Jason Blaha's Ice Cream Fitness 5x5 Novice Program

A potent and proven novice muscle and strength building program from Jason Blaha & Ice Cream Fitness. Testimonials continue to pour in touting its effectiveness.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Full Body
Beginner
12 weeks
3
90 minutes
Barbell, Cables, EZ Bar
Male & Female
download pdfDownload Workout

Workout Description

For more information on Jason Blaha and Ice Cream Fitness, please visit the Juggernaut Fitness Youtube or Facebook fan page.

I would like to thank Muscle & Strength for hosting my Ice Cream Fitness (ICF) 5x5 novice program which I put out for free. Since I released it a year ago hundreds of people have contacted me about their results. Please watch the video I break down the full progression and methodology behind the program:

The program is to be conducted 3 days per week alternating workout A&B on non-consecutive days. For example:

Week One

  • Day 1 - Workout A
  • Day 2 - Rest
  • Day 3 - Workout B
  • Day 4 - Rest
  • Day 5 - Workout A
  • Days 6 & 7 - Rest

Week Two

  • Day 1 - Workout B
  • Day 2 - Rest
  • Day 3 - Workout A
  • Day 4 - Rest
  • Day 5 - Workout B
  • Days 6 & 7 - Rest
ICF Workout A
Novice Program
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats 5 5
Bench Press 5 5
Bent Over Row 5 5
Barbell Shrugs 3 8
Tricep Extensions 3 8
Straight Bar or Incline Curls 3 8
Hyperextensions with plate 2 10
Cable Crunches 3 10
ICF Workout B
Novice Program
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats 5 5
Deadlift 1 5
Standing Press 5 5
Bent Over Row (10% lighter than Workout A) 5 5
Close Grip Bench Press 3 8
Straight Bar or Incline Curls 3 8
Cable Crunches 3 10

ICF 5x5 Novice Program FAQ

One of my fans created a detailed FAQ based upon half a dozen videos in which I answered specific questions. Some of the FAQ are based upon statements I made on another forum.

If you notice a common question or concern that is not posted below, feel free to reply in the comments section below and I will add it.

Again, original credit goes to iBeastMode207 for taking the time to write the original up.

I have questions...

Watch the video. 99.9% of all of your questions can be answered by actually taking the time to watch the video on this page.

I don't have enough time to do this program

If you can't take the time to do this you are simply not worth the gains the program can offer you. Common time for the workout is around 1.5 hours.

Can I change anything?

Unless you are unable to do this program for medical reasons: do not alter the program. You are a novice, and quite simply you don't know what you're doing. If you did you wouldn't be looking for a workout.

If you want to go changing everything to fit what you believe will give you better results, go post it in the workout programs forum so everyone can refer you right back to a proven program that works, such as this one.

I have bad knees

If you have bad knees, do box squats. Otherwise, unless you are medically unable you should squat.

Can I add more deadlifts?

Deadlifts are 1x5 for a reason. They are taxing on your CNS and if you mess around you will get hurt. So don't be the tough guy who wants to do 5x5 deadlifts, because you will fail miserably.

Do the reps and sets as they are laid out in the program.

I don't like squats and deadlifts

Don't ask if you can ditch squats or deadlifts because "you don't like them". They're essential, so just do them.

Can I add calf work?

Supplemental calf work is acceptable, but you don't need it. If you want to do the extra work, feel free.

Can I add side lateral raises?

Side lateral raises are also acceptable, but Jason suggests doing face pulls instead.

Can I add extra ab work?

Additional ab work is acceptable. Doing ab work on off days instead is also acceptable. You can also substitute in other ab exercises if you do not have access to a cable station for cable crunches.

How should I lift when cutting?

The cutting version is 3x5 for main lifts, 2x8 for accessory lifts. Also, you only progress every other session, not every session. Example Workout B: deadlift 200, next workout B: deadlift 200, next workout B: deadlift 205.

Can I add cardio?

With a good diet, you do not need to do cardio. Most people here don't even bother as it will not make you magically lose weight. Diet is what affects weight. You will receive all the same benefits from this program (As well as any high-intensity weight training program) as you would receive from "cardio."

Any advice on tracking calories?

For tracking calories, Myfitnesspal is a pretty solid app. To calculate your TDEE (calorie needs determination) click here.

What if I add weight and fail?

If you fail a rep/set/whatever, you repeat that weight during the next workout. If you fail the next workout, you lower your weight by 10% and continue to use that until progress. Reset weights get rounded down.

Do I need accessory work?

You do not need to add any extra accessory work, you are a novice. Your entire body is lagging right now. You fix your overall body before moving to intermediate level workouts. Then you can focus on specific body parts and weaknesses.

What if I stall?

If you are not progressing and stall for a while, you may need to deload

Any substitutions for hyperextensions?

Hyperextension can be substituted with good mornings or cable pull throughs.

Any substitutions for close grip bench press?

CGBP/Dips are a matter of preference, Jason just prefers CGBP.

What about rest between sets?

Break times between sets are 3-5 minutes for the 5x5 sets and 1-2 minutes for the 3x8 sets.

1.9K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 02/15/2021 - 01:30
Yahia waleed

Hey dude I am obese and I want to become bulk and shredded but idk what diet I should do or what I should eat can u pls help me

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Posted Fri, 02/12/2021 - 05:18
sam wright

Im trying to put on muscle and bulk, would it be a bad idea to run on the rest days.

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Posted Fri, 02/12/2021 - 10:21
Abigail_M&S

Hey Sam - you can run on your rest days. Keep an eye on your diet and make sure you're eating in a caloric surplus.

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Posted Sun, 02/07/2021 - 10:36
KP

I'm an intermediate, doing lifts for about 6 months now (Bulking this time). What workout should I do on the day after Workout A and B i.e., on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday?

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Posted Mon, 02/08/2021 - 13:57
Abigail_M&S

Hey KP - you can do some active recovery work or light accessory movements.

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Posted Fri, 02/05/2021 - 16:11
Jeff

Any recommended warm-up for workouts A & B? or just ramp up the weight?

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Posted Mon, 02/08/2021 - 13:59
Abigail_M&S

Hey Jeff - are you looking for warmups before a certain exercise or before the entire workout?

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Posted Tue, 02/16/2021 - 13:56
Jeff

Was thinking before the entire workout.

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Posted Wed, 02/17/2021 - 10:51
Abigail_M&S
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Posted Wed, 02/17/2021 - 11:24
Jeff

Thanks!

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Posted Thu, 02/04/2021 - 21:30
Jhonny Octubre

I had a back surgery and I think that I should evoid hyperextensions, any others? I also read about the others but dont think that they will work

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Posted Fri, 02/05/2021 - 08:40
Abigail_M&S

Hey Jhonny - this would definitely be something to talk to your doctor about or find a local personal trainer to help you work with your injuries/back problems.

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Posted Wed, 02/03/2021 - 14:54
Aziz

I don't have the equipment so what do I do.

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Posted Thu, 02/04/2021 - 09:38
Abigail_M&S

Hey Aziz - what equipment do you have? I can better suggest a workout program for you if I know what you do have.

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Posted Wed, 02/03/2021 - 13:08
Jawad

I'm in the UK stuck in lockdown so no gym access...I've been doing a Push-Pull-Legs-Upper-Lower split from Monday to Friday for the last 3 months but progress has really slowed down over the last 2 weeks so I'm looking to switch it up to this split. Problem is, with the equipment I have at home, I can only get up to 50kg on my barbell. I'm just wondering how to overload on the big compound movements. Should I switch from 5x5 to 3 sets to failure? Add resistance bands? Or will it defeat the purpose of the split? Any suggestions will be welcome. Looking to start this program from next week.

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Posted Thu, 02/04/2021 - 09:37
Abigail_M&S

Hey Jawad - Here's a great article on modifying your workout programs for non-stop gains: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/change-your-program-non-stop-...

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Posted Sun, 01/31/2021 - 19:54
Jude Hardy

can i substitute one of the rest days for another workout day so 4 days workout 3 days ret

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Posted Mon, 02/01/2021 - 10:45
Abigail_M&S

Hey Jude - it is recommended to follow the program as written.

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Posted Mon, 02/01/2021 - 16:12
Jude

i have a lot of free time on the weekend and feel i might be sitting around too much. Anything you reccomend i could do?

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Posted Tue, 02/02/2021 - 09:24
Abigail_M&S

You can always do some light upper body accessory work and do some cardio/active recovery movement.

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Posted Wed, 01/27/2021 - 19:05
Callum

Hi
I’m currently 16 and I weigh 60kg and I’m 6’0 tall
I’m skinny and want to gain muscle what’s the best workout plan I can do

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Posted Fri, 01/29/2021 - 14:06
Abigail_M&S

Hey Callum - do you have access to a full gym or are you limited to specific equipment?

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Posted Tue, 01/26/2021 - 02:31
Kanan

Hi, i'm beginner. icf 5x5 is bodybuilding program or? I'm looking for a hypertrophy program

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Posted Tue, 01/26/2021 - 13:12
Abigail_M&S

Hey Kanan - this is a strength program. Check out this one: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/muscle-mass-inflation

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Posted Wed, 01/27/2021 - 01:25
Kanan

Don't you have full body?

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Posted Wed, 01/27/2021 - 08:58
Abigail_M&S
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Posted Sun, 01/24/2021 - 08:56
Logan

Hi the gyms are closed in the uk so I don’t have access to any machines but I have weights and a bar. What can I do to substitute out the machine workouts if there is any ways I can do them with things I have at home. Thanks

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Posted Mon, 01/25/2021 - 10:11
Abigail_M&S

Hey Logan - for the tricep extensions, you can try bent over dumbbell tricep extensions (https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/bent-over-dumbbell-kickback....) or overhead tricep extensions (https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/two-arm-dumbbell-extension.html). For the cable crunches, you can try weighted crunches (https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/weighted-crunch.html).

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Posted Wed, 01/13/2021 - 14:25
charles richards

I have used the old 5x5 plan off an on for years. Jason love the twist and add ons you did to it, I have alternated straight bar and BD on my bench do get that extra stretch at the bottom. This mainly due to the Army new ACFT push up routine. I look forward to future info you put out. CHARLIE MIKE!

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Posted Mon, 01/04/2021 - 16:56
Albin

When do you increase weights?
Jason says that you increase with 2.5 kg (5 lbs).
Like lets take Squats for example.
If i squat 50 kg at Workout A, do i then add 2,5 to Workout B? Or do i add 2,5 kg to my squats every workout A?

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Posted Tue, 01/05/2021 - 09:39
Abigail_M&S

Hey Albin - Jason's video at the top of this video should help clarify the weights. He starts talking about choosing weights at around 13:47.

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Posted Fri, 01/01/2021 - 19:27
Eric

What type of diet should I use

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Posted Mon, 01/04/2021 - 09:21
Abigail_M&S

Hey Eric - this will depend on your goals and lifestyle. A great place to start is eliminating processed foods and sticking to whole foods. You can check out our diet plans to find one that's more specific to your goals and lifestyle!

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Posted Fri, 01/01/2021 - 13:52
Jahanzaib Khan

Hey! I am 17 and I want to build muscle so should I weigh heavy or use less weight for muscle gain in this 5×5 program. Just got the confusion.

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Posted Mon, 01/04/2021 - 09:15
Abigail_M&S

Hey Jahanzaib - you should use challenging weight

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Posted Tue, 12/08/2020 - 17:52
James

I really like the look of this program however due to my age i have no access to a gym. Is there a way to do this with just body weight and resistance bands. If not is there another program you could recommend? Thanks.

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Posted Wed, 12/09/2020 - 09:15
Abigail_M&S

Hey James - we don't have a 5x5 bodyweight and resistance band program. Check out our selection of bodyweight workouts here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/bodyweight

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Posted Tue, 11/24/2020 - 19:32
Haris

Hey their is only one workout for shoulders will this be enough to build shoulders

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Posted Wed, 11/25/2020 - 09:30
Abigail_M&S

Hey Haris - this is primarily a strength program. If you're looking to put on mass, try a workout like this (https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/4-day-power-muscle-burn-worko...) paired with a solid diet.

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Posted Tue, 11/17/2020 - 21:19
Keith

Good day to everyone,
I am looking into starting this workout, but I am unsure for how much weights I should be using. Any advice? Currently 17 and weighing around 50+ kg.

Stay healthy!

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Posted Thu, 11/19/2020 - 10:04
Abigail_M&S

Hey Keith - Jason's video at the top of this video should help clarify the weights. He starts talking about choosing weights at around 13:47.

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Posted Fri, 11/13/2020 - 19:43
James

So I’ve been doing this program for about 4 months it’s don’t wonders honestly I’ve increased my max bench from 50kg to 85kg and i love the progress however I just have no idea what to do after this program I have a tight schedule with school and sport so 3 days a week is ideal for me is there a more intermediate program that can keep me going after this ?

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Posted Mon, 11/16/2020 - 12:32
Abigail_M&S

Hey James - congrats on the progress! That's awesome! As for the next program, what are your specific goals?

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Posted Tue, 11/17/2020 - 01:08
James

Just to keep building muscle without plateauing.

Thanks

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Posted Tue, 11/17/2020 - 09:26
Abigail_M&S
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Posted Fri, 11/13/2020 - 08:21
Alex

Hello, I have just finished this programme, my goals were losing weight and increase muscle mass while doing that. In 4 months , I have lost 19kg , dropped from around 36% body fat to 23%, still want to keep going, for 1 month I tried 2 programmes that weren't great for me then I found this one and stuck with it because I liked doing squats every workout. At the start I was squatting 60kg and now 85kg , raised my bench press from 50kg to 70kg too. I was wondering what should I do next, I was thinking of doing it again because I've had such great results, but now I will start a diet with more protein , also I finished my BCAA and wanted to start taking whey protein as well. I'm thinking that I'll do the programme again because I feel that it can have even better results and it will increase my strength even more. Should I do it again or do you recommend another programme? Also if I should do it, is it something that I could change or add for some variation? For ex adding some incline press or alternating bicep exercises like workout A barbell curls, workout B incline dumbell curls? Thanks in advance for your answer.

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Posted Fri, 11/13/2020 - 09:41
Abigail_M&S

Hey Alex - congrats on your progress! You can run the program again. Exchanging some of the exercises for different variations like you suggested is a great idea. I wouldn't add additional exercises to your workouts, but you can replace some exercises.

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Posted Mon, 01/25/2021 - 00:55
AG

Hey there,
I'm in the same as you, I dropped bf from 35% to 23%.
Did you do the cutting version 3x5 or 5x5? Thanks

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Posted Wed, 11/11/2020 - 14:45
M brown

How long does this take each session rest looks like it takes an hour alone

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Posted Thu, 11/12/2020 - 10:37
Abigail_M&S

Hey M - each workout will take around 90 minutes.