Are you looking for a workout designed to give you strength, muscle mass, fat loss, speed, and an awesome physique in the process?
If the answer is yes, you’re looking for the PHUL workout.
The PHUL stands for ‘Power, Hypertrophy, Upper, Lower’ and is a hugely popular training program and routine in the fitness community, for a whole host of different reasons.
Bodybuilders follow the PHUL training, as do powerlifters such as Eddie Hall And Stefi Cohen, athletes, CrossFit participants, and people that are simply looking to improve their physiques, their fitness, and their athletic performance in the process.
There are countless training programs and routines out there that are designed to provide various health and fitness benefits, yet clearly, there are some that are better than others, and PHUL certainly fits that criteria.
If you want to learn more about the PHUL workout, such as what it is and what it can do for you, you’re at the right place.
- 1 What Is PHUL Workout?
- 2 Power, Hypertrophy, Upper, And Lower:
- 3 What Are The Benefits Of The PHUL Workout?
- 3.1 1. Increase Your Strength Levels
- 3.2 2. Increase Muscle Mass
- 3.3 3. Burn Fat
- 3.4 4. It Helps Beat The Monotony Of Everyday Training
- 3.5 5. Suitable For Everyone
- 3.6 6. Improve Your Other Lifts
- 3.7 7. More Days Off
- 3.8 8. Hit Each Muscle Group Multiple Times Per Week
- 3.9 9. Compounds For full-body Workouts
- 3.10 10. Build A Strong And Powerful Upper Body
- 3.11 11. Build Up Your Legs
- 4 PHUL Workout Schedule:
- 5 PHUL Workout Program:
- 6 Is PHUL Workout Worth It?
What Is PHUL Workout?
As mentioned, PHUL stands for Power, Hypertrophy, Upper, and Lower.
Needless to say, it is a workout that is designed to increase strength and muscle mass, by focussing on upper and lower body training days.
Although it sounds technical, it is actually just a 4-day upper and lower split training program requiring participants to work for each muscle group twice per week.
Interestingly, two of the four workouts are designed purely for strength, whereas the other two are designed purely for muscle growth.
On the upper body days, you will target your back, chest, shoulders, biceps, and triceps, and on the lower body days, you’ll work your hamstrings, quads, glutes, and calves.
On the strength days, you’ll perform compound movements such as deadlifts, bench presses, squats, and military presses with heavier weights and lower rep ranges.
On hypertrophy days you’ll lighten the weights, perform more reps, and will also throw some isolation movements in the mix.
Power, Hypertrophy, Upper, And Lower:
As mentioned prior, the PHUL requires you to train just 4 days per week, combining exercises designed to promote power, exercises designed to build muscles, exercises that work the upper body, and exercises that work the lower body.
On your power days, you will perform 2 of your 4 workouts per week.
One of your power days will be to increase strength in your upper body, whereas the other will be designed to promote strength in your lower body.
On power days, you’ll perform a lot of compound exercises such as barbell squats, bench presses, deadlifts, overhead presses, and pull-ups.
You’ll use heavier weights and will aim for rep ranges that fall into the 4 – 6 rep bracket.
You will typically lift weights that are around 90% of your 1 rep max on power days.
On hypertrophy days, the goal is to build muscle, as muscle hypertrophy is basically a technical term used to describe muscle growth.
As you might expect, the objective here is to pack as much muscle mass onto your frame as possible.
The final 2 days of the PHUL are designed to help you to build as much muscle mass as you possibly can.
These days, rather than training like a powerlifter or strength athlete, you will instead train like a bodybuilder.
Here, you’ll perform isolation single-joint movements, you’ll use lighter weights, and your rep ranges will typically sit between 10 and 15 reps on average.
Even though the goal these days is muscle growth, you will still make some strength increases by default.
On the flip side, even though on power days the goal is to build strength, you will still gain some muscle mass.
What Are The Benefits Of The PHUL Workout?
Now that we know more about what this workout is all about, we can now look at some of the key benefits of following the PHUL.
These include, but are by no means limited to, the following:
1. Increase Your Strength Levels
One of the main benefits of the PHUL is the fact that it has been designed, at least in part, to help substantially increase your strength levels.
The P in PHUL stands for power, which basically is used to denote the strength-building benefits of this particular workout.
The PHUL incorporates a lot of heavy compound exercises designed to build strength and power, making this an ideal workout for people lacking strength.
2. Increase Muscle Mass
The H in PHUL stands for hypertrophy, which is basically just a technical term used to describe muscle growth.
The PHUL incorporates compound exercises, isolation movements, and different rep ranges and weights which are also designed to help people to build muscle as well as increase their strength levels.
Whether you’re training as a bodybuilder or are just looking to bulk up, this is the perfect training routine for you.
3. Burn Fat
Make no mistake about it, if you’re looking to burn fat and improve your physique, the PHUL is just as effective as cardio if you implement it correctly.
Because of the fact that the exercises and workouts are so physically demanding.
The PHUL burns calories like you wouldn’t believe, which as you know, is ideal for anybody looking to shred body fat and get leaner.
If you really work hard when training, each workout could easily burn upwards of 400 calories, if not more.
4. It Helps Beat The Monotony Of Everyday Training
As beneficial as bodybuilding training can be, you must admit that it’s hardly fun and exciting and that it can actually get quite boring and tedious very quickly if you aren’t careful.
Once you find yourself growing bored with your training, that’s when you’ll find that your motivational levels will drop and you won’t work as hard as you should be.
The PHUL is ideal because it’s so unique, it helps you to beat the monotony of everyday training and typical bodybuilding workouts.
5. Suitable For Everyone
Another awesome benefit of following PHUL is the fact that the workouts themselves are suitable for everybody.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a powerlifter looking to improve your squat, or a bodybuilder looking to bring up your delts before your debut bodybuilding contest, PHUL can help.
PHUL is suitable for people of all ages, genders, shapes, sizes, and physical abilities as you simply work within the confines of your own physical limitations, goals, and personal circumstances.
6. Improve Your Other Lifts
As we previously touched on beforehand, another key benefit of following PHUL is the fact that it is so effective for people who are struggling with certain lifts.
Have you found yourself struggling with a squat, bench press, deadlift, overhead press, power cleans, or any other lift for that matter?
If so, then PHUL could be ideal.
PHUL is great because it is a mish-mash of different types of training, so different exercises and movements are performed to provide different benefits.
On your power days, for example, the emphasis is on building strength, whereas on hypertrophy days the idea is to build muscle.
Combine the different training days together and you’ll find you have the ultimate training program when it comes to accessory work for better lifts in the gym.
7. More Days Off
Another key benefit of PHUL is the fact that following a PHUL will allow you to enjoy more days off than your typical bodybuilding 5-day split.
Regardless of whether or not you enjoy training, it’s essential that you allow yourself some time to recover as rest days are arguably more important than training days.
When following the PHUL, you’ll find that you get to enjoy more days off from training than most other routines, with the added bonus of making the same types of gains that you’d expect to find with a more conventional training routine.
The PHUL requires you to train 4 days each week, so you get 3 days off from the gym, without any guilt.
8. Hit Each Muscle Group Multiple Times Per Week
Another awesome benefit of the PHUL is the fact that it allows you to hit each muscle group at least twice per week.
Most training programs will only allow you to hit each muscle group once per week, especially if you’re following a 5-day split.
Needless to say, if you aren’t training hard and aren’t giving your all during each workout, you’ll find you’re not making the gains you will have hoped for.
By working for each muscle group more than once per week, you can stimulate muscle growth and recovery, thereby improving the size of the muscle, along with its overall performance.
9. Compounds For full-body Workouts
When following the PHUL, another awesome benefit is the fact that PHUL allows you to perform plenty of compound exercises, which are ideal for those of you who are looking to build muscle and strength.
Compounds are great for full-body workouts because each exercise works for multiple muscle groups at the same time.
By working for more than one muscle group at once, you’ll find that you get to enjoy more benefits from training as each muscle group gets a little bit extra in terms of training stimuli.
10. Build A Strong And Powerful Upper Body
As you can probably guess due to the fact that there are upper and lower body days, another reason to follow the PHUL is the fact that it will enable you to build a strong and powerful upper body.
On your upper body days, you’ll be working all of your upper body muscles, helping you to build a strong and powerful back, an awesome V taper, a thick chest, boulder shoulders, bulging biceps, and defined triceps.
11. Build Up Your Legs
Another benefit associated with PHUL routines is the fact that you can also build up your legs.
Far too many people neglect their legs when training and as a result, they find themselves with large upper bodies and skinny chicken legs that leave them looking out of proportion and unsymmetrical.
On your lower body days, your legs will get one heck of a workout and you’ll target all major muscle groups associated with your legs and your lower body.
PHUL Workout Schedule:
One good thing about PHUL is the fact that you can adjust the days that you train so that they fit around your schedule.
With that said, an example of a PHUL schedule could look something like this:
PHUL Workout Program:
Day 1: Upper Power day
Day 2: Lower Power day
Day 3: Rest day
Day 4: Upper Hypertrophy day
Day 5: Lower Hypertrophy day
Day 6: Rest day
Day 7: Rest day
Sample PHUL Workout:
Day 1: Upper Power day
Barbell Bench Press: Weeks 1-4 – 5 sets of 1 rep at 80% of your 1 rep max
Weeks 4-8: 4 sets of 1 rep at 85% of your 1 rep max
Weeks 9-12: 3 sets x 1 rep at 90% of your 1 rep max
Dumbbell Incline Bench Presses: 3 sets of 5-8 reps
Close Grip Lat Pulldowns: 3 sets of 5-8 reps
Standing barbell military presses: 4 sets of 5-8 reps
Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows: 2 sets of 5-8 reps
Day 2: Lower Power
Barbell Squats Weeks: 1-4 – 5 sets of 1 rep at 80% of your 1 rep max
Weeks 4-8 – 4 sets of 1 rep at 85% of your 1 rep max
Weeks 9-12 – 3 sets x 1 rep at 90% of your 1 rep max
Stiff legged Deadlifts: 4 sets of 5-8 reps
Hack Squats: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
Seated Calf Raises: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Day 4: Upper Hypertrophy
Incline Barbell Bench Presses: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
V Bar Lat Pulldowns: 4 sets x 10-15 reps
Cable Crossovers: 3 sets of 15-20 reps
Seated hammer strength rows: 2 sets of 15-20 reps
Lateral Raise: 2 sets of 15-20 reps
Front raises: 2 sets of 15-20 reps
*On upper hypertrophy days you can also include a biceps and triceps exercise or two
Day 5: Lower Hypertrophy
Leg Press machine: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 15-20 reps
Hamstring Curls: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Standing Calf Raises: 4 sets of 10-15 reps
*On lower body hypertrophy days, you can also train your abs.
*As for cardio, aim to perform cardio twice per week, in the form of 2 x HIIT training sessions.
Is PHUL Workout Worth It?
So, now that we know more about the many benefits of following a PHUL workout program, we need to look at whether or not PHUL is worth it.
Well, in our opinion, PHUL is indeed well worth doing as it is simply exactly like the PHAT workout and PPL workout, it’s effective, it’s physically demanding, and there are heaps of benefits to be enjoyed as a result of doing it.