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Power/Strength/Hypertrophy (PSH) Program Overview

Make big gains in three major areas – muscular power, strength, and lean mass – with this 6-week periodized plan.

Power/Strength/Hypertrophy (PSH) training program

There's a reason why the phrase "Bigger, Stronger, Faster" has become so popular over the years: Because everyone, from competitive sport athletes to powerlifters to gym rats, wants to get better in all three of these areas, not just one.

But maxing out all three is easier said than done. If you try to chase all of them at all times, you won't get great results in any of them. But if you focus too much on any one area, the other two will suffer. 

So how do you get bigger, stronger, and faster with one program? By working on all three areas – power, strength, and hypertrophy (muscle building), in that order – but focusing on one at a time. 

That's exactly what you'll be doing in my 6-week Power-Strength-Hypertrophy program (PSH for short). Each week, individual workouts will be devoted to power (Faster), strength (Stronger), and hypertrophy (Bigger). By zeroing in on the three attributes in the opposite order as the popular phrase, you'll indeed be Bigger, Stronger, and Faster by the end of the PSH program. 

PSH Program Rundown

The PSH program breaks up weekly workouts into three different goals.

Workout 1 is a full-body day that includes explosive movements to build more muscular power.

Workouts 2 and 3 are two-day-split strength workouts that train half the body in one workout (chest, back, shoulders, traps, abs) and the other half in the next (legs, triceps, biceps, forearms, calves).

Workouts 4 and 5 are two-day-split hypertrophy (muscle-building) workouts, again (as with strength) training half the body one day and the other half the next.

PSH Weekly Training Split

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This five-day routine will have you making gains in power, strength, and size while shedding even more body fat. Below are the specifics – including set/rep schemes, intensity techniques, and periodization models – for each of the three workout goals. I've also included a brief "walk-through" video for each of the five workouts. 

Power Days – Workout 1

First of all, why would you want to increase your muscular power and explosiveness? Easy answer: Because the more power your muscles are able to generate, the stronger they'll be. And being stronger and more powerful will help you in all areas – it will increase your lifts in the gym, improve your athletic performance, and make you more "functionally fit" overall to maximize your quality of life. Enhancing muscular power and strength will also allow you to build more muscle for a bigger, chiseled physique. 

Now that you know why you should seek more muscular power and explosiveness, here's how you'll achieve it...

Each power workout in the PSH program consists of eight explosive exercises. Collectively, these eight moves will hit all major muscle groups in the body. Normally, my full-body workouts include at least 10 exercises (one for each muscle group), but here I didn’t include specific moves for traps or forearms; your traps will be sufficiently worked with power cleans (and even power rows to an extent), and forearms will get hit with the medicine ball curl throw/catch.

Throughout the course of the 6-week program, your power days will increase in total volume (workload) every week. As you can see here, every week I increase either the number of sets or the number of reps performed, which results in an increase in total reps for the workout:

Power Days Set/Rep Progression

Week 1: 2 sets x 2-3 reps

Week 2: 3 x 2-3

Week 3: 2 x 4-5

Week 4: 3 x 4-5

Week 5: 2 x 6-7

Week 6: 3 x 6-7

Your weight should at least stay the same on every workout on power days. If you feel yourself getting stronger, though, feel free to increase weight as needed. Just make sure not to go too heavy. Power exercises are not intended to be taken to failure – every rep of every set should be fast and explosive.

One thing to keep in mind with these power workouts: Because you're not taking sets to failure, you may not feel as spent as you do with my other workouts. That's okay. Don't feel as though you didn't train hard enough just because you still feel fairly fresh during and even after these Workout 1 sessions. Training specifically for power is NOT about taking sets to full fatigue/failure; leave that for the strength and hypertrophy workouts in the next four days. If you really feel like you want to do more work after a power workout, see the below PSH Cardio section for ways to...

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