Layne Norton’s PHAT (Power/Hypertrophy Routine)

layne norton phat routine
Layne Norton created a bit of a cult following after creating this workout routine, similar to that of Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength. The idea behind P.H.A.T (Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training) is basically merging strength training and hypertrophy training, but still being able to succeed at both.

Unlike many other fitness ‘gurus’/’experts’, Layne Norton has real credentials to back up his claims about this workout. After all, he does have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences, and a BS in Biochemistry.

This workout has been extremely helpful for people trying to break plateaus in gaining both strength and muscle. Even Layne Norton struggled himself in bodybuilding competitions because of weak thighs. “I was called ‘chicken legs’ frequently and it was so frustrating… Two years later I won my natural pro card’ – Layne Norton.

Benefits of P.H.A.T

This is the perfect routine for you if:

  • you want to make incredible gains in strength and muscle
  • have stalled in making strength and/or muscle gains from ‘traditional’ workout routines
  • like a challenging & rewarding workout
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    The main principle of this workout is to increase both strength and muscle hand in hand. Most people usually plateau because of a defficiency in strength or muscle: can’t get stronger without building more muscle, or can’t build muscle because not enough strength.

     
    An overview of the workout is as follows (print friendly):

    Day 1: Upper Body Power Day

    Exercise Sets x Reps
    Bent over or Pendlay rows 3 sets x 3-5 reps
    Weighted Pull ups 2 sets x 6-10 reps
    Rack chins 3 sets x 3-5 reps
    Flat dumbbell presses 3 sets x 3-5 reps
    Weighted dips 2 sets x 6-10 reps
    Seated dumbbell shoulder presses 3 sets x 6-10 reps
    Cambered bar curls 3 sets x 6-10 reps
    Skull crushers 3 sets x 6-10 reps

    Day 2: Lower Body Power Day

    Exercise Sets x Reps
    Bent over or Pendlay rows 3 sets x 3-5 reps
    Squats 3 sets of 3-5 reps
    Hack Squats 2 sets of 6-10 reps
    Leg extensions 2 sets of 6-10 reps
    Stiff legged deadlifts 3 sets of 5-8 reps
    Glute ham raises or lying leg curls 2 sets of 6-10 reps
    Standing calf raise 3 sets of 6-10 reps
    Seated calf raise 2 sets of 6-10 reps

    Day 3: Rest

    Day 4: Back and Shoulders Hypertrophy Day

    Exercise Sets x Reps
    Bent over or Pendlay rows with 65-70% of normal 3-5 rep max 6 sets of 3 reps
    Rack chins 3 sets of 8-12 reps
    Seated cable row 3 sets of 8-12 reps
    Dumbbell rows or shrugs with upper body against an incline bench 2 sets of 12-15 reps
    Close grip pulldowns 2 sets of 15-20 reps
    Seated dumbbell presses 3 sets of 8-12 reps
    Upright rows 2 sets of 12-15 reps
    Side lateral raises 3 sets of 12-20 reps

    Day 5: Lower Body Hypertrophy Day

    Exercise Sets x Reps
    Squats with 65-70% of normal 3-5 rep max 6 sets of 3 reps
    Hack squats 3 sets of 8-12 reps
    Leg presses 2 sets of 12-15 reps
    Leg extensions 3 sets of 15-20 reps
    Romanian deadlifts 3 sets of 8-12 reps
    Lying leg curls 2 sets of 12-15 reps
    Seated leg curls 2 sets of 15-20 reps
    Donkey calf raises 4 sets of 10-15 reps
    Seated calf raises 3 sets of 15-20 reps

    Day 6: Chest and Arms Hypertrophy Day

    Exercise Sets x Reps
    Flat dumbbell presses with 65-70% of normal 3-5 rep max 6 sets of 3 reps
    Incline dumbbell presses 3 sets of 8-12 reps
    Hammer strength chest press 3 sets of 12-15 reps
    Incline cable flyes 2 sets of 15-20 reps
    Cambered bar preacher curls 3 sets of 8-12 reps
    Dumbbell concentration curls 2 sets of 12-15 reps
    Spider curls bracing upper body against an incline bench 2 sets of 15-20 reps
    Seated tricep extension with cambered bar 3 sets of 8-12 reps
    Cable pressdowns with rope attachment 2 sets of 12-15 reps
    Cable kickbacks 2 sets of 15-20 reps

    Day 7: Rest

    Keep in mind this workout would be for someone who is relatively adapted to higher frequency and volume, so you may want to cut out an assistance/auxiliary exercise on each day to start until your body adapts. As long as your diet and nutrition is in order, you’re guaranteed to make gains. You can read more about proper post workout nutrition and supplementation here.

    This workout routine is relatively new, but it has gained mass popularity due to the results people have achieved on it. Not only is it one of the best strength training workouts out there, it’s also an excellent routine for gaining lean muscle mass as well.

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