Deck O’ Cards Workout (Spoiler: It’s Not Strip Poker)

Hey everybody!  I know summer is almost over here in the northern hemisphere (boo!), but I wanted to share a workout to encourage everyone to keep their swimsuit bod intact as the fall approaches.  There is plenty of variety in this workout, everything can be scaled, and you can do it with nothing more than a deck of cards, which you can even get as a free app if you want.

To start, you’ll pick 4 exercises that will work in cardio, abs, arms, and legs.  I made a chart below of some combinations that have kicked my butt, but feel free to play around with any of these, or add in your favorite workout move!  Be careful what you pair together to not overwork any particular muscle (ex: I wouldn’t put push-ups with burpees, because that would be a bit too much for my shoulders).  Know your limit!








Dumbbell Push Press

Plyo Jumping Jacks

Ab Bicycles*



Box Jumps

Russian Twist*


Mountain Climber*

Squat Jump



Bench Press

Man Makers


Calf Raise*

Tricep Dips

*Try to start with one movement on each side for a rep. But if that is too hard, feel free to scale it down to half…just try to keep it even between your right and left sides!                                              **I started with 5 seconds for each rep, but feel free to alter that based on your level.

Once you’ve picked out your exercises and set up your workout area, you’ll flip over the first card.  The number on the card is how many reps you’ll do.  Face cards are 10 and Ace is 11.  The suit (hearts, diamonds, spades, clubs) tells you what movement to perform.

So, if I was doing the top workout from the chart and my first card was a 9 of spades, I would do 9 squats.  Then I’d flip over the next card, and see that it’s a Jack of hearts, so I’d do 10 burpees.  It’s really that simple!  And, when it’s all done, you will have done 95 reps of each movement!

This is also a fun workout to do with a partner.  Get another deck of cards and first one done wins!  You can also add a different movement in for the Joker, I once added a mile run for that and it was killer (in a good way, of course).

If you try it, please let me know what you think.  What advice do you have to keep motivated and add variety to your workout routines?  What’s your go-to workout?

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