Size and strength gains in one program
Bodybuilding is a primarily aesthetic venture, seeking to get as big as possible and absolutely ripped, but not focusing too much on strength. There are some people out there that believe having an aesthetic physique automatically means you have a strong and powerful physique. Unfortunately that just isn’t the case, muscle does not always mean strength. The reality of bodybuilding training, specifically if you’re just trying to get shredded, is that it has less to do with strength and power and more to do with diet, training frequency, and hypertrophy. However, we are here to discuss the PHUL program, and how it can help with both your aesthetics and strength gains.
PHUL Workout Program Overview
As you progress in your bodybuilding journey however there’s no doubt that with the size and shred that you obtain, you’re going to want to build power as well. Powerbuilding is the best way to go so that you not only look like a comic book superhero, but can perform like one in the gym as well. Size without strength is almost meaningless.
Imagine the Incredible Hulk having all that massive muscle without having the ability to lift a car over his head and toss it through a building. That comics and the movies would’ve become old really fast. The same can be said of bodybuilders and their muscle mass. You don’t want to look like the Hulk but have trouble lifting your own body weight. It’s just ludicrous. That’s why the best approach for making progress in both power and muscle mass is none other than the PHUL training system.
PHUL, an abbreviation for Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower, is a system that promotes strength gains as well as muscle gain. There is a mix of volume days and power focused days, making sure that you are getting the best of both worlds. The system is designed to hit each muscle group twice within the week focusing on both the upper and lower body. Compound movements are the main focus of this training program to ensure that you are getting solid strength gains as well as improve your proficiency in the three major lifts: the bench, the squat, and the deadlift.
Isolation movements are also a part of the program, to fine tune the muscles and really make them pop, but the compound movements are the pieces of the puzzle that are going to improve your strength. Two days out of the four day program are focused purely on strength while the other two are focused on training for hypertrophy.
You’ll have two days of training with one off day in between then two more days of training with two days of rest before starting over again. What exactly should a PHUL training program look like?
The GI Team has got you covered, let’s dive in.
Monday Day 1: Upper Power
|Barbell Bench Press||3-4 sets, 3-5 reps|
|Incline Dumbbell Bench Press||3-4 sets, 6-10 reps|
|Bent Over Row||3-4 sets, 3-5 reps|
|Lat Pull Down||3-4 sets, 6-10 reps|
|Overhead Press||2-3 sets, 5-8 reps|
|Barbell Curl||2-3 sets, 6-10 reps|
|Skullcrusher||2-3 sets, 6-10 reps|
Tuesday Day 2: Lower Power
|Squat||3-4 sets, 3-5 reps|
|Deadlift||3-4 sets, 3-5 reps|
|Leg Press||3-5 sets, 10-15 reps|
|Leg Curl||3-4 sets, 6-10 reps|
|Calf Exercise||4 sets, 6-10 reps|
Thursday Day 4: Upper Hypertrophy
|Incline Barbell Bench Press||3-4 sets, 8-12 reps|
|Flat Bench Dumbbell Flye||3-4 sets, 8-12 reps|
|Seated Cable Row||3-4 sets, 8-12 reps|
|One Arm Dumbbell Row||3-4 sets, 8-12 reps|
|Dumbbell Lateral Raise||3-4 sets, 8-12 reps|
|Seated Incline Dumbbell Curl||3-4 sets, 8-12 reps|
|Cable Tricep Extension||3-4 sets, 8-12 reps|
Friday Day 5: Lower Hypertrophy
|Front Squat||3-4 sets, 8-12 reps|
|Barbell Lunge||3-4 sets, 8-12 reps|
|Leg Extension||3-4 sets, 10-15 reps|
|Leg Curl||3-4 sets, 10-15 reps|
|Seated Calf Raise||3-4 sets, 8-12 reps|
|Calf Press||3-4 sets, 8-12 reps|
There are a load of benefits that the PHUL program brings to the table and really makes it stand out from other programs. For starters, one of the biggest benefits of the PHUL training program, is that it does not focus on just one thing, and it leaves your body with no other options but to adapt and overcome the obstacles you are throwing at it. There is a mix of barbell and dumbbell movements, as well as bodyweight and machine movements.
The PHUL program is a great way to “shock the muscle”, which is a favorite idea of 7x Mr. Olympia winner, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The PHUL program makes sure that there is not a large focus on volume that leaves out power, nor is there a large focus on power that leaves out volume. Instead there is a mix of volume days and then there are the strength days, and the rep ranges vary so you are really able to shock the muscle and force yourself to grow.
While the volume and power days are split up, you are still getting an adequate amount of each. Also, on the volume focused days of the PHUL split, you are still moving pretty heavy weight, the last rep or two of your sets should be a struggle. So your muscles will look good, and you will be getting stronger.
When it comes to workout splits, a lot of people are overtraining and do not even realize it, which can really hinder progress. Many times, people will hit chest on one day, feel fine the next day or even the day after, and hit chest again, and this is not good! While their muscles may not be sore a day or two after hitting them hard in the gym, that does not mean they are fully recovered.
While training 7 days a week is fun and all, the PHUL program is a 4 day split with rest days on Wednesday and the weekends, so you are not overtraining the muscles and you have enough time to recover in between.
PHUL Wrap Up
Overall, the PHUL training program is something that can really benefit your overall physique from a physical standpoint, as well as your strength. Who wouldn’t want a program that gives you the best of both worlds?