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

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.

Recommended: Need help building muscle? Take our Free Muscle Building Course

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 Workout 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
Posted on: Sun, 05/15/2022 - 19:37

Hi, this is a more separate from this program, im a 20yearold kid playing rugby and i want to build muscle, so i was wondering if doing 2 days of fullbody strength/power, and then 2 days of hypertrophy, my question is is it better to do upper and lower or both fullbody in the hypertrophy days?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 20:57

Hey Lucas, as an athlete in a sport like rugby, you could do it either way. During the season, stick with full-body options. Then in the offseason, go with upper/lower so you can focus more on one part of the body without having to compete during recovery.

Posted on: Sun, 05/15/2022 - 07:32

Hi, I'm really interested in this workout plan but I'm a bit confused about the power and hypertrophy days. when doing lower and upper power days, how much weight should I lift?. for example, is 102 lb for military press is enough for upper power training ?. and for the upper and lower hypertrophy days should I use lighter weight?

P.S : I'm 5'9 and 169 lb

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 20:56

The weight on power days should challenge you within the rep range. If you're hitting failure with 102, then it is enough. If not, time to bump it up.

And you should go lighter on hypertrophy days, but it shouldn't be too easy. You should still feel like you did something by the time the workout is over.

Posted on: Tue, 05/10/2022 - 10:36

First of all, I will inform you that I will write as a translator.
I think we have to exclude Babelo and Dedrift because we have a waist disc, but what about other alternative exercises?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 05/13/2022 - 08:24

See a doctor and follow whatever recommendations he or she advises. Wouldn't be smart for us to make recommendations based on injuries without knowing details. Even then, we're not medical professionals.

Posted on: Mon, 05/09/2022 - 17:29

Can I do this workout cycle without these recommended supplements listed?
Whey Protein Powder
Citrulline Malate
Pre-Workout (optional)

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 20:54

You can, Connor. The results may not be the same because the supplements are suggested for both performance and recovery. But no program on M&S requires supplements.

Jonathon Phillips
Posted on: Sun, 05/08/2022 - 22:43

Quick question on choosing a weight, especially in the first couple of weeks. Do you pyramid up in weight in the power sets? Or do you just stick with the same weight and then increase in the next week if you hit the reps? I just assume I will have difficulty in the beginning gauging RPE effectively. Any help would be great thank you!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 20:54

You could do it either way, Jonathan. I would say stick with the same weight and start light so you can better gauge your strength. Going too heavy to find out how strong you are could lead to injury.

Lucas Baycroft
Posted on: Mon, 05/02/2022 - 22:00

I only want to train hypertrophy
Is it okay if I only do those reps and
sets and not train for strength with
this routine. Basically doing like the
Last two days style only.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 20:53

Hi, Lucas. You could do that, but why would you not just choose another program here on M&S? Can you only train two days a week?

Posted on: Sat, 04/30/2022 - 16:45

Hi do you think I love doing weighted dips(WD) what exercise and on what day should I scratch for WD? Hypertrophy flyes or maybe skullcrashers on power? Thank you.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 20:52

Swap out the skullcrushers for the dips, Tom.

Luka Akovic
Posted on: Thu, 04/28/2022 - 15:02

Why do you call it upper and lower and not just upper and two time leg day? And besides that, what are your recommendations if I don't want to do squats and deadlift in the same workout?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 20:51

Can't speak as to why the author chose upper/lower. Maybe because of keyword results in searches.

What are the issues with squats and deads in the same workout? Want to make the right substitutions for you, and the reason would help.

Posted on: Thu, 04/28/2022 - 09:15

I'll be completing the 4 Day Upper/Lower Split in a week and this regiment seems like a good program to do next. Will I be able to get this done at a Planet Fitness or should I look for another gym?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 20:50

You should be able to do this one at a PF, Sean. Just watch the grunting. ;)

Posted on: Tue, 04/26/2022 - 18:51

what about abs exercises should i just do apps in a rest day or ?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2022 - 20:37

You can train abs on a rest day or after one of the regular workouts if you like. Here is a suggestion.

Posted on: Wed, 04/06/2022 - 11:43

I like the idea of a strength day and a hypertrophy day, but I also like to test myself to see how I do with push ups and pull ups. Would doing those the day after Lower Hypertrophy day be too much / negatively affect my recovery? Alternatively, I was thinking of having an Upper Bodyweight day, and rotating between the three upper body days. Any info would be appreciated.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 04/24/2022 - 20:19

Hi, Ron. If you wanted to do a bodyweight day separately, that would be ok. I don't suggest testing yourself too often on pushups and pullups. Give yourself time to recover from the rest of the work you're doing. Maybe test yourself once a month if you like.

Posted on: Tue, 04/05/2022 - 10:50

Can I add leg extensions to the lower power day? What are some good accessory exercises for the end of the power days?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 04/24/2022 - 20:18

Hi, Thorpe. If you want to use leg extensions to warm up with, that would be ok. My suggestion would be to not worry about accessory movements on power days. Get out of the gym and start recovering. Less is more when it comes to strength.

Posted on: Thu, 03/31/2022 - 00:37

When should I take creatine

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/31/2022 - 09:52

Hi, Gabriel. Take creatine post-workout or in the morning on days you don't train.

Posted on: Wed, 03/30/2022 - 12:24

How do I replace "Lat Pulldowns" with a free-weight movement? No cable machines here...

Same question for "Leg Press" with no leg machine and "Leg Curls" without machine, "Seated Cable Row", "Cable Tricep Extension", "Leg Extension"

basically only have a smith machine, dumbbells, bars etc here.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/31/2022 - 09:56

Hello, and thanks for the question. You can check out the Exercises section at the top of the site for suggestions of other exercises. Here are what I would use for those you listed.

Pullovers instead of Lat Pulldown.
Goblet Squat instead of Leg Press.
You could do Leg Curls with a dumbbell between your feet, but Good Mornings on the Smith Machine would also work.
Two Arm Dumbbell Row on a Bench Instead of the Seated Row.
Close Grip Pushups or Overhead Dumbbell Extension in place of Cable Tricep Extension.
Leg Extensions can be done with a dumbbell between your feet as well.

Posted on: Thu, 03/31/2022 - 11:32

Great!! Thank you for the suggestions!

Posted on: Mon, 03/28/2022 - 18:53

Hi i am a beginner, i have just completed my first week of this. I don't feel pain in the chest muscles when doing bench press and dumbell fly, is this normal or am i doing them wrong?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/31/2022 - 09:57

Hi, Vincenzo. Some people may feel delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after workouts while others may not. It looks like you may not, and that is okay. As long as you see results and you don't get hurt, you're good.

Posted on: Tue, 03/22/2022 - 06:11

Squats and Deadlifts on the same day? Isn't that a bit much?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 03/28/2022 - 21:05

Hi, Boff. They would be ok for a program like this. Going with a lot of volume with higher reps may be too intense for many people, but it would be ok for a program like this where the reps are low. If you're concerned about heavy loads for both exercises, go heavy on one, and light with emphasis on speed for the other.

Posted on: Fri, 02/25/2022 - 13:30

Hello, is it problem to change 1 Power Training for 1 Hypertrophy Training? For example: Mo - Upper Strength, Tu - Lower Hypertrophy, Th - Upper Hypertrophy, Fr - Lower Strength. I just thought the exercise could be equally "hard" for the whole week. If I am wrong, then why? Thank you for answer and this awesome Programme!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 02/26/2022 - 20:30

Hi, George. If you feel you can make gains with that, go for it. I don't see any issues with that idea personally.

Posted on: Thu, 02/24/2022 - 19:13

Is this workout using intensity over volume ?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 02/24/2022 - 20:50

Hey, Mo. I would say this one is more of an intensity based program, but it does border on high volume.

Bono Lim
Posted on: Wed, 02/23/2022 - 05:43

Hello, I am a big fan of this programme and have just finished my 12 weeks and plan to get back on it again after my deload. However, my weekly schedule with school and all seems to just keep getting busier. In that case, would there be any problem performing this programme in a 3 day per week manner (e.g. Week 1, UP/LP/UH | Week 2 LH/UP/LP | Week 3 UH/LH/UP | Week 4 LP/UH/LH)? The only problem I foresee is perhaps slower progress but not really anything else.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 02/24/2022 - 20:51

Do what you gotta do, Bono. Results may not be the exact same, but your potential is worth doing what you gotta do to make it work.

Posted on: Tue, 02/22/2022 - 19:33

When should I take my whey protein?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 02/24/2022 - 20:49

Hi, Sammy. Take your whey post-workout.

Posted on: Mon, 02/21/2022 - 14:33

Good workouts plan but 8 sets per biceps and triceps a week isn’t enough in my opinion. I hope to hear your opinion on that.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 02/24/2022 - 20:23

You're entitled to your opinion, Maor. The author feels that the biceps are working with the pulling exercises, and the triceps are doing the same with pressing movements. So, his opinion is that less exercises for them directly are necessary. If you want to add more to them, go for it.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 03/11/2022 - 21:25

What movements are you weaker in, Maor? We may be able to help you work on that.

Posted on: Thu, 03/03/2022 - 17:51

Ok thanks, I am gonna try it like this tho . I have another question for you , If my weaker body part is my shoulders do you think I should add more isolation movements every upper day? Or keep it like that?

Posted on: Fri, 02/18/2022 - 09:01

Hey there, I was told that full body three days a week with one rest day in between was still not an adequate time too heal,I’m using this split instead,but I am a beginner. Although I have experience from a couple years ago and no problem with form,do you think this split is frequent enough to gain muscle for a semi newbie?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 02/20/2022 - 21:15

This would be a good one for you, Andrew. I'm glad you mentioned that you have no issue with form, but don't be afraid to push yourself. Those muscles need the pressure in order to grow.

Ian Agner
Posted on: Tue, 02/15/2022 - 15:47

Hi. May I ask what would be a good follow up to this workout? My primary goal is to lose overall body fat. I think I'm reaching a plateau after following this routine for a year now. Thank you for your time.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 02/18/2022 - 19:32

Hey Ian, congrats on the progress you've made so far. I'm partial to this one, but it's helped quite a few folks. Give it a solid run.

Posted on: Thu, 02/03/2022 - 09:58

Hello, I wanna ask since in this program there is no rear delt exercise, will it affect my body aesthetic or proportion? Thank you!