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

717 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Wed, 10/18/2017 - 17:33
Asad Jillani

Hey,

It's says the program is for intermediate lifters. I wanted to ask at what point is someone considered an intermediate? Is it when they've reached certain numbers on their bench, squat and deadlift?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 10/19/2017 - 08:56
JoshEngland

Hi Asad,

Strength numbers are relative. Some beginners may be naturally stronger than an advanced lifter.

Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced labels for our workouts are determine by the overall volume within the workout, and the average experience needed to accomplish the lifts within the program.

An intermediate is likely someone who has 1-3 years of progressive lifting experience under their belts who know how to execute the exercises within the program with perfect form for the prescribed number of reps.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 10/06/2017 - 23:08
Luke Johnson

Could i do this monday thru thursday with friday sat and sun off???

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Posted Tue, 10/03/2017 - 12:31
Brooks

Hey,
Are the bent over rows supposed to be done like pendlay rows (body parallel to the floor) or a little more vertical?
Cheers!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 10/03/2017 - 14:57
JoshEngland

Hi Brooks,

You can do them whichever way you feel more comfortable with. Personally, I like to stay a little more vertical.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 10/07/2017 - 13:43
Sangy

Hi Josh,

I've a shoulder issue so I've incorporated Straight arm pushdown, Face pull, One arm machine row (instead of one arm dumbbell row) in my routine. Do you think they're good replacements?

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Posted Tue, 10/03/2017 - 09:02
R-Diddy

Brandon,
Good workout split. However it should be called SHUL (Strength, Hypertrophy, Upper, Lower). You have designed a really good base strength and hypertrophy workout, however there are no power exercises listed at all. Power and strength are two different avenues. Otherwise keep up the good work! This exercise will really help a lot of people mate!

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Posted Mon, 10/02/2017 - 09:10
Mark

I only have free weights, any suggestions on what exercises to swap out for the leg press, curl and extension?

Thanks!

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Posted Thu, 09/28/2017 - 18:08
Sim

This looks really good! How much weight would you recommend adding each week, and should this be added to each exercise, or only the heavy compounds on the power days?

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Posted Thu, 09/28/2017 - 05:54
Guri Mander

hi mate
I weigh around 268 lbs and my height is 6feet 3 inches and i am on cutting diet , can i use this program to build muscle and lose fat if i cycle my carb ?

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Posted Thu, 10/12/2017 - 14:26
Jo

You can use any program you want just stick to it for at least a couple months. You don’t need to cycle carbs just eat less calories than you burn. Use a tdee caxlutor and eat 500 less than it says. You will lose 1 pound a week. As far as building muscle you depends if you are new to working out or not. You should be able to at least maintain most of your current muscle mass. Make sure to eat lots of protein.

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Posted Fri, 10/13/2017 - 03:04
Guri Mander

thanks mate ...appreciated!!

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Posted Wed, 09/27/2017 - 04:35
Jason180

Hi mate, could you do say for example on power days, chest press 3x5 then, bent over row 3x5, shoulder press 3x5, incline press 3x6, lat pull down 3x6, then superset the arms in that order, Would that give a good mass build option and also do the same with hypertrophy days, 1 chest, 1 back, 1 shoulder in that order then repeat then superset the arms? Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 09/27/2017 - 08:35
JoshEngland

Hi Jason,

Yes, that would be a fine way to adapt this program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 09/28/2017 - 06:22
Jason180

Great thanks, also can I ask, would the rear delts grow aswell with the exercises listed or would I need to add additional exercises? Thanks

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Posted Thu, 10/19/2017 - 07:46
Ron

I'd throw in some variation of a reverse fly on the hypertrophy day.

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Posted Fri, 09/22/2017 - 16:34
John

Hey!

Would it be alright to have have Day1: Lower Power Day2:Upper Power and Day4:Lower Hypertrophy Day5:Upper Hypertrophy?

Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 09/26/2017 - 11:32
JoshEngland

Hi John,

Yes, absolutely!

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 09/21/2017 - 21:50
Josh

Hello! Thanks for the great work out. Could these be done as supersets? Would that diminish results?
Ex: Upper Strength
Barbell Bench Press -> Bent Over Row
Incline Dumbbell Press -> Lat Pulldown
Overhead Press
Barbell Curl -> Skull Crusher

I ask because I have limited time at the gym but I want to increase the amount of sets I do and not lose any rest time.

Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 09/22/2017 - 08:37
JoshEngland

Hi Josh,

Sure you can do that. You might be better off doing it solely with hypertrophy lifts though if strength development is one of your main goals with this program. Supersetting adds a conditioning variable to your workout, and if you are supersetting your strength focused lifts, your intensity (weight you use) is bound to suffer.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 09/19/2017 - 02:15
Pablo Kahn

Are one of the exercises of the upper body workouts activating the rear delt ?, because seems that there are none

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Posted Mon, 09/18/2017 - 13:45
Hades

Hi Josh,
In this program, increase the weight each set (example: barbell beanch press: 30lbs x 5rep, 35lbs x 4rep, 40lbs x 3rep) or keep the weight on all set (example: 40lbs x 3rep x 3 set), which is better?
Thanks.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 09/18/2017 - 16:50
JoshEngland

Hi Hades,

You can do either or to be honest. I'd experiment with both and see which form you prefer and then try to progress on your big lifts from there.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 09/17/2017 - 11:57
Calvin atkinson

Hi I'm 16 ,5ft 8' and weigh 149lb with a body fat around 14-15% ive been training about 9 month and I've seen a lot of improvement ive just completed the first week of this promgramme and it's great but would adding a extra arm day not be wise and do you have any advice in general

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Posted Tue, 09/12/2017 - 16:37
Anwar

Hello, I'm 15, 171cm, 67kg, 19.4% bf, 30.5kg muscle mass and 13kg fat mass (6.7kg in my belly), I've been training for 3 months 5 day split but I'm actually not satisfied with training my muscles once a week and I wanna try twice a week, will this program work for me? Because the gym coaches are demotivating me in order to pay for PT and it's expensive here, they're saying that I won't build muscle without PT and that I won't build muscle by myself and they're giving me basic workouts that they give for everyone.
If this program fits me, can I add 1 or two more exercises for triceps because I feel like they're not enough, thanks in advance.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 09/13/2017 - 08:55
JoshEngland

Hi Anwar,

I believe I answered your question on another workout article. If you have any further questions, please feel free to let us know.

Best of luck!

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Posted Mon, 09/11/2017 - 12:20
Jason S

Hello,

This might have been asked already, but how do i know what weight to be using. i was going to go by percentages of my 1RM. if that is recommended what percentage would the first two day be compared to the second two. any help would be great in determining where i need to be per weight i can lift. im hoping if i can narrow it down it will save me a week of trial and error. thanks and take care.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 09/11/2017 - 15:51
JoshEngland

Hi Jason,

85-100% of your 1RM for lifts in the lower rep ranges.

75-85% of your 1RM for lifts in the hypertrophy rep ranges.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 09/12/2017 - 08:19
Jason S

It does that's perfect. I am determining my 1RM this week and will start the program next week. Thanks for your help. im excited to get started.

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Posted Mon, 09/11/2017 - 10:17
Sangy

Hi Josh,
I have got a few questions for you.
I'm about 5'10" and weigh around 147 lbs. I would say I'm skinny and starting to see some gains. I have been following your program and its been great so far.
I care about strength and aesthetics. So I chose your program.
1. How much should I be squatting ? I could only squat about 70 lbs (back) and 35 lbs (front). I have not done squats before. So, I wanted to focus more on the form to prevent injury. But I am wondering if these weights do anything to the body. Do these qualify as anabolic and contribute to muscle growth at all ?
2. I would like to have bigger triceps and shoulders. In your program, I see OHP on a strength day and dumbell lateral raise on a hypertrophy day. Would you suggest incorporating some more exercises that focus on building shoulders quicker ? If yes, can you suggest some shoulder workouts for hypertrophy day ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 09/11/2017 - 15:50
JoshEngland

Hi Sangy,

1. Everyone has different levels of strength and different starting points. As long as you continue progressing in the weight you choose to use over time, you should be fine.

2. You can, although it is not necessary. Both those muscle groups are small and will experience muscle growth with your level of level of experience and the frequency listed within the program.

Building muscle is a slow and long process. It take time and consistency. You'll get there.

Hope this helps!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 09/18/2017 - 08:37
JoshEngland

Hi Sangy,

This is a good way to split up your training routine. If it is working for you, I'd recommend sticking with it.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 09/16/2017 - 01:26
Sangy

Thanks Josh for your response.

My current routine is like this :

Upper Power
Off
Lower Power
Off
Upper Hypertrophy
Off
Lower Hypertrophy

There is no specific reason for following this routine. I missed doing LP on Day 2 so from then on, I have been working out alternate days.

My question is, does this routine affect the gains? Is it too much of a rest ?

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Posted Mon, 09/11/2017 - 08:19
Vinh

For the power days can I do 5x5 for the compound exercises such as bench press, bent over row, OHP, squat and deadlift ?
In addition, can I add in one more workout day to train my weak muscle groups. I will train 2 muscle groups and 2 exercises for each muscle group, 3x8-12 each. Is it ok

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 09/11/2017 - 08:40
JoshEngland

Hi Vinh,

Sure, if you feel it will help you accomplish your individual goals. This program is simply a template. Alter it how you see fit.

Although, I'd be weary of altering this program too much personally. There is already a good amount of intensity and volume for most individuals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 09/09/2017 - 06:30
Aji

Hi Brandon, thanks for this program. Love this workout plan so much!

But, i want to ask something.. Can i adds one more day to focus train bicep and tricep?

Thanks..

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 09/11/2017 - 08:37
JoshEngland

Hi Aji,

Sure, if you feel it will help you accomplish your individual goals. This program is simply a template. Alter it how you see fit.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 09/07/2017 - 15:54
Patel

Great program, i have been doing upper lower split for 3 months now, not this one a different one, training age is also 3 months for your information. Would you recommend this phul program to me.

Thank you

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Posted Wed, 09/06/2017 - 12:51
Vinh

Hi Brandon,
This routine is lack of shoulder work. So can I put on 1 more shoulder exercises such as front raise, or bent over lateral raise, bla bla.. for both the power and hypertrophy day.

Thanks

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Posted Tue, 09/05/2017 - 07:04
Sean Masters

This is a 45-60 minute workout program, yet Upper Power has 51 minutes of rest, at the minimum 3 minute rest period between minimum number of sets. Lower Power has 48. To be fair, Upper Hyp has only 10 mins rest at minimum 30 seconds between sets, while Lower Hyp has 9. Not shitposting, just trying to actually fit this into my schedule in the right way, and I need the real time (probably 2 hours on Power days, with warmup lifts) in order to do that. I imagine other folks do too.

Might I suggest adjusting the time in the Summary block, and adding details about rest time between sets directly in the article instead of having folks hunt them down in a comment?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 09/05/2017 - 09:00
JoshEngland

Hi Sean,

Rest periods are going to be highly individualized. The recommended ones I've given in the comments section are based off of basic training principles. I've ran this program and been able to finish all of my workouts in under an hour. Power days tend to be closer to an hour, hypertrophy days closer to 45 mins.

You're not wrong, at the high end of things the power workouts may go upwards of 90 mins, but the time duration is simply an estimate. Different paces will result in different time totals. It is important to take them with a grain of salt.

I'll see what I can do about adding in those rest times.

Thank you for the feedback!

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Posted Wed, 09/13/2017 - 10:25
Sean Masters

Thanks Josh. I agree that the ultimate amount of rest is best left to the individual, however I also believe we can attempt to optimize - if only to make sure more people are lifting regularly because we give them less of an excuse to say "I don't have time for it!"

So doing a little math here, at a pretty standard time-under-tension (TUT) of 4012 for the power lifts like the bench press and squat, or a 1240 for the dumbbell work, we're looking at 7 seconds per rep and just over 22 minutes total lifting time, assuming no rest of course.

So if you go off time that as a starting point, you can work backwards to rest periods. Or you can go off total lifting time and work forwards to how much time the program takes each day.

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Posted Sat, 09/02/2017 - 06:19
Sangy

Hi Brandon,

I have got a few questions for you.

I'm about 5'10" and weigh around 147 lbs. I would say I'm skinny and starting to see some gains. I have been following your program and its been great so far.

I care about strength and aesthetics. So I chose your program.

1. How much should I be squatting ? I could only squat about 70 lbs (back) and 35 lbs (front). I have not done squats before. So, I wanted to focus more on the form to prevent injury. But I am wondering if these weights do anything to the body. Do these qualify as anabolic and contribute to muscle growth at all ?

2. I would like to have bigger triceps and shoulders. In your program, I see OHP on a strength day and dumbell lateral raise on a hypertrophy day. Would you suggest incorporating some more exercises that focus on building shoulders quicker ? If yes, can you suggest some shoulder workouts for hypertrophy day ?

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Posted Fri, 09/01/2017 - 18:07
Krisztina

Hi! I'm planning on trying the upper-lower body split (I've been training for 3 years with the classic split - each muscle group trained on separate days) but I don't train chest (I've got implants and my doc didn't recommend me doing chest exercises). What should I do instead of the exercises aimed for chest on the upper body day? Thank you!

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Posted Fri, 09/01/2017 - 10:48
Eric

Hi! Should I also have a high calorie diet while doing this? Like should I increase my diet to 2500-3000 calories a day when doing this? Because currently Im on a 1800 calories a day.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 09/01/2017 - 11:28
JoshEngland

Hi Eric,

That depends on your goals and individual calorie needs.

Find your daily calorie needs here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

If your goal is to build muscle add ~250-500 calories to that number.

If it is to lose fat, subtract ~250-500 calories from that number.

Hope this helps!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 09/05/2017 - 08:36
JoshEngland

Hi Eric,

Take a week to deload after the 12 weeks. Check out this article: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-deload

After you deload, you're more than welcome to perform another 12 weeks of this program if your goals havent change and you are still seeing progress.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 09/01/2017 - 20:50
Eric

Question again Josh! This is a 12 week program right? Well what should I do after 12 weeks? Should I still with this program? Or there is another program after this? Thanks!

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Posted Thu, 08/31/2017 - 18:00
Gary

Should the weight on hypertrophy days also be set at one rep short of failure? About what percentage of one rep max would hypertrophy sets of 8-12 be?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 09/01/2017 - 10:12
JoshEngland

Hi Gary,

Yes, perform each set leaving one rep left in the tank before taking a rest period. You'll want to use about 75-85% of your 1rm for hypertrophy based lifts.

Hope this helps!