Starting the PHUL Workout Routine

Today is a big day for me. I’ve been spinning my wheels a bit in the gym and not progressing as much as I’d like. I’ve thus decided to shake things up a bit and start following a new, more structured workout routine.

After a good bit of reading and research, I’ve settled on PHUL, which is short for “Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower.” As the name suggests, it’s a 4-day upper/lower split with a dual focus on power and hypertrophy.

As with many of the best training programs, PHUL focuses on major compound lifts, though it also includes a number of accessory movements. The power days involved heavy-ish weights and lower rep ranges, while the hypertrophy days involve lighter weights and higher rep ranges.

Here’s what a typical week looks like:

  • Day 1: Upper Body Power
  • Day 2: Lower Body Power
  • Day 3: Rest/Recovery
  • Day 4: Upper Body Hypertrophy
  • Day 5: Lower Body Hypertrophy
  • Day 6: Rest/Recovery
  • Day 7: Rest/Recovery

The idea is to progressively overload by increasing weight whenever you meet your set/rep goals. When looking through the program, you’ll notice that the sets and reps are presented as ranges. It’s up to you to settle on the ideal mix, which depends in part on how much time you have.

What follows is a summary of the basic plan, as originally written. I’ll post some additional info in the future with details on how I’ve modified the program for my own purposes.

Day 1: Upper Body Power

  • Barbell bench (3-4 sets x 3-5 reps)
  • Incline dumbbell bench (3-4 sets x 6-10 reps)
  • Barbell row (3-4 sets x 3-5 reps)
  • Lat pulldown (3-4 sets x 6-10 reps)
  • Overhead press (2-3 sets x 5-8 reps)
  • Barbell curl (2-3 sets x 6-10 reps)
  • Skullcrusher (2-3 sets x 6-10 reps)

Day 2: Lower Body Power

  • Barbell squats (3-4 sets x 3-5 reps)
  • Deadlift (3-4 sets x 3-5 reps)
  • Leg press (3-5 sets x 10-15 reps)
  • Leg curl (3-4 sets x 6-10 reps)
  • Calf exercise (4 sets x 6-10 reps)

Day 4: Upper Body Hypertrophy

  • Incline barbell bench bress (3-4 sets x 8-12 reps)
  • Flat bench dumbbell fly (3-4 sets x 8-12 reps)
  • Seated cable row (3-4 sets x 8-12 reps)
  • One arm dumbbell row (3-4 sets x 8-12 reps)
  • Dumbbell lateral raise (3-4 sets x 8-12 reps)
  • Seated incline dumbbell curl (3-4 sets x 8-12 reps)
  • Cable tricep extension (3-4 sets x 8-12 reps)

Day 5: Lower Body Hypertrophy

  • Front squat (3-4 sets x 8-12 reps)
  • Barbell lunge (3-4 sets x 8-12 reps)
  • Leg extension (3-4 sets x 10-15 reps)
  • Leg curl (3-4 sets x 10-15 reps)
  • Seated calf raise (3-4 sets x 8-12 reps)
  • Calf press (3-4 sets x 8-12 reps)

Note that I’ll be running this program on a Mon/Tue, Thu/Fri cycle. I’ll either take Wednesdays completely off, or spend some time on the erg doing long-ish, easy-ish steady state rowing pieces to get the blood pumping and help build a cardio base. As for weekends, those will be dedicated to the R&R.

Workouts & Training
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