Workout Routines

The Deck of Cards Complex Workout

Grab some playing cards, hit the gym and try this fat-burning barbell routine.

Duration 60 min
Exercises 4
Equipment Yes

Every once in a while, it's good to shake things up. This workout will give you skin splitting pumps and act as HIIT Cardio. All you will need is a barbell and a deck of cards. Yes, you read that correctly, a deck of cards. A deck of cards might not be something you think should be in your gym bag, but after checking out this workout you will think twice about that.

The Workout

You are going to go through the entire deck of cards in 4 card intervals. The total workout will consist of 14 rounds. Each suit on each card will stand for 4 different exercises. Remove the 2 jokers from the deck.

Suits and Exercise
Every time you see each suit you will perform a specific exercise:

  • Clubs- Barbell Jump Squats
  • Diamond- Barbell Rows
  • Hearts- Pushups
  • Spades- Burpees


Each number on each card suit will be the number of reps you will perform. For example, if you pull a 4 of hearts, you will perform 4 reps on pushups. The face cards have a special rep number:

  • Jack- 15 reps
  • Queen- 20 reps
  • King- 25 reps
  • Ace- 30 reps

The Rules

Shuffle your deck of cards and pull four cards off the top of the deck. You will be performing the four exercises corresponding to the suit of the card back to back with no rest.  In between each four card set, you will rest one minute and then immediately pull another four cards from the deck. You will continue this until you reach the end of the deck.


You pull four cards from the deck

  • Card 1: 7 of Hearts
  • Card 2: Ace of Clubs
  • Card 3: Queen of Diamonds
  • Card 4: King of Spades

Based on the guidelines for this four exercise round, you will perform seven pushups, followed immediately by 30 barbell jump squats, followed by 20 barbell rows, lastly followed by 25 burpees. You may have some overlap on certain rounds but that is okay, it will add to the fun! As far as weight, you want to load the barbell up with 20-30 percent of your one rep max. This will protect you from injury and allow you to get through the whole deck. Good luck!

Exercise 1A

Barbell Jump Squat You'll need: Barbell, Squat Rack How to
Barbell Jump Squat thumbnail
-- sets
Clubs reps
-- rest

Exercise 1B

Barbell Bent-Over Row You'll need: Barbell How to
Man Performing Barbell Bentover Row thumbnail
-- sets
Diamond reps
-- rest

Exercise 1C

General Pushup You'll need: No Equipment How to
Pushup thumbnail
-- sets
Hearts reps
-- rest

Exercise 1D

Burpee How to
summer-shred-burpee thumbnail
-- sets
Spades reps
-- rest