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: Wed, 05/31/2023 - 22:30

Hi, I've a job starting with 9am and end with 9pm and I've good amount of muscle so can i build more muscle with this?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 06/03/2023 - 15:37

You definitely need to eat to support that muscle, but yes, you can do it.

Amr Salah
Posted on: Fri, 05/26/2023 - 20:34

Which diet program do you prefer with this workout plan ( carb cycle or balanced diet)?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 05/30/2023 - 20:37

I'm going to suggest balanced every time unless you're advanced and trying to get shredded.

oscar Ferra
Posted on: Thu, 05/25/2023 - 05:06

Good Rogerio,

How do you advise the heating series?


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 05/30/2023 - 20:38

Hi, Oscar. Mind elaborating on this question?

Posted on: Wed, 05/24/2023 - 12:28

Would it be OK o substitute Arnold presses for lateral raises?
I really like the Arnold press, but not sure if hat would be leaving something out. Lateral raises tend to aggravate my neck.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 05/30/2023 - 20:39

Normally, I would say leave them in, but if they aggravate the neck, then make the switch. Pause midway up and down so the side heads have to stabilize the weight. This can help make up for the lack of direct lateral work.

Also, talk to a doctor about that neck before something worse develops.

Justin Flores
Posted on: Mon, 05/22/2023 - 23:38

I just finished a 3 month 5x5 SL block.

I want to start this program. How many % of my 1 RM max for the main compound lifts should i start when doing the first day of this block?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 05/30/2023 - 20:40

60-70% would be a good starting point, and you can adjust from there if you need more.

Posted on: Mon, 05/22/2023 - 00:21

Hey M&S! What would a sufficient diet plan look like if I was to start with this PHUL 4 day workout plan? It has been over 6 years since I last trained. I've lost a ton of muscle mass and am now looking like the "skinny" guy. Whats a healthy way to approach this and go hard at the gym too?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 05/30/2023 - 20:41
Posted on: Tue, 05/02/2023 - 10:24

Hi! If I want to lose weight at the same time, is it okay to run for about an hour on Wednesdays and weekends?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 05/08/2023 - 06:59

I don't think you need an hour for the purpose of weight loss, but running is fine.

I do suggest one complete day off at a minimum so your body has time to recover.

Posted on: Thu, 04/27/2023 - 07:04

Is it okay to superset any of the lifts, or is it recommended to just do straight sets?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 04/30/2023 - 14:58

You can superset the last couple, but I suggest keeping the first lift as straight sets.

Posted on: Mon, 04/17/2023 - 23:32


Is there anywhere I could swap in/add hip thrusts? I'd like to have them, but am not sure if they should go on day 2 or 5.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 04/30/2023 - 14:59

If it was me, I would do them on Day 5 after the lunges. But that is personal because the glutes are somewhat stimulated by the lunges. They can work on Day 2 as well.

Posted on: Thu, 04/13/2023 - 18:58

Hi, I don't have the machine for Incline Barbell Bench Press, should I do Incline Dumbbell Bench Press on day 1 and day 4 or would another exercise be better?


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 04/16/2023 - 11:43

Go with Dumbbell, Rafael. It should still be a great option for you.

Posted on: Thu, 04/13/2023 - 14:47

Loved this programme and saw nice strength gains, only a couple weeks to go now. Bit late to be asking but am I right in assuming the 3-4 sets are working sets right? So you may have a couple warm up sets as you build up to try weight? Sorry this has prob been asked but loads of comments

Ona side note, any recommendations for next prog?


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 04/16/2023 - 11:42

Your assumption is correct. 3-4 working sets.

Find your next program here.

César Kasikawa
Posted on: Tue, 04/11/2023 - 10:11

I normally always worked out 5 days and rested the weekend. Is it a good plan to follow PHUL doing a cardio (conditioning)+abs in the middle? (e.g.: U, L, cardio, U, L). I have been training for 2y, mostly following PPL and selfmade PPL+upper+lower.
Also, is it bad to do that while in a lean bulk? And what about in a slight cut? (200-300 calorie deficit)

Thanks in advance!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 04/16/2023 - 11:41

What's good, César? You can do that schedule with the cardio if you like. I see no problems.

The training will still work, even with the slight cut. You will be fine during a bulk as well as long as the food you eat is still healthy. Good luck, and thanks for reading M&S!

Posted on: Mon, 04/03/2023 - 06:11

What is the rest inbetween sets? Thanks.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 04/16/2023 - 11:40

Start with 90 seconds, Abraham, and as you improve, try cutting it down to one minute. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Mon, 03/27/2023 - 14:31

This has always confused me with lifting programs. When it says a range of set numbers. For examples 3-5 sets, how do I decide if I should do 3,4 or 5 sets?


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/30/2023 - 15:57

It means you should strive for five, but stick with the weight if you get three or four. It's a range instead of a strict number. You may get five on one set and four on another. That is ok. As long as you get at least three, you're good.

Posted on: Fri, 03/31/2023 - 07:21

Apologies, I was asking about picking the number of sets rather than the number of reps. For the exercises it says 3-5 sets. Which number of sets should I do. Does this follow the same principle? Thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 04/04/2023 - 11:25

I always suggest starting with the low end of sets. The range is in case you're feeling good and want to push it that particular day. There are some programs that offer options based on your level of experience and how well you know your body.

Posted on: Sat, 03/18/2023 - 04:35

Hi mate.
Just wondering for the set and reps for both strenght and hypertrophy.
Should i start with the right weight to do 3 rep per set and keep the same weight till i can reach 5 rep then increase the weight to restart 3 rep till i can reach 5 etc etc?
And same for the 8 12 reps range??

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 03/26/2023 - 15:41

That is correct, Julien. Let us know how you do on the program if you take it on.

Thanks for reading M&S!

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2023 - 06:41

Is it OK to do this program on a cut?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 03/26/2023 - 15:36

As long as you're eating enough and recovering properly, yes. You can cut calories, but don't cut them so much it affects the training.

Posted on: Sun, 03/12/2023 - 23:07

I am only available to go to the gym Monday-Thursday, should I do this workout program with 4 straight workout days then 3 straight rest days or would it be better to do a Upper/Lower/Full (Monday/Tuesday/Thursday) split instead?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 03/14/2023 - 09:52

If you've been in the training game for a while, then you could pull off the four straight days. If you're relatively new at this (less than a year), then go with the Upper/Lower/Full split.

Posted on: Thu, 03/09/2023 - 19:24

Can PHUL will help in six packs? I understand I should focus on abs as well but still as main workout can I follow PHUL if I'm planning for six packs? Please advise and apologies if this question has been already raised by someone else.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 03/14/2023 - 09:51

It can, but your diet is going to be a huge factor in that as well. As far as training goes, the core will have to play a role in stabilization, which will indirectly help with abs. You can also train abs on your own at different times.

Posted on: Sun, 03/05/2023 - 05:13

Hey everybody, been doing a very similar PHUL workout for about a month and loving the results. But i have to switch out my workout time to the morning. Aiming to be at the gym by 6.30 - and i was wondering what the best way to go about breakfast is and this workout. Should i go fasted and take a protein shake right after and then have my breakfast once i get home (about 30 mins after). I dont really see my self waking up at 5 to have breakfast.... thoughts?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 03/14/2023 - 09:50

Do not train fasted. Even if it's a shake and a banana first thing when you wake up, have some form of protein and carbs before you train. You can have a bigger meal post-workout.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 03/26/2023 - 15:41

Your body has went several hours without any nutrients at all while you were sleeping. To train fasted would be to force the muscles to work without any nutrition support. It could negatively affect performance, impact recovery, and make you more susceptible to injury.

Posted on: Fri, 03/17/2023 - 17:11

Hi there! Just wondering why not. I've been doing this lately as I'm worried about eating right before working out. Is there a problem with fasted training?
Thanks in advance!

Posted on: Sat, 03/04/2023 - 15:10

when do i take a rest week?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 03/14/2023 - 09:49

Give yourself 8 weeks before taking a week off.

Posted on: Tue, 02/28/2023 - 12:30

Loads of comments and apologies if already answered but what percentage should the power sets (3-5 reps) be at 70/75/80?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/09/2023 - 15:22

At least 80, and 85 would work if you got it in you.

Aaron Ruiz
Posted on: Sun, 02/26/2023 - 17:26

Good night. Great template!
I'm so excited about it, but how is the progression?
I think it's a double progression system and not a linear one?
Isn't it?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 02/27/2023 - 08:29

It is double progression, Aaron. Up the reps, then up the weight.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/09/2023 - 15:21

If you can do three sets of three on one week, then try three sets of four the next, then three sets of five after that. Once you can do three sets of five, then up the weight and go back to 3x3 again. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Sat, 03/04/2023 - 07:39

Hi Roger,

So does that mean that if I am doing bench press 3x5 the 1st week, then I go 4x5 the 2nd week, then 3rd week I increase the weight by 5-10%?

Or are you saying do 3x3 for 1st week, then 2nd week go 3x4, then increase weight?

And does the correct one's logic apply to the hypertrophy days?