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

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1.3K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sun, 07/14/2019 - 17:32
Lisa

Hi, I've been lifting for awhile 5-6x a week using muscle group splits (chest/shoulders, back/arms, legs/core), hypertrophy focused. I've just been doing my own thing and not following a progressive, proven program. I'm getting great results but think I should move to a proven program. I like the way PHUL looks, but my current routine is more than PHUL calls for--more total exercises, more sets, etc. I assume there's a good reason for the way PHUL is written and I probably need more rest/recovery than I'm getting now. My question is will I lose my progress by switching to only 4 days and doing less overall in the gym? Lifting heavier has made awesome changes in my physique, so I'm just worried about changing my routine. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

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Posted Wed, 07/10/2019 - 13:20
Mads Huke Hjelmeland

I am one month in and my progress on my compounds on upper day have seemed to stall, not progressing in weights, not even reps. However my other exercise seems to progress decently, any tips?

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Posted Wed, 07/10/2019 - 04:00
Dan

If I were to incorporate ab work at the end of my work session how many ab exercises should I do? 2-3 different ones?

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Posted Wed, 07/10/2019 - 13:50
JoshEngland

Hi Dan,

That should do the trick.

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Posted Tue, 07/09/2019 - 09:09
Ray

Hi Josh!
Excellent workout. One question. My lower back doesn't like it very much when I do have squats and deads on the same day. Is there a work around or do I go a little lighter and let my body adjust to the new workload?

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Posted Tue, 07/09/2019 - 15:26
JoshEngland

Hi Ray,

Thanks! Although, it's not my program :)

You could do variations that put your body in a more favorable position such as the trap bar deadlift and the goblet or landmine squat.

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Posted Mon, 07/08/2019 - 19:32
Zaid Memon

Hi, two things is it smart to do this workout while attempting to maintain weight and how much rest should I give between sets.

Thank you

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Posted Sun, 06/30/2019 - 11:10
Xu

Hi Josh,
Really excellent program. But I wonder how much intensity should each set goes? Reps are unstable in my opinion cause I dont know how much percents of 1RM would works.
(Im not an English native speaker, hope I have made myself clear )

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Posted Mon, 07/01/2019 - 14:09
JoshEngland

Hi Xu,

I'd recommend 85-95% intensity on strength lifts and 75-85% intensity on hypertrophy lifts.

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Posted Sun, 06/16/2019 - 11:17
Jules Sabourin

Just wondering what are the rest times in between sets for the strength and hypertrophy days ??

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Posted Sun, 06/30/2019 - 11:11
Roger Fanti

At least 2-5 min you want to have enough fuel in the tank for the next set.

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Posted Thu, 06/13/2019 - 15:00
Cameron

Is it a good idea to switch the front squat and and back squat , therefore I can do my heavy squat on the hypertrophy day instead of doing heavy dead’s and heavy squat on same day.

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Posted Sun, 06/30/2019 - 11:12
Roger Fanti

Sure, go for it.

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Posted Wed, 06/12/2019 - 21:35
Dean

Hey. Thanks for this awesome program, I am three weeks in and have already seen some great results one question tho. My biceps are not feeling the same pump as everywhere else and seems to be growing less. Is there some different or extra exercises I could do or should I do more reps or sets? Any help would be much appreciated..
Thanks again

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Posted Sun, 06/30/2019 - 11:13
Roger Fanti

Add additional sets.

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Posted Wed, 06/12/2019 - 06:41
Mads

1. I wondered if this would be a great program for a beginner? If not what program can work for a person that have worked out for almost a year but haven't made that much progress in that year 2. When deadlifitng should it be sumo or conventinal? 3. What rest times between sets?

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Posted Sun, 06/30/2019 - 11:18
Roger Fanti

For beginners, I always recommend sumo since glutes are almost always the weakest muscle and the most crucial for overall strength. If you are training regularly for at least six to 12 months, you are not considered a beginner. I would stick to a 2-5 minutes rest o more no less.

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Posted Sun, 06/30/2019 - 12:12
Roger Fanti

For beginners, I always recommend sumo since glutes are almost always the weakest muscle and the most crucial for overall strength. If you are training regularly for at least six to 12 months, you are not considered a beginner. I would stick to a 2-5 minutes rest o more no less.

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Posted Sun, 06/09/2019 - 17:45
Mads

I was wondering how you progress during this program? I am heavily debating on starting this program, it will be the first program I have tried, so really exited.

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Posted Mon, 06/10/2019 - 09:59
JoshEngland

Hi Mads,

The recommended form of progression with this workout would be adding weight when able to do so as the weeks progress.

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Posted Fri, 06/07/2019 - 03:33
Lee

The program duration says 12 weeks, im curious what you recommend we do after the 12 weeks is over? Thank you

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Posted Mon, 06/03/2019 - 07:40
Cody

Hey Josh,

Do you recommend any sort of cardio with this program post workout?

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Posted Mon, 06/03/2019 - 09:20
JoshEngland

Hi Cody,

Depends on your goals and lifestyle tbh. I feel it's always beneficial to do some form of cardio throughout the week. type, frequency, and duration will depend on your individual goals.

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Posted Mon, 06/03/2019 - 10:58
Cody

Goals are mostly fat loss focused while still retaining/building a little bit of muscle. Was thinking 10-15 minutes of HIIT twice a week. Thoughts?

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Posted Tue, 06/04/2019 - 16:24
JoshEngland

Hi Cody,

Sure, you can add in HIIT. However, fat loss and muscle retention will be accomplished mostly through being in a calorie deficit while consuming adequate protein and performing strength based lifts.

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Posted Fri, 05/31/2019 - 11:53
Mike

Hi Josh. Loving this workout so far. One question: what are the acc lifts on the power days? Trying to get all my rest times in line. Thanks!

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Posted Fri, 05/31/2019 - 16:43
JoshEngland

Hi Mike,

Awesome! Glad you like it so far. Anything with >5 reps is an accessory.

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Posted Wed, 05/29/2019 - 10:52
David Cho

Hello,
First of all thank you for provide this nice workout program.
While I try to make workout routine based on this program, I have few questions that I need to ask you.

First, Unfortunately, I am working out in the gym which doesn't have squat rack untill next Jaunuary due to my personal situation... So what I try to replace is that ,on power lower workout day, squat and deadlift to 5x5 sumo deadlift and maybe add goblet squat 2-3 set 15reps to fill the volume.
On lower hypertrophy day, try to replace front squat to sumo deadlift. How it is gonna work?

Second, Is it fine to replace seated cable row to pendlay row?

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

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Posted Fri, 05/24/2019 - 05:04
martin

I was wondering about the short rest times on hypertrophy days. A study published in 2016 found that longer rests are better for size ie group that rested 3 minutes between compound sets got significantly stronger and bigger than the group that rested for 1min. What do you guys think? On hypertrophy days the recommended rest time is between 1-2min. Resting only one minute won't allow me to get maximum volume (weight*reps*sets) and I have to use lighter weight on subsequent sets to hit target rep ranges. What's the consensus here, do you follow the rest times outlined in this program or rest longer?

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Posted Wed, 05/22/2019 - 22:02
Josh

Would if be ok if I move swap some of the strength and hypertrophy (volume) exercises to help with exhaustion? Not that I don’t exhaust the muscles on hypertrophy days, but for example I included dips and the amount of compound movements on strength days makes it ver hard to finish. Below is an example of what I was thinking:

Day 1 lower strength-
(exercise/sets/rep range)
Squat / 3-4 / 3-5 “strength”
Deadlift / 3-4 / 3-5 “strength”
Leg curl / 3-4 / 6-10 “strength”
Dumbbell goblet squat / 3-4 / 8-12 “hypertrophy”
Calf work / 3-4 / 6-10
Ab work

Day 2 upper strength-
(Exercise/sets/reps)
Lat pull down / 3-4 / 6-10 “strength”
Barb bell bench press / 3-4 / 3-5 “strength”
Bent over row / 3-4 / 3-5 “strength”
Overhead press / 3-4 / 5-8 “strength”
Incline dumbbell press / 3-4 / 8-12 “hypertrophy”
Skull crushers / 3-4 / 8-12 “hypertrophy”
Hammer curl / 3-4 / 6-8 “strength”
Cable push down / 3-4 / 8-12 “hypertrophy”

Day 3 lower hypertrophy-
Front squat / 3-4 / 4-6 “power”
Dumbbell squat / 3-4 / 10-15 “hypertrophy”
Leg extensions / 3-4 / 10-15 “hypertrophy”
Leg curl / 3-4 / 10-15 “hypertrophy”
Calf work / 3-4 / 12-16
Ab work

Day 4 upper hypertrophy-
Dips / 3-4 / 6-10 “strength”
Incline barbell press / 3-4 / 6-8 “strength
Cable flies / 3-4 / 8-12 “hypertrophy”
Seated cable row / 3-4 / 8-12 “hypertrophy”
One arm dumbbell row /3-4 / 8-12 “hypertrophy”
Dumbbell lat raise / 3-4 / 8-12 “hypertrophy”
Seated incline dumbbell curl / 3-4 / 8-12 “hypertrophy”
Wide grip barbell curl / 3-4 /8-12

As you can see I’ve added in 1 bicep and 1 tricep exercises. I also removed one “strength” exercise (leg press) and replaced it with a “hypertrophy” exercise (dumbbell squats) as I don’t have a leg press (really want one!) and do not like the substitutes.

I greatly appreciate any responses regarding this restructure. I just don’t know if there is a negative effect of not doing all “strength” reps and all “hypertrophy” reps on the same day.

Thanks!

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Posted Tue, 05/28/2019 - 14:54
JoshEngland

Hi Josh,

Looks like a solid modification to the program's template to me!

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Posted Mon, 05/20/2019 - 03:25
Banoys

I'm confused by the number of people saying there's not enough exercises for the shoulders or arms. In just the first workout listed there's heavy delt, triceps and (to a slightly lesser extent) biceps work as well. That's what a compound movement is...

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Posted Tue, 05/14/2019 - 22:34
Erin

Nutritionally, would any benefit come doing this workout while cutting/in fat loss caloric range....or would it be better to wait until I'm in maintenance or bulking calorie range?

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Posted Tue, 05/14/2019 - 16:16
Zack

How would we progress the weight? Will it be every week?

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Posted Sun, 05/19/2019 - 15:54
Josh

Yes. I've been on PHUL for 6 weeks, and weekly progression is working extremely well with this routine. One particular week even saw a 10lb increase in flat bench!

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Posted Mon, 05/13/2019 - 13:42
Billy

Great work out josh been waiting for a great split and you’ve nailed it 4 weeks in and misses can see a change and for that I thank you would to see a diet plan from you soooooooon as you are now my marriage canceller x

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Posted Mon, 05/13/2019 - 16:43
JoshEngland

Hi Billy,

Glad I could help! I'll definitely see what we can do in the future. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Posted Mon, 05/13/2019 - 10:33
David Cho

Hello,
First of all thank you for provide this nice workout program.
While I try to make workout routine based on this program, I have few questions that I need to ask you.

First, Unfortunately, I am working out in the gym which doesn't have squat rack untill next Jaunuary due to my personal situation... So what I try to replace is that ,on power lower workout day, squat and deadlift to 5x5 sumo deadlift and maybe add goblet squat 2-3 set 15reps to fill the volume.
On lower hypertrophy day, try to replace front squat to sumo deadlift. How it is gonna work?

Second, Is it fine to replace seated cable row to pendlay row?

I am looking forward to hearing from you!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sat, 05/11/2019 - 10:55
Tommy

If i dont have access to a machine park, what would be good exercises to replace leg extension and leg curl with?
Thanks

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Posted Wed, 05/08/2019 - 12:19
Edward Johnson

Would this program be great for beginners?

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Posted Thu, 05/09/2019 - 09:49
JoshEngland

Hi Edward,

It's not ideal for beginners. I'd suggest one of these: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/beginner

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Posted Wed, 05/08/2019 - 11:43
Matt

I prefer 6 days of lifting with Sunday as rest. Would you recommend repeating the power or atrophy workouts for days 5&6? Thanks.

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Posted Wed, 05/08/2019 - 12:09
JoshEngland

Hi Matt,

Definitely not atrophy :) - I'd personally go with the hypertrophy days. Although, the rest is important as well.

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Posted Mon, 05/06/2019 - 05:27
Cam

Just wondered if on the strength days I can superset some of the exercises (obviously the unrelated muscles). E.g dumbbell press/dumbbell curls. Just to save time because the rest is so long

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Posted Mon, 05/06/2019 - 10:57
JoshEngland

Hi Cam,

Sure, I don't see why not.

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Posted Sun, 04/28/2019 - 14:43
Nicolas

What do you recommend for cardio ?

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Posted Tue, 04/30/2019 - 16:37
JoshEngland

Hi Nicolas,

Personally, I walk my dog fasted for 45 mins in the morning. Whatever cardio you choose, make it one you enjoy and at a time of day you can be consistent at it. Also, ensure it doesnt affect your performance in the gym.

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Posted Fri, 04/26/2019 - 16:54
Strong muscle

It works great I've been on it for eight weeks now and I can see the changing of size and strength also ..
I lose some fat around mid section..

Regards..

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Posted Sun, 04/14/2019 - 22:13
Tom D

Hi Josh,

I’ve been running Reddit nSuns for the last few months and I’m now looking to switch it up and move over to PHUL, but I have a couple of questions.

1. There are only 2 isolation exercises for biceps and triceps per week, which is 8 sets of each per week. I was under the impression that it’s optimal to do between 12-16 sets isolation for each per week. Would it be ok to add an additional tricep exercise on my power day and an additional bicep on my hypertrophy or vice versus?

2. Is there enough shoulder work in this programme? Should I add anything extra to focus on my rear delts and I feel like one more front delts exercise would be best? Would it be ok to add in something like facepulls or rear delt flyes in on the power day and then a DB seated ohp on the hypertrophy day?

Sorry if these questions are stupid, but i just want to make sure that each muscle has the volume it needs for optimal growth.

Thank you!

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Posted Mon, 04/15/2019 - 09:17
JoshEngland

Hi Tom,

The program itself is simply a template, you can modify it in whatever way you deem necessary to fulfill your individual goals.

Personally, I think the arm volume is plenty since the arms are such a small muscle group that gets worked indirectly through nearly every upper body compound.

If you wanted to add rear delt work in, I would say it'd likely be beneficial.

Hope this helps!