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Stronglifts or ICF

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Apr 10, 2019 9:30:00 AM

Stronglifts or Ice cream fitness

Stronglifts or ICF

Ice cream fitness and Stronglifts are very similar programs. If you can spare 1.5 hours threes times a week do Ice cream fitness. If you have less do Stronglifts

Get the free 80 page Stronglifts 5x5 ebook

What is your why 


Before we dive into the depths of Stronglifts and Ice cream fitness let me ask you a couple of questions. 


  • Why do you compare Stronglifts and Ice cream fitness? 
  • Why do you want to get stronger? 
  • Why do you want to get bigger? 
  • What happens when you do?
  • What happens when you don’t? 


You might think that these questions are not relevant but they are crucial to your success. They will determine whether you are determined long terms or give up on the first few steps. Why is it that most New Years resolutions do not come to fruition? It is because most people do think like this: 


  • What do I need 
  • How do I get it 
  • Why do I need it 


This way of thinking makes you give up if you don’t get the rewards quick. Strength training, unfortunately, does not have a direct feedback loop like cocaine. Many know what they want. Few put time and effort into how to get there. Almost none think about why they want the things they want. If you reverse the order of how you think and communicate you will have more impact. Start doing it like this:


  • Why do you need something?
  • How do you get it?
  • What do you need to do to get it?


If you are not convinced yet check out Simon Sinek's TED talk on the golden circle. He makes a very compelling case telling the story of the Wright brothers. 




Stronglifts is one of the most popular beginner lifting programs out there. You will train three times a week using the following exercises: 



You will squat every session. All other exercises will be rotated. The starting point is an empty barbell except for the deadlift and row. The aim is to complete five sets for five repetitions. If you complete the complex for an exercise you go up in weight. If you fail three times you deload by 10%. The free Stronglifts 5x5 app does a brilliant job of tracking your progress. If you want more details on the program read my detailed review of Stronglifts 5x5. 


The biggest advantages of Stronglifts 5x5 are its simplicity and effectiveness. You will get daily feedback on your progress and you exactly know where you stand. The results are solid with little injury risk. 


The biggest disadvantages of Stronglifts 5x5 are its lack of specificity and marketing. If you are very small and light or very big and strong you will either overtrain or undertrain on Stronglifts. The website also overhypes the muscle gains you will make on the program. Building muscle is mainly a function of your diet, not if your training. 


Ice Cream Fitness 


Ice cream fitness is basically Stronglifts with some accessory work added in. The full program was first published by Jason Blaha on Juggernaut Fitness. You will now find the full program on the muscle and strength website. 


It makes a lot of sense to add some accessory work to Stronglifts. Especially the arms are a little undertrained on the program. 


The big advantage of Ice cream fitness is that you pay extra attention to areas of your body that might not be trained otherwise. 


The big disadvantage is that it takes more time than Stronglifts 5x5.


Should you do Stronglifts or ice cream fitness 


If you have 1.5 hours three times a week to Ice cream fitness. If you have less time and want to focus on strength do Stronglifts


Further reading 




Topics: Lift stronger, Stronglifts 5x5, Fitness, Strength