Last Updated on January 19, 2020.
PHUL Workout or Power-Hypertrophy-Upper-Lower workout helps you build strength and muscles and induce hypertrophy.
Hypertrophy happens when your tissues or organs increase in size due to the growth of their component cells.
This usually results from physical exercise such as weightlifting.
Powerlifter, trainer, and YouTube celebrity Brandon Campbell created the PHUL program.
The program concentrates on heavy lifts, compound, and isolated exercises.
Compound exercises are movements that engage many muscles or a group of muscles simultaneously.
An example is a squat that involves the core, lower body, quadriceps, calves, and glutes.
Isolated exercises focus only on one joint and a few muscle groups. Typical exercises include Chest Fly, Wrist Curl, and Tricep Press.
Through the program, you’ll be training your body down to the cellular level.
How is this done?
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.
But the program is highly recommended for lifters who want to build strength, 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 how to 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 workout to have more energy, others want to reduce body fat. Some do it to strengthen their bones.
If you aim to build muscles, to be able to lift heavier loads and to 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 for 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:
- Stair Mill
- 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 who is 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 load as you progress.
What Should You Do During the Rest Days?
- Do some exercises using a foam roller.
- Treat yourself to an ice bath to help decrease swelling of your joints (6).
- Binge on proteins to help your muscles recover better (7).
The PHUL workout routine involves basic exercises.
These include the incline bench, back squats, dips, and lunge. These exercises will be your basis in building strength.
Stimulating hypertrophy can be done through high loads or high tension. High loads mean lifting heavier weight 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 for four days a week with 90-120 minutes 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 lots of repetitions.
The third week allows you to rest and recuperate.
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.
The program allots two days for strength training. Increase your load time under tension to help you build up strength.
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 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.
Compound exercises should stay the same, but you can substitute them with other exercises that engage more muscles, as needed.
Train your lower back or abdominals during your rest days or at the end of your routine.
PHUL Workout Routine
- Day 1: Upper Power
- Day 2: Lower Power
- Day 3: Rest
- Day 4: Upper Hypertrophy
- Day 5: Lower Hypertrophy
- Day 6: Rest
- Day 7: Rest
Day 1 (Monday): Upper Power Exercise
- Four sets of Barbell Bench Press, four reps each set.
- Four sets of Incline Dumbbell Bench Press, eight reps.
- Four sets of Bent Over Row, four reps.
- Four sets of Lat Pull Down, eight reps.
- Three sets of Overhead Press, seven reps.
- Three sets of Barbell Curl, eight reps.
- Three sets of Skullcrusher, eight reps.
Day 2 (Tuesday): Lower Power Exercise
- Four sets of Squat, four reps each set.
- Four sets of Deadlift, four reps.
- Four sets of Leg Press, 12 reps.
- Four sets of Leg Curl, eight reps.
- Four sets of Calf Exercise, eight reps.
Day 3 (Wednesday): Rest
Day 4 (Thursday): Upper Hypertrophy Exercise
- Four sets of Incline Barbell Bench Press, ten reps each set.
- Four sets of Flat Bench Dumbbell Flye, ten reps.
- Four sets of Seated Cable Row, ten reps.
- Four sets of One-Arm Dumbbell Row, ten reps.
- Four sets of Dumbbell Lateral Raise, ten reps.
- Four sets of Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl, ten reps.
- Four sets of Cable Tricep Extension, ten reps.
Day 5 (Friday): Lower Hypertrophy Exercise
- Four sets of Front Squat, ten reps each set.
- Four sets of Barbell Lunge, ten reps.
- Four sets of Leg Extension, 12 reps.
- Four sets of Leg Curl, 12 reps.
- Four sets of Seated Calf Raise, ten reps.
- Four sets of Calf Press, ten reps.
Days 6-7 (Saturday & Sunday): Rest
PHUL Workout Progression
Set cycling will allow you to progress during 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 make changes to 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 1 or two weeks following the number of sets and reps.
Then, you can do go back to the original rep and set 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.
Workout 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 do 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 how to correctly do the workout if you’re not sure.
Don’t forget about your safety.
Use the needed safety precautions for your workout.
- Do your warm-up.
- 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. He or she will be able to coach you on how to do your routines the right way.
- Make sure you have the needed lifting accessories such as Lifting Gloves and Straps, Head Harness, and Wrist Wraps. According to a study, weight-lifting injuries increased to more than 48 percent from 1990 to 2007. Thus, it’s important 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 drink 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, help reduce your recovery time during the workout, and enhances the quality of your exercise (8).
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 a good source of protein 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.
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 help 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 diseases.
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 ailment.
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.
There are some who 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 at the same time.
Some say that as part of PHUL workout progression, they add volume to the workout and find it more useful for them.
The reviewers also advise starting with lower weights. This helped their muscles and mind to be ready for heavier weight.
The Bottom Line
PHUL training is a balanced combination of strength building and proper training.
When done regularly and correctly, it yields incredible results.
But regardless of what workout program you undergo, the most effective workout is one that you can commit to.
If you want to learn more, check out our Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training (PHAT) workout guide.