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.

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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 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
Posted on: Thu, 09/02/2021 - 08:27

Would using a squat machine be a good variant for the standard back squat?

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Posted on: Thu, 09/09/2021 - 19:55

Hi, Logan. The machine squat would help with stability and emphasize the quads more. That would be great for building size, but nothing beats the regular squat for strength and size. If you can't do the standard version for some reason, the machine would serve as a good alternative.

Jake Rondo
Posted on: Tue, 08/31/2021 - 02:34

This work out plan really worked well for me! I was struggling to increase my weights before but this definitely helped me increase my strength.

Posted on: Thu, 08/26/2021 - 15:46

Can you substitute deadlifts with rack pulls?

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Posted on: Thu, 09/09/2021 - 19:53

Hi, Daniel. Rack pulls are great for the lower back, but to develop greater overall strength, doing the regular deadlifts would be best.

Posted on: Sun, 08/22/2021 - 08:44

Hi, i would like ask you few questions
1) Can i change Dumbbell Lateral Raise to Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press instead?
2) Can i increase reps 3-5 to 8-10 instead? (squat, deadlift, benchpress...)
3) Can i increase a weight on every set but i will decrease a reps?
4) Why this workout plan focusing so many legs instead of shoulders and arms?

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Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2021 - 21:18

Hi, Tony.
1. The lateral raise is to focus on the side delts. You could substitute another lateral raise in if you like. If you insist on a press, then go with the Arnold Press.
2. You could change the rep scheme to 8-10 if you want to focus on muscle building alone. However, you might not get as strong as you could if you stayed with the 3-5 range.
3. The weight increase and rep decrease is up to you, but you may not notice the same results as you would by following this program as designed.
4. The legs are very important for strength, and many people don't train them effectively.

Matthew Fitzgerald
Posted on: Sun, 08/22/2021 - 07:32

Hey just wondering if if I cld you see this program for fatloss adding some hiit and steady tste

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Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2021 - 21:14

Hi, Matthew. If your nutrition plan supports fat loss, then adding steady state cardio could help you lose bodyfat. You may want to assess how you are feeling during recovery from these workouts before considering HIIT.

Posted on: Sat, 08/21/2021 - 21:08

Hey, I really love this workout however I have some doubts. I would like to hear Your opinion.
Are 4 sets of Lateral raises enough in a week? I feel like side and back shoulders are neglected a little and fronts are overworked due to all of the pressing motions. But maybe it is just my overthinking in play. However I see a lot of people having really bad posture with shoulders rotated to the front.

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Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2021 - 21:07

Hi, Maciej. Four sets for this area should suffice, but if you feel your side delts can benefit from more volume, check out the Exercises guide to find other movements that could benefit this area. Movements such as single arm lateral raise can be added into this program.

Lord of strength
Posted on: Fri, 08/20/2021 - 07:40

hi, can i do phul first and then phat?

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Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2021 - 10:00

Hi there, yes you can. Run PHUL for eight to twelve weeks, and then move to the next program of your choice.

Posted on: Thu, 08/19/2021 - 19:42

I feel like there’s not enough work out for the biceps?

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Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2021 - 09:55

Hi, Jake. The biceps will be involved throughout all the pulling movements. That said, if you still want to do more for the biceps directly, add in three sets of hammer curls for the same rep range as the barbell curls. Hope this helps.

Posted on: Wed, 08/18/2021 - 15:06

Is this program good if i want to lose fat ?

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Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2021 - 08:48

Hi, Cristian. This program is primarily focused on building muscle, but fat loss is possible. You may want to check out our expert fat loss guide for more information about how to get leaner and lose bodyfat.

Posted on: Mon, 08/16/2021 - 03:02

Hi there, I’m really into this workout plan. Just not sure if need to add warm up set for strength training in first. Thank a lot and looking forward for answer.

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Posted on: Thu, 09/02/2021 - 12:54

Hi, Yelin. Personally, I always advocate for more warming up if desired. This is one of those situations where the individual should do what is best. If you feel that warm-up set will help you prepare for the serious sets, then add it. If not, then just make sure you're warmed up enough before you start.

Posted on: Thu, 08/12/2021 - 17:52

On the strength days I cannot understand how you can lift heavy for 3-4 sets with adequate rest in between and complete this program in 45-60minutes. Doing heavy squats and deadlifts require at least 2 minutes rest but more likely 3-4 minutes minimum due to the taxing nature of the central nervous system.

Has someone actually done this program? I would love to know more about someone who has been through it.


Posted on: Sat, 08/14/2021 - 17:52

I did this resting between 2-3 on hypertrophy days and 3-5 on strength days

Posted on: Tue, 08/10/2021 - 11:34

During the lunges with high reps, is it 10-12 reps each leg or 10-12 reps with the combination of legs?

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Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2021 - 09:26

Tony -

10-12 reps per leg.

Posted on: Tue, 08/10/2021 - 09:21

On day four with the barbell lunges is it best to do 8 to 12 reps per leg or is that a total of the combination of two.

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Posted on: Wed, 08/11/2021 - 09:25

Tony -

That's 8-12 reps per leg.

Posted on: Sun, 08/01/2021 - 12:25

Can you do this back to back in 4 days with my work schedule it doesn’t allow for the 1 day of rest

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Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 15:13

Nikki - yes, you can do that. Just keep an eye on your recovery!

Posted on: Sat, 07/31/2021 - 11:56

Do I do 3-4 working sets of deadlifts or is it warm upto 1 working set like in 5x5?

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Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 15:14


The prescribed sets are intended to be working sets.

Posted on: Thu, 07/29/2021 - 16:47

Can I do this 4 day straight instead one day off in between and take 3 days off in a row?

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Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 15:13

Dan -

Yes, you can do that - keep an eye on your recovery!

Skylar B
Posted on: Tue, 07/27/2021 - 12:36

How often should you go up in weight with this program, weekly or every few weeks?

Posted on: Tue, 07/27/2021 - 10:23

If I were to replace the leg press with Bulgarian Split squats, what rep range should I do?

Narain Kalicharan
Posted on: Mon, 07/19/2021 - 14:42

Also I forgot this in my last question.
Is it okay to do 5X5 for power days
Compound movements? Because I really notice
Some strength gains in the current ICF 5x5
Program. However I also looking to gain some
Muscle mass and reduce my body fat

Narain Kalicharan
Posted on: Mon, 07/19/2021 - 14:24

Hi.. I'm currently running ICF 5x5
Program but I really also want to
Put some size. I have some fat to
Shred and need some muscle gain.
Does this program work on a calorie
Deficit? However I'm taking enough protein
For my bodyweight
Around 190-210g of protein at 72 kg.

Tod C
Posted on: Sun, 07/18/2021 - 20:54

Can you build a good chest only doing 4 exercises per week?

Nathan c
Posted on: Fri, 07/16/2021 - 17:25

Hi Do you think this program would be good for a combat sports athlete would it translate I do MMA 3 times a week but I have been doing hypertrophy single body splits five days a week but I feel like the volume on. Each muscle is to much and want to do something to aid the MMA and not lose the muscle I already have do u think this would be right for me ?

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Posted on: Mon, 07/19/2021 - 10:06

Hey Nathan - you can try this program with your MMA training for a few weeks and see how your body reacts.

Posted on: Mon, 07/12/2021 - 10:30

I’m in the gym with restricted free workout space to complete the cardio part. Can I substitute other cardio on the machines? Maybe a 10-15 run or stair stepper? Thanks!

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Posted on: Mon, 07/12/2021 - 11:01

Hey Maegan - that will definitely work!

Posted on: Mon, 07/12/2021 - 11:17

This workout not includes, glutes, forearms, hamstrings ? Can you suggest me if this is like a complete package or any other workout form the database

Posted on: Thu, 07/08/2021 - 19:29

In my last comment I forgot to ask about core. Where would core exercises best be implemented for this routine?

Posted on: Thu, 07/08/2021 - 19:26

Hello, I was thinking of switching from my current routine to this routine but I had a few questions about addition of exercises and some replacements. Instead of the lat pulldowns would pull ups be fine and for the flat bench flyes would doing cable cross be a sufficient replacement? Lastly, would Romanian deadlifts be a good replacement for leg curls and would Bulgarian split squats be able to replace leg extensions? As for the addition, I just wanted to add face pulls into both upper body days do you think this should be fine? Thank you!

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Posted on: Mon, 07/12/2021 - 09:42

Hey Anthony - those are all great replacements/alternatives. As for abs, you can add them in after your workouts.

Posted on: Mon, 07/05/2021 - 16:22

Hi, I really like this workout but for work reasons I can only go to the gym on mon, tue, wed and thu.
Is there any special reason for the day 3 rest?
Can I just do the 4 days in a row and then rest 3 days?

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Posted on: Tue, 07/06/2021 - 09:45

Hey Daniel - yes you can do that! Keep an eye on your recovery.

Posted on: Fri, 07/02/2021 - 15:07

I like this training program a lot, but I think that I need to train the middle and rear delt more. So, is it okay to remove one extra exercise for the chest and place exercise for the middle delt instead of it and add a bonus rear delt exercise as well, or that will be too much, for both power and hypertrophy training?

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Posted on: Tue, 07/06/2021 - 09:45

Hey Bogdan - yes you can do that.

Posted on: Thu, 07/01/2021 - 17:30

Is that okay if this workout takes me above 60 minutes to finish? Or should I cut my rest time between work sets(1-2 minutes for small muscle groups and 2-4 minutes for big muscle groups)? I do the max sets and max reps the program says.

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Posted on: Fri, 07/02/2021 - 09:40

Hey Adam - yes, the workouts can take longer than 60 minutes, especially if your rest times are that long.

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