5 Day PHAT Workout – Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training

Man performs a tricep pulldown. This exercise is part of the PHAT workout routine.
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The PHAT workout, also known as Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training, is popular amongst bodybuilders aiming to gain lean muscle mass while enhancing power. In this routine, you’ll workout 5 days per week. This allows you to maximize training volume while allowing enough time for rest and recovery.

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PHAT combines both powerlifting and bodybuilding workout styles. The first two days are the “Power Days” where you focus on heavy weight lifting with low reps. These days build your power and strength. The remaining three days are the “Hypertrophy Days” where you focus on lower weight with higher reps.

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This combination of power and hypertrophy training in the same week is what makes PHAT a unique and effective approach to developing your strength and size.

The original PHAT workout was designed by Dr Layne Norton, a highly respected figure in the fitness and nutrition industries.

PHAT vs PPL

Push, pull, legs (PPL) is a more popular split that divides workouts into push exercises (chest, shoulders and triceps), pull exercises (back, biceps and forearms) and leg exercises. Unlike PHAT, which strikes a balance between powerlifting and bodybuilding, PPL primarily focuses on bodybuilding.

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PPL encourages you to focus on specific muscle groups on each day of the routine. But it lacks the strength training component that PHAT provides with its Power Days. This could limit your overall strength development.

PPL splits are typically trained 6 days per week, although it’s possible to follow a 5 day PPL split, too. If you workout 5 days per week, it is worth looking closely at PHAT as an alternative to the more traditional PPL workouts.

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PHAT vs 5×5 Workout

The 5×5 workout routine focuses on compound movements and improving your overall strength. It sees you workout three days per week. On each day, you work five sets of five reps of each exercise. The exercises are primarily compound movements like squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press and barbell rows. The routine is typically performed with a day of rest in between each workout.

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While 5×5 is an excellent routine for building strength, it may not be as effective for hypertrophy when compared with a PHAT workout. It also has less variety of exercises compared to PHAT, which makes the risk of plateau more likely.

Structure of the PHAT workout routine

The PHAT workout routine is a 5 days per week training program. The aim of PHAT is to focus on both power and hypertrophy, and so its structure is divided into two distinct phases:

  • Power Days – The first two days of the routine are the Power Days. In this phase, you are focusing on heavy lifting with fewer reps per set. The goal of this phase is to increase your overall strength and power.
  • Hypertrophy Days – The remaining three days of the routine are the Hypertrophy Days. In this phase, you are lifting lighter weights with a higher number of reps per set. This phase promotes muscle growth.
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A typical PHAT workout routine will look like this:

  • Day 1 – Upper Body Power Day
  • Day 2 – Lower Body Power Day
  • Day 3 – Rest
  • Day 4 – Back and Shoulders Hypertrophy Day
  • Day 5 – Lower Body Hypertrophy Day
  • Day 6 – Chest and Arms Hypertrophy Day
  • Day 7 – Rest

Benefits of the PHAT workout routine

  • Increases size and strength – The PHAT workout routine is a great choice you are looking to increase both strength and size. Most other workout routines emphasize one of these over the other. But PHAT combines the two elements for balanced muscle development.
  • Balances intensity and volume – PHAT balances the overall intensity and volume of your workout, which can lead to better results. The 5×5 routine is excellent for strength, but it does not provide enough volume for optimal hypertrophy. And other bodybuilding routines might provide a lot of volume, but lack the intensity needed for strength gains.
  • For advanced lifters – PHAT is an advanced workout routine and is not suitable for beginners. It requires a big time commitment and the intensity of the workouts can be challenging. But, if you are an intermediate or advanced lifter, PHAT can be a way to maximize your muscle growth and strength.
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Traditional PHAT workout routine

Day 1 – Upper Body Power Day

Day 2- Lower Body Power Day

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Day 3 – Rest

Day 4 – Back and Shoulders Hypertrophy Day

Day 5 – Lower Body Hypertrophy Day

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Day 6 – Chest and Arms Hypertrophy Day

Day 7 – Rest

Tips

Prioritize rest and recovery

PHAT is a challenging workout routine that demands you train 5 days per week. There’s a limited time for rest between workouts, so it’s important you follow the schedule closely. Ensure you prioritize rest and recovery, as this will enhance your progress and avoid the risk of injury.

Gradually increase intensity

Because PHAT is an intense workout routine, it’s important you do not rush into lifting heavy weights right away. Start with lighter weights to get your body adjusted to the routine. Also consider dropping some sets to reduce the overall volume as you first start the PHAT routine.

Gradually increase the intensity of your workouts overtime. This will reduce the risk of injury.


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