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

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.

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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 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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About The Author
What initially started for Brandon as a way to improve sports performance has transformed into a life long passion of personal progression in strength and size.

596 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Wed, 06/21/2017 - 22:50
Eddy1

Can you use the same exercises on hypertrophy days that you use on power days?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 06/22/2017 - 09:14
JoshEngland

Hi Eddy,

You could, but some of the exercises won't target the muscle group exactly the same. You should be fine in doing this if you really want to though.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 06/21/2017 - 01:39
Sean

So on the Power days with lower reps do we lift heavier than the hypertrophy days? So were always near failure on the last rep of any workout on any of the days?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/21/2017 - 09:19
JoshEngland

Hi Sean,

Yes, that is correct. You'll want to use 85-100% of your 1rm on those lifts and have a spotter around during the lifts.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/20/2017 - 13:47
Thanos

It looks like a very small volume for me...
it isnt?
im fairly new to gym...2years...

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 06/20/2017 - 16:24
JoshEngland

Hi Thanos,

I'd say this program has a decent amount of volume. Definitely not as much as some bodybuilding specific routines, but still enough to elicit a muscle building response.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 06/19/2017 - 23:30
Austin

Today was the first day starting this workout. Personally I don't feel beat up enough. I went light on bench,skullcrusher since I was afraid to hurt myself. I'm also pretty weak when doing some of these workouts. Any tips?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 06/20/2017 - 09:13
JoshEngland

Hi Austin,

That's a good thing. You shouldn't feel beat up.

Be consistent, stay the path, and increase the weight you use as you feel comfortable enough to do so. Consistency is what will get you results in the long run.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 06/19/2017 - 17:47
Muhammad

Hi

Looks like a great workout so will be starting after Ramadhan is up! :)

Just a quick question on the weight during training - what percentage of our 1RM do we use during the strength and hypertrophy days, and do we keep it the same over the 12 weeks. On the strength days, do we increase the weight each set (like DUP) or keep the weight the same?

Thanks in advance

Muhammad

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 06/20/2017 - 09:12
JoshEngland

Hi Muhammad,

Utilize 75-85% of your 1RM max for hypertrophy lifts and 85-100% of your 1RM for power lifts.

You can do either in terms of weight progression. I'd recommend testing both options out and figuring out which works best for you. So long as you are increasing the weight you use over time, you'll see results.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/20/2017 - 09:25
Muhammad Sameja

Thanks Josh, I will try that :)

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Posted Mon, 06/19/2017 - 13:13
Ekron

For the strength days, are we supposed to run a linear progression with a certain amount of weight added every time or does it follow a certain program? By the looks of it, it seems that it's a linear progression right?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/19/2017 - 15:02
JoshEngland

Hi Ekron,

Yes, try to implement a linear progression with this routine for as long as you can. As most veteran lifter's will tell you, progression isn't always linear. If progress stalls, don't get disheartened.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 06/18/2017 - 12:23
Grant Fender

Can you tell me if I'm understanding this correctly? So we keep doing the same exercises and rep/set for the 12 weeks? Like just these exercises or are there others for different weeks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/19/2017 - 10:09
JoshEngland

Hi Grant,

Yes that is correct, do these exercises on their prescribed days for a 12 week period.

After those 12 weeks take a week to deload. You can then reassess your goals and determine if you'd like to make changes to your workout program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 06/15/2017 - 16:10
Renato

Is this good to combine with intermittent fasting?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 06/16/2017 - 11:23
JoshEngland

Hi Renato,

Sure, you can combine this program with the diet principle of Intermittent Fasting.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 06/15/2017 - 07:06
yashovardhan singh

I'm starting my cut from next week. Will this split help me to look aesthetic? I had been following ph3

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 06/15/2017 - 10:16
JoshEngland

Hi Yashovardhan,

Yes, this split will help you achieve aesthetics if used with a proper diet that enable you to lose body fat or build muscle (depending on your bodyfat percentage starting this program).

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 06/15/2017 - 10:18
yashovardhan singh

Right now I'm 14. So yes will be starting with 14% bf.

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Posted Mon, 06/12/2017 - 11:45
Ahmed

Hi,
I've been working out for 2 weeks doing full body workouts 3x a week, I have no upper body strength, my question is should i start doing split body workouts or continue with full body for a few more weeks?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/14/2017 - 09:29
JoshEngland

Hi Ahmed,

Depends on your short term and long term goals. If your goal is to increase upper body strength, you may benefit from training the upper body more frequently. A split such as this one should do the trick.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 06/11/2017 - 13:55
Jonathan

When would it be recommended to take my post workout shake and post workout meal with this plan? Should I bring the shake with me to the gym to consume it right after?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/14/2017 - 09:27
JoshEngland

Hi Jonathan,

Whenever best suits your schedule and is most convenient for you. There does seem to be some slight benefit to consuming protein around your workout (within 90 minutes before and/or after), but as long as you are getting your recommended protein intake during the day you should be fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 06/09/2017 - 17:13
Jonathan

While using this program, what would be the best way to lose stomach fat???

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/14/2017 - 09:25
JoshEngland

Hi Jonathan,

By consistently being in a calorie deficit. ~250-500 calories below your maintenance level calories should do the trick.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 06/07/2017 - 09:06
John

Hello I'm thinking of transitioning to this program from Stronglifts. I greatly enjoy compound movements and was wondering if/how I could incorporate chin-ups and dips into this program. Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/07/2017 - 09:27
JoshEngland

Hi John,

Yea, should be a good progression. You can add in chinups and dips to one of your upper days if you like or sub them in for another back and tricep exercise (i.e. lat pulldown and skullcrushers).

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/06/2017 - 13:52
Kajetan

Hi! Got to ask you about cardio after the training days. I think I won't be able to do my favourite 20-25 minutes 5 kilometers running after the "Lower power" days but would it interfere with training itself if I would go for it after "Upper power", "Upper Hypertrophy" and "Lower Hypertrophy" days? Would it slow down muscle increase?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/07/2017 - 09:24
JoshEngland

Hi Kajetan,

It shouldn't be a problem. I'd recommend performing it after your 3x a week, after your 2 lower days and on Sunday. This should give you plenty of time to recover.

Cardio doesn't slow down muscle growth so long as you do everything to recover properly (i.e. get enough calories, protein, rest between training, and 7-9 hours of sleep each night).

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 06/04/2017 - 16:08
Jose Orozco

Hey! I've been planning on having a clean bulk this summer and I like this workout, mainly because of the Strength emphasis (I love Strength training). I just had a tiny question about the rest ranges. Would it be 2-3 minutes on the heavier lifts like on normal Strength training? And how much it changes on non power days?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/05/2017 - 09:12
JoshEngland

Hi Jose,

Rest periods are going to be pretty individualized. Generally, 2-5 mins of rest will be good for strength/power focused lifts and rep ranges. You'll want to keep rest shorter for hypertrophy, generally this will be 30-90secs for your hypertrophy lifts.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 06/02/2017 - 22:33
Jonathan

On the off days, is it recommended to do HIIT cardio or another sort of cardio?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/05/2017 - 09:09
JoshEngland

Hi Jonathan,

Sure, you can. I'd do whichever form of cardio you enjoy most. Personally, I'd keep it on the lower intensity side, so you can gain all the benefits of doing cardio while also promoting recovery.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 05/27/2017 - 11:47
Rocky

Hello,

Thanks for the program.
I have couple of questions,
I'm planning to do little cut for 16 weeks to get my bf down to 10 % from 20 %.

So, I'm gonna follow the same program with slight modification

Sun - Lower power
Mon - Upper power
Tue - HIIT
Wed - Lower hypertrophy
Thur - Upper hypertrophy
Fri - HIIT
Sat - HIIT

And also, as I workout at home, I replaced leg extensions, leg curl and leg press with SLDL, Lunges and split squats.

Will I be fine? I'll be waiting for your reply.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 05/30/2017 - 09:37
JoshEngland

Hi Rocky,

I'm not sure how realistic dropping 10% bodyfat in 16 weeks is. Typically, a good fat loss goal is .5-1lb of fatloss per week. At 16 weeks, you might be pushing it. Remember, health and fitness is a marathon, not a race. Keeping realistic goals will promote long-term and consistent results.

Personally - with this program I'd do LISS cardio on my off days and really focus on recovery. The other exercise substitutions you've mention seem fine to me.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 05/30/2017 - 16:35
Rocky

Thanks for the reply. I'm 5.9 and 168 lbs with 20 % bf. So losing 1 lbs per week would cause 10 % fat loss right? Don't you think it's realistic, Moreover, I'm not gonna push myself hard. My goal is to lose 1 lbs with per with minimal strength loss. If you have a different approach please let me know. And thanks again.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 05/31/2017 - 09:19
JoshEngland

Hi Rocky,

It is important to note that fat loss isn't a linear process. You'll find hiccups along the way. ~1lb per week is doable for a while, however there will be some weeks where you only see ~0.5 or less of fat loss. And the less body fat you have, the more your body wants to hold onto it.

The approach is correct. The only thing I would note is implementing LISS cardio instead of HIIT on your rest days. Recovery is an important part of the process and it will be difficult to recover doing these workouts and HIIT on off days.

I wasn't saying it is impossible. I was saying you can slow the process down a bit and see the same results without sacrificing recovery or drastically cutting calories if you do reach a plateau bc your goal is to be 10%. So long as your nutrition is on point, you're getting 7-9 hours of sleep each night, making sure to do less strenuous activities on your off days so you can recover, you shouldn't have any problem reaching your goal of 10% body fat.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 05/24/2017 - 10:48
Dulmal

Thank you very much for sharing this exercise with us !! I have a question , Will this program help me in wight loss , I want to lose 15 pounds in 2 months and build muscle and be strong at the same time , is this program right for me?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:37
JoshEngland

Hi Dulmal,

It can help in all of those things definitely. But a lot of your success with those things will depend on your nutrition, how much sleep you get each night (7-9 hours each night), how well you recover from your workouts, and how consistent you are with your effort on all of these things.

To lose weight you'll want to be in a calorie deficit. To find out your calorie needs use our calculator here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

Then subtract ~250-500 calories to create a calorie deficit for weight loss.

Hope this helps and good luck with your goals!

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Posted Sun, 05/21/2017 - 06:26
Gnis

Hello,

First I want to thank you for sharing this routine. I've made some significant increases in my strength. But after following the program for 10 weeks, I'm down to something new and challenging. Do you have another routine which is on the same 'level'? I would like to focus once more on both aspects: power and hypertrophy.

Thanks in advance.

Greets,

Gnis

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/22/2017 - 09:56
JoshEngland

Hi Gnis,

If you're enjoying this program and still seeing progress, you don't necessarily have to change things up.

However, if you want to embark on a new routine, we have a 6 day push/pull/legs split that follows a similar rep and set count. I've provided it below if you'd like to check it out.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/6-day-powerbuilding-split-mea...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 05/18/2017 - 00:27
Anthony

Hi,
I just had a question: What would you recommend for ab work and how frequently would you recommend it?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 05/18/2017 - 09:15
JoshEngland

Hi Anthony,

You can add additional ab work to this program if you feel it will help with your individual goals, however it isn't necessary to do so.

I've provided a link to our ab workouts database below. Feel free to browse it until you find one that you like and you can either add it to the tailend of some of your workouts or your off days.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/abs

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 05/14/2017 - 23:12
Adrian

Hi,
I want to start a hybrid however I’m not sure if I’m ready for intermediate:

I have great strength for my squats, deadlift, and rows. My bench/overhead press are not the best. Do I need to bench X amount of weights before starting this intermediate program? I’ve been training for a little over a year.

Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/15/2017 - 09:34
JoshEngland

Adrian,

The experience level has more to do with the knowledge of the lifts and amount of muscular endurance you have built to handle the volume associated with it.

Everyone is different and has different levels of strength. You dont have to be able to bench X amount of weight to perform this program.

If you are knowledgeable about the exercises within the program (which after a year of training I'd assume you are) then you fit into the intermediate experience level category.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 05/15/2017 - 11:30
Adrian

Hi Josh,

Yes, this helps. Thanks!

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Posted Sat, 05/13/2017 - 18:58
Simon

Hi, what could I do instead of db flies, db lateral raises and seated incline db curls ? These are all of a no go at the moment due to a shoulder injury, flies aren't too bad but definitely need a replacement for the other two. Thanks.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/15/2017 - 09:30
JoshEngland

Hi Simon,

I'd recommend working with a professional in person. I'm sure it's not the answer you're hoping to hear, but it is the best to give. Anyone can blindly name substitution exercises over the internet, but without knowing the state of your injury, how it's affecting your movement patterns, and how far along you are along with your rehab, they could be putting you at risk for further injury.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 05/11/2017 - 03:35
Yondaime

Hi,
For how long do you think one should use this workout plan before having to shake things around and change?
And thank you for the excellent plan :)