Cards workout: The best workout when you don’t know what to do

Photo by Jack Hamilton on Unsplash

There are days — we all have them — when we don’t want to think too hard about what kind of workout to do. 

When you don’t know what workout to do, the deck of cards workout is the solution. This beautiful fitness trick has caused me, and many unfortunate souls who have learned of this, much pain — and much gain.

How does it work?

Say you want to do legs and back for example. In a deck of cards, you have Spades, Clubs, Hearts, Diamonds, and then you have your jokers, right?

Attach a specific exercize to each suit, shuffle the deck, and then go through the whole deck.

An example of a leg/ back workout:

Hearts: Squats

Diamonds: Burpees

Spades: lunges

Clubs: pull-ups

When the next card comes, look at the number, and do that many reps of whichever exercise you choose. 

Want to hit chest and back?

Hearts: push ups

Diamonds: pull ups

Spades: back rows

Clubs: chin ups

Want to do a cardio workout?

Hearts: pull-up burpees

Diamonds: jump squats

Spades: bear crawls

Clubs: box jumps.

And when that joker hits, do something special!

Do 25 burpees — do something that hurts.

If you want to mix it up even further, or if you just want more punishment, double the numbers. The possibilities with this are endless.

You could even make jacks, queens, kings, and aces into more intense exercises. For example, say you’re doing lunges for the diamond suit — when that jack hits, change it to 3 minutes of wall squatting. Or run around the block a few times.

Again, the possibilities are endless. I’ve found this to be one of the most versatile ways to get in a functional fitness workout. The deck of cards is also lengthy, so it can take a good hour or so to complete a normal workout.

So when you do it, buckle up.



Ryan Mekkes is the editor and founder of Commyounicate Magazine. He is an avid martial artist, a musician, and a fitness enthusiast, certified through ACE as a personal trainer.