Layne Norton PHAT Workout: Gain Size & Strength At The Same Time

by | Jul 25, 2019 | Workout Routines | 63 comments

The Layne Norton PHAT workout, which has become quite a famous workout routine is called “PHAT”.

The routine was designed by Dr. Layne Norton, physique coach and professional bodybuilder.

Layne designed his program for increasing strength and size at the same time – and he did a great job.

Layne Norton’s workout routine consists of 2 strength training days where you’ll be training with heavy weight and 3 hypertrophy days for stimulating muscle growth.

On the hypertrophy days you’ll be using lighter weight, but higher of reps.

The idea is simple, you build up your strength by lifting heavy for low reps, and then you build your muscles up by using higher reps.

As you get stronger you’ll be able to use heavier weights for higher reps on your hypertrophy days.

I’ve used Layne Norton’s workout many times over the years and I highly recommend it.

Layne has  done a good job of programming all rep ranges into his workout routine, which is great because each workout you’ll be hitting different types of muscle fibers and stimulating muscle growth every way possible.

Another great thing about the PHAT workout is that it calls for each muscle to be trained twice per week.

In my opinion, too many people follow the traditional bro split workout routines where you only train each muscle once per week.

If you want to build something, you don’t work on it once per week.

Layne Norton Workout, What You Need To Know:

  • It’s only a template – You can and should make changes.
  • Layne’s original routine has ‘speed sets’ programmed into the hypertrophy days. They didn’t do much for me, I noticed better progress swapping them out for 4 regular sets of 8-12 reps.
  • I swapped out ‘Rack Chins’ for more sets of pull ups.
  • Ditch hack squats for more regular squats or front squats.
  • Rotate bicep and triceps exercises to your liking.
  • Rotate between barbell press and dumbbell press on upper body and shoulder days
  • Swap out squats for dead-lifts every 2-3 weeks on your lower body days.
  • Keep a journal, it’s the easiest way to make sure you’re making progress. I turned this post into a printable workout log. Download it below and take it to the gym with you.
  • Click Here To Download Layne Norton PHAT Workout Log

Now that you’ve got a few rules and guidelines down, check out the workout routine below…

The Layne Norton PHAT Workout:

Day 1: Upper Body Strength Day

  • Bent-over rows 3 sets of 3-5 reps
  • Weighted Pull ups 4 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Flat dumbbell presses 3 sets of 3-5 reps
  • Weighted dips 2 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Seated dumbbell shoulder presses 3 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Cambered bar curls 3 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Skull crushers 3 sets of 6-10 reps

Day 2: Lower Body Strength Day

  • Squats 3 sets of 3-5 reps
  • Leg Presses 2 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Leg extensions 2 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Stiff Legged Dead-lifts 3 sets of 5-8 reps
  • Lying Leg Curls 2 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Standing Calf Raise 3 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Seated Calf Raise 2 sets of 6-10 reps

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Back and Shoulders Hypertrophy Day

  • Bent-over rows 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Weighted Pull-ups 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Seated cable row 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Dumbbell rows or Shrugs 2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Close grip pull downs 2 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Seated dumbbell presses 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Upright rows 2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Side lateral raises with dumbbells or cables 3 sets of 12-20 reps

Day 5: Lower Body Hypertrophy Day

  • Squats 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Lunges 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Leg presses 2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Leg extensions 3 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Stiff Legged dead lifts 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Lying leg curls 2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Seated leg curls 2 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Standing calf raises 4 sets of 10-15 reps
  • Seated calf raises 3 sets of 15-20 reps

Day 6: Chest and Arms Hypertrophy Day

  • Flat dumbbell presses 4 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Incline dumbbell presses 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Hammer strength chest press 3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Incline cable flies 2 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Cambered bar preacher curls 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Dumbbell concentration curls 2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Spider curls 2 sets of 15-20 reps
  • Seated triceps extensions 3 sets of 8-12 reps
  • Cable press downs with rope 2 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Cable kickbacks 2 sets of 15-20 reps

Day 7: Rest (Don’t forget to rest!)

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