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

 

1.1K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 07/17/2018 - 06:39
Daniel

Hi
If I'm on Bulking and want to start Fat loss (Calorie deficit),
what changes should I adapt to this program?

Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 07/17/2018 - 08:41
JoshEngland

Hi Daniel,

Your calorie intake. To lose fat, you'll need to burn more calories than you consume. Training doesn't necessarily have to be altered.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 07/10/2018 - 11:00
George

Hello Very nice guide.

Just a question regarding the progressive overload and the 3-4 sets,Am i supposed to to 3 or 4 ? or if I complete the 4th set I am loading and jump to a 3-set exercise.

Thanks a lot

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 07/11/2018 - 11:05
JoshEngland

Hi George,

Start with the lower set counts and progress to the higher set counts.

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Posted Wed, 07/04/2018 - 12:14
Phil

Looks like a solid routine, I'm going to give a crack for the next 2 months, whilst I train in a new gym
One observation, is there's little direct shoulder movements in here, only 1 exercise for each of the power / hypertrophy. Is the feeling that shoulders don't need as much volume? Just concerned I'd be working myself towards lagging shoulder development / in balances?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/05/2018 - 08:49
JoshEngland

Hi Phil,

There is plenty of shoulder work - both directly and indirectly, to elicit muscle growth with this program. No need to worry about that.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:00
Phil

Thanks buddy,
I guess the benching work which is indirect and the direct movements is enough to typically elicit growth etc. Rather than needing to have a routine where there's an emphasis on direct shoulder work like most routines, where there's a day dedicated to shoulder

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:01
JoshEngland

Exactly. You'll notice the rear delts are also involved in a lot of back movements.

If you do find you need additional isolation work, you can always add some in as well. The program is simply a template - it needs to be altered for everyone's specific goals.

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Posted Thu, 07/05/2018 - 09:02
Phil

Legend.
I'll stick with as is for now and tweak later
Thanks buddy

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Posted Tue, 07/03/2018 - 02:36
Max

Hi, I'm looking into this workout, but want to make a rest day between first upper/lower session:
1. Off
2. Upper
3. Off
4. Lower
5. Off
6. Upper
7. Lower

My question is it crucial from MPS point to do so?
Thanks in advance!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 07/03/2018 - 08:38
JoshEngland

Hi Max,

Yes, that is fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:24
Miroslav

Hello Josh,
I don't have much middle shouder progression, should I do more exercises for it stick with the same stuff?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:42
JoshEngland

Hi Miroslav,

You're more than welcome to alter this template to better meet your individual goals. If you'd like to build more medial shoulder muscle, and aren't experiencing enough stimulus currently, you can add in additional exercises to target the medial delts.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:45
Miroslav

What exercise would you recomment and on the power or hypertrophy day, and sets and reps

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 11:56
JoshEngland

Hi Miroslav,

Any lateral raise variations on your hypertrophy days will do the trick. 3-4 sets, 8-12 reps.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 12:03
Miroslav

Thanks alot, have a nice day

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Posted Sun, 07/01/2018 - 09:29
nim

How long should I rest between sets?
The reps are something like 6-10 or 8-12, so how many should I do?
And when do I increase weight? Every week? Or when I feel I can?

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Posted Thu, 06/28/2018 - 15:42
Jason

Hi.
I was wondering if any of these exercises were targeting the abs. If so; which?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 06/28/2018 - 17:09
JoshEngland

Hi Jason,

All of the compound movements do indirectly. If you feel the need to do some ab isolation work, feel free to do so.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 06/28/2018 - 17:15
Jason

Ok.
Thanks for the quick response.

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Posted Sun, 06/24/2018 - 08:53
Miro

I want to do rack pull above the knee, should I replace an exercise or add it to upper day?

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Posted Sun, 06/24/2018 - 08:46
NitroDaxs

Hello,
I wan't to do above the knee rack pulls should I switch exercises or just add it to the upper days?
Thanks.

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Posted Sun, 06/24/2018 - 05:38
youssef

Does that workout work well for beginner

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/25/2018 - 09:12
JoshEngland

Hi Youssef,

I'd recommend full body workouts for true beginners. Check out some of these programs: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/beginner

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Posted Thu, 06/07/2018 - 22:33
michael

Hey Josh, great program. I'm just wondering about the power and hypertrophy days and weight progression.

For the power days i understand you want to try lift heavy for 3-5 reps, so say for example i bench 50kg on upper power day, when it comes to the hypertrophy day am i following 2 different weight progressions? So like bench 30kg for 8-12 reps on hypertrophy but raise the weight on upper power? Am i understanding correctly.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 06/08/2018 - 08:50
JoshEngland

Hi Michael,

Progression will look different for everyone. Personally, I started using the same weight for all of my hypertrophy sets and I tried to increase the weight used on at least one set during each week. For the power sets, I tried to increase the weight used on each set for each workout.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 06/07/2018 - 19:56
Dan

My bench is not going up.. what to do?

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Posted Tue, 06/05/2018 - 13:44
Samuel Carvalho

Hi! Should I take 2-3 minutes rest on strenght days and 1 minute on hyperteophy days?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 06/05/2018 - 14:02
JoshEngland

Hi Samuel,

Yep! That'll work.

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Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 22:24
Pete

Hi i’m Following this program and my bench has been stuck...
Here are my stats:
On day 1:
145 for 5
150 for 5
155 for 4
160 for 3

I have been stuck on this. I cannot do more reps that last set... i’ve done the same thing 3 times now.
My diet is on and off but increasing weight slightly at about 134lbs in weight
What should I do to stop this plateau? Change sets reps?
Thanks

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Posted Tue, 06/05/2018 - 11:04
Pete

Reply

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Posted Tue, 06/12/2018 - 06:35
Alex

How about throwing in max lifts for bench once a week for 3-4 weeks. I learned in the past that incorporating max (1 rep) lifts helped me to overcome a plateau.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 06/12/2018 - 08:29
JoshEngland

Hi Alex,

Not a bad idea for some - go for it!

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Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 12:58
Jarred

What sorts of cardio should we do with this workout?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 14:05
JoshEngland

Hi Jarred,

What ever sorts of cardio you enjoy doing and at an intensity that won't inhibit your ability to recover.

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Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 15:52
Dave Cadet

Can you use this workout to lose weight ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 16:07
JoshEngland

Hi Dave,

Absolutely, especially if you pair it with a slight calorie deficit.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 06/06/2018 - 14:45
Michael

Hello Josh,
how long should i rest between the sets? There are so many recommendation from 30s to 3 minutes, what is ideal for this Plan?
Thank you.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/06/2018 - 14:50
JoshEngland

Hi Michael,

Personally, I'd go with 3-5 Mins on the strength sets and 30-60 secs on the hypertrophy and accessory sets.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 06/01/2018 - 20:43
Rock

Am looking to get bigger and stronger
Is this good for strength and muscle mass ?
and is this enough for every muscle?
Appreciated !

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 10:53
JoshEngland

Hi Rock,

Yep!

Best of luck!

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Posted Thu, 06/07/2018 - 08:39
Rock

Thank u sir

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Posted Fri, 06/01/2018 - 12:43
Erik Frangos

When doing this should we expect to do Day 1 & 2 at 90% of our 1RM and Day 4/5 at 80% of our 1RM?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 06/01/2018 - 16:00
JoshEngland

Hi Eric,

85-100% of your working max for that rep range and 75-85% of your working max for the rep ranges on days 4/5.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 06/01/2018 - 01:46
Steve

Hey Josh,
I just finished my 12 weeks with this workout Nd seen great results! Any recommendations for a routine similar to this but maybe a step above? Say from Intermediate to advanced? Thank you!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 06/01/2018 - 08:40
JoshEngland

Hi Steve,

That's awesome! Congrats on your progress!

Have you given MAUL a try? It's a pretty solid next step:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/maul-workout

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 05/30/2018 - 09:18
Hristijan

Hey there, this program seems to be exactly what I was looking for but I was wondering. Can it be done every second day instead of gym/gym/rest/gym/gym/rest/rest ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 05/30/2018 - 09:26
JoshEngland

Hi Hristijan,

Not sure if I understand your question. But so long as you are taking a rest day after every 2 training days at least, that should be fine.

Hope this helps!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 05/31/2018 - 09:23
JoshEngland

Hi Hristijan,

Sure, that should be fine. Personally, when I've ran this program, I've ramped up my sets and included warm ups. After warming up, I'd do 5 sets of 5 gradually increasing the weight when possible. But, at the end of the day, it's up to the user of the program to use their own discretion and customize the program to best fit their needs.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 05/31/2018 - 12:01
Hristijan

Alrighty thanks for your time :)