Man engaged in the PHUL workout routine at the gym.

PHUL Workout to Gain Size and Strength

Delving into the world of fitness, the PHUL Workout stands out as a potent regimen for those aiming to achieve both strength and muscular hypertrophy. But what exactly is hypertrophy? It's the process where tissues or organs enlarge due to the growth of individual cells, often triggered by rigorous physical activities like weightlifting.

The brainchild of powerlifter, trainer, and renowned YouTube personality Brandon Campbell, the PHUL (Power-Hypertrophy-Upper-Lower) program seamlessly blends heavy lifting with both compound and isolated exercises.

Compound exercises, like squats, are multi-joint movements that engage multiple muscle groups at once, from the core and lower body to the quadriceps, calves, and glutes. On the other hand, isolated exercises, such as the Chest Fly or Tricep Press, target specific joints and a limited set of muscle groups.

The beauty of the PHUL program lies in its ability to stimulate the body at a cellular level. By consistently lifting heavier weights, you introduce minor damage to your muscles. This intentional “damage” sets the stage for muscle repair, leading to increased size and hypertrophy. Ready to dive in? (1, 2, 3, 4, 5).

Workout Notes

phul workout routine

The PHUL workout routine involves basic exercises.

These include the incline bench, back squats, dips, and lunges. These exercises will be your basis for building strength.

Stimulating hypertrophy can be done through high loads or high tension. High loads mean lifting heavier weights, while high tension involves tempo training.

The recommended duration is three months with 3-week cycles.

It is advised to do the PHUL workout routine four days a week with a 90-120-minute workout duration each day.

The recommended rest between sets is 60-150 seconds.

Strength training works best on 3-week cycles.

During the first two weeks, you’ll need to train hard, work with heavier loads, and do many repetitions.

The third week allows you to rest and recuperate.

Frequency

Recent studies indicate that muscle protein synthesis continues to be elevated for up to 48 hours after a heavy workout.

This means that after an intense workout, the muscles undergo minor cellular-level injuries.

This will increase blood flow in the injured areas and will lead to muscle repair through protein synthesis.

It will also cause the repaired muscles to hypertrophy or increase in size.

Power Days

The program allows two days for strength training. Increase your load time under tension to help you build up strength.

Hypertrophy Days

During muscle hypertrophy training, the target is to build muscle and mass. This is done by doing isolation movements similar to a bodybuilding program.

Sets and Reps

The sets and reps for a PHUL workout give you the information you’ll need to know the weight of each exercise.

Low-rep exercises should be done at higher weights. High-rep exercises can be done with lower weights and in more gradual movements.

Failure

Failure is a tool that needs to be appropriately used.

You’ll need to try your best to complete all the sets with the ability to do one more rep.

Doing failure training often will negatively affect your training.

Exercise Selection

Compound exercises should stay the same, but you can substitute them with other exercises that engage more muscles as needed.

Abdominals

Train your lower back or abdominals during your rest days or at the end of your routine.

PHUL Workout Routine Breakdown

Weekly Schedule:

  • Day 1 (Monday): Upper Power
  • Day 2 (Tuesday): Lower Power
  • Day 3 (Wednesday): Rest
  • Day 4 (Thursday): Upper Hypertrophy
  • Day 5 (Friday): Lower Hypertrophy
  • Days 6-7 (Saturday & Sunday): Rest and Recovery

Detailed Routine:

Day 1: Upper Power

  • Barbell Bench Press: 4 sets x 4 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Bent Over Row: 4 sets x 4 reps
  • Lat Pull Down: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Overhead Press: 3 sets x 7 reps
  • Barbell Curls: 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Skullcrusher: 3 sets x 8 reps

Day 2: Lower Power

  • Squats: 4 sets x 4 reps
  • Deadlift: 4 sets x 4 reps
  • Leg Press: 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Leg Curl: 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Calf Exercises: 4 sets x 8 reps

Day 4: Upper Hypertrophy

  • Incline Barbell Bench Press: 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Flat Bench Dumbbell Flye: 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Seated Cable Row: 4 sets x 10 reps
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Row: 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl: 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Cable Tricep Extension: 4 sets x 10 reps
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Day 5: Lower Hypertrophy

  • Front Squat: 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Barbell Lunge: 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Leg Extension: 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Leg Curl: 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Seated Calf Raise: 4 sets x 10 reps
  • Calf Press: 4 sets x 10 reps

Days 6-7 (Saturday & Sunday): Rest and Recovery

PHUL Workout

PHUL Workout Progression

Set cycling will allow you to progress during the PHUL workout.

This means making some changes to the number of reps and sets after a certain period.

You can do the same workout routine during your first two weeks in the program.

To ensure progress, you can change the number of reps and sets beginning the third week.

For example, instead of doing eight reps for three sets, you can try six reps for four sets.

Once you’ve plotted the changes to the number of sets and reps, you can increase your load for one or two weeks following the number of sets and reps.

Then, you can go back to the original rep, set a pattern, and make changes in the following weeks.

You can also amend the routine combination after 1 to 2 weeks.

Make sure to take note of the changes so you can accurately record your PHUL workout progression.

Tips on How to Ensure a Healthy PHUL Workout Transformation

If you’re keen on seeing dramatic PHUL workout results, follow these tips:

Set realistic goals.

Identify what you want to accomplish in undergoing the program.

What changes do you want to see in your body?

This will give you some vision and direction as you do the workout. You will most likely be committed to a training routine when you’re personally invested in it.

Begin with low-volume training and increase it gradually.

This will allow your muscles to get used to the weight. Also, it will prevent you from muscle injuries.

Work out without your ego.

This may be challenging, especially when you already see results. However, this is very important.

Remember that the PHUL workout means building your cells and increasing the size of your tissues.

If you use too much force to get things done, you might end up injured.

Don’t just focus on gaining PHUL workout results fast.

Focus on the training. Since you’re building cells and tissues, you should know that it will take some time.

Instead of concentrating on seeing results, keep your eyes on how your body is transforming to build strength.

Think of how your muscles are working together to build themselves. Focus on your breathing.

Mind your form.

Make sure that your posture and technique are correct.

Do some research or ask an expert on correctly doing the workout if you’re not sure.

Don’t forget about your safety.

Use the needed safety precautions for your workout.

  1. Do your warm-up.
  2. Work out with someone who’ll be able to help you when needed, especially when you’re working with heavyweights. If possible, hire a trainer at the earlier part of the program. They will be able to coach you on how to do your routines the right way.
  3. Ensure you have the needed lifting accessories such as Lifting Gloves and Straps, Head Harness, and Wrist Wraps. According to a study, weightlifting injuries increased to more than 48 percent from 1990 to 2007. Thus, it’s essential to put safety first, especially when you’re working with heavy lifts.

Make sure you get at least 7 hours of sleep.

Whether you’re training or not, it’s essential to have enough sleep and rest. The body builds more growth hormones during sleep.

This process will help your muscles to recover after your workout.

Make a workout list that includes your reps, sets, and weights, and commit to it!

If you’re not sure about the workout routine that you’ve made, hire a personal trainer who will do it for you.

Take some selfies.

Selfies are not just for social media posting, but they’ll also help you see your progress and figure out which muscles need more exercise.

Have some carb and protein drinks during your workout to boost your energy.

Consume lots of calories.

Muscle-building and strengthening require an increase in calorie intake.

Eat more than three meals a day to build mass.

Focus on vegetables and meat so you’ll lose fat and build muscles fast.

Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!

Drinking plenty of water makes you feel less tired, helps reduce your recovery time during the workout, and enhances the quality of your exercise (6).

Also, it makes you feel more satisfied with your hard work.

Aside from water, you can even drink a low-calorie beverage with electrolytes such as sodium and potassium.

Include more protein-rich food in your diet during your rest days.

This will help improve your muscle recovery (7).

The rule of thumb is to consume 1 gram of protein for every pound of your body weight.

Beans, peas, almonds, and lentils are also good protein sources aside from lean meat and fish.

Have some carbs.

Carbohydrates break down into glucose once consumed. This will give you more energy during your workout.

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You can try dried fruit, hardboiled eggs, and nuts as sources of carbohydrates.

Experts advise that PHUL workout transformation will be noticeable after four to eight weeks of serious training.

You’ll be able to measure your muscle mass using a tape measure in four to six months.

Health Benefits of the Program

1. Experts say that doing strength workouts such as the PHUL workout helps reduce the risk of heart ailments.

They help manage issues with blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and obesity.

However, some say that intense weightlifting that is not adequately managed may lead to heart disease.

Consult your doctor first before you start with the program if you have any health concerns.

2. It strengthens the bones and muscles.

Weightlifting or the compound exercises done in this program help in increasing bone density.

Thus, PHUL training will help you become less prone to arthritis. But be sure not to overwork your muscles, as this may lead to injuries.

3. It enhances mental health.

The body releases endorphins during a workout. These endorphins are essential hormones that help prevent mental ailments.

4. Once you see your PHUL workout transformation, it will surely increase your self-confidence.

PHUL Workout Results

Social media reviews of those who’ve done the PHUL workout mention positive results.

Some recommend the program for those with a solid strength base.

They say that the program is perfect for those who want to focus on aesthetics and strength training simultaneously.

Some say that as part of PHUL workout progression, they add volume to the workout and find it more beneficial.

The reviewers also advise starting with lower weights. This helped their muscles and mind to be ready for heavier weight.

Are PHUL Workouts Suitable for Women Looking to Build Muscle?

Yes, PHUL workouts are suitable for women looking to build muscle. These workouts incorporate both power and hypertrophy training, targeting different muscle groups. By including compound and isolation exercises, PHUL workouts offer top musclebuilding strategies for women to achieve their strength and muscle-building goals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is This Workout Good for Losing Weight?

Any strength exercises, such as using resistance bands and lifting weights when paired with a balanced diet, can help you burn calories and build muscles.

However, the program is highly recommended for lifters who want to build strength and muscle and achieve their ideal weight.

How Is PHUL Workout Different from Bodybuilding Programs?

PHUL workout is focused on only two things: upper body exercises and lower body exercises. Its focus is on building strength through integrated movement.

Bodybuilding programs target specific muscles.

It provides you with training exercises specific to each muscle group: legs, back, chest, arms, shoulders, and the core.

What Are the Benefits of the Program?

The workout will educate you on how to train the right way and accomplish more challenging routines.

It will also allow you to progress safely as you continue to increase in size and strength.

How Do You Know If a PHUL Program Is Right for You?

People get into workout programs for different reasons. Some work out to have more energy; others want to reduce body fat. Some do it to strengthen their bones.

If you aim to build muscles, be able to lift heavier loads, and lose weight, then a PHUL workout is worth trying for you.

What’s the Duration of the Program?

The PHUL program is a 4-day workout.

Days 1 and two will be Power Exercise days, followed by a rest day.

Then, the fourth and fifth days will be for Hypertrophy exercises, followed by two rest days.

What Warm-Up Exercises Can You Do for a PHUL Workout?

A good rule of thumb is to choose exercises that will help you warm up but won’t stress your muscles.

This is important since, during the workout, you’ll need to lift heavy loads, which will put stress on your muscles.

Examples of ideal warm-up exercises are low-impact cardio exercises such as:

  1. Stair Mill
  2. Intervals
  3. Biking
  4. Elliptical workout

How Should You Start the Phul Workout?

The key is to start slow.

Since you’re working on muscles that you may not have trained before, this means you’re putting certain parts of your body in shock.

So, it is more important to start with lighter weight and slower movements.

Begin with low repetitions at 60-70% of your maximum lift until you’re used to the workload.

It is not advisable to work on your maximum lift immediately to avoid injury.

If you’re a beginner interested in trying this program, you can start with loads that you’re comfortable with.

You can also use those you’ve tried before and increase the load as you progress.

What Should You Do During the Rest Days?

  1. Do some exercises using a foam roller.
  2. Treat yourself to an ice bath to help decrease swelling of your joints (8).
  3. Binge on proteins to help your muscles recover better (9).

Bottom Line

The PHUL workout stands as a testament to the synergy of strength and hypertrophy training. When executed with dedication and precision, its potential to transform is unparalleled.

However, the essence of any fitness journey lies in consistency and commitment. The best workout isn't necessarily the most intense or complex, but the one you can stick to with unwavering dedication.

For those eager to delve deeper into the realm of power hypertrophy, our Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training (PHAT) workout guide awaits your exploration. Dive in and discover another dimension of fitness.

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