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

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.

Recommended: Need help building muscle? Take our Free Muscle Building Course

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 Workout 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
2.3K Comments
John
Posted on: Wed, 02/21/2024 - 12:46

Hey, i liked this split, since i am looking for a 4 day split but i have some questions:
1) Is it better to train a muscle group 2 times per week for 8 sets each time, or once a week for 16?
2) Should i add more exercises for arms?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sat, 02/24/2024 - 07:29

Hey John, thanks for being here.

1. This is individual based. I can train muscles twice a week, but I have seen people get swole doing it once. Try both and see how you feel. Start with doing it once.
2. You don't need to for this one. You should see results on this alone.

yksh
Posted on: Tue, 02/20/2024 - 08:57

should i do 3 sets or 4 on a cutting phase
an year of exp with not so great results

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sat, 02/24/2024 - 07:27

Shoot for three sets, but if you feel you got a fourth in you, go for it! Base it on how you feel that day.

Adam
Posted on: Sun, 02/11/2024 - 12:27

Does it hurt if I add in some of the hypertrophy exercises on strength days for extra volume?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Fri, 02/16/2024 - 11:22

What's good, Adam? If you find that it's working for you, I give the thumbs up. What have you been adding?

Daven
Posted on: Fri, 02/09/2024 - 10:24

Hi Brandon! Thanks for the amazing routine, I was wondering a few things about it that I hope you could answer!

I go to planet fitness for the moment since there isn’t any other gym availability near me, what could be a good variant for the deadlifts that I could do on smith machines?

Also, when you mention 3 - 4 sets is it up to preference or the more the better? I’ve been doing 3 sets for the heavy exercises like bench press, squats and leg press and tend to do 4 for isolations. Is this good?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Fri, 02/16/2024 - 11:21

Hi Daven, thank you for reading M&S. I will leave this up in case Brandon sees it, but I suggest either standing on a step for the Smith deadlifts (if the PF staff allow it) or doing a dumbbell deadlift instead. If you opt for the Smith version, pause halfway up and down for more tension on the posterior chain since the barbell is on the track of the machine.

If you are able to do four, do four. If you find it to be too much volume or don't have as much time, three is fine. Your approach certainly works as well.

Vule
Posted on: Thu, 02/01/2024 - 12:01

Hey guys!
I started this program not long ago, but I have trained at a gym for maybe a year. So all of these exercises are familiar. I am wondering though how long breaks I should make, both between sets/exercises, and depending on if it’s hyper or power day.
One other thing is weight. I feel it’s quite difficult to determine what is right weight at the moment (not so much on the power days - when I try to go max - with one rep from failure) I am not sure how to roll on hyper days. Should I choose weight that I am sure I can pull 4x12 or should I rather adjust sets/reps to the certain weight.
I hope I made myself clear enough and thanks in advance!

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Fri, 02/09/2024 - 13:43

Hi Vule, thank you for reading M&S and the questions.

Rest breaks can be two minutes on power days and 90 seconds on hyper days. That is for both sets and exercises.

Go with weight that you can do for all sets and reps, but don't stay locked into certain numbers. If you feel stronger that day, bump up. Conversely, don't feel bad if you need to go down. We all have bad days too.

Hope this helps!

Sarah MT
Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2024 - 14:08

Hi what would you recommend for obese female,5ft 4I think I have a mesomorph shape, I'm obese,so hard to tell.i want to lose fat, get toned but not look bulky like Man.
Thankyiu

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Tue, 01/30/2024 - 09:57

Hi Sarah, then this one is not the one for you. I don't know about your background or training experience, so I will recommend this link. If you find a program here that you like, feel free to ask questions in the comments section there as you did here. We'd be glad to play a small part in helping you along your fitness journey.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-choose-your-next-train...

Dan
Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2024 - 05:16

When do you recommend a de-load? Every 4 weeks?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Tue, 01/30/2024 - 09:54

I would say you could go on to eight weeks, Dan. Then a deload week could be beneficial. If you feel you need it after four, take it on four.

CKli
Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2024 - 17:58

When it says 8 reps of barbell lunges, does that mean 8 each side? or 8 total?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2024 - 12:21

8 per side.

Georr
Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2024 - 16:09

Having trouble fitting this into my hour lunchbreak. Should i cut down on my rest time or just do like 1 set less per lift and go heavier?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2024 - 12:22

Hi Georr, go one set less and stick with the heavy weights when possible. If you're not feeling it that day, then play it safe and stick with less resistance, but change the rest.

Matthew
Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2024 - 13:24

Hi, just started this workout and looking forward to the results. This is a 2 day on 1 day off then 2 days off programme. Does the week have to look like this or can you do something like (for example) 1 day on 1 day off then 3 days on and 2 days off?
Also, what should the diet look like for this workout? Assuming given the max strength and max power goal it would require eating large quantities throughout the day?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2024 - 21:25

Hi, Matthew. I believe you can make the suggested schedule work. Just pay attention to your recovery. If you're more sore or tired than usual, reconsider what you're doing. As for the diet, the guide at the link below may help.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/complete-guide-how-to-increas...

Seb
Posted on: Mon, 01/22/2024 - 04:21

Hi guys.
I'm doing WOD 1-2 times a week, and I want to get in 2 says of more focused workouts, so I was thinking of splitting this program up, so I would do

Week 1 - WOD day 1, power up day 3, power low day 4.
Week 2 - WOD day 1, hyper up day 3, hyper low day 4.

Would that split make sense, or would I loose the benefits of the power/hyper split?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2024 - 21:19

Hi Seb, I believe this was meant to be done on its own, but as long as your recovery is as it should be, I think you could make this work.

Corey
Posted on: Sun, 01/21/2024 - 21:29

Do you recommend doing 3-4 sets of the first exercise and then moving onto the second once these are completed or is best to cycle through them until the recommended sets are complete?

Thanks

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2024 - 12:25

Hi Corey, you should complete all sets of one exercise before moving on to the next.

Pelle
Posted on: Fri, 01/19/2024 - 12:04

Hi,
Thanks for the great inspiration. I will have a period where I have increased focus on the arms. do you think this split has high enough weekly volume to boost the arms? or should I add a tricep and a biceps exercise to one of Upper body Hypertrophy to get more volume?

BR, Pelle

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2024 - 12:25

Hi Pelle, if you really want to focus on the arms, then add one exercise each for bis and tris on the Hypertrophy day. Anything you like should work.

Clover
Posted on: Fri, 01/19/2024 - 07:52

Hey there,

I wanted to ask, as someone with autism, I don't handle change very well, so I have wanted to find a single routine to stick to for a very long period of time. I know people talk about diversifying routine a lot so I thought it'd be best to ask someone directly.

If I keep doing this routine for possibly years but still increase things like the weights and intensity, could I keep using the routine without changing it and still see increased muscle and overall be healthy? Or is it better to use this routine for a set amount of time? Sorry if the question is a little silly.

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2024 - 12:24

Hi Clover, as someone that has worked with folks with Autism, I feel you can stick to the same schedule. Changing weights and intensity as well as rep speed can all keep it beneficial for you. Just make sure you're mentally comfortable with the changes so you'll be more likely to continue and see the results you want. Change can be great, but consistency of training in general is more important. So, if sticking to the same program works for you and keeps you active, please do it. Thank you for reading M&S!

mansour
Posted on: Sun, 01/14/2024 - 05:30

hi, because of my time schedule, I only have 3 gym workout per week. I really like your program but I don't know how do it. could you help me please?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Mon, 01/15/2024 - 18:51

What three days of the week can you train? Let me know and I will see how I can help you set up a schedule.

mansour
Posted on: Fri, 01/19/2024 - 06:08

tnx roger for reply
monday, wednsday and saturday

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/28/2024 - 12:20

Ok. Instead of focusing on weekly schedules, simply do the workouts in order on the days you train. For example...

Monday - Upper Power
Wednesday - Lower Power
Saturday - Upper Hypo

Next Monday - Lower Hypo
Next Wed - Start the rotation over.

Hope this helps!

om
Posted on: Wed, 12/13/2023 - 00:56

can i do pec dec fly instead flatbench dumbell fly.

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2023 - 20:59

Sure can! I actually like the pec-deck myself.

om
Posted on: Thu, 12/28/2023 - 03:11

Thank you Roger.

Adam
Posted on: Mon, 11/27/2023 - 05:33

There are two questions that come to my mind. First of all, in the program its written as 3-4 for set numbers. I don't understand, is it optional, should I do 4 sets if I can?

Secondly, the number of repetitions in some movements is 3-5, 6-10. So, should the number of repetitions increase towards the last set along with the weight? Also, aren't numbers like 3 and 6 too few for repetition?

Sorry, this is only my program. I'm trying to understand the basics.

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2023 - 21:11

Hi, Adam. Thanks for reading M&S and the questions.

3-4 is suggested. If you got a fourth set in you, go for it. If not, stop at three and move on. Some days you may feel like you can do four, others not, that is okay as well.

When you see rep ranges like 6-10, that means you can use weight that results in failure in that range. You could also start with lighter weight for higher reps and increase weight while reps decrease. Example: 135 pounds for 10 reps, 155 pounds for 8 reps, 175 pounds for 6 reps.

Hope this helps you out.

Charlie
Posted on: Tue, 11/21/2023 - 02:44

Can i use chest supported row instead of dumbell rows?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sun, 11/26/2023 - 19:41

Hi, Charlie. I actually like chest supported row better myself, so I say yes. Thanks for reading M&S!

Doug
Posted on: Mon, 11/13/2023 - 20:35

Great post. What percent of my 1RM should i use on both power days and hypertrophy days?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sun, 11/26/2023 - 19:40

Start with 80% on power days and 70% on hypertrophy days, Doug. If you feel the need to go heavier than that once you start, make those adjustments accordingly.

Mahir
Posted on: Sun, 11/12/2023 - 10:06

Is it ok if I do just 1 day for legs and focus the 4th day for upper body or abs.

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sun, 11/26/2023 - 19:39

For best results, do both leg days. You can certainly add abs in on one of those days if you like.

Morshed
Posted on: Sun, 11/12/2023 - 04:31

How should i progress with this routine?I mean how much weight or reps o should add and after how many days?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sun, 11/26/2023 - 19:38

Stick with the prescribed rep ranges. Once you can do more than the reps on the charts, go up. The rest should be based on how you feel and progress during the program. You may improve in some areas more than others.

Adam
Posted on: Fri, 11/10/2023 - 00:18

Love this program! Just a quick question about rep ranges and if my approach is ideal or maybe flawed?

I've been using this program for about a month, starting light to ensure good form and increasing in the smallest increments. When it comes to rep range, let's say the program says 8-12 reps, if I can do 4x12 no issue then I take that as my cue to up the weight. At the next weight level maybe I can only do 2x12, followed by 1x10 and 1x9, I'll keep at this weight next time and however many times after until I can cleanly hit 4x12 I'll then up the weight again to the next level.

Adjust the reps/sets for various exercises and strength VS hypertrophy days and that's pretty much how I'm using the program, but basically is this an ideal way to utilise the rep ranges?

Thank you!

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Sun, 11/19/2023 - 19:22

That is a great way to do it, Adam. You're on the right track for sure! Thanks for reading M&S!

Adrian
Posted on: Wed, 11/01/2023 - 18:46

Can I flip the program starting with lower body first of the week? The reason is because lower body exercise consume more energy than upper body so starting with lower will be better for me.

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Wed, 11/15/2023 - 18:08

I see no problem with that, Adrian. If you do it, let us know how it works for you.

sam
Posted on: Mon, 10/30/2023 - 10:17

Thanks for the great sharing. I would like to have your advice, is it good to work for other muscle once I finished the first movement? For example, doing bent over roll after bench press, then only back to incline dumbbell press. Would it be better for muscle to rest? Hope to hear your advice soon. Thanks in advance!