There’s a workout program that you can fit in the palm of your hand, use every week, take with you everywhere that you go, that can adapt to any kind of exercises and will provide you with a challenging workout that changes every time you exercise.

Interested?  Then come on in and read more…

In this day and age of high-tech exercise equipment and complicated, “cutting edge” training philosophies, I find a great deal of comfort and get a great deal of challenge from old school training methods.  You’ve probably caught a hint of this fondness for the simpler methods of weight training and exercise if you’ve visited our site before and read my items about kettlebells, dumbbells and Converse All-Stars.

However, this little, perfect workout program represents the most bare boned of training programs.  I call it “The Deck of Cards” because I actually use a deck of cards to design my workouts.

Yes folks, in that little stack of 54 plastic coated paper cards you can find the most tortuous, maniacal, evil workouts known to man.  The random power of the cards can create workouts that will try to break your will, get your muscles shaking, heart pumping, lungs burning and have you soaked in your own sweat.

Are you curious?  Am I mad?  Quite possibly.

Using the deck of cards to guide you through a workout is an illustration of how beautiful and challenging a simple workout can be. No machines, no gym, no strength coach, no wrist wraps or weight belts or fancy sneakers or Under Armor. No changing weights or checking your pulse.  All you need is a deck of cards, your body and a clock to keep time.  And if you’re feeling old school, go shoeless.

There are many ways to craft your training session with the cards, but for now I will favor you with the most basic method of using the deck, and my personal favorite.  So here goes….

In this routine you will perform no exercises other than body weight squats and push ups.  If you flip a red card do the amount of push ups equal to the face value of the card, while a black card will compel you to pop a squat similarly.  Face cards will require more effort as Jacks count as 11, Queens as 12 and Kings as 13.  Aces count as 15 and for those bold enough to include the Jokers in the deck, they will oblige you to perform 20 reps each of squats and push ups.

If you can get through the entire, Joker-laden deck these rectangular bringers of havoc will have pushed you to perform 230 repetitions of each exercise.  I will tell you that once you try to get through “the Deck” you will never be the same again and will never look the same way at a deck of cards.

For noobs, finishing the deck in 30 minutes is quite an accomplishment, with 40 minutes being more likely.  For starters, I recommend giving 20 cards a shot and see how long this takes.  But for the brave (foolish?) who are willing to dive in 100% my advice is to take about 15-20 seconds between cards and 60-90 seconds rest after every 10 cards.  This plan might take you a little longer, but you’ll have a better shot at finishing the deck with proper form. And just as an FYI, the fastest time I’m aware of for finishing the deck is 11:45. As we move forward, I’ll tell you about other ways to use the deck to create great workouts, but for now give this simple plan a shot.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you.


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