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

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1.2K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 01/17/2019 - 02:23
Karthik

Hi,

Will this workout along with abs will help for six packs?

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Posted Tue, 01/15/2019 - 20:58
Ak 47

Um where the rear delts and trap workouts

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Posted Mon, 01/14/2019 - 08:29
Hugh

Hi Josh, good looking routine. Wondering if you think I would run into trouble by pairing up the antagonist muscle sets into supersets? There are a few obvious ones that would remain single sets because of the balance of reps.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 01/14/2019 - 13:42
JoshEngland

Hi Hugh,

Yea, you could do that if you're trying to cut down on time. I don't see any issue with it.

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Posted Fri, 01/11/2019 - 13:05
Vikram

Hi! Thanks for your response to my first question, and now I have another. Which of the exercises can I substitute with chest dips? I've recently gotten better at those and it helps develop my lower chest so I don't want to exclude it. I could attempt to superset it with the bent over rows, but there's already a lot of volume on the upper body days compared to the lower body days so I'm not sure the best way to do them.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 01/14/2019 - 14:12
JoshEngland

Hi Vikram,

I'd probably sub it in for dumbbell fly if you're looking to use it to target the chest.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 01/11/2019 - 05:31
Maro

What about the method of progression ?

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Posted Thu, 01/10/2019 - 20:12
Joseph De Maria

Great program! A few questions.

Can I add in more arm work or isn’t it necessary?
What about cardio and what type of cardio on days of rest? How much?

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Posted Thu, 01/10/2019 - 15:17
Deitso

Could I do T-Bar row instead of Bent Over Row and assisted pullups instead of One Arm Dumbbell Row?

What could I swap Flys and Leg Extensions with?

I don't like the negativce part of the fly feels like my shoulders will break or my chest will overstress.

And Leg extensions put alot of stress on my knee, which has a light damage.

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Posted Thu, 01/10/2019 - 09:47
Vikram

Are there any alternatives for the leg curls? My gym currently has the seated leg curl machine down for repairs and there is no lying leg curl machine. I currently stick to SLDLs and RDLs, but if I were to do that on the lower body days along with squats AND deadlifts, my lower back is gonna be way too sore don't you think? Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 01/10/2019 - 16:24
JoshEngland

Hi Vikram,

You can try out bodyweight leg curls if you have access to a stability ball.

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Posted Wed, 01/09/2019 - 09:29
Maro

we must increase increase the weight between the sets ?

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Posted Wed, 01/09/2019 - 01:30
Derek

Could I use this workout plan to lose body fat/weight? Also, when would you recommend that I do abs and cardio and for how long? Thank you!

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Posted Tue, 01/08/2019 - 17:32
GFlores24

Whats the difference between the SHUL and PHUL work out? Strength vs Power?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 01/09/2019 - 09:39
JoshEngland

Hi GFlores24,

Different exercise selection is and workout order are the main differences. Both can be used to achieve the same goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 01/08/2019 - 12:25
Nibras

Can i do cardio with this routine for fat loss.If so what kind of cardio should i perform and when?

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Posted Sun, 01/06/2019 - 10:28
Mani

Hey Josh,

What are some exercises that I could use as substitues for the Seated Cable Row, as my gym doesn't have such a machine.
I tried scrolling through the comments but couldn't really find an answer.

Thank you in advance!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 01/07/2019 - 12:53
JoshEngland

Hi Mani,

Any free weight or bodyweight row variation should do the trick.

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Posted Tue, 01/08/2019 - 05:09
Mani

One more question, would I be able to replace it with chin ups maybe? If not, where could I add chin ups and dips into the routine as these are some of my favorite exercises. Id much rather not add them instead of other exercises, (unless chin ups could be added instead of the seated row) but just incorporate them in one of the days, if that is possible. If possible, where should I add them?

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Posted Fri, 01/04/2019 - 12:17
Amr

Can you plz explain me what 3 - 4 sets
And the reps 8-12
How can i fo the program

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 01/04/2019 - 16:09
JoshEngland

Hi Amr,

Those are recommended ranges for each exercise.

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Posted Thu, 01/03/2019 - 19:22
Colton

Shoulders and arms are only hit with one exercise each upper day, is this effective enough to illicit growth? I know the compound movements will activate the muscle groups as well but would adding maybe one or two more exercises to each be better?

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Posted Thu, 01/03/2019 - 04:35
Dolin

Is this workout good for skinnyfat guy?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 01/03/2019 - 08:56
JoshEngland

Hi Dolin,

Yes, this workout can be performed to help build muscle and/or lose fat.

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Posted Wed, 01/02/2019 - 21:38
Stephen Kelly

I’m gonna start this program on Monday after 6 months of Strong Lifts 5x5. What weight should I start at?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 01/03/2019 - 08:57
JoshEngland

Hi Stephen,

Weight is highly individualized. Pick a weight you think you can use for the prescribed reps. If too heavy, move down. If too light, move up. You should finish each set feeling as though you have 1-2 reps left in the tank. A good rule of thumb is 75-85% of your working max for the prescribed rep ranges. For the lower rep ranges go with 85-95%.

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Posted Tue, 01/08/2019 - 23:38
Stephen Kelly

And what would be the weight progression? Would 5 Ib increments be fine?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 01/09/2019 - 09:37
JoshEngland

Hi Stephen,

Yep! That'd be a fine goal

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Posted Wed, 01/02/2019 - 01:56
sam

im at week 10 right.. this is a very solid routine.. just need to focus on alternating the exercise and correcting the technique, then u will get the best result.. any suggestion for the next step? alrdy done the advanced routine that u mentioned below.. tqvm

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 01/02/2019 - 12:00
JoshEngland
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Posted Sun, 12/30/2018 - 09:39
Mirza

Hi Brandon

First of all I want to thank you for this amazing program. I was wondering if I can switch the db lateral raises with OHP or would that be too much compound work for one day as I already do incline bench press and ive substituted the db flyes with flat bench press and cable tricep extensions with dips. Thank you in advance.

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Posted Fri, 01/04/2019 - 12:08
Bigpapabryce

Lat raises are very important for shoulder health, OHP are good but they will not give the same beneficial effect stability wise or program wise. Also DB flyes are different than flat bench. Keep the flyes.

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Posted Wed, 12/26/2018 - 06:15
Dolin

I'm 16 should I do this workout?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 01/02/2019 - 13:49
JoshEngland
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Posted Wed, 12/26/2018 - 06:02
Dolin

Can I add some cardio?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 01/02/2019 - 13:52
JoshEngland

Hi Dolin,

Sure, you can pair cardio with this routine.

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Posted Mon, 12/24/2018 - 05:45
Adnan madhoun

Hello i have a question what do you mean with the Dash (((-))) between sets and between reps? Like 2-3 sets and 4-5 reps wht does it mean any help please?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 01/02/2019 - 13:53
JoshEngland

Hi Adnan,

It's a range. As long as you're within that range, you're good.

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Posted Mon, 12/24/2018 - 04:13
HALİL

Hİ JOSH , WHİCH ONE İS BETTER 5X5 OR THİS ONE?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 01/02/2019 - 13:53
JoshEngland

Hi HALİL,

They are both effective. Personally, I prefer this workout over a 5x5.

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Posted Sun, 12/23/2018 - 06:14
Aka 47

Hey i just finnished the lean mass program i wonna build strength and muscle size and look look cut would this be the best program for me thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 01/02/2019 - 13:54
JoshEngland

Hi Aka,

This is a good workout for someone with those goals.

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Posted Sat, 12/15/2018 - 10:24
Burger

Any one followed this for 2 months+? Loads of comments on it but I cant see anyone who's gave it a go with some genuine feedback?

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Posted Mon, 12/10/2018 - 14:08
Colton Roberts

Shoulders and arms are only hit with one exercise each upper day, is this effective enough to illicit growth? I know the compound movements will activate the muscle groups as well but would adding maybe one or two more exercises to each be better?

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Posted Thu, 12/06/2018 - 19:20
Ben

Would it be okay to wear a belt on power days?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/10/2018 - 10:18
JoshEngland

Hi Ben,

Yes, that is fine.

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Posted Mon, 12/03/2018 - 12:24
Hassan

Hey
First thank you for helps
İs it ok adding arm movements to lower days just because add for extra moves upper days , like shrugs ext.

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Posted Mon, 12/03/2018 - 09:53
Dick Tracey

This is way too much volume. People are going to get badly injured working this program

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Posted Mon, 12/24/2018 - 18:11
Joe

This is less volume than most programs call for? Nobody is getting "badly injured" from this.

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Posted Wed, 11/28/2018 - 21:00
Mark n

Hey. Wondering since muscle groups could be hit in 48 hours post last workout. If I workout 5 days a week should I just skip the second rest day in a row or should I add in another day of different workouts? thanks