Spring Break doesn’t have to mean a break from your workouts. Keep it moving with…

Spring Break doesn’t have to mean a break from your workouts. Keep it moving with this fun workout.

I am not famous for many things…actually I’m not famous for anything. However, the Deck of Cards workout is something I can say I am at least well known for.

My roommates from college might shake their heads in disdain and remember when I convinced them to go to a park for this super fun workout. Sometimes I have to remember that my definition of “fun” is different from others.

The lucky souls that attended my boot camp classes in San Diego would probably just laugh out loud and remember the buckets of sweat shed during the deck of card workouts we did as one big happy family. I’m not going to lie, I greatly enjoyed watching their faces and reactions when they walked in on a Saturday morning, saw the board and realized they had 45 minutes of sweaty fun ahead of them. On multiple occasions they accused me of stacking the deck with higher number cards and even took the deck to count it themselves. Sure, I took a few 2’s out, but who really want to do 2 reps of anything? 10 reps is way more fun.

The Deck of Cards is one of my all time favorite ways to move, because it is adaptable to any situation. You can do it by yourself or with friends. You can make it easy or a gut buster. You can use your own body weight or equipment. You can do it indoors, outdoors, anywhere!

With spring break upon us, our ability to get to the gym might be impacted. We may have to travel, entertain out-of-town guests or figure out what the heck to do with the kids. Although we don’t know what spring break will throw our way, we can have some tricks in our back pocket to make sure we still find time to move our bodies. Instead of not going to the gym, we can find alternatives. The deck of cards workout would be a fun workout to do with family or friends and can be done at any time of the day. Let us know if you try it out!

The Deck of Cards Workout

What you need: A deck of cards or the Deck of Cards WOD app (it’s free!)


  1. Assign an exercise to each suit. For example, hearts could be squats.
  2. Make the jokers something special. For example, hold a 1 minute plank for each joker.
  3. Decide how many repetitions the face cards will be. I usually assign 10 repetitions to all face cards, but you could also do 11 for a jack, 12 for a queen, 13 for a king and 14 for an ace if you’re feeling really frisky!
  4. Pull your first card! The number determines how many repetitions you will do. Ex: If you pulled a 6 of hearts, that’s 6 squats. Get movin’ pal.
  5. Keep pulling cards until you complete the deck. It’s your workout, so you determine the pace. Go as slow or as fast as you want to go. Take as many or as few breaks as you need. Depending on your pace and the exercises you choose, this could take anywhere from 20-45 minutes.

Here are some example workouts:

Workout #1 (body weight)

Hearts = Squats

Spades = Push-Ups

Jacks = Sit-Ups

Clubs = Jumping Jacks

Joker #1 = 30 walking lunges

Joker #2 = 1 minute plank

Workout #2 (with equipment)

Hearts = Thrusters

Spades = Russian Twist (complete repetitions on each side)

Jacks = Single or double arm swing (use kettlebell or dumbbell or a jug of water!)

Clubs = Renegade Rows

Joker #1 = 25 Burpies

Joker #2 = 25 plank jacks

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