PHUL vs Full Body Workout: Which is better?

Jason Williams

Despite the fact that both approaches to strength training exist for a long time and have shown their effectiveness, there are still discussions among industry’s experts about which type of training is better. Let’s try to figure it out.

Full Body Workout

For those who are still confused in the terminology, we remind you that full body workout aims to hit all the major muscle groups in one workout.

There are six major muscle groups in the human body: Back, Chest, Shoulders, Arms, Legs, Abs

Let’s consider as an example Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Golden six exercises to hit all the muscle groups:

1. Barbell Squats 4 x 10

2. Wide Grip Bench Press 3 x 10

3. Pull-Ups 3 x maximum

4. Military Press 4 x 10

5. Barbell Curl 3 x 10

6. Ab Crunch 3 x to failure

Phul is a type of training which blends power and size building principles for the athlete to get stronger and bigger. There are many types of such training, and it can vary depending on the frequency of training, the areas targeted and personal preferences.

The simplest example of such a training, suitable for beginners, is a three-day phul:

Day 1: Upper body: bench press / row exercises (Shoulders, Back, Arms, Chest).

Day 2: Lower body: squats and its variations/ deadlift and variations (Legs, Buttocks, Abs).

Day 3: Rest

Full Body Workout Advantages:

1. Greater anabolic response and rapid progress

Until the 60s-70s, all the outstanding bodybuilders, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Steve Reeves, Reg Park, trained on the full-body training system.

And although now bodybuilders look bigger than half a century ago, we must take into account that sports pharmacology is a rapidly evolving industry.

Thus, the research shows an increase in protein synthesis in the muscle group within 36 hours after a power load. Due to this, there is a growth in muscles and strength indicators. After that, the process slows down again.

Let’s say you train according to the full-body program three times a week. Then you increase protein synthesis for the whole body three times a week. If the three days a week you perform exercises according to split training program, then each separate group is loaded only 1-2 times a week and, accordingly, the response in the form of increased protein synthesis will occur less often. That is, by training the muscle 2-3 times a week instead of one, you can achieve greater results.

It is worth noting that if you are an enthusiastic athlete and spend five, six or seven days a week in the gym and also hit each group two or three times a week, this feature doesn’t work for you.

2. Quality repetitions

As an example, you can hit the pectoral muscles with five sets of bench press in a full-body workout, followed by chest exercises, incline bench press, dumbbell fly and push-ups, i.e. the load will be significantly higher than with the phul workout.

On the one hand, this way you will hit the selected muscle and achieve its failure. The problem here is that for most of you five sets will be enough to fatigue muscles, and you will not be able to maintain the necessary intensity and perform the remaining exercises with maximum efficiency.

In a full-body workout, you can make the most of each exercise, as well as hone your technique and improve the mind-muscle connection, which is important for beginner athletes.

3. Time saving

An hour-long workout three times a week is enough to keep your body in good shape. The focus is on the most effective, usually multi-joint exercises.

4. More effective for weight loss

As a rule, full-body workouts consist of compound exercises and hit major muscle groups, which means that you will spend more energy for such a workout, which is an advantage plus for those who want to lose weight.

5. It is easier to build a training program and follow it

This is especially true if you are a regular gym-goer or if strength training is not the main type of your physical activity. So you will ensure that you maintain a good shape, evenly building all the muscles. It is also easy to build a circuit workout training, which helps save more time, since instead of rest, you will move on to training the next muscle group. In addition, this workout will not allow you to “cool down” and you will spend even more energy maintaining the pulse in the fat-burning zone, thus combining strength and cardio training.

P.H.U.L. Advantages:

1. Less stress, no overtraining

As athletes are getting more training experience, the intensity of training increases. The recovery capacity of the body also increases, but still it has certain limits. By training each muscle separately with heavy weights on different training days, you can achieve greater muscle overload, which promotes better muscle growth and strength. After that, there is usually a week of rest for the targeted muscles, and then goes training for other muscles.

2. Helps target problem areas

The undoubted advantage of phul training is that you can build the shape of your body, target problem areas, tone lagging muscles.

3. Helps get various goals

Phul is easier to adapt if your goal is not just to strengthen and tone the muscles, but to achieve hypertrophy of a particular muscle. This training helps to hit each muscle group. Thus, if you try to work on the strength in full body mode, the training will take more than two hours, while in PHUL we divide the load by days.

4. You can train every day

If you can’t imagine a day of your life without a gym, then separated load will also be quite reasonable. This way you will avoid overtraining, giving the muscles a proper recovery.


It is difficult to say which type of workout is better. Both approaches have pros and cons. However, the full body suits athletes of all fitness levels, especially beginners. Phul is designed for those who already have experience in various types of training, especially strength, so you should not start with it.

Also, one should take into account the psychological factor, because someone likes the feeling of fatigue after training, others enjoy the energy-boosting effect. With the correct approach, you can get impressive results using both these methods.

Of course, no one forbids combining and alternating them, taking advantage of both types of training. For example, you can use two days for PHUL, and do a full body on the third day. For your convenience, you can find ready-made training programs, which will allow you to train even more effectively. We wish you success and progress in your trainings!

PS Pictures are taken from

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