Deck of Cards

By Ross Enamait - Published in 2004

Are you interested in a conditioning protocol that is guaranteed to provide variety and intensity?

Look no further than a standard deck of cards. One sample could include pushups and burpees. Perform one set of burpees for every red card (Hearts and Diamonds) and one set of pushups for every black card (Spades and Clubs).

To perform the workout, you will start with a fully shuffled deck of cards (52 cards). All face cards (Jack, Queen, and King) have a value of 10. Aces will have a value of 11. Number cards will be face value (ex. 7 of spades = 7 pushups). Jokers are optional, and can be set to any value. For example, a joker could involve 20 reps (of burpees or pushups) or perhaps 50 reps of a different exercise (ex. 50 squats).

Work through the entire deck. Each card requires a set of pushups or burpees, depending on the color. Your goal is to work through the entire deck as fast as possible. If burpees are too difficult, switch over to a squat thrust without the jump.

Each shuffle of the deck will provide a new workout. You can perform several exercises with this protocol (ex. pushups, squats, burpees, pull-ups, etc.).

Mix it up and have fun with it.

Feb. 2008 Update - For those interested in more Deck of Cards workouts, you may use the Excel file below to create several unique variations. This file was created by one of the forum members.

Simply save the file to your PC and begin creating unique workouts with ease (you can use MS Excel or the free Open Office):

Deck of Cards Excel File

About the Author - Ross Enamait is an innovative athlete and trainer, whose training style is among the most intense that you will find. Ross is committed to excellence and advancements in high performance conditioning and strength development. He has a sincere interest in helping today's athlete in their quest for greatness.

Ross has authored several training manuals, and operates a training business in the New England area. Feel free to contact him at [email protected], and follow his regular updates at