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P.H.A.T.: Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training
P.H.A.T.: Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training

P.H.A.T.: Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training

Date: July 06, 2016

P.H.A.T.: Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training

The P.H.A.T. is a training methodology designed, developed and practised by Layne Norton, a biochemist with a doctorate in nutritional sciences as well as a Professional bodybuilder ( Federations IFPA and NGA) and former powerlifter discipline that holds the 257kg record in squats and 317kg deadlifts.
For those new to this discipline let me clarify the following distinction: powerlifters realise low repetitions and heavy weights in their training seeking more benefits in terms of maximum force while bodybuilders aim at maximum hypertrophy made possible through a range of repetitions using smaller weights.
This methodology consists in a combination of training mode for powerlifters in comparison to those for bodybuilders, we shall see how.
It is mainly based on training several muscle groups twice (termed multifrequency) throughout the week, working through two different levels: the first two days workouts for increasing strength while in the last three, the purpose of the workout session will be that of hypertrophy development.

The essence of this methodology is to aim at hypertrophy in the long term. In fact, if in the short term, a typical bodybuilding workout can be more effective for the development of hypertrophy, a workout that allows you to use tonnage (kg raised in a workout or in a comparable exercise also on the weekly total) growing in equal repetitions, which will increase all the more.

exercise choice in the strength workout days

In the POWER days for the development of strength it is envisages the use of multi-joint exercises such as squats, deadlifts, military press, benches and rowers. The idea is to train the movement more than with the working muscle with a range of 3-5 repetitions for 3-5 sets with complete recoveries (from the two-minute climb) between them to maintain a high level of performance
These basic multi-joint exercises are provided for the association of two or three auxiliary exercises with the same number series and a range of 6-10 repetitions.


Petar Klancir - Workout in strength days

The role of these secondary exercises (not due to importance) is to improve the main lifts working on smaller muscle groups (eg. Biceps) and deficient fractions of a given movement. For example, if it is slow in a squat stickingpoint(the moment when the athlete starts the ascent to the rocker arm below the lowest point, and slows down to overcome the weight), you can work with the squat or by inserting the points of the isometric box during the execution of the gesture.
Layne Norton recommends these days that you make a single multi-joint exercise for the muscle target to avoid an overly stressful volume at a neural level.
In summary, these days you will therefore have:

Main (4-5)
Serial number: 3-5
Number of repetitions: 3-5

Auxiliary (2-3)
Serial number: 2-3
Number of repetitions: 6-10

After these two days, the weekly program developed by Norton, schedules a day of rest to allow for the physical recovery before dedicating for the next 3 days, to a more stressful work metabolically characterized by increased density and volume compared to the beginning of the workout week.

Choice of exercises in the hypertrophy days

The routine of the days devoted to hypertrophy development envisages the workout session with an exercise from those chosen in strength days with a load equal to 65-70% of the one used previously, such as to allow the development of power (For speed strength).
This first exercise is carried out with 3-4 repititions with 6-8 series recoveries that are around half a minute emphasizing the speed of execution to be high, without compromising the accuracy and motion control.
subsequently the workout is developed in perfect bodybuilding style with two or three exercises per muscle group, 12-15 repetitions for three to four sets and incomplete recoveries in the order of 40-90 seconds, exploiting accordingly the lactacid anaerobic metabolism.
In summary:

Specific to hypertrophy (2-3)
Serial number: 3-4
Number of repetitions: 12-15

Power (1)
Load: 65-70% of that used in Powerdays
Serial number: 6-8
Number of repetitions: 3- 4

Tips and considerations on PHAT style workouts

1) Especially in the early days, do not give up (allowing the penultimate or last series) but keep a buffer of at least 2 repetitions both in the strength days as that of those of hypertrophy.

2) Realise every 6-12 weeks, even earlier in case you feel the need, 1-3 weeks of active exhaustion proportional to weeks of solid training. This can be done either by increasing the buffer in the series and keeping the same weight, or reducing to 65-70 % The load used in the previous weeks to maintain the same repetitions.

3) If you are a beginner it is very likely that the total volume of training, being divided into five sessions, is too high and, therefore, after the initial improvements, regression may occur due to excessive systemic stress. It is possible to reduce the volume, while maintaining the principle on which this methodology is based, reducing the sessions to 4 or 3. In the event of four weekly split sessions, they will consist of two days for the development of strength and two for hypertrophy perhaps organizing them in push (chest workout, shoulders, triceps and squats) and pull workouts (back, biceps, forearms and deadlifts). In the case of three sessions, it proposes a single day devoted to the strength of the entire body and two days dedicated to hypertrophy, even here it is advisable to make a subdivision in push and pull.

4) Based on feedback derived from training, they can be applied to several different intensive technique sessions such as pyramidal, supersets, stripping, etc. to allow for further improvement in performance.

Petar Klancir - post-workout Rest

Example of routine according to the weekly Norton split

Day 1: upper body strength
Day 2: lower part strength
Day 3: rest
Day 4: hypertrophy shoulders and back
Day 5: hypertrophy of lower limbs
Day 6: chest hypertrophy and arms
Day 7: rest


day 1
Rower rocker: 5 x 5
weighted Pull ups: 2 x 8
Barbell thrusts: 5 x 5
Dips with overload: 2 x 10
Push ups with dumbbells: 3 x 6
Barbell curls 2 x 10
Skullcrushers: 2 x 10

day 2
Squat: 5 x 5
Legextension: 2 x10
Stiff-legged deadlift: 3 x 8
Legcurls: 2 x 10
Calves standing: 3 x 10

day 4

Rower rocker: 6 x 3 (with 65-70% of the 5 RM)
Reverse rower: 3 x 12
Pulley: 3 x 12
Latpulldown tight grip: 2 x 15
Push up with dumbbells: 3 x 12
Side raises dumbbells or cables: 3 x 15

day 5
Squat: 6 x 3 (with 65-70% of the 5 RM),
Hack Squat: 3 x 12
Press: 2 x 12
Legextensions: 3 x 15
Romanian deadlifts: 3 x 12
Leg curls: 2 x 15
Donkey calf: 3x 15

day 6
Barbell thrusts: 6 x 3 (with 65-70% of the 5 RM)
Thrusts dumbbell thrusts on incline bench: 3 x 12
Crosses to cables: 2 x 15-20
Curl on scott bench: 3 x 12
Curl dumbbell in concentration: 2 x 15
Spider curl: 2 x 15
with angled barbell triceps extensions: 3 x 12
Pushdown with rope: 2 x 12
Kickback: 2 x 15

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