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
4
Barbell, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female

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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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.

380 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 08/29/2016 - 18:54
Samuel Brown

Recommended rest on both power and hypertrophy days? (Rest in between sets)

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Posted Wed, 08/17/2016 - 14:17
John

After completing the main lifts, should I superset the next lifts? If yes, how should I superset them?

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Posted Mon, 08/01/2016 - 23:51
Andrew

Quick question: When people say to increase about 5 pounds per week, do they mean add 5 lb plates on each side, making it 10, or add 2.5 lbs on each side, making it an actual 5 lbs per week?

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Posted Wed, 08/03/2016 - 16:00
Luke Read

I would be documenting every set you do (including how many reps and the weight used) and letting that dictate when it's time to move up in weight. If you can do all the sets of that exercise and hit the max reps then I would put on more weight next time. If you can't hit the minimum reps for all sets the next time you workout then you've put on too much weight.

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Posted Sun, 08/07/2016 - 11:25
Jim

5 lbs total. As in, 2.5 lbs per side. So if you did 100lbs one week the next week would be 105lbs, not 110lbs.

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Posted Tue, 07/19/2016 - 17:52
Jose

For how long should I rest between sets?

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Posted Fri, 07/15/2016 - 19:30
Dale

Hi this is probably a silly questioned but not sure how to plan this out for each week. I was just wondering do I increase the reps or sets or weight each week or all of the above or just the weight until I can't do anymore then change program or what

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Posted Wed, 08/03/2016 - 15:55
Luke Read

You always want to stay with in the rep range provided. you will know when it's time to up the weight if you are easily hitting the max reps. I would suggest keeping to any program for about 6 - 8 weeks, then look at moving on. Theres no reason not to come back to this program after using another program for 6-8 weeks. Depends on your results and how much you enjoy it

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Posted Tue, 07/12/2016 - 22:17
Albert

When do I know when to add weights to the PHUL Workout? Should I add 5 lbs to each exercise like StrongLifts 5X5? How long should I rest between each sets? Thank you

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Posted Fri, 07/22/2016 - 20:54
Jason Simpson

I would say with the power part of the workout increase reps each time you do it up to 12 reps, then go back to 8 reps and up the weight 5 to 10 lbs. For the hypertrophy, I think I would start with heavy for 8 reps, go a little lighter for 10 reps and still a little lighter for 12 reps allowing a go 2 mins or so between hypertrophy sets. a min to 90 seconds on the power I would say would be enough.

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Posted Sun, 07/10/2016 - 08:45
Robert

What Is the optimal rest time between sets and exercises for strenght days and Hypertrophy days ?

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Posted Tue, 06/28/2016 - 11:54
Con

started this a few weeks ago and wasn't sure on how results would be, as I was used to 3-4 days upper body, with 1 day lower.. Results great so far. Have added to bench, squat, deadlift and can perform a lot more pull ups than when I started! Will keep on this for the next 3 months and re assess. Have also noticed a decrease in stomach fat (I changed my diet also, but the added strength training must be helping)

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Posted Sun, 06/26/2016 - 12:17
Vitor

I would like an explanation, in the power workout, why there are series with 10-15 reps, such as the leg press. This would not be a resistance training? Or even 6-10, they would not fit in hypertrophy? Sorry for English.

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Posted Wed, 06/01/2016 - 10:35
DVongola

Is there a significant difference between the incline dumbell and bench press? Same thing about the regular and the front squat?

Is there a guideline of how much weight to increase by? I came from GSLP which had a set weight increase and AMRAP which helped for the future if you failed the last set.

Lastly why are there range of reps and sets? Like I have a choice of doing 3 or 4 sets of an exercise I could do 8 to 12 reps? Or is it that every week I should increase the number of set/reps?

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Posted Mon, 05/16/2016 - 01:39
Andy

Would doing supersets for chest/back be more beneficial?

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Posted Thu, 05/26/2016 - 05:01
pete

In the sense of doing first chest exercise than first back and so on? IMO no problem at all. You even have a greater pause/"recovery" between exercises, which gives you a bit more strength for the following second exercise.
But if you mean in like one set chest one set back, not a big fan. First off your sets will feel like hell because in your rest periode between sets you are doing another exercise instead of resting. Second of all you block two pieces of equipment, as a gym owner not a big fan:P

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Posted Sat, 05/07/2016 - 17:53
JOE

What about Included weights on sets plz؟

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Posted Sat, 05/14/2016 - 18:32
Guy

That will depend individually on what you can lift within those rep ranges, i myself have been doing this exact split for quite some time and love it, best routine ive come across

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Posted Mon, 05/16/2016 - 16:21
Harrison

What is "quite some time"? 3 months? 6 months?

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Posted Tue, 05/17/2016 - 16:09
Guy

Ive been running it for about 4 months and havent looked back the progression in the routine is amazing you wont regret it...

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Posted Sat, 04/16/2016 - 09:16
Lass

I've heard so many good things about PHUL and I'd love to transition over from coolcicada's PPL, but damn as an already boyish-looking chick, I'm honestly afraid to start it.

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Posted Thu, 04/14/2016 - 13:38
Ajitesh Sharma

One more question. Can i replace lat pulldowns with Pullups and Incline Bench With dips on power days???
Will it still be good enough. Or should i stick to routine without alteration

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Posted Tue, 04/19/2016 - 09:22
Will

Swapping Lat pull-downs with pull-ups if possible work your way up to weighted pull-ups is fine. I wouldn't recommend swapping incline press for dips because dips like decline bench focus on the lower chest... Maybe add some Dips into your routine.

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Posted Sat, 05/14/2016 - 18:37
Guy

ive been doing this exact routine, and ive changed it up to get more bang for my buck so i did switch pulldowns for widegrip pullups because they are more of a mass building movement and another example is keeping skullcrushers on power days or straight bar cable push downs and cable extensions or single arm ones on hypertrophy days because they are more of a hyper movement, just make sure you keep track of what your doing within you routine so you know where you stand each sesh with your training, hope this was

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Posted Fri, 04/01/2016 - 00:42
Kyle

I was wondering about the weight progression in this workout - I'm very used to linear progression programs like SS or SL5x5 and they require you to progress by at least 5 lbs every day. How would it work for this? Increase the compound lifts every 3-4 weeks?

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Posted Thu, 03/31/2016 - 11:51
Ajitesh Sharma

Mike,
Just one question..Will dead lifting and squating heavy on same day cause problem...
Because both seem to be very taxing exercises and will target similar muscle group

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Posted Thu, 03/31/2016 - 13:48
MikeWines

Ajitesh,
People do chest and triceps or back and biceps all the time without batting an eyelash. Those work the same muscle groups and don't cause an excessive amount of problems.

Squats and deadlifts are more neurologically taxing but you can do them together if you're smart with your programming and you understand how to use autoregulation effectively.

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Posted Thu, 03/31/2016 - 11:39
Orreboi

Hey! I've Modified this program a bit for my own goals. I've added 5 sets of rear delt flyes to my UpperPower day aswell as changed the reps of the back and arm exersises to a hypertrophy rep range since i don't really see the point in doing below 8 reps on these. On UpperHyper day i've added seated dumbell press for 3 sets. Should i be fine recovering from this or am i over doing it since i've added few extra sets for my delts, also i might add 2-3 sets of a bicep/tricep(weakpoint) superset finisher to one of my hyperdays. Lower days will stay pretty much the same in terms of volume. Thoughts?

Sorry if double post, can't see if my previous post made it.

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Posted Thu, 03/31/2016 - 11:36
Orreboi

Hey! I've Modified this program a bit for my own goals. I've added 5 sets of rear delt flyes to my UpperPower day aswell as changed the reps of the back and arm exersises to a hypertrophy rep range since i don't really see the point in doing below 8 reps on these. On UpperHyper day i've added seated dumbell press for 3 sets. Should i be fine recovering from this or am i over doing it since i've added few extra sets for my delts, also i might add 2-3 sets of a bicep/tricep(weakpoint) superset finisher to one of my hyperdays. Lower days will stay pretty much the same in terms of volume. Thoughts?

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Posted Sat, 03/26/2016 - 17:17
Martijn

This looks like a great workout, I'm going to try this one. Because of back issues (scoliosis), deadlifting, front squats and for example Bent Over Row can cause some problems. Can I replace this exercises with other? Thanks for any advice!

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Posted Mon, 03/28/2016 - 11:10
MikeWines

Martjin,
Of course. If something causes pain or aggravates a pre-existing condition, then by all means, drop it or replace it.

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Posted Fri, 03/25/2016 - 08:53
Denise

Is this program good while im cutting?

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Posted Fri, 03/25/2016 - 10:54
MikeWines

Denise,
Any program can be good for cutting, it depends on a huge number of factors - MRV (maximal recoverable volume), stress levels, lifestyle factors, hormonal status, etc.

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Posted Thu, 03/24/2016 - 06:05
Dan

Excellent looking workout. I am keen to start this one up. Only thing is I have a bit of an issue with time and I was wondering if I could split each day's workout into a two separate sessions? One in the morning and one in the evening?
Thanks for any advice

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Posted Thu, 03/24/2016 - 12:47
MikeWines

Dan,
You could but I'm not sure I would recommend this workout then. Might be easier to stick to 4-5 shorter sessions per week.

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Posted Sat, 03/26/2016 - 11:03
Dan

Cool, thanks Mike!

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Posted Sun, 03/20/2016 - 19:30
Trussell

I have been needing a new program and this looks great. I just want to get peoples opinion on switching the upper and lower days so that it is:
D1: Lower Power
D2: Upper Power
D3: Rest
D4: Lower Hypertrophy
D5: Upper Hypertrophy
D6: Rest
D7: Rest
I have always been told to do lower before upper, is there any reason this is the opposite. I am also rock climbing 3 times a week, not sure if this is going to lead to overtraining? I have been going to the gym for a while and feel that my body can handle it. I am 25.
Cheers for the assistance.

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Posted Mon, 03/21/2016 - 10:51
MikeWines

Trussell,
It's fine to switch the lower and upper days. Personally I like that setup as well since lower days tend to accumulate more central nervous system fatigue and are more systemically draining.

If it were me, I would try to schedule your rock climbing right before your lower body sessions and on your additional rest days. This may become an issue with grip work for exercises such as deadlifts or farmers carries so take that into consideration as well.

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Posted Sun, 03/20/2016 - 10:37
Mike

New workouts are a challenge. Do them as they're written fo 12 weeks before you substitute exercises.
I'm 64 and Legs twice a week won't kill you.

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Posted Tue, 03/15/2016 - 16:26
fitpbryd

I'm going to give this a shot but with one exception, I'm only going to train lower once per week.

I'm 43, and working legs twice a week would wear me down.

Monday: Upper power
Wednesday: Lower
Saturday: Upper hypertrophy

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Posted Tue, 03/15/2016 - 02:35
Nate

Would it be acceptable to replace dumbbell flyes with cable flyes, and skull crushers with tricep dips?

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Posted Wed, 03/23/2016 - 14:29
Also Nate

Cable flyes vs dumbbell shouldn't make a big difference, but dips are primarily a chest movement, and doing them after doing heavy bench, incline, and press might not be the best idea.

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Posted Fri, 04/01/2016 - 00:01
Nate

Sounds good. I'm planning on replacing dumbbell flyes completely with low to high, and high to low cable flyes 3x8. Would it be alright to add a superset of skull crushers on upper hypertrophy days?

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Posted Sun, 03/13/2016 - 05:41
Deeps

Hey this seems pretty interesting. Can I do Cardio for a few minutes in the end of the workout?

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Posted Sat, 02/27/2016 - 01:32
Mr Sausage

Hi there
This looks like a great routine. What are the set/rep ranges please. I'm sure I've looked but can't see any of this info.
Thanks

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Posted Wed, 02/17/2016 - 21:46
Keith

How long should one run this routine?

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Posted Wed, 02/24/2016 - 15:38
Mike

Mostly any routine should be ran for 6 months minimum. With any routine if you stop progressing you should deload for a week or so then restart or move on to something else. Program jumping is a surefire way to spin your wheels, so stick with it.

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Posted Wed, 02/17/2016 - 19:36
Tyler

What would be an effective warmup cycle to do for the different days?

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Posted Thu, 02/18/2016 - 11:00
MikeWines
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Posted Sun, 01/24/2016 - 11:17
Remy

Should we be doing deads and squats on the same day? Seems like a lot on the lower back for one day......