In this post, we are going to break down everything you need to know about the PHUL workout and how to get started with it.
With so many different exercise strategies, workout routines, and lifting styles, learning a new workout can be confusing because of both the similarities and differences it may have with other options. You can be left frustrated trying to learn before you even lift a weight.
In this beginners guide, we are going to break down everything you need to know about the PHUL workout to get you started.
Phul Workout Overview
So what is a phul workout? PHUL stands for Power Hypertrophy Upper Lower.
This routine is credited to Brandon Campbell, a fitness expert and YouTuber. It is a mix of Training for both Strength and muscle building. (click the link to see the full routine)
The PHUL workout is a 4 day split of upper and lower days. The first 2 days focus on powerbuilding style resistance training while the next 2 center around bodybuilding.
Traditionally, it has been argued that focusing on 1 training goal is the most effective and time efficient option.
While there is merit to this idea, if you find something like the PHUL workout works better for you in seeing improvements, then you should continue with it.
What equipment do you need to get started with the PHUL workout?
If you follow the template routine as linked to above, you will need access to a full gym.
The rest of the movements in the routine however, involve machines like cables or leg extensions. These aren’t normally available at home to the average person.
Gym memberships can be found cheaply luckily through a cost friendly gym like Planet Fitness.
It is not impossible to do PHUL workouts at home despite of what the routine suggests.
If you have nothing but free weights in the form of just dumbbells or maybe even a barbell, then you will need to substitute in some different exercises.
Too make it easier on you, here is a simple list i made to demonstrate possible replacements.
- Lat Pull Downs = Bodyweight Pull Ups, Bent Over Rows
- Leg Press = Squats, Lunges
- Leg Curl = Dumbbell Leg Curl
- Seated Cable Row = bent over row, dumbbell flys
- Cable Triceps Extensions = Lying Dumbbell Extensions
- Leg extension = Step ups, Reverse Lunge
How Should Your Diet Look While Doing This Workout
If you are doing the PHUL workout as intended, you probably are someone who wants to build mass.
To do this most effectively you will have to keep track of your total calorie intake as well as macros.
The main focus being that you are in a slight calorie surplus and also consuming enough protein to fuel your body.
To find a starting point for your calories, use a calorie calculator such as this one.
You will find suggested intake levels depending on your activity level so make sure you are honest with yourself to get accurate results.
Studies and experts recommend that you aim for a .25 – .5% increase in body weight each week while bulking.
As for protein, muscle building is highly effective when protein is consumed at a level between .7 and 1 gram per pound of bodyweight.
All these numbers might seem a little overwhelming, so how does this look like when put into effect?
Lets take a random 20 year old male who weights 150 pounds, is 5 foot 6 inches tall and workouts out 3 times a week.
The calculator suggests eating 2461 calories per day to gain half a pound each week. That fits right within our goal rate.
Once you start dieting its important to keep track of your food intake as well as your weight. If you are gaining too slowly or too fast, you can adjust quickly before it becomes a problem.
How do you know if you are ready to start a PHUL workout?
The PHUL routine is made up of a lot of compound movements.
Because of this and the fact that you will be lifting heavy weight, it’s a good idea not to start this program unless you have a good stability level.
Without the correct form, balance, core strength and experience, it’s easy to get hurt doing these types of movements with a lot of resistance.
If you are new to resistance training or just don’t yet have the confidence that you can be in this program in a safe manor, take some time going to the gym and working with lighter weights.
Focus on correct form with free weights and compound movements. Understand the connection between your mind and body.
Is The Program Effective?
Finally, is the PHUL workout even effective?
Because of the programs structure of hitting hypertrophy and max strength techniques, you should definitely see some kind of gains.
Of course, if you focused on each of those two goals individually in a routine you would see bigger respective results.
Combining both does add a variety if you are in need of it, and paired with the right diet, could very well see you bigger and a lot stronger as intended.
The split of 2 days and breaks in between is also very manageable in most weekly schedules and gives enough rest for your body to recover as needed.
As mentioned before, you don’t need to do the PHUL workout in gym, the exercises can be modified for home use as well.
But overall, it seems like a good program and whether it can be successful or not is up to you on a variety of important factors.
You should be seeing results from it, you should be able to be consistent, and just as important as anything else, you have to be able to enjoy the process.
For any other input or personal experiences a good place to check out is reddit.
PHUL workout reddit posts are just a search away on google and can actually be pretty valuable in advice and establishing connections.
Anyways, good luck. Wish you all the gains.