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.

1.7K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sun, 08/19/2018 - 07:38
Alex

So for the weight increases: add 5lbs when you do the workout again? Like, workout A, workout B, workout A+5lbs, workout B+5lbs, workout A+5lbs etc?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/20/2018 - 08:49
JoshEngland

Yep! That is correct - however, progress isn't always linear. Don't get discourage if you can't add 5lbs on a given week.

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Posted Fri, 08/17/2018 - 00:38
Iko

Can I do hack squat instead of normal back squat? As it's very taxing on my knees.

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Posted Wed, 08/15/2018 - 15:46
Masud

When should I add more weights?
Like what’s the right time to increase the weight?

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Posted Wed, 08/15/2018 - 13:48
Erich

So on workout A there is the bench press, and workout B has a close grip bench press. Do I increase 5 from A to B, so that I go up 10 lbs a week on bench press or do I go up in weight independently for each?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 08/16/2018 - 08:26
JoshEngland

Hi Erich,

Try to increase from workout A to workout A, not every workout.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 08/17/2018 - 12:49
Erich

Perfect thanks for your help

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Posted Thu, 08/02/2018 - 19:16
Bato

I can’t deadlift at my gym. What exercise should I preform instead? Romanian deadlift with dumbbells or pulls up? Thank you

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Posted Tue, 08/07/2018 - 15:52
Anonymous

GO TO A REAL GYM

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Posted Mon, 07/30/2018 - 15:23
Masud

This program is for 12 weeks.But plan is given for only two weeks.So How should I follow it.?
Also,should I follow progressive overload here?

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Posted Sun, 08/05/2018 - 02:07
Josh

It's a 2 week cycle that is presented here. So you perform the 2 week cycle six times. 2x6 is 12 so there is your 12 weeks. The actual progression is in the weights. You add 5lbs every workout.

P.s I think you should follow the program for a year or at least hitting 135 press, 225 bench, 315 squat and 405 deadlift.

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Posted Mon, 08/06/2018 - 03:36
Anastasia

You should repeat those 2 weeks 6 times and that is how you follow this 12 weeks program

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Posted Sun, 07/29/2018 - 21:25
Ahmed

Is Supplement necessary for this?

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Posted Sun, 07/29/2018 - 11:22
Marlin

Can we do stiff leg deadlifts instead of hypers/good mornings?
Can pendlay rows be used on workout B to avoid staying in the bent over position after deadlifting?
Also I'm unsure about the progression for accessory lifts.

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Posted Sun, 07/29/2018 - 10:25
Rahul

Should i have to decrease 10% of weights in all exercises of wokout B after doing workout A...??

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Posted Sat, 07/28/2018 - 08:53
Avtandil

Hi! I've been going to gym for 1.5 months already. Is it OK to begin this plan now? Will I see same gains?

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Posted Sun, 08/19/2018 - 02:24
Jomo

Yes, this is a beginner program.

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Posted Fri, 07/27/2018 - 14:36
K

High or low-bar squats?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 07/27/2018 - 15:18
JoshEngland

Hi K,

Whichever you prefer.

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Posted Mon, 07/23/2018 - 05:52
Emad

So, I have to repeat these workouts for 12 weeks with the same reps and sets. Just changing weights. Pls answer me

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/23/2018 - 08:35
JoshEngland

Hi Emad,

Yes, that is correct.

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Posted Sun, 07/22/2018 - 01:19
Luis

Should i give up playing basketball completely when doing this program or can i play on rest days, also when he says 5 pounds per workout is it 5 pounds more per workout A or just everytime you go to the gym. Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/23/2018 - 08:41
JoshEngland

Hi Luis,

You can play basketball. Add every time you do a specific workout (workout A).

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 07/18/2018 - 08:12
wa eng hang

I have a question..If i failed to hit 5 reps on my first set of 5,should i continue to use that weight or i just lower it down so i could get five reps for the rest of my sets?

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Posted Mon, 08/20/2018 - 12:05
Bato

If you fail the 5 reps needed. take 10% off then you use the same form of progression the program stated

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Posted Tue, 07/17/2018 - 17:54
Jordan Iacoviello

I have the gym equipment necessary to start this workout at my own residence, but am missing cables. Can you recommend me an exercise to replace the cable crunches in both A and B?

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Posted Mon, 07/16/2018 - 17:58
kevin

can i do front squats and sumo deadlifts instead?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 07/17/2018 - 08:42
JoshEngland

Hi Kevin,

Yes, absolutely!

Hope this helps

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Posted Wed, 07/11/2018 - 19:06
Drake

So if I complete my squat 5x5 for that weight but it was really difficult and hurt my hips a bit, do I have to add weight or continue the same weight?

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Posted Mon, 07/09/2018 - 20:13
Drake

Say if I took a month off of this program and stopped working out and stopped eating enough. How long until I get back my strength?

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Posted Mon, 07/09/2018 - 11:45
Levi

can I take out the cable crunches if I plan to core workouts on non training days

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Posted Sun, 07/08/2018 - 08:35
Alessandro

İ can't squat heavy due to a aggravated SI joint. Should I modify this program or change it all toghether? Thanks

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Posted Sat, 07/07/2018 - 13:25
Jim Danahai Maras

What should be done on off days?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/09/2018 - 09:29
JoshEngland

Hi Jim,

Rest should be done.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 07/06/2018 - 14:51
Hugh

How often do I increase weight?

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Posted Wed, 07/04/2018 - 16:05
Khalid

Hi, Can i decrease the break between sets?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/05/2018 - 08:42
JoshEngland

Hi Khalid,

Sure, you can.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 07/05/2018 - 13:33
Khalid

Thank you :)

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Posted Wed, 07/04/2018 - 03:55
Keith wayne

I am nearing my 10th week into this workout. I have gained strength & proper form on many of the exercises. As I near the end i am beginning to search for a similar but different workout program. Is there any other species workout program that you recommend so that I can transition smoothly into ? Thanks again!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/05/2018 - 08:42
JoshEngland

Hi Keith,

Check out PHUL: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/phul-workout

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 07/03/2018 - 18:13
Paul

Hi Josh, I want to incorporate pull ups into the program. What is the best excercies to substitute? I was thinking subbing the bent over rows on workout B.
Ta
Paul

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/05/2018 - 08:43
JoshEngland

Hi Paul,

I'd recommend adding them in addition to bent over row or subbing out the bicep iso work on that day.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 01:57
Jeet

I am still sore from Friday, Can I do just 3 sets of squats instead of 5 Monday?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/02/2018 - 09:15
JoshEngland

Hi Jeet,

Yes, that would be fine. OR take a recovery day if needed.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 07/05/2018 - 20:45
Jeet

Am I supposed to add weight on squats everytime I complete the 5x5?

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Posted Sun, 07/01/2018 - 11:25
Klein

Does anybody had good results ? Esthetically ? thanks

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Posted Sat, 06/30/2018 - 23:36
Miggie

Hey quick question:

If I'm eating at maintenance calories and dieting, will I put on a decent amount of strength and size from following this program?

My lifts currently are:
Bench: 235
Squat:325
Deadlift:425

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Posted Tue, 06/26/2018 - 17:57
mike

what movement can be put in place of tricep extensions?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/27/2018 - 09:35
JoshEngland

Hi Mike,

Any tricep extension variation will suffice. Cables, dumbbells, barbells, overhead, standing, seated, lying, etc.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 06/25/2018 - 17:46
Tobysonoma

Thank you for all your contributions to the community. I’ve been getting back in shape for the last few months after 5 years due to injury and lack of motivation afterwards.

Spent the last 3 months trying to find a program that worked for me and that I liked trying just about anything to find something that worked for me. This program is awesome and I love it. Can’t thank you enough. Your a good man sir.