Miroslav,

Any lateral raise variations on your hypertrophy days will do the trick. 3-4 sets, 8-12 reps.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 12:03

Thanks alot, have a nice day

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Posted Sun, 07/01/2018 - 09:29

How long should I rest between sets?
The reps are something like 6-10 or 8-12, so how many should I do?
And when do I increase weight? Every week? Or when I feel I can?

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Posted Thu, 06/28/2018 - 15:42

I was wondering if any of these exercises were targeting the abs. If so; which?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 06/28/2018 - 17:09

Hi Jason,

All of the compound movements do indirectly. If you feel the need to do some ab isolation work, feel free to do so.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 06/28/2018 - 17:15

Thanks for the quick response.

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Posted Sun, 06/24/2018 - 08:53

I want to do rack pull above the knee, should I replace an exercise or add it to upper day?

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Posted Sun, 06/24/2018 - 08:46

I wan't to do above the knee rack pulls should I switch exercises or just add it to the upper days?

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Posted Sun, 06/24/2018 - 05:38

Does that workout work well for beginner

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/25/2018 - 09:12

Hi Youssef,

I'd recommend full body workouts for true beginners. Check out some of these programs: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/beginner

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Posted Thu, 06/07/2018 - 22:33

Hey Josh, great program. I'm just wondering about the power and hypertrophy days and weight progression.

For the power days i understand you want to try lift heavy for 3-5 reps, so say for example i bench 50kg on upper power day, when it comes to the hypertrophy day am i following 2 different weight progressions? So like bench 30kg for 8-12 reps on hypertrophy but raise the weight on upper power? Am i understanding correctly.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 06/08/2018 - 08:50

Hi Michael,

Progression will look different for everyone. Personally, I started using the same weight for all of my hypertrophy sets and I tried to increase the weight used on at least one set during each week. For the power sets, I tried to increase the weight used on each set for each workout.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 06/07/2018 - 19:56

My bench is not going up.. what to do?

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Posted Tue, 06/05/2018 - 13:44
Samuel Carvalho

Hi! Should I take 2-3 minutes rest on strenght days and 1 minute on hyperteophy days?