Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training by Layne Norton

Muscle-Base May 20, 2012 1

It seems as if Layne Norton’s PHAT (Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training) has blown up in popularity over the past couple of years. With so many people seeing such great results, there is no real question on why it has become such a popular program – especially driven by the fact that a respectable natural pro bodybuilder, Layne Norton, was the one that designed the program himself.

Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training by Layne Norton

Starting out, the program may seem to be a bit too high in volume for a lot of people; however, your body can really adjust to whatever is thrown at it over time. Sure, you may end up being sore or feel fatigued after the first week, but you should be able to get used to that after 2-3 weeks of training on this program. This is how it is setup:

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

As you can see, you will be training 5 days per week on this program. This may seem like a lot with only receiving two days per rest; however, like mentioned above, your body can get adjusted to almost anything that you throw at it over time, so that may not end up being a real problem once you get used to it.

During the first two days of the week, you will be performing an “upper power” and a “lower power” day. These are pretty self-explanatory; you will be performing “power” movements with the upper and lower body in the strength rep range (3-5 reps). These two days are mainly designed to increase your strength in the gym, so you are also getting a mix of power lifting with this routine.

Layne also recommends that you have accessory exercises during this day as well where you go a bit higher in repetitions – around 6-10 reps to be exact.

Layne Norton Back

Upper Body Power Day Example

  • Exercises

  • Bench Press
  • Barbell Rows
  • Barbell Shoulder Press
  • Weighted Dips
  • Barbell Curls
  • Sets

  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • Reps

  • 3-5
  • 3-5
  • 3-5
  • 6-10
  • 6-10

Lower Body Power Day Example

  • Exercises

  • Squats
  • Hack Squats
  • Leg Extensions
  • Stiff Legged Deadlifts
  • Leg Curls
  • Seated Calf Raises
  • Sets

  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • Reps

  • 3-5
  • 6-10
  • 6-10
  • 6-10
  • 6-10
  • 6-10

On these two days, you can swap out any of these exercises for ones of your choice. It is highly recommended that you keep the main “power” movements the same with the bench press, rows, shoulder press, and squats. The extra accessory movements can be swapped out depending on which exercises you prefer.

The last three days of the week, after the required off day, will all be hypertrophy days. These will be your typical “bodybuilding” training days where you aim for higher reps in order to achieve hypertrophy. This is where you will see most of your growth come from. Now, most would think that since these are the days you will get the most out of growth from, then why would you not stick with only these days and leave out your “power” days? Well, with the power days, you are able to increase the amount of strength you are capable of pushing or pulling. With that increased strength, you will also be able to lift more weight in the hypertrophy ranges as well.

This will obviously result in an increase in muscle mass since you will be getting stronger on the hypertrophy days (progressive overload).

Layne Norton Arms

Back and Shoulders Hypertrophy Day Example

  • Exercises

  • Rack Pulls
  • Cable Rows
  • Pull Ups
  • Seated Dumbbell Press
  • Barbell Shrugs
  • Side Lateral Raises
  • Rear Deltoid Raises
  • Sets

  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 2
  • 2
  • Reps

  • 8-12
  • 8-12
  • 8-12
  • 8-12
  • 8-12
  • 8-12
  • 8-12

Chest and Arms Hypertrophy Day Example

  • Exercises

  • Flat Dumbbell Press
  • Hammer Strength Chest Press
  • Cable Crossovers
  • EZ Bar Curls
  • Skull Crushers
  • Cable Curls
  • Rope Pushdown
  • Sets

  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • Reps

  • 8-12
  • 10-12
  • 10-12
  • 8-12
  • 8-12
  • 8-12
  • 8-12

Lower Body Hypertrophy Day Example

  • Exercises

  • Hack Squats
  • Leg Press
  • Stiff Legged Deadlifts
  • Leg Curls
  • Leg Extensions
  • Seated Calf Raises
  • Sets

  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 3
  • 4
  • Reps

  • 8-12
  • 8-12
  • 8-12
  • 8-12
  • 8-12
  • 8-12
Layne Norton Leg Training

Like the upper and lower “power” days, these exercises can also be changed out to doing what your body’s biomechanics work best with. In other words, if a certain exercise puts strain on your body or you don’t feel like you perform them very well, then you can switch in another exercise instead.

After your three hypertrophy days, then you will get another day of rest before going back to doing “upper power” again. Like mentioned earlier in this article, it is highly likely that you may feel extremely sore after the first week and your recovery time may be down some, but your body can adapt to that over time. If you ever feel like you ran into a brick wall and need a break, then you can take off 4-5 days off in a row and be fine. Some people would recommend having a full week off or incorporating a deload week where you go in and lift lighter weights with less volume, but having just a short time away from the gym such as 4-5 days is enough to allow your CNS to recover.

Photography Credits:

Natalie Minh

One Comment »

  1. Yuonne Kuipers June 20, 2012 at 3:27 pm - Reply

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