This Is Layne Norton’s PHAT Training, Explained

The very best approach to develop muscle, get robust, or become more powerful is routinely up for debate within fitness circles worldwide. Everybody appears to have their most popular technique. Between private expertise, gems handed down by distinguished coaches, or studious efforts sifting via the literature, it may be exhausting to know which is the “proper” approach to hit the weights.

Layne Norton’s PHAT (that’s power-hypertrophy adaptive coaching) blends these views into a mixture of private expertise, classes from the previous, and proposals from the extra scientific facet of issues. 

A bodybuilder working out with dumbbells.
Credit score: Lebedev Roman Olegovich / Shutterstock

In case you’re seeking to get bigger, stronger, and extra highly effective, this program is up your alley. That is Layne Norton’s PHAT, defined.

Program Overview

At its core, PHAT was designed as a forcible measure to guarantee muscle growth. Having a basis of power and energy makes it actually difficult to not add mass. A much bigger and extra explosive set of legs is probably going going to occur as an extension of getting an excellent robust squat or deadlift. 

PHAT takes the guesswork out of the equation. You’ll not be agonizing over discovering the “greatest” technique. As an alternative, you’ll be capable to slender your focus onto what actually issues — effort.

PHAT’s Most important Lifts

PHAT is designed with the objective of getting you greater, stronger, and extra highly effective suddenly. Subsequently, it follows that the principle lifts of this system are large compound exercises. Barbell squats, hinge variations, bench urgent, and barbell rowing will function the cornerstone of your program.

PHAT Programming

PHAT makes use of a 5-day split to coach your foremost lifts and their related muscular tissues throughout a plethora of equipment and supportive actions.

A person doing leg curls at the press machine in the gym.
Credit score: Slatan / Shutterstock

Your main motion patterns are all uncovered to both energy or velocity coaching earlier than the 5-day break up is full. The rest of every exercise will carve out each inch of your physique with power and hypertrophy-focused workout routines. 

These workout routines will span repetition ranges from 6 all the best way as much as 20, serving to power muscular development as soon as the principle work has been accomplished. The help and auxiliary workout routines have additionally been chosen to offer a steadiness of pure aesthetic training with efficiency boosts to the principle lifts of this system. 

The Intent of PHAT’s Lifting Kinds

The identify says all of it. Energy, hypertrophy, and adaptation to stimulus. The intent behind every ingredient you’ll be uncovered to via PHAT is to help build power and hypertrophy via common variation.

Whenever you prepare energy, your objective is to maneuver as a lot weight as doable with clean technique. You’ll execute 3-5 units of 3-5 repetitions right here with ample relaxation to permit for a full restoration. Throw all the pieces you possibly can into these units, resting up to 5 minutes between every.

Your velocity workout routines will mimic your energy workout routines however with a decreased load on the bar. The intent can be to maneuver as rapidly and explosively as doable, once more, with out dropping place. Take not than 90 seconds of relaxation right here. 

A person starting to do a deadlift.
Credit score: UfaBizPhoto / Shutterstock

For the hypertrophy exercises, assume a bodybuilder’s mentality. Coaching with anyplace from 6-20 repetitions with 1-2 minutes of relaxation and going for a vicious burn are your targets. Be sure you’re getting every set close to failure (leaving about 1-2 repetitions within the tank) when you’re at it to construct some good muscle on the tail finish of every exercise.

PHAT’s Coaching Load

PHAT employs percentage-based training prescriptions for almost all of the workout routines (the place relevant). Throughout velocity and energy coaching, you’ll be supplied with a beneficial proportion of your 1-repetition maximum (1RM) to make the most of every time.

Your energy days will make the most of 3-5 units of 3-5 repetitions with roughly 70-80 % of your 1RM on the principle elevate. You’ll have a little bit of leeway to decide on precisely which proportion you land on right here, however err on the facet of beginning lighter and constructing over a number of weeks.

Your speed days will use a proportion of the load you chose for a similar elevate on the facility day. For instance, your velocity squat could be carried out for 6-8 units of three repetitions with 65-70 % of your energy day load

Whereas having direct steering on each load for each train could be handy, it turns into much less and fewer possible to prescribe as the times roll on. When you’re into the hypertrophy facet of issues, enjoying round to seek out the appropriate load that may take you inside 1-2 repetitions of muscular failure on the prescribed repetition range would be the objective. 

Utilizing a score of perceived exertion (or RPE) system right here will be useful right here, however you must also a minimum of write down the weights you’re employed with for future reference. 

Pattern PHAT Coaching

A mesocycle is a selected time period throughout which you concentrate on creating one or two attributes. For instance, a mesocycle in a program like PHAT would possibly run between 4-6 weeks out of a complete yr (or extra) of coaching. This lets you manage your exercise selection, preserve progressing your weights, and most significantly, deload as obligatory.

With PHAT, your exercises stay typically the identical for a complete mesocycle. What’s altering, although, is absolutely the load on every of your energy or velocity workout routines. 

Norton recommends weaving in a deload as soon as each 6 to 12 weeks, relying on how beat up you’re feeling. Throughout the deload, work with 60 to 70 % of your regular weights to assist keep your power.

Day 1: Higher Physique Energy

Day 2: Decrease Physique Energy

Day 3: Relaxation

Day 4: Again and Shoulder Hypertrophy

Day 5: Decrease Physique Hypertrophy

Day 6: Chest and Arms Hypertrophy

Day 7: Relaxation

Observe: After every profitable week of coaching, attempt to add a further 2.5 % of your 1RM to your coaching hundreds on energy and velocity workout routines.

Why It Works

Layne Norton’s PHAT technique works as a result of it ties collectively a number of well-documented coaching philosophies. It employs periodization to gasoline your foremost lifts, goes exhausting on concurrent coaching, and permits you to get a ton of technical follow in as effectively.


Periodization is a type of programming construction that permits you to higher handle your progress. Whenever you periodize your program, you incorporate predetermined will increase in load, units, repetitions, or some mixture, with well-timed intervals of relaxation. 

Periodization helps to guarantee your progress by including objectivity to your decision-making and balancing progressive overload with recoverability.

Concurrent Coaching

Concurrent coaching is a technique of organizing your exercises to assault a couple of completely different targets or diversifications on the identical time. Because the identify signifies, PHAT is about enhancing your power and hypertrophy

Each of those diversifications can synergistically assist with long-term powerlifting and bodybuilding efficiency, so coaching them concurrently in the identical program is smart. They’re additionally related sufficient that they are often skilled on the identical time with out being detrimental to your progress on both entrance.

A number of Follow

You may be uncovered to a ton of high quality method follow on every compound exercise you carry out throughout PHAT. Seeing beneficial properties in power, energy, and hypertrophy in some ways comes all the way down to how effectively you possibly can execute your workout routines. 

With PHAT, you’ll be uncovered to every foremost elevate twice per week. Over the course of some mesocycles, you must see main enhancements in your method. This technical enchancment ought to translate to heavier loads, much less wasted vitality, and a greater return on funding to your energy and hypertrophy coaching.

What You’ll Want for PHAT

Layne Norton’s PHAT is a powerbuilding program. it’s designed to get you robust, highly effective, and jacked. With that in thoughts, there are some gear necessities that you must take into account earlier than beginning up.

Barbells and Dumbbells

To run PHAT, you’ll want entry to barbells and dumbbells. The entire foremost lifts would require you to both use a barbell or dumbbell variation of the essential compound movement patterns

You’ll additionally want entry to plenty of weight plates. The stronger you get, the more plates and heavier dumbbells you’ll want. Make sure to plan forward and have a good facility or home gym set as much as accommodate your coaching.


As a hybrid program for each energy and hypertrophy, Layne Norton’s PHAT requires using a ton of machines for the accessory and auxiliary exercises. You’ll end up smashing some exhausting units on quite a lot of machines every exercise. A completely-stocked commercial gym facility is right right here.

Learn how to Modify PHAT

PHAT has a really particular construction, however you may make some modifications if obligatory. Whereas the precise anticipated outcomes are based mostly on following this system to the letter, you possibly can nonetheless see significant progress whereas tailoring it to fit your wants.

Swapping Workout routines

You could not have entry to the precise complement of machines or workout routines known as for throughout PHAT. It’s a pretty complete program that prescribes a big number of machine or cable work. For instance, a cambered bar or particular machine will not be available to you. In these instances, go for a free-weight analog as an alternative.

Making Up Time

PHAT is a 5-day break up. Though hitting all 5 days as written could be supreme to remain consistent with the letter of this system, generally life occurs.

Whether or not you want more recovery time, work or household life interrupts your regular schedule, or any variety of unforeseen circumstances happen, you possibly can merely lengthen your “coaching week.” Proceed this system as written, however merely take as a lot time as you must full all of the exercises. 

A person resting after working out.
Credit score: diy13 / Shutterstock

You possibly can prescribe your self a two or three-day break from the health club to get your self again on schedule with little to no sick impact. 

Deload Timing

Norton recommends taking a deload as soon as each 6 to 12 weeks throughout PHAT. This provides you a ton of wiggle room by way of the place to make the most of your break. Your greatest wager is to attend till coaching feels significantly exhausting, or you possibly can’t appear to generate a lot energy throughout your power-focused actions. Both method, assume exhausting about when to deload and keep away from taking too many breaks if doable. 

Who Ought to Do PHAT

Layne Norton’s PHAT technique shouldn’t be for the faint of coronary heart. Intermediate athletes, powerlifters, and bodybuilders possible make one of the best candidates for this style of training.

Intermediate Gymgoers

You need to have some coaching expertise beneath your belt earlier than taking over PHAT. It requires a reasonably heavy-duty workload over the course of 5 days. Figuring out your limits and how one can greatest get better are large property right here, so ready till you’re in a extra intermediate part of your coaching is smart. 


Powerlifters can do effectively with PHAT, significantly through the low season, as the principle lifts are sometimes the identical as their competition exercises. There can be a ton of squat, press, and hinge training, all of that are related for the powerlifter. 

The mixed energy, velocity work, and hypertrophy are all closely synergistic with powerlifting performance as effectively — so for those who’re already powerlifting it’s price a shot.


Bodybuilders are additionally able to make critical beneficial properties with PHAT. One of many unique intentions behind this system was to assist build some crazy legs (for each aesthetics and power). This falls proper within the wheelhouse for a bodybuilder to hybridize their coaching technique and absorb some new progress. 

Who Shouldn’t Do PHAT

Layne Norton’s PHAT technique is, once more, not for the faint of coronary heart. Beginners, these with low gear entry, and people with no ton of time are possible not robust candidates for this system.


Beginners are possible not within the place to get essentially the most beneficial properties doable from PHAT. It’s a extremely demanding program that calls for competence in difficult lifts just like the squat, press, and deadlift. 

A beginner trying to build muscles using a machine in the gym.
Credit score: NDAB Creativity / Shutterstock

It additionally will be extremely difficult to recover from in case your physique hasn’t had some publicity to bodybuilding or high-intensity powerlifting earlier than. In case you’re nonetheless a newbie, give your self some extra time to develop earlier than taking over PHAT.

If You Prepare at Residence

You’ll want way more than a basic barbell to run PHAT correctly. A lot of the accent coaching depends on entry to train machines and cable stations which you most likely don’t have at house. Don’t attempt to power PHAT to suit the place it isn’t acceptable; you’ll want a health club for this one. 

These Strapped for Time

Given the train choice, set and repetition schemes, and relaxation intervals, PHAT exercises can take fairly a little bit of time. Every of the principle lifts requires some critical rest between the working sets, and also you’ll have to fully warm-up to get there. 

Afterward, there’s nonetheless a reasonably long bout of bodybuilding to observe. In case you’re not capable of allocate between eight and 12 hours per week to the burden room, PHAT may not be best for you.

Who Is Layne Norton?

Layne Norton is a fixture inside the health trade. His pedigree stretches throughout each powerlifting and bodybuilding, and is an completed researcher and content material creator as effectively. 

In response to Open Powerlifting, Norton has competed in powerlifting since 2009 and boasts a powerful second-place end on the International Powerlifting Federation’s (IPF) World Traditional Championships in 2015. 

His competitors greatest lifts embody a 668-pound uncooked squat, 727.5-pound deadlift, and a 391.3-pound bench press. On prime of his efficiency beneath the barbell, Norton additionally has his PhD in nutritional science. In some ways, PHAT is the end result of a profession filled with each sensible and theoretical data. 

“PHAT” Features

Energy-hypertrophy adaptive coaching is a harmonious combination of powerlifting and bodybuilding. PHAT takes an aggressive stance on rising muscle, getting stronger, and breaking via stubborn plateaus

Whereas not essentially for the inexperienced lifter, this trial-by-iron is actually engaging to heavy lifting fanatics. Be ready for workout routines of all varieties, set a while apart for exhausting coaching periods and restoration, and bask within the “PHAT” beneficial properties Layne Norton’s program all however ensures.

Featured Picture: Lebedev Roman Olegovich / Shutterstock

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