Festive workout idea: the Deck of Cards

Author: Grow Team
Date: 13/12/2019
Category: Grow

Even with the best of intentions, sometimes life gets in the way of your training. As much as you might like to, it’s not always possible to get to the gym and trying to plan out a home workout can be tricky. However, if you’re struggling with a lack of space, equipment or inspiration, the deck of cards workout might be just what you’re looking for.


A staple of training for combat sports athletes and military personnel around the world, the DOC is a back-to-basics workout that you can do anywhere. 


All you need is a standard deck of playing cards.


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

  • Spades – Push Ups
  • Clubs – Burpees
  • Hearts – Squats
  • Diamonds – Lunges
  • Joker – 1 Minute Plank


Place the cards face down, turning over one card at a time. Whatever number the card, that’s how many reps you do (Aces are high and face cards count for 10).


And that’s all there is to it! It might not seem like much but don’t underestimate the deck. By the time you’ve worked your way through you’ll have completed 94 reps of each exercise. Keep track of the time in took and try to beat it the next time around.


Not challenging enough? Try doubling the reps for certain suits (or all of them if you’re up to it!)


No two workouts will ever be quite the same and it’s endlessly adaptable. Swap in different exercises for a bit of variety or to focus on a specific body part. 


A few sample decks you could try are:

Full Body

  • Spades- Push Ups
  • Clubs- Pull Ups
  • Hearts- Squats
  • Diamonds- Lunges
  • Joker- 50 Crunches


Upper Body Focus

  • Spades- Push Ups
  • Clubs- Pull Ups
  • Hearts- Dips
  • Diamonds- Bodyweight Rows
  • Joker- 1 Minute Commandos


Lower Body Focus

  • Spades- Squats
  • Clubs- Lunges
  • Hearts- Tuck Jumps
  • Diamonds- Glute Bridges
  • Joker- 1 Minute Slow Mountain Climbers



  • Spades- Crunches
  • Clubs- Dead Bugs
  • Hearts- Heel Drops
  • Diamonds- Leg Lowers
  • Joker- 1 Minute Plank


With a DOC, whenever life gets in the way of your usual workout you know you’ve got an ace up your sleeve!


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