The card workout challenge

Welcome to Fitness Week at MikedUp Blog!


This is a 100% affordable, portable, and adjustable workout that I most likely got from somebody (to that person – I apologize), and we are going to turn it into a challenge. I do this workout regularly when I don’t have a ton of time or a fancy gym to do kettle bell swings, ropes, or whatever other highly effective fad I’ve recently taken part in. This is the card workout. Workout explained first, challenge later.



What you need: A deck of cards, towel, stopwatch, water, and a propensity to sweat… a lot.


The workout: Start with your cards shuffled up. After you start your stopwatch, you will then simply draw one card at a time and the card will tell you what to do. First, the suit determines the exercise.


Card Suit
Burpees (cardio & all around fun)
Squats (lower body)
Push-ups (upper body)
Leg lifts (abs)


Second, the number on the card tells you how many repetitions you will need to do.


Card value
# of Repetitions
The corresponding number (from 4 to 9)
10, Jack, Queen, King
So, if you draw the 6 of Diamonds – that’s 6 push-ups; Ace of clubs – 11 leg lifts… But don’t worry, you’ll get to try them all. After you complete the desired number of reps, draw the next card and do the next move. Don’t be afraid to pace yourself and take breaks if needed. Remember, the challenge pits you against yourself. Once you’ve gone through all 52 cards, stop the timer and record your time.


Then take a breath and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!


The challenge: We are doing the Card Workout three times during Fitness Week. Simply put, the goal is to complete the workout three days throughout the week. You’re getting a feel for the structure of the workout, figuring out where you’ll have your cards, and just generally setting a baseline.


On Wednesday, you’ll have a good feel for what’s ahead as well as a goal to shoot for. The focus on Wednesday is to beat Monday’s time.


For Saturday’s Card Workout it becomes very simple. You’ve done this twice now and hopefully you’ve built up a rhythm, the only thing that’s left is to earn your best time.


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I love this workout for a few reasons:


1) The pace is completely up to you. If it takes an hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes… It doesn’t matter. Of course the faster you go, the higher heart rate you can achieve, the higher calorie burn you can get.


2) You can do this workout just about anywhere you can find a ~6 x 3 ft. space.


3) The Card Workout is variable. It is very unlikely that you’ll do the same moves in the same order that you’ve done them before. Also, you can substitute exercises for the suits so that next week we can target different muscle groups to achieve different goals… But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.


4) This hits cardio in addition to resistance work, and you only use your body – no weights required.


5) It’s challenging, especially when you’re first starting out. Don’t believe me? Give it a shot.


6) …You can play cards with your friends later!


Good luck!
I’m not asking you to publicize your times or to share any personal pictures or information. All I want is to hopefully get a good group of us to do this workout. I will be posting my times (with stopwatch proof) throughout the week as hopefully a motivator for you and perhaps a reminder to get your workout in. If you’re interested in sharing your times or comments throughout the week you can email me or post a comment on the post’s page, I’d love to hear from you. Who knows, you could motivate a friend of yours to start getting active again…


Otherwise, let’s get moving and use the Card Challenge to kick some butt during this Fitness Week! I know that if you give this one a shot, you’ll love it once you’re done! Good luck and stick with it!


Thanks for reading! If you’ve enjoyed this post please subscribe to the blog so that every new post comes straight to your inbox. You can also check out the YouTube channel (MikedUp Blog) or follow Mike on Twitter (@RealMikedUp). Have a question or comment? Let us know by commenting on the post or emailing Mike at [email protected]. We’re glad you’re here. Thanks again and talk soon!


– Mike
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