The Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower (PHUL) is an excellent workout program for the intermediate lifter who wants to develop their strength in heavy compound movements (squat, bench press, deadlift and overhead press), but also wants to add size to their physique.
PHUL is created by Brandon Campbell, a beloved YouTube fitness educator with over 200K subscribers (@BasementBrandon). Brandon integrates the principles of bodybuilding and powerlifting into the PHUL workout to help you gain strength and muscle.
Read more below on how to use PHUL on Boostcamp for free.
PHUL WORKOUT APP
PHUL program is available for free on Boostcamp App, the lasting lifting app you'll ever need. We've officially partnered with Brandon Campbell to bring PHUL in a free app format, with weight tracking and exercise guidance.
PHUL PROGRAM SCHEDULE
Monday: Upper body power
Tuesday: Lower body power
Thursday: Upper body hypertrophy
Friday: Lower body hypertrophy
PHUL WORKOUT KEY PRINCIPLES:
Frequency – Research shows that muscle protein synthesis is elevated for up to 48 hours after training, which means training the same muscle group soon after a 2-day window would yield maximal results. As such, PHUL designates 2 days of upper and lower body training per week, unlike the typical old school splits that work each muscle group once per week.
Compounds – PHUL focuses on compound exercises (squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press), with the reason being that compound movements engage a large ensemble of muscles, often across different muscle groups, giving you greater bang-per-buck in terms of quickly progressing. Don't worry, there are plenty of isolation exercises to prevent imbalances and maximize hypertrophy.
Power – Two of the PHUL workout days every week are dedicated to developing strength and power. By focusing on progressive overload and time under tension, you'll get stronger and bigger at the same time. You'll be pushing heavy weights on these power days.
Hypertrophy – Two of the PHUL workout days are focused on bodybuilding hypertrophy training. This means higher reps to accumulate volume, which will help you build size and also strength as well.
PHUL WORKOUT TIPS
Sets and Reps – When starting PHUL program, you should start with lower volume until your body adapts. This means starting with the minimum of 3 sets per exercise.
Failure – All sets should be done at RPE 9, which means all sets should be completed with at least 1 rep left in the tank. Given the high demand of PHUL, going to failure should be avoided to prevent overtraining.
Exercise Selection – Do not change main compound exercises (squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press). You can substitute secondary compound exercises (incline bench, front squat, lunge, etc) and isolation exercises for similar exercises if you prefer.
Abdominals – Feel free to add your own ab work at the end of each workout or on off days. Recommended abs exercises are weighted abs crunch, front/side plank, or hanging leg raises.
Progressions – Every workout, aim to add either weights OR reps for every set. Again, avoid going to failure if you can.
PHUL Optional Sets
All exercises have the option to add an additional set (shown as 3-4 sets). For those new to PHUL, we suggest you start with the minimum programmed sets for a few weeks before adding in the optional set of exercises.
These optional sets are meant to increase the volume of your training to further results, but by no means necessary to see great results from the program.
In general: If you are a beginner, start with the programmed number of sets. If you are intermediate, conservatively add an additional set as you see fit.
PHUL PROGRAM GUIDE & FAQ
Who is PHUL program for?
PHUL workout program is ideal for intermediate lifters who have at least 1 year of consistent training experience and basic proficiency with compound barbell exercises. Beginners should look at some other popular programs on Boostcamp App, such as Greg Nuckols Beginner Program, GZCL Program, or Starting Strength before starting PHUL.
How to warmup for PHUL workout?
Before starting your heavy compound sets, make sure you complete a few lighter sets of increasing intensity to warm-up and practice your form. On Boostcamp App you can click ••• to add warm-up sets. If you would like, warm-up for 10 minutes on the treadmill and do some dynamic stretching.
How to find starting weight for PHUL workout?
For your first week on PHUL, start with light weights as warm-ups to gauge what weights to use on your working sets. Your goal is RPE 8-9 per set, which means finding a weight that you can do for 1-2 reps shy of failure in the target rep range. It is better to be conservative with the weight and focus on good form before adding weight. Do not ego lift.
How long to rest between PHUL sets?
In general, rest 2-5 minutes for compounds, and 1-3 minutes for isolation exercises. Take as long as you need to recover for full strength, especially on power days where you seek to maximize the weight you lift.
When to add weight for PHUL workout?
Every workout, aim to add either weights OR reps for every set as long as you are training at RPE 8-9. Over time, you'll find that you can keep gaining strength at the same RPE. Again, avoid going to failure on sets.
How to eat on PHUL workout?
There is no one-size-fits-all meal plan that is specifically designed for PHUL workout program. In general, you should be eating at a calorie surplus with a high protein diet to help fuel the high demands of the PHUL program. You should also ensure that your sleep is on point (7+ hours daily).
PHUL Program App? App for PHUL
PHUL workout is free on Boostcamp, the last lifting app you'll ever need. You'll be able to easily start PHUL app with seamless onboarding, automatic weight progressions, workout tracking, and exercise demos.
You can find the full PHUL workout program guide here.