Deck of Cards Workout

Workin' Out

Today, again, started out as a busy day, and I know there’s no slowing down until bedtime. When Javin is home, it’s high on my priorities to get a workout in, even if it’s a quick one. So today, I grabbed a deck of cards, and got in a 24 minute quickie.


There are a couple variations to the deck of cards workout, but today I stuck to the simple one. Not only is a workout like this super easy, but it’s versatile, and you can take it anywhere, depending on the exercises you chose to do. I have used this game in bootcamps, and it’s been a hit each time.

Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Shuffle your deck of cards. No jokers.
Step 2: Decide your exercises for each suit.
Step 3: Gather your equipment, if you need any.
Step 4: Flip a card, and do the planned exercise in the amount shown on the number of the card. ACES ARE 11 REPS, ALL FACE CARDS ARE 10 REPS
Step 5: Repeat until all the cards are done, or until you’ve maxed out on your allotted time limit.

The exercises I chose were:

Clubs: Alternating curtsy lunges off step
Diamonds: DB high pull into press
Hearts: Plank with DB rows
Spades: Pop squats

Example: The first card I flipped was the 7 of spades, so I did 7 reps of the pop squats.

I almost ALWAYS chose burpees for one of the exercises during this workout, however, the one pregnancy symptom I’ve been experiencing is light-headedness. So because of that, the only jumpy exercise I added in was the pop squats. I usually keep every exercise multi-joint, OR, I split 2 for upper and 2 for lower so that the workout is still total-body. In this case, I had 2 exercises that were lower body focused, and 2 that were upper body focused.

I knew I wanted to get through the whole deck, so I timed myself. It took me just about 24 minutes to finish all 52 cards. The tough part was, my shuffle wasn’t very good apparently because I drew diamond after diamond and my shoulders began to fatigue early on.


Pop Squats


Curtsy Lunges


High Pull into Press


Plank Rows

If you have no equipment, this workout is still effective if you do, say, burpees, squats, sit-ups, and push-ups. Or, get creative. Again, all you need really, is a deck of cards. 

After going through the whole deck, you will have done a total of 65 reps each exercise.

You could spice it up a bit, and throw those jokers into the pile. Each joker could be something intense like 50 burpees, or 100 jumping jacks, or another exercise that you aren’t already incorporating.