Deck of Cards Workout
November 18, 2013
I like working out, I really do (ok, maybe not cardio so much…). But I also like my weekends and sometimes, a workout is the last thing on my mind on a cozy rainy Sunday morning. Just like anyone and everyone else, I can definitely struggle with motivation. So this Sunday – I definitely was not feeling the scheduled workout, but as the day wore on – my guilt settled in, especially knowing that I really wanted to get back into the swing of things and really see some gains and the key to that – is consistency, aka – NOT skipping a workout on Sunday just because. But I definitely wasn’t up for a full fledged workout downstairs in the chilly basement…where there was no football watching to be had. Priorities – I gots ‘em. So I reached back to when I first started working out pretty seriously and had to travel to a friend’s house that weekend. One of the workouts I did was called a “deck of cards” workout. They’re pretty standard workouts, with a ton of different ways to do them. The first time I did them, I followed Jamie Eason’s deck of cards workout and did a set of plyometric exercises, totaling the number of 3 cards to get my “number per” exercise for each exercise. I’ve also seen workouts that incorporate two moves (say, pushups and burpees) and you assign red or black cards to each exercise. For my workout today, I borrowed from this workout and used a different exercise for each shape. The original workout called for trying to get through as many of the 13 card sets as possible, each number on the card dictating how many of each move you do. I chose to up the ante a little bit and add in a second set of exercises and switch between the two for each set of 13 cards, for a total of 2 rounds per workout set and added in 20 mountain climbers at the end of each set. I finished up the deck of cards and was definitely winded, but strangely craving more. So after a quick break, I came up with 2 more workout sets and went for a second time. Here’s what my final workout looked like for today:
For the sets that required weights (squats, curls, presses, etc) I kept the weights super light, since at any given time I could be doing 20+ lifts at a time. The rest of the exercises I did with body weight only. To give you an idea of how this works – one of my card draws for Workout 3 looked like this.
I stuck to the original number values of
J= 11, Q = 12, K = 13 and Ace = 14 (there are no jokers in the deck for this!). So that was 23 lunges per leg, 12 tricep extensions, 12 upright rows, 2 + 10 jumping jacks, 10 upright rows, 9 lunges per leg, 28 upright rows, 2 + 22 jumping jacks and finally rounded out the set with 20 mountain climbers. After this workout, I pulled another 13 cards and did repeated for Workout #4, switching between the 2 for a total of 2x per workout (i.e. the entire deck of cards, sans jokers). Excluding the small break, the whole thing probably took me close to 45-50 minutes.
It may not seem like a lot, but as you work through each set and keep the pace up, you are definitely winded by the end of workout. Especially when you get the higher pulls like 23, 24, etc.
I finished up feeling proud that I had at least put in some time getting my heart rate up and I especially appreciated the change of pace. Not to mention a chance to catch some Football in the process :)
Hope ya’ll had a healthy weekend!
disclaimer: I am not a licensed fitness professional or trainer – this is a workout I designed for myself and felt comfortable doing given my level of experience with weight lifting. Please only pursue workouts that YOU are comfortable with and are appropriate to your level of fitness. The great thing about workouts is that they can be tailored to anyone’s skill level!