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

 

1K Comment+ Post Comment

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Posted Fri, 05/18/2018 - 06:24
hamdan

I have been training for less than a year with a program that I started at the start: day1: chest and back day 2: shoulders and armsday3: legs day4 rest and repeat.
I am at a level where I can do 47 to 56 sets.
I use he pyramid style where as the weight increases reps decrease and as I move through the weeks I increase the weights.
however now i feel that i am not gaining size and know that my progress is slow
i am at 180 cm of height and just under 15 percent body fat also 38 kg of muscle

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Posted Thu, 05/17/2018 - 23:50
Karyn

Do we repeat the week shown above for all 12 weeks?

Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 05/18/2018 - 09:25
JoshEngland

Hi Karyn,

Yes, that is correct.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 05/17/2018 - 14:56
Zoey

So the entire 12 weeks consist of these 4 workouts? It would seem that it would change somewhere after a month. I'm just used to having change. Unless there is somewhere else I can find more variation.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 05/18/2018 - 09:27
JoshEngland

Hi Zoey,

Yes, that is correct. Other fitness platforms have promoted the need to change your workouts on a regular basis, however - this is not necessary.

Maintaining some consistency for a longer training phase will actually allow you to track your workouts better, which will lead to better results over time if you consistently try to beat your last training session.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 05/15/2018 - 10:11
kris

Anyway of making this into 3 day ? thanks

kris

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 05/16/2018 - 10:13
JoshEngland

Hi Kris,

Sure! Just alternate between the workouts on your workout days - or go full body!

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 05/14/2018 - 07:53
Mario

Is it ok to start with Hypertrophy days for day 1 and 2 and for days 4 and 5 you can do Power? Or will the amount lifted on the power days be affected.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/14/2018 - 08:49
JoshEngland

Hi Mario,

That should be fine. It'd be more ideal to start the week with power as you'll have more energy after the weekend (given your weekends aren't stressful).

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 05/13/2018 - 13:47
Ryan

How are you meant to progress on this once you're at the maximum volume and you've hit weight a weight plateau?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/14/2018 - 09:10
JoshEngland

Hi Ryan,

Take a week to deload.

If that doesn't help get you over your plateau, change the rep tempo, grip positioning, or exercise variation on lifts and perform for a phase.

If that doesn't work and you seriously want to move more weight, you may want to consider performing a program that's main goal is to increase specific strength for whichever lift you're trying to get over the hump with.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 05/13/2018 - 09:24
Rayen

What can i do instead of deadlift?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/14/2018 - 08:50
JoshEngland

Hi Rayen,

I'd recommend some variation of the deadlift unless you have some specific reason to not train the hip hinge. If you don't like pulling conventionally, try sumo or trap bar.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 05/08/2018 - 11:00
Jester

So I have been doing this program for like a month and there are days where I go down in weight and it’s harder.. why is this so? I feel so weak and tired and lose motivation.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 05/08/2018 - 16:26
JoshEngland

Hi Jetser,

How is your diet looking?

Sleep?

Are you stressed outside of the gym?

You doing things that will promote recovery after your workouts?

A lot of things can contribute to less than stellar results in the gym.

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Posted Mon, 05/07/2018 - 20:54
A roun

Can I do this as a beginner (less than a year in the gym)

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 05/08/2018 - 08:57
JoshEngland

Hi A roun,

If you feel you know how to perform all of the exercises with perfect form, can maintain perfect form with the amount of volume in the program, and feel you can recover properly after each training session - then yes.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 05/10/2018 - 19:57
A roun

Can I do a different tricep exercise besides the skullcrusher?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 05/11/2018 - 08:43
JoshEngland

Hi A roun,

Sure!

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Posted Fri, 05/11/2018 - 09:43
A roun

Ok thanks!!

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Posted Sun, 05/06/2018 - 13:43
Bruno

If i do a 3x3 then a 3x5 with the same weight and then i add another set(4x5) and after all that i up the weight and repeat.would it be a good progression?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/07/2018 - 08:55
JoshEngland

Hi Bruno,

Yes, that would be a good way to progress with this program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 05/05/2018 - 00:55
Brandom

Hi!
I'm looking to really increase my muscle mass as im pretty skinny rn but want to be bigger in my chets arms legs etc. However, I would still love to tone my abs and get a v line/lose belly fat. Is this program or the 10 week mass building program better? How many times a week should I do ab workouts and cardio workouts and on which days? Thank you!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 05/07/2018 - 09:18
JoshEngland

Hi Brandom,

Both workouts will work. What you need to do is make sure your diet and sleep is in check. Controlling those 2 variables as well as performing a workout program will help you in accomplishing your goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 05/03/2018 - 04:18
Mustafa


Firstly thanks for program.My question is how many sets am i need? for example you wrote 3-4 sets and 8-10 so which one is good 3 sets or 4 sets ,8 or 10 replied

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Posted Wed, 05/02/2018 - 18:03
Abdullah

Hello Josh! Next week I am going to start this workout program and I am confused because now I have a little lower belly fat (lower abdominal fat) and I dont know I must do caloric deficit or caloric surplus ? I am 20 years old and befor this program I was doing 3 days a week full body and 1 day H.I.I.T workout program. Thank you for helping me!!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 05/03/2018 - 10:07
JoshEngland

Hi Abdullah,

Give this article a read: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-do-you-know-whether-to-cu...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 05/01/2018 - 10:57
Yousef

Can I add a workout on the sixth day (rear shoulders, arms, dips and bar fix) ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 05/01/2018 - 15:35
JoshEngland

Hi Yousef,

Yea, that should be fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 04/30/2018 - 16:19
Joe

On hypertrophy days - since I'm aiming for more reps, how much less weight should I be using? For example, if I can do 5-6reps of Incline Barbell Bench Press with 50lb dumbells - should i aim to do 12 reps with 35lb dumbells and work up from there?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/30/2018 - 16:45
JoshEngland

Hi Joe,

75-85% of your working max at that rep range. Without doing the calculations, 30-35lbs sounds about right.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 04/30/2018 - 11:18
Irfan

Hey. If we want to add abs workout on this PHUL. Which one is better, is it upper or lower training day?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/30/2018 - 14:59
JoshEngland

Hi Irfan,

Either will work. I wouldn't say either day is better than the other. Personally, I'd go with Lower days, but that's just me.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 04/29/2018 - 21:27
VinnJones

What is the reccomened weight progression for the Power days? (Ie. 5 lbs per week on squat)?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/30/2018 - 09:21
JoshEngland

Hi VinnJones,

Everyone will progress differently. I used 5lbs per week myself when performing this program. However, more experienced lifters will not be able to progress 5lbs weekly. Some more beginner level lifters will not be able to as well.

So long as you are progressing the weight you use over time, the amount and frequency isn't all too important.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 04/29/2018 - 15:55
Matthew Kanderka

Is it ok to continue this workout after the 12 weeks or should you then change it up?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/30/2018 - 09:22
JoshEngland

Hi Matthew,

Yes, absolutely!

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Posted Sun, 04/29/2018 - 10:34
Christian Bota

can I change barbell curls with cable curls on upper strength day?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/30/2018 - 09:26
JoshEngland

Hi Christian,

Sure, that should be fine.

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Posted Sat, 04/28/2018 - 18:28
Jay

How long should the rests be between sets for power and hypertrophy days?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/30/2018 - 09:29
JoshEngland

Hi Jay,

3-5 Mins after each strength based rep range. 30-60 seconds after each accessory and hypertrophy based rep range.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 04/27/2018 - 03:19
Christian Bota

should I do reversed grip barbell row?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 04/27/2018 - 12:14
JoshEngland

Hi Christian,

Sure, you can sub out bent over barbell rows for reverse grip barbell rows if you'd like.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 04/25/2018 - 02:37
Stefan

Hi, Josh!

I've been training hard for a year already and not long ago I started the 10 Week Mass Building Program. I'm finishing it soon. So, would you recommend me starting this one? If yes, I would like to ask if this workout is based on building size or is more of a strength improvement. My goal is mass, do I need to change anything particular or I can go the way this workout is supposed to be ?. Besides, I'm not taking any supplements, just eating big enough.

My comment might be irrelevant for you, but I'll be glad if you respond to it. Thanks in advance!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 04/25/2018 - 08:45
JoshEngland

Hi Stefan,

That's awesome! How did you like 10 week mass?

This program would be an excellent one to follow it with. It'll increase the training frequency to target each muscle group twice weekly for greater muscle growth.

The rep ranges help out with both goals. It'd be a good one to perform a cycle of to help build strength while maintaining (and possibly building more) size.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 04/25/2018 - 14:24
Stefan

10 week mass is great and the results are quite obvious, I will probably perform it once again right after I finish this one.

I appreciate your answer, thanks :)

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Posted Tue, 04/24/2018 - 07:12
Ron

Is it possible to move on to 5X5 after this programme?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/24/2018 - 08:42
JoshEngland

Hi Ron,

Sure, you could even cycle between the 2 every other phase if you'd like.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 04/24/2018 - 04:41
Christian Bota

Hi so I guess im gonna start a mini cut on this programme and I have recently searched and found out that romanian deadlifts are a better alternative to leg curls. is it true? should I do rdls instead of curls? or both? like two sets of rdls after squats

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/24/2018 - 08:43
JoshEngland

Hi Christian,

Both exercises work the hamstrings. The RDL is more of a compound movement, while the leg curl is more of an isolation movement.

Feel free to alter the program however you see fit to meet your own individual goals and preferences.

Hope this helps!