Workout Fun: Deck of Cards Workout

DECK OF CARDS WORKOUT - Body Surprising Workout Strategy For Killer Results

If I look back at the times when I was inconsistent in my workout, it had a lot to do with the fact I was completely bored. I would head to the gym and do thirty minutes of cardio and then my six weight exercises, abs, stretch and head home. #YAWNFEST. I decided to make my routine fun again by adding the deck of cards workout. 

If you don’t keep your brain and body challenged during your workout, you will inevitably grow complacent and that, my friend, is a recipe for failure.

deck of cards workout

How Can the Deck Of Cards Workout Make You Super Strong?

Our brains are intended to be constantly challenged with new information. If we fail to keep the brain on its “toes” during our workouts, it will start to go on autopilot, and that is when boredom sets in.

The good news is the brain loves playing with the muscular system.  “Teach me something new, keep me guessing!” says the brain. If the muscles comply, then as a reward, the brain gives the muscles strength and flexibility.

So how can we keep that brain guessing and our workout fresh and new? Regularly coming up with a new workout is difficult for those with experience, and almost impossible for those who are just starting on their workout journey. But there is an answer. What if I shared a way that you could reinvent your workout every time you entered the gym with little to no effort? And what if I said all you need is a deck of cards. So simple!


The Deck of Cards Workout

  • Bring a deck of cards to the gym.
  • Assign an exercise to each suit. (Hearts are push-ups, clubs are jumping jacks, etc.)
  • Turn over the first card. The first suit is the first exercise you perform. Whatever the number on the card reveals how many repetitions of that exercise you do.
  • Take ten-second breaks between cards.
  • Flip through as many cards as you can until your allotted workout time is up. (Or you are in a puddle of sweat on the floor.)

Printable deck of cards workout guide

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  • Make one card “wild” and assign it something crazy like “run outside and lap the whole gym building,” or “run to the treadmill and do a two-minute sprint.”
  • Make each suit signify a certain number of repetitions of one exercise. (hearts – 8 reps, clubs – 6 reps, diamonds – 4 reps, spades – 2 reps) Pick ten random cards per exercise and use that to inject a little variety to your normal workout.
  • Pick four cards at a time and do the exercises as a super-set with no break in between. Then take a one minute rest and repeat.

The Deck Of Cards Workout is an easy way to create variety in your workout. Shocking the body with new information when you exercise is a direct line to better and faster progress.

This week I challenge you to pack a deck of cards to the gym. Use one of the outlined workouts here or create your own. Try this workout variation at least one time a week. (This is also a great approach if you want to do a quick workout at home.)




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14 Responses

    1. I love this as a one day a week injection of variety in my workouts. You really could use it any way you like. I also like using it for cardio. Assign a suit to a level. and then each card is seconds times ten. 7 of hearts might be 70 seconds at level ten. Get it?

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About Dr. Denniston

Dr. Denniston is a wellness strategist for elite leaders and their teams, bridging the connection between personal well-being and professional success. She provides custom solutions for burnout and stress and facilitates cohesive habit-training strategies that maximize vitality, productivity, and resilience.

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