Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower (PHUL) Program

Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower (PHUL) Program

Do you want to build size and strength?


Then this Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower (PHUL) is just what you need!


This 4-day upper lower training program will help you build muscle and strength and can be easily adapted to fit your training needs.

What is Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower (PHUL) Training?

PHUL training has been popular for a number of years now.


Though, truth be told, while the program is called Power Hypertrophy training, it may be apropos to call it Strength Hypertrophy Upper Lower.


Technically speaking, training for power entails maximizing strength and speed. Basically, increasing power is being able generate force rapidly, which equates to a high rate of force development (RFD). 


When athletes can maximize their power output, they’re able to sprint faster, jump higher, accelerate and decelerate better, and change direction with more agility and precision.


Additionally, when training strictly for power, athletes perform a relatively low volume of training and stop sets well short of failure. This allows them to optimize power and force output without experiencing a decline in performance or technique. 


Moreover, you don’t necessarily need heavy weights to increase power output. Moving lighter weights at faster speeds has been shown to improve power output independent of strength gains.


PHUL training primarily focuses on getting you big and strong. “Power” days in the PHUL workout are primarily dedicated to building strength.


So essentially, PHUL training is a 4-day upper lower split where two days per week are devoted to strength training and the other two days are devoted to hypertrophy training. This allows you to hit each muscle group twice per week and train for multiple goals.

Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower Program Tips

Power (Strength)-Focused Days

On the strength-building days for your compound movements like the bench press, barbell row, and squat, make sure to focus on lifting explosively. Lower the bar under control and then lift it as quickly and forcefully as possible...while using good form.


You want each rep to feel clean, fast, and controlled. Your focus isn’t on going to failure or grinding.

Hypertrophy Days

These days are all about pumping as much blood into the muscles through the use of challenging weights in moderate to higher rep ranges.


Still try to lift explosively on the concentric, and on the eccentric (lowering) milk every rep for all it can give. Use a 3-second eccentric if possible and watch your muscles pool with blood while you chase the pump!

Rest Times

One of the biggest questions individuals have is concerning rest periods. Depending on who you listen to or what your read, you’ll hear different things.


Suffice it to say that you should rest as long as you need (within reason) in order to put in a quality effort on your next set.


From the research side of things, we’ve seen both brief and long rest periods be effective for building muscle.


Generally speaking though, for the compound lifts on the strength-focused days, you’ll probably want to rest between 3-5 minutes between sets.


On the hypertrophy days, rest 1.5-3 minutes, depending on the exercise and how your recovery between sets is. Remember, you’re in the gym to build muscle and strength, not see how high you can get your heartrate by supersetting exercises and taking limited rest breaks -- save that for your cardio days.

Push for Progress

A program is only as effective as the person who is performing it.


In other words, the program is only going to work if you put quality work in each and every time you show up to the gym.


At a basic level, this means giving a high amount of effort on each set and pushing for progress when possible.


If you hit 10 reps last week, go for 11 or 12. If you’ve reached the upper limit of a rep range on a given exercise (5-8), then add a little weight to the bar.


Keeping these tidbits in mind will help to avoid plateaus and ensure you’re making steady gains on the PHUL training program.


Now, we realize that you won’t be able to make progress every single working in every lift. If that was the case, we’d all be bench pressing the moon and squatting Saturn.


There will be workouts where you can’t eek out another rep or add even 2.5 lbs to the bar.


But, over the course of your training, as the weeks go by you should see steady increases in both the weights you’re lifting and how many reps you’re lifting themYou’re not going to make progress in every single workout. 


Embracing this mindset is paramount to your success on the program.

Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower Program Schedule

As mentioned above, the PHUL training program is a 4-day upper lower split.


Depending on how much time you have to allocate to training, you can set up the program a few different ways.

Option #1

The standard schedule for PHUL training is:

  • Monday: Upper Body Power
  • Tuesday: Lower Body Power
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Upper Body Hypertrophy 
  • Friday: Lower Body Hypertrophy
  • Saturday: Off
  • Sunday: Off

Option #2

Another riff on the training program is to put a day of rest between your two hypertrophy days since these are higher in volume and may need more time to recover.

  • Monday: Upper Body Power
  • Tuesday: Lower Body Power
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Upper Body Hypertrophy 
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday: Lower Body Hypertrophy
  • Sunday: Off

Option #3

If you prefer to train on the weekends, you could also setup a PHUL training program like this:

  • Monday: Off
  • Tuesday: Upper Body Power
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Lower Body Power
  • Friday: Off
  • Saturday: Upper Body Hypertrophy
  • Sunday: Lower Body Hypertrophy

Option #4

Some individuals may only be able to train three times per week. Understand that you can still run this program even if you can only hit the gym 3 days per week. You'll simply rotate through the four workout as such:

Week #1:

  • Monday: Upper Body Power
  • Tuesday: Off
  • Wednesday: Lower Body Power
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Upper Body Hypertrophy
  • Saturday: Off
  • Sunday: Off

Week #2:

  • Monday: Lower Body Hypertrophy
  • Tuesday: Off
  • Wednesday: Upper Body Power
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Lower Body Power
  • Saturday: Off
  • Sunday: Off

Week #3:

  • Monday: Upper Body Hypertrophy
  • Tuesday: Off
  • Wednesday: Lower Body Hypertrophy
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Upper Body Power
  • Saturday: Off
  • Sunday: Off

Week #4:

  • Monday: Lower Body Power
  • Tuesday: Off
  • Wednesday: Upper Body Hypertrophy
  • Thursday: Off
  • Friday: Lower Body Hypertrophy
  • Saturday: Off
  • Sunday: Off

Thus, you will complete two full cycles of the training program every 4 weeks.

Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower (PHUL) Training Program

Upper Power

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Bench Press

4

3-5

Low-Incline Dumbbell Press

3

6-8

Barbell Row

4

3-5

Weighted Pull Up

3

6-8

Military Press

2-3

6-8

Hammer Curl

2

8-10

Tricep Pushdown

2

8-10


Lower Power

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Back Squat

3-5

3-5

Romanian Deadlift

4

5-8

Leg Press

3

8-12

Seated Leg Curl

3-4

8-10

Seated Calf Raise

4

10-12


Upper Hypertrophy

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Incline Bench Press

4

8-12

Cable Crossover

3

8-12

Chin Ups

4

AMRAP

Seated Cable Row

3

8-12

Lateral Raise

3-4

10-15

Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl

3

8-12

Skullcrushers

3

8-12


Lower Hypertrophy

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Leg Curl

3-4

8-12

Leg Press

3-4

10-12

Walking Lunges

3-4

10-15 / leg

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

2-3

8-12

Calf Press

3-4

8-12