Got A Deck of Cards?

One thing that I don’t think people do enough is change-up their training. People seem to get on some type of training program, see some positive results, and then stick to it even though the results may begin to slow (or even stop) and they become bored with the same training day in and day out.

On the other end of the spectrum, I don’t feel people do enough conditioning, or more specifically, the right type of conditioning. Most people get on their favorite elliptical or treadmill and get after it for 30-45 minutes and call it ‘conditioning’. Talk about boring.

Thankfully we can cure both issues with a simply deck of cards.

The variety we can get with a deck of cards along with the great conditioning workout we can get is amazing. You can pick push ups from the floor or using a TRX, bodyweight squats, split squats, jump squats, burpees, straight leg sit ups, TRX rows, chin ups, and so on and so on. You can essentially pick any exercise you want, however I would recommend sticking to bodyweight exercises. Picking the exercises is the easy part, actually completing the workout is brutally tough.

Here’s how it works

  • shuffle a deck of cards
  • all face cards (Jack, Queen, King) will have a value of 10
  • Aces will have a value of 12
  • Number cards will be face value (6 of hearts = 6)
  • Jokers can be used or tossed to the side…if you use the Joker you can get creative and make it a 50 rep exercise or a 20 second sprint or whatever you want…point is if you use the Joker make it something different that will really tax you
  • Assign an exercise for each suit of cards (Hearts = Push Up, Diamonds = TRX row, Spade = bodyweight squat, club = straight leg sit up)

Once you have this all done, all you do is work through the deck of cards, performing the exercise for the prescribed reps based on what card you flip over. You can do it for time by using the same exercises and continually trying to beat your previous best time or you could simply change the exercises up each time you perform the deck of cards.

The take home point is this…mix things up and make the workout fun. This will challenge you more than any session on the ellipitcal or treadmill and all your really using is your bodyweight for resistance.

Fun, challenging, and intense. Doesn’t get much better than that.

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