Hearts - Pushups
Diamonds - Clean and Press Dumbbells - 15 lbs.
Spades - Leg curls 50 lbs.
Clubs - Squats - bodyweight
Tough workout, very tough - 27:09
The cutoff for inshape athletes is 30 minutes - not too bad
The Deck of Cards Workout - GrayIron Fitness Newsletter
Last month, I tested myself by doing my Deck of Cards workout. It’s a butt-kicker. Here’s how it works . . .
Get a deck of playing cards. Assign an exercise to each suit. I assigned them as follows:
Hearts — Dumbbells Clean & Press (don't go too heavy or you'll never make it through).
Clubs — Pushups.
Spades — Bodyweight Squats.
Diamonds — Mt. Climbers.
Shuffle the deck several times. Place the deck face down. Start a stop watch.
Turn over the first card. Let’s say it’s a seven of hearts. Clean & Press your dumbbells seven times.
Turn the next card. Suppose it’s a nine of spades. Do nine bodyweight squats.
With each card, do the same number of reps as the number on the card. The face cards are considered tens. Aces are eleven. Remove the jokers or keep them and assign them any number you want to. (I remove the jokers.)
Keep going through the entire deck. Then check your stop watch. Write down the time for your record.
The idea is to go through the deck as fast as you can. If you do it that way, it’s a test — and butt kicker. Of course, the workout is not difficult if you casually go through the deck.
In shape athletes do the workout in less than 30 minutes. The training is supposed to be popular with Japanese wrestlers and judo competitors. But they often confine it to two exercises, such as squats and pushups. I like to do it with four.
How did I do? It took me 27 minutes. When I tested in 2003, I did it in 20:53.79. However, I used a different exercise mix, which may or may not have been less taxing. I tested twice in 2004, finishing once in 21:27.75 and once in 22:22.25.
Though the exercise mix was slightly different each time (meaning there is some degree of “comparing apples with oranges”), there is no denying that I’ve lost a step or two.
Age happens. But I’m still under 30 minutes.
I was sore the next day.