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.

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

 

973 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 04/24/2018 - 07:12
Ron

Is it possible to move on to 5X5 after this programme?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/24/2018 - 08:42
JoshEngland

Hi Ron,

Sure, you could even cycle between the 2 every other phase if you'd like.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 04/24/2018 - 04:41
Christian Bota

Hi so I guess im gonna start a mini cut on this programme and I have recently searched and found out that romanian deadlifts are a better alternative to leg curls. is it true? should I do rdls instead of curls? or both? like two sets of rdls after squats

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/24/2018 - 08:43
JoshEngland

Hi Christian,

Both exercises work the hamstrings. The RDL is more of a compound movement, while the leg curl is more of an isolation movement.

Feel free to alter the program however you see fit to meet your own individual goals and preferences.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 04/24/2018 - 15:23
Christian Bota

and which do you consider better? should I go like one week rdls and one curls?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/24/2018 - 16:01
JoshEngland

Hi Christian,

I wouldn't consider either better. They serve different functions. If you're looking to isolate the hamstrings, go with the leg curl. If you're looking for more of a total body exercise to target the posterior chain, go with the RDL.

That being said, I wouldn't alter the program listed too much. There's already a decent mix of compound and isolation work listed.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 18:17
Jonathan

Took 30days off
Did 8months of off powerlifting training
Bench max 225 Squat 300 dead lift 325
Is this program suitable for me at age 41

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Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 13:31
Michael

Would alternating between Monday-Tuesday-Thursday-Friday and Tuesday-Wednesday-Friday-Saturday help with avoiding adaptation or would it be a good thing to do?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 15:21
JoshEngland

Hi Michael,

Would it help avoid adaptation? No, probably not. You want your body to adapt, that's how you build muscle.

It's fine to do, but not necessary.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 04/21/2018 - 17:13
JMD

Can I do Back Squats on the Lower Hypertrophy day instead of front squat? I've never learned how to front squat (and I'll try to learn it for this program) but if it doesn't work for me will doing back squats twice a week not be as optimal? Is there another squat or lower body move to do to replace the front squat? my gym doesn't have a hack squat machine either -__-

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 09:27
JoshEngland

HI JMD,

Sure, you can back squat twice weekly instead.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 04/21/2018 - 06:29
Radu

Can someone tell me if adding another upper hypetrophy day on saturdays would be too much?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/23/2018 - 09:28
JoshEngland

Hi Radu,

I wouldn't recommend it personally.

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Posted Thu, 04/19/2018 - 21:57
Gian_01

Should I add cardio some days?
What progresion would you recommend?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 04/20/2018 - 12:00
JoshEngland

Hi Gian,

Sure, go for it!

Progression is highly individualized. Try to increase the total amount of weight you move during the program as you are able to. So long as you're moving more weight by the end of the program, you'll see the results you were hoping for.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 04/20/2018 - 12:03
Gian_01

But i don't need to increase the number of sets/reps during the program?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 04/20/2018 - 12:13
JoshEngland

Hi Gian,

You can. That's one way to increase the total amount of weight moved during the programs duration.

You can either increase the reps per set and keep everything else the same.

Increase the sets per exercise and keep everything else the same.

Increase the weight used and keep everything else the same.

Or perform a combination of the 3.

So long as the total amount of weight you move each training period is more at the end of your program than when you started, you will have built some muscle and strength with this program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 15:42
essam sayed

thanks a lot for this workout
I have a question
is that workout suitable for beginners?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 15:49
JoshEngland

Hi essam,

Beginners would be better off starting with one of these first: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/beginner

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 14:55
Esmir

Hey, I'm 182cm and 67kg and I want to gain some mass, build muscle. Will this program work for me ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 15:42
JoshEngland

Hi Esmir,

Sure, so long as your diet and sleep are on point as well.

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Posted Wed, 04/18/2018 - 14:50
Esmir

8 hours of sleep every day will be enough, right?
And I don't really have money for suplements, I'm teenager, I'm trying to eat eggs,chicken,potatoes,fish,fruit,meat and I eat a lot of corn flakes every day so I hope I can gain weight without supplements, mass gainer etc.. I will try this workout plan for 3-4 months and I'll let you know if it help me. Sorry for bad english :D

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 04/19/2018 - 10:51
JoshEngland

Hi Esmir,

Yes, 8 hours of quality sleep each night is a good amount.

Let us know how you like the program!

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Posted Sun, 04/15/2018 - 23:39
Elijah

Hey, I've been running full body splits for roughly 4.5 months, and a 3 day ppl for 3 months before that. My strength isn't bad, 2x body eight squat, 2.8x body weight dead lift, and a 1.3x body weight bench, i am 16, 5'6", and weigh 145 pounds. Is this a good choice for me? I want more volume and want to develop my aesthetics as much as possible while still getting stronger.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:05
JoshEngland

Hi Elijah,

Sure, this would be a solid change of pace routine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 04/13/2018 - 01:54
Jason

Hi! I’m a little confused on the amount of reps on power days. Doesn’t 15 reps on a leg press seem more of a Hypertrophy day than strength? Same with 10 reps max on barbell curl for power days compared with 12 reps max for dumbbell curls on Hypertrophy days?

Another question: it says the average workout time is 45-60 minutes, but then saw you recommended 3-5 minutes rest between sets on power days? There’s a max of 25 sets on upper power, with 3-5 minutes rest each set, it seems like I’d be in the gym 90-120 minutes for those days.

Thanks in advance for answering

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 04/13/2018 - 08:57
JoshEngland

Hi Jason,

Those are accessory exercises. The strength rep ranges for the power days will be on the main compound lifts.

workout duration are a guesstimate. I've performed this workout in the past and had no issue finishing within the 45-60 min range on most days. That being said, it will vary from individual to individual based on rep tempo and rest periods.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 04/12/2018 - 16:28
Josh Blatchford

Do you think it is necessary/desirable to incorporate face pulls and shrugs to this program?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 04/12/2018 - 16:50
JoshEngland

Hi Josh,

Face Pulls - yea probably a good idea depending on what you do outside of the gym (i.e. working a desk job?)

Shrugs - meh, not necessary.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 04/13/2018 - 17:50
Josh Blatchford

Cheers fellow Josh I do have a desk job. 3-4 sets of 6-10 on power and 3-4 sets of 8-12 on hypertrophy for face pulls a good idea?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:37
JoshEngland

Hi Josh,

For sure! That'd be a find addition to the workout.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 04/12/2018 - 16:02
David

Love this workout! Thanks for posting it. Just one thing. Would doing the upper body days as supersets take away any effectivness this program is intended for? I found the strength days were taking quite a bit of time to get through, and I tend to get a bit bored doing weight training as I've spent the best part of 20 years on and off involved in combat sport where you work your adrenaline up to it's max. I tried the upper body stregth day as a superset and enjoyed not only the muscle pump, but the heart pump too. My only concern is if I'm loosing anything from this program by doing so. Your reply on this matter would be appreciated. Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 04/12/2018 - 16:52
JoshEngland

Hi David,

For strength gains, you probably don't want to be supersetting as your goal should be to maximize rest to move as much weight as possible.

However, if you goal is solely to gain muscle and/or general fitness, supersetting is fine to do.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 04/13/2018 - 01:05
David

Thanks

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Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 12:35
Soham Kulkarni

Sir I prefer Walking Barbell Lunge so is it fine ? And those 8-12 reps are for each leg or for both ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 13:52
JoshEngland

Hi Soham,

Yes, that is fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 13:53
Soham Kulkarni

And Sir 8-12 reps for both legs or each leg ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 13:56
JoshEngland

Hi Soham,

8-12 reps for each leg.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 11:47
Alexander Petevski

Hi Josh,
I was wondering if the deadlift and squat will affect my stature. Will you tell me something about it. By the way, I am 15 years old with a height of 166 centimeters.I really want know the truth because I like this exercise.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 13:52
JoshEngland

Hi Alexander,

It shouldn't. The whole lifting weights makes you not able to grow thing is a huge myth.

That being said, at your age, I'd recommend focusing on learning the movement patterns and not increasing the weight. 2-3 full body workouts where you train the fundamentals ought to do the trick. Really nail down your form. As you get older, you'll be fine to add weight and increase frequency.

Hope this heps!

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Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 14:24
Alexander Petevski

Thank you very much Josh.I forgot to say I've been training for a year.I train really hard.Is that good.Because I uncrease the weight every week.Whether to do it or just to train without straining too much and when getting older then I can train hard.I will be glad if you tell me how to do it.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 16:11
JoshEngland

Hi Alexander,

You'll be fine. Just always remember perfect form > heavier weight at your age (well, at any age really). Only progress when you've truly mastered your form with the weight you're currently using.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 16:29
Alexander Petevski

Thank you very much Josh for this information.I am very grateful to you

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Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 08:30
Chris

Can I switch front squat with Deadlift. so I do not squat and Deadlift the same day?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 08:35
JoshEngland

Hi Chris,

Sure, that is fine. But you would still be squatting and deadlifting in the same session :)

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 04/09/2018 - 03:52
Lachie Rourke-Davies

Hi Josh,
What would suggest as a break between sets for the power days?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:13
JoshEngland

Hi Lachie,

3-5 mins after your heavy lifts. 30-90 secs after accessory movements.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 04/08/2018 - 17:21
Kevin

Hi Josh,

I have a question. Can i higher the reps on the power day to 8-12(Except Bench Press). Would the progression be kinda the same or would it not work? My aim is not really to get "super strong" but more to gain muscle and have more muscle endurance.

Greetings, Kevin

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:15
JoshEngland

Hi Kevin,

That'd be a fine option for the goal you have mentioned.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 04/06/2018 - 14:10
Christian Bota

hi, can i use this programme if i'm cutting?