LAYNE NORTON POWER/HYPERTROPHY:
Day 1: Upper body power day
. Bent over rows 3x3-5
. Weighted pull ups 2x6-10
. Rack chin ups 2x6-10
. Flat dumbbell press 3x3-5
. Weighted dips 2x6-10
. Seated dumbbell shoulder press 3x6-10
. Cambered bar curls 3x6-10
. Skull crushers 3x6-10
Day 2: Lower body power day
. Squats 3x3-5
. Hack squats 2x6-10
. Leg extensions 2x6-10
. Stiff-legged deadlifts 3x5-8
. Glute ham raises 2x6-10
. Standing calf raise 3x6-10
. Seated calf raise 2x6-10
Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Back and Shoulders Hypertrophy Day
. Bent over rows 3x8-12
. Rack chins 3x8-12
. Seated cable rows 3x8-12
. Dumbbell rows OR Shrugs 2x12-15
. Close grip pull downs 2x12-15
. Seated dumbbell press 3x8-12
. Upright rows 2x12-15
. Side lateral raises 3x12-20
Day 4: Lower Body Hypertrophy Day
. Squats 3x8-12
. Hack squats 3x8-12
. Leg extension 3x15-20
. Leg presses 2x12-15
. Romanian deadlifts 3x8-12
. Lying leg curls 2x12-15
. Seated leg curls 3x15-20
. Donkey calf raise 4x10-15
. Seated calf raise 3x15-20
Day 6: Chest and Arms Hypertrophy Day
. Flat dumbbell press 3x8-12
. Incline dumbbell press 3x8-12
. Hammer strength chest press 3x12-15
. Incline cable flyes 2x15-20
. Cambered bar preacher curls 3x8-12
. Dumbbell concentration curls 2x12-15
. Spider curls bracing upper body against an incline bench 2x15-20
. Seated tricep extension with cambered bar 3x8-12
. Cable pressdowns 2x12-15
. Cable kickbacks 2x15-20
Day 7: Rest
What do I do when I plateau on this routine?
The first thing I would recommend doing is changing your power/accessory exercises. Just doing that can often make a difference. Beyond that you need to look at where your sticking points are on various lifts. Where are you having trouble in the lift and how can you improve that aspect of the big lifts? For example, if you really want to improve your deadlift and you are having trouble with them, specifically moving the bar off the floor and through the first part of the movement, then I would start focusing on doing deficit deadlifts standing on a 2-4″ box. If you are having difficulty locking out the deadlifts then I would do rack pulls from slightly below the knee to help you get stronger in that part of the lift.
During the first 2 days of the week you will focus on big power movements for your upper and lower body like squats, front squats, deadlifts, deficit deadlifts, and box squats for lower body. Barbell and dumbbell presses and rows as well as weighted pullups for upper body. Your goal should be to stay in the 3-5 rep range for 3-5 working sets on the compound movements (only use one power movement for lower body, presses, and pulls/rows, i.e. don’t do squats and front squats in the same workout). Make sure you rest enough in between sets to completely recover and be ready for your next heavy set. If that means you need to take 5-6 minutes between sets then so be it. The purpose of these workouts is to move maximum weight! Save short rest periods for your hypertrophy days. On your power days you need to have a POWER mentality. Move the heavy ass weight at all costs! A good way to make consistent progress is to rotate your power movements every 2-3 weeks. A few sets of assistance exercises can be done for smaller body parts like hamstrings (though deadlifts and squat will involve significant hamstring recruitment), calves, shoulders, and arms.
On your hypertrophy days you should do some speed work (6-8 sets of 3 reps) with 65-70% of your 3-5 rep max to start your workout with the power exercise you used earlier in the week. For example if you did squats for 3 sets of 3-5 reps with 300 lbs earlier in the week. Then you would do 6 sets of 3 reps on squats with 195-210 lbs with an emphasis placed on moving the weight through the concentric phase of the lift as quickly as possible. Do not go too heavy on your speed sets; if you cannot move the weight explosively then it is too heavy! Rest no longer than 90 seconds in between each of the speed sets. This builds explosiveness and speed and may stimulate growth as well. Even though you are using less weight, you should still be applying maximum force to it. To elaborate on this point, you can apply the same force to 250 lbs that you apply to 400 lbs, 250 lbs will just move faster, and that is the point you want your body to be explosive. If you have access to chains or bands they can be VERY helpful in building your explosiveness. If you choose to use them however you may want to lower the weight you are using to compensate for the increased loading at the top end of the movement.
More Important Notes
After you finish with your speed work for the day you should train basically like you normally would for a bodybuilder. Your rep range should be 8-20 and keep your rest periods to 1-2 minutes between sets. I would increase the volume of these sessions by approximately 50-75% compared to your power days. Make sure you do not over use failure on your hypertrophy days or you will burn out quickly. I only recommend going to absolute failure on the last 1-2 sets of each exercise once you have adapted to the routine. On prior sets stop 1-2 reps shy of failure.
Now I know you are thinking “I will overtrain if I workout each bodypart 2x/week!” While the first few weeks you may be very sore, tired, and not feel great, if you push through this after about 4-6 weeks you will find that your body will adapt to the increased frequency and you will hardly get sore more for more than a day. You will also find that your strength will start to skyrocket! I do recommend deloading once every 6-12 weeks however. A deload would consist of 1-3 weeks of lifting at 60-70% of your normal weights. This will be enough to maintain your strength, but light enough to allow you to actively recover.
How can cardio be incorporated into your routine?
Failure is a tool and has to be used correctly. During the first 3-6 weeks of the routine I would NOT recommend taking sets to failure as doing so will burn you out physically and mentally very fast. I’d recommend stopping 1-2 reps shy of failure. Once you get adjusted to the volume and frequency then you can start adding in failure for your power movements and some of your accessory/auxiliary work as your body gets more adjusted. You should never train to failure consistently more than 6 weeks in a row without at least a partial break from it. The reason I recommend this is because if you constantly train to failure it will decrease your performance, strength, reduce the volume you are able to tolerate, and ultimately reduce your hypertrophic capacity. There is this notion out there that any set not taken to failure is a wasted set, but that’s complete NONSENSE that has been perpetuated over the years by people who have not read the research.
How can regular deadlifts be implemented into this routine?
I recommend putting deadlifts on the power lower body day. Some people seem to believe that deadlifts are an upper body exercise and while they do involve the back muscles, the deadlift is moreso a posterior chain exercise and requires a good deal of hip flexion. The movement is like cross between a good morning and a squat essentially and so there is also substantial lower back, hamstring, glute, and quad activation. Thus I recommend keeping them on leg days. I would not do squats and deadlifts on the same day unless you have been doing PHAT for a long time and you are very adapted to the routine and are able to tolerate it. Otherwise I would suggest alternating the movements or doing a squat movement for a few weeks on your power day and then a deadlift movement for a few weeks. If you are someone who has really good quads and weak hamstrings/lower back then maybe 3 out of every 4 weeks you do a deadlift movement for your power exercise.