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
12 weeks
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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1.3K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 03/18/2019 - 10:54

Do you think it’s possible to do this workout four days in a row by respecting 48h beetween the same body parts then take 2 days rests for work scheduled reasons ?

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Posted Tue, 03/12/2019 - 22:59

Two questions:

1) is it better to run this as a circuit workout? Or do all sets of one exercise, then move onto doing all sets of the next exercise and so on?

2) What's a good workout to "upgrade" to after finishing this one?

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Posted Tue, 03/12/2019 - 19:35

Bad programming, a lot of volume and high intensity, most people won't recover from it.

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Posted Tue, 03/12/2019 - 13:49

So, why dumbbell incline BP on power day but Barbell incline BP on Hypertrophy day? Why not just switch them for consistency?

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Posted Mon, 03/11/2019 - 00:56

If i do:
day 1 upper power
day 2 off
day 3 lower power
day 4 off
day 5 Upper Hypertrophy
day 6 Lower Hypertrophy
day 7 off

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Posted Fri, 03/08/2019 - 23:59

what if so: Day 1 Tuesday: Upper Power
Day 2 Wednesday: Off
Day 3 Thursday: Lower Power
Day 4 Friday: Off
Day 5 Saturday: Upper Hypertrophy
Day 6 Sunday: Lower Hypertrophy
Day 7 Monday: Off

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Posted Tue, 03/12/2019 - 11:00

This is the exact schedule I've been using. I like having the rest day between power days.

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Posted Tue, 03/05/2019 - 05:57

What is the rest time in between sets please?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 03/05/2019 - 09:44

Hi Ben,

45 sec -1 min on hypertrophy and accessory lifts, 3-5 min on power lifts.

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Posted Sun, 03/03/2019 - 19:46

Can I substitute bench press for cable flies? I get shoulder pain with bench press.
Also how does weight increase work? Should we be progressive overload on an amrap set?

Thank you

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Posted Mon, 02/25/2019 - 16:48
Ozzy Saleh

Would doing day 1 day 2 day 3 and day 4 consecutively pose a problem?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 02/26/2019 - 11:24

Hi Ozzy,

It's not ideal, but it can be done.

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Posted Mon, 02/25/2019 - 15:52
Aaron Blackwell

Do you eat the same amount of calories on your off days based on your MPS being elevated for up to 48 hours?

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Posted Mon, 02/25/2019 - 07:01

How does the weight progression work here exactly?

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Posted Mon, 02/25/2019 - 05:28
Trần Hoàng Long

I tried to do bentover rows, squat and dealift but ended up hurting my lower back for a week. It has not recovered,what would you suggest? I'm changing the rows for pull-ups, for instance, is it okay?

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Posted Sun, 02/24/2019 - 16:02

Can you do this program as a beginner? Ive been doing this split for 2 months now and ive been liftin weights for about 8 months soon. People are telling me that these many isolation exercises compared with compounds is too much for a beginner

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Posted Wed, 02/20/2019 - 06:23
Amr Rabiea

Is this program good for gaining mass and losing fat with a clean proper diet and some cardio post workout ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 02/20/2019 - 08:38

Hi Amr,

Yes, this program can be used for either of those goals.

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Posted Wed, 02/13/2019 - 09:54
Rakesh vemparala

Should we increase the weight for each set or we can maintain constant weights ?

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Posted Wed, 02/13/2019 - 06:46

Can i do all the back workout on day 3 ?

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Posted Sun, 02/10/2019 - 13:35

is it possible to do only the hypertrophy days if my focus is to mainly look good. like this?

Day 1: Upper Hypertrophy
Day 2: Lower Hypertrophy
Day 3: Off
Day 4: Upper Hypertrophy
Day 5: Lower Hypertrophy
Day 6: Off
Day 7: Off

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:33

Hi Tilman,

You can do that yes. But the strength days will help with hypertrophy as well.

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Posted Fri, 02/08/2019 - 17:56

Could someone please answer this
Ive been following this for about 2 months soon, but it feels like 2 exercises for chest for example feels very little, and 1 exercise for shoulders. Yet, it takes 2 hours to complete a training session so i cant seem to add any more exercises or sets. Is 2 exercises with 4 sets really enough for putting on mass? I see all kind of videos on Youtube saying "you need to do these 5 exercises for triceps!" yet im here doing 1 exercise for triceps each session. It just doesnt add up for me.

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Posted Thu, 02/14/2019 - 18:03

Dude, you do not need 5 tricep exercises unless you are already in really great shape and juicin and competing...If that's your shtick why you even looking here and how did a hybrid strength program catch your eye? You can make gains doing 1 chest exercise 5x a week 2 sets each. this program has you doing waay higher volume than that.

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Posted Fri, 02/08/2019 - 01:56

Can I do this but only have 1 rest day after day 5 routine?

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Posted Thu, 02/07/2019 - 12:37

Will this work if I’m trying to lean bulk.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 02/07/2019 - 13:47

Hi Jason,

Yes, you can do this program while lean bulking.

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Posted Wed, 02/06/2019 - 16:30

I have been following this program for more than 6 months and i like it. Every muscle group group worked 2 times a week which is great. I feel like implementing nSuns program for big lift. But on lower power day this program have both squat and deadlift and nSuns would take lost of values for squat (9 sets) and deadlift(8sets). So it would too much volume and very taxing as well. can you advise how can i implement NSuns into this program for biglifts.

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Posted Thu, 02/07/2019 - 16:50

you could turn this routine into a cycle based one. nsuns wouldnt be the most optimal routine to incorporate into this program, but taking cues from jim wendler's 5/3/1 would be a pretty cool way to switch it up.

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Posted Sat, 02/02/2019 - 10:12

Do you think this workout is a good transition after 6 months of a 4 days bro splits ( Chest/Triceps, Back/Biceps, Shoulders/abs, Legs/abs )
Feeling like working legs once a week isn't enough as they don't really grow. :)

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 02/05/2019 - 14:38

Hi Nicolas,

Yes, this would be a solid change up from your current bro split.

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Posted Sat, 02/02/2019 - 00:38

Love the program been using it for several months now.
Quick question, is there a reason we do both one arm dumbbell rows as well as seated cable rows? T me they seem like they work the same muscle group here.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 02/05/2019 - 14:44

Hi Aydos,

For more volume to help grow the back.

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Posted Tue, 01/29/2019 - 23:08
Putra Pratama

Can i use machine bicep curl instead of barbell curl on upper power day ?

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Posted Thu, 02/07/2019 - 16:50


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Posted Tue, 01/29/2019 - 18:54

Should we be using heavier weights on the power days because of the low reps? And lower weights on the hypertrophy days because of the high reps? Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 02/05/2019 - 14:59


Yes, that is correct.

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Posted Mon, 01/28/2019 - 10:51

Only 2 exercises of shoulders x week? :C

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Posted Fri, 01/25/2019 - 04:17

Hi! Great program!
But after doing deadlifts my back hurts af again, so sadly enough i think I’ll have to cut them out. At least for a while..
So my question is, what do You think is the best substitute for the deadlift?


JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 01/25/2019 - 09:35
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Posted Thu, 01/24/2019 - 16:14

Hi Josh,
I really like the program and was wondering if I could do it longer than 3 months? I was thinking maybe 6 months or so. Would that be okay and would I then need to change anything?

Also, since I really enjoy doing the flat bench press for 8-12 reps, I was wondering if it was okay to do that instead of incline bench press every other week? I would still be doing incline too and switching between them every week.

Thank you in advance!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 01/25/2019 - 09:36

Hi Mani,

Absolutely - you can do it for however long you like. Sure, that should be fine.

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Posted Thu, 01/24/2019 - 10:24
Chaitanya Venneti

Can we do some ab workouts during one of the rest days?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 01/25/2019 - 09:37

Hi Chaitanya,

Sure, go for it.

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Posted Mon, 01/21/2019 - 16:50

Hi Josh, Can I change seated cable row with t bar row on upper-hyper day ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 01/25/2019 - 09:38

Hi Taha,

Yes, that should be a fine substitution.

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Posted Mon, 01/21/2019 - 16:32
Gert Jan

How do i know what amount of sets and reps are good to aim for. I mean look at day 1 incline dumbbell bench press per example:

3-4 sets and 6-10 reps, but the diffrence/gap between 3 sets + 6 reps vs 4 sets with 10 reps is really really big... (a volume of 18 vs. a volume of 40)
So how do i know what amount of sets/reps i should aim for?

(side note: I want to focus on gaining strength and not necessarily gaining muscles/mass)

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Posted Wed, 01/23/2019 - 09:51

You should always aim for 3-5 sets, and '1 rep left in the tank' weight for each of those sets. How much should you do? You're going to have to experiment - even being a seasoned lifter, I wasn't sure what this was the first few routines so I scoped it out, and adjusted the following workout. Might take you a few times before you understand your limits, and how many sets. As a beginner, I would stick with the lower end of the spectrum - 5 sets of each exercise at 85% 1RM is going to be really taxing for even the most advanced lifter.

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Posted Mon, 01/21/2019 - 15:50
Sam Birch

would i need to be hitting 225lb bench, 315lb squat and 405lb deadlift all for 5 reps before i coukd start a programme like this

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Posted Sun, 01/20/2019 - 10:17
Nadeem Hamid

Can I use dumbells instead of barbell while doing bench press my right side is very weak & i badly injured my left shoulder while doing bench press couple a days ago!