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.

359 Comments+ Post Comment

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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 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?

MikeWines's picture
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?

MikeWines's picture
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......

MikeWines's picture
Posted Mon, 01/25/2016 - 10:15
MikeWines

Remy,
Deadlifts aren't a low back exercise. If you're experiencing alot of pain and soreness in your lower back after squats or deadlifts then it's time to examine you're technique coupled with your bracing strategy while lifting.

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Posted Thu, 02/25/2016 - 07:05
Jordan
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Posted Tue, 01/19/2016 - 20:53
Phill

No ab exercises?

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Posted Sat, 01/16/2016 - 20:51
Rem

Should one be doing squats and deadlifts in the same day? Seems like it could be overly taxing on the lower back....

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Posted Sat, 01/16/2016 - 08:35
Levi

A few questions:

- What's the warm-up? Do I just preform the exercise with the bar or do I get a lacrosse ball and do I stretch?
- Am I supposed to add weight every set or continue with a single weight?

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Posted Wed, 01/06/2016 - 11:47
Max Roegiest

Is it wrong to do this Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday?

I can't go the gym on monday but I don't want to overload my body.

I am 21 btw.

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Posted Sun, 01/17/2016 - 18:24
Chadi DeMonaco

Hey Max,

It would be best if you could do Tue/Wed & Fri/Sat.
The whole point of this workout it to give your body time for recovering after each workout for maximum result.
I have been doing this for less than three weeka and results are showing already.
Hope you can make it work brother!

Ciaoooo!

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Posted Mon, 11/30/2015 - 10:45
Derek

should we stay at the same weight for our sets or go up a few pounds for each set?

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Posted Sat, 11/21/2015 - 18:32
Umoo

Hey, I would like to incorporate ab exercises in this program but was wondering how many times per week should I do them and at which point of time on off days to have the most optimal results?

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Posted Mon, 11/16/2015 - 15:06
Michael

This looks VERY similar to Jonnie Candito's Linear Program........ hmm, maybe some credit is due elsewhere

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Posted Sun, 11/15/2015 - 13:40
Umoo

Don't you guys think it would be better to have more back exercises than chest? And to have a posterior shoulder exercise?
Because I heard a back:chest ratio of 2:1 is recommended
Hoping for replies. Thanks!

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Posted Tue, 12/22/2015 - 17:59
PHolmes

You are right the upper body ratio should be around back:chest:shoulder 2:1:1.

I'm doing a very similar training program but on my strength/power days I just stick to the bench press and on the hypertrophy days I'd add in an extra row/lat movement (depending on which I want to focus on more). Doing this has helped improve some muscle imbalances as before my shoulders were rolling forwards due to an overworked chest!

Good luck with your training!

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Posted Sat, 11/14/2015 - 01:19
Simone

So, I switched to Lower/Upper for a while now. My lower back is pretty much sore after heavy deadlifts, do you think I should switch barbell rows to hypertrophy days?

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Posted Thu, 11/19/2015 - 20:53
Mark

Hey, I found deadlifts overworked my hamstring and lower back so i replaced deadlifts with rack puls and i no longer have this problem. Hope it helps

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Posted Sun, 10/25/2015 - 12:06
Yugaanshu Sharma

I like this program and have been noticing various gains after incorporating this program. I got some doubts that i wanted to clarify - How often do I change my workout?
Do I continue PHUL for the rest of my life just the way it is ? or
DO I continue PHUL for the rest of my life making changes to the isolation or compound exercises after a certain period of time ? If yes , then after how long do I make those changes? or
DO I stop following PHUL and switch to a 5 day split or another program after some time? if yes, after how long and what kind of programs?
Thanks

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Posted Thu, 10/29/2015 - 19:22
scott

try 12 week cycles of the routine. then access your body and see what you want to improve. 3,4, & 5 day splits will net you gains as long as they are done right.

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Posted Fri, 10/30/2015 - 12:48
Yugaanshu Sharma

Thanks Scott

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Posted Sun, 10/25/2015 - 08:36
Pinoy_noob

Hi!

How do I change this up for variation?

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Posted Mon, 10/19/2015 - 13:12
Mike

Stupid question but due to my schedule could I switch up the start of the program so it as follows:

Mon-Off
Tues-Off
Wed-Upper HT
Thurs-Lower HT
Fri-Off
Sat-Upper Power
Sun-Lower Power

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Posted Thu, 10/29/2015 - 07:45
Dan

Yes you can.

There is 24 hours between hitting your upper HT and upper Power, the same goes for your Lower HT and Power.

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Posted Fri, 10/16/2015 - 02:33
Andrea

Due to my schedule, is there anything with doing Monday-lower, Tuesday off, WED-upper, Thursday-lower, Friday upper?? ANd then rest on weekends?? I mean, it's ok to do three days in a row?