What is PHAT Training?
Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training or better known as PHAT training is a training method that uses both powerlifting and bodybuilding styles of training. PHAT training hits all your muscle groups twice a week instead of the old school workouts you would find in mens health magazine that only works each muscle once a week. Some people assume that training twice a week would be over training but with the right nutrition, rest and a bit of time adapting you will start to add some serious mass and strength. I have been using PHAT training since January 2013, so the last 8 months and have had some great results with it. A typical PHAT workout for a week would look roughly like this:
On stage at the WBFF
- Day 1: Upper Body Strength
- Day 2: Lower Body Strength
- Day 3: rest
- Day 4: Back and Shoulders Hypertrophy
- Day 5: Lower body Hypertrophy
- Day 6: Chest and Arms Hypertrophy
- Day 7: Rest
PHAT Training Strength Days
The first two days of the week tend to be the strength where you will be looking to do some big compound lifts, for example the upper body strength day would include exercises such as bench press, military press, chin ups, dips and dumbbell rows. On my strength days I used a 5 x 5 style of strength training which was a killer on lower body strength day with squats and deadlifts!
The rest periods on strength days are much longer than those on hypertrophy days and you can expect to rest between 3-5 minutes as we want to fully recover in-between sets so that you can go mental and give it everything you’ve got.
There are a number of advantages of including strength training. If you only stick to one particular rep range, say 15 – 20 reps you could find yourself hitting a plateau. whereas by adding a bit of strength training you should smash through these plateau’s allowing you to keep adding more weight into your hypertrophy workout and keep tearing those muscles and getting some serious gains!
It is still possible to plateau and there are a couple of things you can do to try and avoid this. Firstly you can change up some of your exercises, for instance my exercises get changed about every 5 weeks to keep my growth continuing. You may also find that it’s just one area of a lift that you are finding difficult, if for example your weak point is locking out on deadlift you may want to add in some rack pulls to try and improve your deadlift. If that fails you might find you need a de-load which you will find out about below.
PHAT Training Hypertrophy Days
Side Bends Holding Weight as Part of my Hypertrophy Training
This is where you go back to your old school bodybuilding style with a rep range of 8 – 20 and reducing the time you spend resting down to 1-2 minutes. This is where we can use the advantage of the extra strength and really push to add some mass. You want to be hitting that beast mode but I would recommend not pushing to failure on your first few sets as you can find yourself burning out a bit too quickly, save the failure for your last 1-2 sets.
You can adapt the days above if you wish as some people like to have days split differently, for example when I first started doing PHAT training my hypertrophy days went like this:
Day 4: Push/Pull Hypertrophy
Day 5: Lower Body Hypertrophy
Day 6: Shoulders /Arms
The reason that I had it like this was because my shoulders were a weak point of mine and needed a bit more attention than some other areas.
During a de-load you would go into the gym to do your workout but do only 80% of the weight you would normally would do. For example if I normally did 140kg for 5 reps on my lower body strength day, in my de-load week I would do about 110kg but still for 5 reps. It feels far too easy but the muscle needs a chance to recover and the bit of weight will make sure that you maintain the muscle that you have built.
As my workouts are changed about every 5 weeks I make sure that I come crawling out of the gym on my 5th week and then take a de-load week so that I will be ready to jump straight back into a new set of exercises and get packing on the pounds.
Important Notes For an effective PHAT workout
The key thing to this workout is making it work for you as everyone has different goals and strengths. For instance if you think you have a weak back, you can target this muscle group first on upper strength and hypertrophy days so that you can give it your maximum effort to get that sucker to grow! If you feel that your arms are a weak I wouldn’t advise doing arms first in a workout as it may affect the other exercises later in the workout like your big push/ pull movements. However you could always add an extra couple of arm focused exercises at the end of another day.
My PHAT training has been changed a number of times since the I started using it as I have been preparing for a competition and my days were split up like this:
Day 1: Full Body Strength and Conditioning
Day 2: Upper Body Hypertrophy
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Hypertrophy Torso
Day 5: Lower Body Hypertrophy
Day 6: Weakness’s and Conditioning
Day 7: Rest
This allowed me to concentrate slightly more on my abs as I need to get that wash board look.
I hope this has helped and if you are going to have a go at this workout, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.