Ice Cream Fitness: Jason Blaha’s 5×5 Novice Program

In today’s article, we’re going to be taking a detailed look at Jason Blaha’s ice cream fitness 5×5 program.

If you’re familiar with the fitness industry, particularly the online fitness industry, Jason Blaha will probably be a name that is instantly recognizable.

Now, Jason is the very definition of polarizing in the fitness biz.

People either love him, or they absolutely loathe him.

Whatever your stance on Jason, one thing you have to admire is the fact that he pulls no punches when he tells it how it is.

And he has been called out by Kali Muscle.

When he isn’t making eye-opening YouTube videos and calling various bodybuilders, models, athletes, and celebs out for alleged steroid use, Jason is raking in dollars working as a highly respected strength coach.

Jason is a strong dude, he has a very good physique, and his ice cream fitness 5×5 program is one of the most popular in the fitness industry.

Best of all is the fact that this program is designed to be followed by novices, so it is much easier to follow than some of the other muscle and strength-building programs out there.

But enough about that, let’s now find out more about the ice cream fitness 5×5 program.

What Is The Ice Cream Fitness 5×5 Program?

Okay, first of all, if you’re reading this because you love ice cream and you’re hoping that this is some whacky new training program encouraging followers to consume vast quantities of ice cream then you’re going to be very disappointed.

Sadly, there is no ice cream involved.

Well, you could eat ice cream before, after, and maybe even during the workouts, but you wouldn’t really make any progress, you’d get fat, and you’d probably make yourself sick in the process.

So, we’ve established that there is no ice cream involved in this program, so what the heck is it?

Well, the program was designed by renowned strength coach Jason Blaha, with the intention of helping people to increase their strength with the eventual goal of muscle hypertrophy via progress overloading.

The program is basically Blaha’s very own take on the hugely popular tried and tested 5×5 strength training program, that so many athletes, powerlifters, and strongmen tend to follow when increasing their strength.

Hold on! I’m A Novice, What Does 5×5 mean?

To those who have been involved in bodybuilding, powerlifting, and fitness in general for a long time.

You’ll know what 5×5 is, so you may wish to skip this next section.

Unless, you know, you want to see just how awesome we are able to describe it to somebody that hasn’t heard of 5×5 before?

5×5 basically means that you will perform 5 sets of 5 reps, not including warmups.

With 5×5 training, the ultimate goal is to increase your strength and power outputs via fundamental muscle mechanics, while simultaneously triggering muscle growth and repair.

Per exercise, as you have probably figured out unless you really suck at math, and don’t worry, we do too, you will perform 25 reps in total per exercise.

Sometimes the rep ranges may be tweaked very slightly, but you should never be performing more than 30 reps in total.

Again, this does not include warmups.

With 5×5 training, quality should always prevail over quantity.

The great thing about 5×5 is the fact that it is the perfect way to introduce people to strength training, so it is best suited to novices and intermediate lifters.

After all, what could be easier to understand?

You’re assigned your various exercises, and you will literally perform 5 working sets of 5 reps in total.

Easy, right?

5×5 can also be adapted for experienced lifters, and no, that doesn’t just mean throwing more plates on the bar, although that is a part of it for sure.

Okay, So What’s Jason’s Take On 5×5?

So, we’ve established that 5×5 requires you to perform 6 sets of 6 reps, and… Ha, only kidding, but we’re glad you’ve been paying attention.

Yes, you perform 5 sets of 5 reps with 5×5 so is Jason just taking a tried and tested training protocol, throwing his name on there with delicious foodstuff and making money from it?

Absolutely not.

Remember, Jason is a renowned strength coach and he certainly knows his stuff when it comes to strength, conditioning, bodybuilding, and human anatomy.

Blaha, as you might expect, is extremely blunt and to the point when talking about this program.

He states that if followers of the ice cream fitness 5×5 program are not willing to commit to compound moves that test the human anatomy and psyche, you may as well go and find a generic bodybuilding routine designed to give you a good muscle pump and not much else.

The ice cream fitness 5×5 program places an emphasis on heavy compound barbell exercises such as bench press, squats, and deadlifts.

Now, the program itself is split into two separate training days in which primary exercises such as bench presses, deadlifts, squats, and overhead barbell presses are split into two completely separate days.

On each of the days, you will combine push and pull movements, so in essence, the ice cream fitness 5×5 workout functions as a full body split.

The idea here is to target as many muscle groups and break down as many muscle fibers as possible, in order to stimulate the greatest amounts of muscle hypertrophy.

In this program, you will only be training 3 days per week, so again, this is very similar to that of a full-body training program.

There are, however, 2 unique workouts that are separated into 2-week cycles.

Jason Blaha’s Ice Cream Fitness 5x5 Novice Program

Your training days should always be preceded by a rest day.

As an example:

Week 1

  • Day 1: Workout A
  • Day 2: Rest
  • Day 3: Workout B
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Workout A
  • Day 6: Rest
  • Day 7: Rest

Week 2

  • Day 1: Workout B
  • Day 2: Rest
  • Day 3: Workout A
  • Day 4: Rest
  • Day 5: Workout B
  • Day 6: Rest
  • Day 7: Rest

Workout A: Novice Program

Bench Press55
Bent-Over Row55
Barbell Shrugs83
Tricep Extensions83
Straight Bar83
Hyperextensions With Plate102
Cables Crunches103

Workout B: Novice Program

Standing Press55
Bent-Over Row (lighter than A)55
Close Grip Bench Press83
Incline Curls83
Cable Crunches103

The days that you train on won’t matter too much, as long as they fit around your schedule.

Most people’s day 1 will be Monday, but if you can’t do Mondays for any reason, feel free to adapt it and make day 1 a Tues, Weds, Thurs, or whichever day works best for you.

It’s vital, however, that you never skip or miss a session.

If you do, you will miss the entire schedule up.

Is This Purely A Strength Program?

People see 5×5 and assume that this is a strength program, meaning that people who don’t train for strength probably won’t benefit from it, right?


If you were being attentive, you’ll remember how we mentioned that, although the goal is to build strength, the reason behind increasing your strength is to assist with progressive overload training so you can facilitate greater levels of muscle hypertrophy.

In reality, the ice cream fitness 5×5 program is perhaps better described as a bodybuilding program as opposed to a strength program.

As well as the heavy compound lifts we’ve listed earlier, you’ll also find that there is a lot of accessory work included, which is designed with muscle growth in mind.

On the program, the temptation will always be there to tweak it and make adjustments slightly to better suit your abilities and your style of training.


Unless you medically cannot perform a certain exercise for whatever reason, it’s vital that you follow the program to the letter.

After all, Jason is an expert.

Typically, a workout will last between 60 and 90 minutes.

Remember, you’re training heavy here, and heavy training does require more rest between sets.

It is imperative that you practice linear progression for the duration of this program.

See, that’s the problem with the online fitness community nowadays.

Everybody is so concerned with using fancy technical terminology to try to make themselves sound like experts, that they fail to realize that not everybody holds a Masters in Sport’s Science.

What the heck is a linear progression, we thought this was for beginners?!

Don’t worry, it sounds technical, but linear progression basically means that you add a very slight amount more weight with each training session.

You will need access to a gym that has microplates which are basically extremely light weights.

If possible, look for 0.125kg (0.275 lbs) plates.

If your gym doesn’t have these plates, you can purchase them yourself for a reasonable price and simply take them with you when you train.

Just be sure to let the gym-owners know, otherwise when you leave with the plates, they may think that you’re stealing from the gym, and nobody wants that!

We’ve Got To Ask: Why ‘Ice Cream’ fitness?

So far there has been no mention of ice cream, dairy, or anything even remotely resembling ice cream, so why did Blaha choose the name Ice Cream Fitness 5×5 Program?

Well, if you look up Jason Blaha’s story, or if you’ve followed him in the past, you’ll know that when he first started out on his journey, he had a slight obsession with eating ice cream.

He made a name for himself for getting big, jacked and strong, whilst trying to eat copious amounts of ice cream at the same time.

We know that we said you didn’t get to eat ice cream during this program, so how come Jason did?

Well, in the case of Jason Blaha, it’s very much a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’.

It is worth noting that he didn’t just try to shovel as much ice cream down his throat as possible and hope for the best, he was, and still is, a big advocate of IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) so each ice cream he consumed was accounted for from a macronutrient basis.

He is in good shape and has some very impressive raw lifts to his name, so it obviously worked for him, but again, he’s an expert.

For now, forget about the diet and instead focus on the training.

You might like to try the Push-Pull legs Routine, PHUL workout, or PHAT Training for more gains.

What Are The Benefits Of This Program?

There are plenty of training programs out there, so what makes the ice cream fitness 5×5 program so special?

Well, check out a few key benefits and you’ll see why it’s so appealing.

Build Strength

Needless to say, any training program emphasizing heavy compound movements and low rep ranges will almost certainly yield impressive strength gains, and the ice cream fitness program is no exception.

On this program, you’ll perform heavy compound movements – many of which with a barbell, using weights that allow you to perform 5 reps before you fatigue.

Each workout you should get progressively stronger and should increase the weight you lift with the help of Olympic microplates like we mentioned earlier.

Build Muscle

Though you get strong, the ultimate goal of this program is to get big and jacked.

Muscle hypertrophy is the end result if you follow it correctly.

Not only will you perform compounds, which facilitate impressive amounts of muscle growth, but there are also plenty of ‘accessory exercises’ included in this program which are designed to help build muscle.

Exercises like: Bicep curls, triceps extensions, and barbell shrugs are also included.

More Free Time

How annoying is it when you want to do something with your buddy, only to find that you can’t because they’ve got to get home and workout at the gym for the 6th time in a week?

Maybe you’re the buddy that has to let people down because the program you’re following requires you to train 14 times each week?

If you need a break from the gym, want more free time, but still, want to get jacked, this program is perfect.

Each week you will only train 3 times.

That may not sound like much, but if you train intensely and follow the program properly, you’ll become bigger and stronger, and you will have more time to yourself.

Easy To Follow

Finally, the ice cream fitness 5×5 fitness program is for beginners, so it is very easy to follow.

It offers no-BS workout advice that really works, so give it a try!

You Might Also check The Tempo Training if you’re looking for more workout programs.

Reda Elmardi

Reda Elmardi is a BJJ, fitness and bodybuilding fanatic. He's been writing about his experiences for over eight years and started his own publications on topics such as BJJ, Steroids, and Fitness.

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