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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
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.

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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 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

651 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 08/21/2017 - 21:21
JD

Hi,

I really have problems with front squats. What could be a good substitution?

Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 08/22/2017 - 09:32
JoshEngland

Hi JD,

You could sub in heavy goblet squat or landmine squats.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 08/20/2017 - 04:02
renaldy

heu.. can i add more exercises for arms in upper power and upper hypertrophy? thank you

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/21/2017 - 09:02
JoshEngland

Hi Renaldy,

Sure, if you feel it will help you better accomplish your individual goals, I don't see why not.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 08/17/2017 - 04:01
Pham Trung Hieu

I just have 4 days to the gym in the evening. It is saturday, sunday, monday, tuesday and maybe i can try to spend 20-30 minutes for my body on thursday days.

I want to follow Upper/lower and have a day for HIIT, so i decide to train like this:

7: Lower (deadlift heavy, squat hyper)

8: Upper (stregth)

2: Lower (squat heavy, no deadlift ? should i because my back and lats are tired after the upper day.

3: Upper (hyper)

4:

5: HIIT

6:

or

7: Upper (stregth)

8: Lower (deadlift heavy, squat hyper)

2: Upper (hyper)

3: Lower (Squat heavy, deadlift hyper)

4:

5: HIIT

6:

I don't know should i do deadlift so many time in 4 days consecutive ? can i overtrain my back and lat.

Does anyone have the same situaion ?

Any advices for me ?

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Posted Mon, 08/07/2017 - 14:43
Kamal

Hi christian
We have been doin you plan but have changed the rep count to 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 reps for everthing because we felt not as tired how do you find the rigt weight for the power days just keep adding weight till failure

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Posted Mon, 08/07/2017 - 00:51
Christian

What would you recommend starting the sets and reps at? For example should I start with 4 sets of 5 and keep increasing the weight or start at a weight that I can do 3 sets of 3 and increase sets/reps?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/07/2017 - 09:57
JoshEngland

Hi Christian,

Depends on your starting point. You could really do either, both will train for strength and both forms of progression you've mentioned will work. I'd start off doing whichever you feel more comfortable with.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 08/06/2017 - 11:11
Stef. T.

Hey josh. Im really liking the program and the whole idea behind it. I was just wondering, could i add another pulling exercise on the upper hypertrophy day like close grip pulldowns? I really want to get some work done on my lats since they are the bodypart i care for the most. If close grip pulldowns arent the best, could you suggest something different? Thanks in advance

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/07/2017 - 09:13
JoshEngland

Hi Stef,

Absolutely! That would be a fine addition to this workout especially considering your goals. You could add in pull ups, chin ups, or neutral grip pull ups instead. You don't necessarily have to, but the pull up is my personal favorite pulling exercise.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 08/10/2017 - 04:23
stef. T.

thanks for the reply josh! i know pullups are great but i cant really handle them at the moment. I will sure be working towards them at the future tho.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 08/10/2017 - 09:07
JoshEngland

Hi Stef,

They definitely take some time to master. I had to work on them for months before being able to knock out a solid set. We've got a great article (link below) on how to progress your way to being able to perform pull ups.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/pull-up-progressions

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 08/05/2017 - 15:23
Dan Ryder

Hey i do Keto diet currently and have dropped 4st and nearly 15% body fat. Im looking to switch to this routine to shape muscle and perhaps gain abit more.

The issue i have is i do Jiu Jitsu 4-5 times a week and i noticed i wasnt fully recovering on my old routine.

I was doing a progressive overload routine 4-5 times a week. Will i experience the same issue or will this be a little less taxing? I have noticed there are a fair few less exercises per session than my last routine.

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Posted Tue, 08/01/2017 - 12:08
Kevvvvvv

Worried that my back will be fried for deadlift lower days since I would do back exercises the day before. Can this become an issue?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 08/02/2017 - 09:12
JoshEngland

Hi Kevvvvvv,

Sure, I could see why you may worry about that. If you do feel it is an issue, try performing the lower sessions first.

Everyone is different. I've personally performed this workout program in the sequence suggested and didnt have any issues. That doesn't mean everyone would be able to do that. Experiment by giving it a shot, if you notice your deadlift performance suffers, try to tailor the program to better fit your needs.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 07/28/2017 - 21:35
Semar

Hey Josh,
I've been running this program for about 3 months now and I really like it. Sometimes I add in extra work after the session for traps, forearms, abs and etc.
The thing is that I'm needing deloads every month.
Usually every 4th week I feel super tired and deload.
Is it normal or should I lessen the overall volume to get a deload every 6th week or something like that?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/31/2017 - 09:28
JoshEngland

Hi Semar,

Deloading is highly individualized and can depend on the person. Check out this article I wrote on the topic here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-deload

With that said, I'd be weary of adding additional volume to this workout program. It already has plenty to elicit a muscle building response if that is your goal. Put your focus elsewhere instead - things like bettering your eating habits, sleep habits, and anything else that will help promote recovery.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 07/26/2017 - 23:04
James

Hi josh , can i use this program for ( bulking )

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/27/2017 - 09:25
JoshEngland

Hi James,

Yes, you can.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 07/24/2017 - 17:57
Mateus Vale

Great program.
What the optimal rest time for power and hypertrophy days?
What about forearm and traps. Can I add one exercise for both?
Thank you

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 07/25/2017 - 09:31
JoshEngland

Hi Mateus,

3-5 minute rest periods for strength based lifts, 30-60 seconds for hypertrophy (although you could take up to 90 secs if you really need to).

Sure you could add in direct forearm and trap work if you like, but depending on your goals, it might not be necessary.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 07/20/2017 - 17:00
Ron

Could I do this 4 days in a row, then take the next 3 off? If not, is there a way to modify it so I can structure it like that? My schedule works best at 4 in a row, and I would like to lift for both strength and Hypertrophy.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 07/21/2017 - 09:21
JoshEngland

Hi Ron,

While it's not ideal, you can structure your workout in this manner if it is the only option you have available to you.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 07/28/2017 - 22:27
stephen

sir is this program good for gaining muscle isnt bad idea good chest tricep bicep back delt one day

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/31/2017 - 09:30
JoshEngland

Hi Stephen,

Training those muscle groups together is completely fine. Some people do full body workouts and see fantastic results. When it comes down to it, not every workout program is a good fit for everyone. You've got to find what works for you. And the only way to do that is to experiment with different workout routines.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 07/16/2017 - 12:15
Ad

Any reason why there are no pull ups or face pulls/read delt flyes? Can I add these?

Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/17/2017 - 09:44
JoshEngland

Hi Ad,

Sure, you're more than welcome to add them in if you feel it will help you accomplish your goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 07/16/2017 - 11:08
hai

Can i use this for beginner ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/17/2017 - 09:43
JoshEngland

Hi Hai,

I'd recommend starting off with a beginner workout. I've provided a link to all of our beginner workouts below.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/beginner

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 07/11/2017 - 06:28
DeeN

can i use this workout for women ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 07/11/2017 - 09:49
JoshEngland

Hi DeeN,

Yes, absolutely!

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Posted Sun, 07/09/2017 - 17:30
irotinmyskin

hi, where can i find an advance version of this workout?, i've been following it to great results, and i feel it's time to take it up on a notch. thnx!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/10/2017 - 09:23
JoshEngland

Hi irotinmyskin,

Below is a similar program that adds in 2 more workout days. It would be a good next step to this program.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/6-day-powerbuilding-split-mea...

You could also simply continue using this program but modify the weight you use, the rep temp, or rest periods to make it more challenging.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 07/10/2017 - 10:52
irotinmyskin

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

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Posted Sat, 07/08/2017 - 19:18
Ray Morris

I'm not sure if this question will make sense or not, but I'm going to ask it anyway!

I am currently around 315lbs with roughly 89 pounds of fat to lose, as my muscle weight is 110 (according to the InBody scanner machine) and I've been mainly just going about doing my own thing the two days I work out at the gym, but circumstances have changed and I can now work out 4 days a week. Even eating at the deficit I've been at for over a year now (I've lost about 80lbs this year) do you reckon this will allow me to pack on some more muscle?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/10/2017 - 09:27
JoshEngland

Hi Ray,

Yes this program with proper diet and adequate sleep can help you add muscle mass.

However, with your level of experience, I'd recommend consulting with a doctor and a personal trainer prior to starting a program such as this. These programs are templates and aren't perfect for everyone. Those 2 professionals will help you get started with a program perfectly designed for your individual needs.

Then, as you get more advanced, you can start using templates and modifying them based on your needs and goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 07/15/2017 - 22:28
Ray Morris

Thank you for your reply! I actually just saw this, lol, after having done the program for a week. I had a personal trainer for about a year this past year, but we just worked out, never really set out a plan for me to follow. I'm not sure if we can post links here, but I had my wife make a spreadsheet for me and this is what I did this week with the program:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BWkO9ZthiLw/?taken-by=ray_findsfitness

(It's the latest post on my page.) I'm going back tomorrow for another body scan to see what's changed from last week!

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Posted Mon, 07/17/2017 - 14:32
Ray Morris

Just a quick update! Had my body scan done yesterday (Sunday) and I've lost about .6% body fat and muscle stayed at 111lbs for the week.

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Posted Fri, 07/07/2017 - 18:24
Y O Allen

Is it possible to switch the days from two power days and two hypertrophy days to upper power, lower hypertrophy, day off, upper hypertrophy, lower power, 2 days off?

Or lower power, upper hypertrophy, day off, lower hypertrophy, power upper, 2 days off?

2 power days in a row seems to be a bit taxing and may not allow for optimum recovery (in my opinion anyway)?

Thanks :-)

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/10/2017 - 09:21
JoshEngland

Hi Y O Allen,

Yes, all of those modification examples would be fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 07/06/2017 - 14:52
DeeNg

Hi, Can i ask you something ?
I'm on cutting right now . Can I use this program for cutting ?
thank for your answer

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/06/2017 - 16:29
JoshEngland

Hi DeeNg,

Sure, you can use this workout program while cutting. Cutting and bulking will have more to do with the amount of calories you are taking in vs the amount of calories you are burning during the day.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 07/06/2017 - 00:42
LUCKY

Hey, so I'm 21, 5'11 Low ass BF lol, Starting this program, Couple questions..

1. When working out each set, should I increase weight or stick with same weight?
Ex. Squat, doing a quarter plate for first set, then end up with 2 quarter plates by the 4th set.
2. In the Hypertrophy workouts, where the reps are 8-12 Does the weight I left need to by the same as the Power workouts? or should it be a light comfortable weight? and would I have to go up in weight each rep in the H.T. workouts as well?

Thanks! Starting tomorrow

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/06/2017 - 09:55
JoshEngland

Hi Lucky,

1. You can or you can perform with the same weight and aim to move up each week. This will depend on your own individual preferences and ability.

2. No, you'll want to use less weight for hypertrophy days. Pick a weight that is challenging for 8-12 reps. Increasing weight will follow the same protocol above.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 07/04/2017 - 00:20
Duy

Hello there I was wondering what set/reps and weights I should be starting at? I have lost quite a bit of weight from just eating healthier and doing some what of a upper and lower body split but it is mostly machines and the same work outs every time as i am a newbie at this. Down around 60 lbs and now want to starting building more muscle then i have and wanted to try this work out.

What would you suggest as a starting point ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 07/05/2017 - 10:00
JoshEngland

Hi Duy,

It's tough to give you an individualized starting point not working with you in person and not knowing your individual movement patterns. I'm sure it's not the answer you'd like to hear, but for a good starting point specifically for you, it might be worth consulting with a personal trainer in person.

They'll be able to adapt a program to fit your exact needs.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 07/03/2017 - 15:23
Jamie

Hi,

Currently doing SL 5x5 and moving onto this routine but my gym does not have a leg curl machine or seated calf raise. Are there any alternatives for these exercises? Also can I do lunges with dumbbels instead of barbell? Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 07/05/2017 - 09:57
JoshEngland

Hi Jamie,

You can swap out the leg curls for another hamstring focused exercise. See our complete database of hamstring exercise demonstration vids here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/hamstrings

Calves here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/calves

And yes, that should be a fine adaptation.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 07/05/2017 - 22:56
Alex

I like to pull a bench over to the cables and use a strap, typically used for hanging leg raises, to do lying leg curls. Adjust cables so the strap is close to the floor, lock your feet into the strap, lie face down on the bench and lift legs up bending at the knee only. Don't require much weight to feel the impact.

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Posted Wed, 06/28/2017 - 17:01
STLLK

Hi thinking of starting this program but need help with diet. I'm 26 ,6ft and 90kg and see myself as skinny fat. I'm unsure wether I should recomp or do a small surplus as see no point in cutting as don't have muscle and don't see the benefits of cutting. My main goal is to build lean muscle.

Thanks