run the deck (2)Cards are awesome for magic tricks, playing games and even winning a few dollars here and there.  Most people don’t think of a card deck as a workout tool, but it can be when used in a card workout called Run the Deck.


Run the Deck is a simple concept and is adjustable for all fitness levels. Here is how the card workout, Run the Deck works…


Choose four exercises and assign them to a suit.  For this example we will use the following…


  • Clubs: Lunges
  • Hearts: Jumping Jacks
  • Diamonds: Push Ups
  • Spade: Pull Ups

The exercises can be anything you would like, but I suggest having an upper body push and pull, a leg exercise and come type of cardiovascular component.  When working with clients I often make the cardiovascular component the suit of Hearts.  It just seems fitting.

As you flip the cards, you have to complete the corresponding exercise for the amount of reps specified on the card.  So for example, a 5 of hearts means 5 jumping jacks.  Once you hit the face cards, the number value increases by one with Jacks representing 11.  (Queens 12, Kings 13, Aces 14)


Seems pretty easy and simple right?

You don’t have to complete the whole deck, this is just a way to make your workouts a bit more enjoyable and interesting.

You can also add jokers and have them be the wild card, meaning as your instructor I can choose a random exercise and rep count of my liking…. Bwwwaaaahhhh hahahaha (That’s my evil laugh)

So, is this something you should always do?  No.  It is tough to chart progress this way and it is difficult to achieve progressive overload.  But, if you are having a difficult time getting motivated to exercise, this card workout can be a nice interesting tool to help get your butt off the couch!  I also suggest doing this card workout with a friend… it makes it much more fun.



Image courtesy of phanlop88 /