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Circuit Training With A Deck Of Cards

Posted Dec 02 2008 1:17am
Thanks to a fellow member, I was recently introduced to Ross Enamait ’s site,

Ross' training philosophy emphasizes all-around development with a focus on functional exercises.

I’ ve put his book, Never Gymless, on my holiday wish-list but in the meantime I'm taking advantage of his website articles including the Deck of Cards workout.

The Deck of Cards workout is one that I’ll be taking on the road with me later this week when I head to Los Angeles. It is brilliant in its simplicity!

The premise of the workout is to use a standard deck of 52 playing cards to dictate the exercise to be performed and the number of reps for each exercise.

First, you assign an exercise to each card suit. For example:

Spades = push ups
Hearts = burpees
Diamonds = squats
Clubs = lunges

Face cards have a value of 10 and numbered cards are valued at face value.

So, if you draw the 9 of Spades from the deck you would do 9 push ups. If the second card drawn is the 6 of Diamonds, you would do 6 squats.

The goal is to work through the entire 52 card deck as quickly as possible.

What I like about this routine is
  1. You can alter exercises based on your fitness level. For example, if burpess are too difficult, you can do squat thrusts. Conversely, if lunges are too easy, you can swap in pull ups.

  2. Every time you shuffle the deck, you have a new workout.

  3. Workouts can easily be done at home or in a hotel room. Exercise options that require no equipment include
  • Squats (multiple variations)
  • Lunges
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Push Ups (multiple variations)
  • Burpees
  • Ab Curls

The exercise variations are endless. Beginners should take small rest breaks between exercises while those more advanced can move directly from one exercise to the next.

Train hard; stay strong.



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