Cardio Deck of Cards Workout for the Gym

Cardio Deck of Cards Workout (perfect for the gym!)Hello from Logan Airport! I’m here bright and early about to head to San Francisco for a fun blogging trip with Stitch Fix & LUNA Bars. I’ll obviously post ALL about it when I get back, but for now you can follow my trip on Instagram and Twitter. If you read a bunch of health & fitness blogs, you’ll probably recognize a lot of the other bloggers going with me–I was actually a little shocked (but so excited) to see I made the list! If they’re the MLB of fit blogging, I’m still playing tee ball over here haha. Anyway, on to today’s post…

I don’t have a gym membership, but every once in a while I’ll mooch a guest pass to Equinox or Sports Club LA from one of my friends and get in a workout using cardio equipment. This deck of cards workout is perfect for the treadmill, but can also be done using an elliptical, stairmaster, jump rope—or just by running outside. Get creative with the cardio portion!

Cardio Deck of Cards Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • Treadmill
  • Two 10-lb dumbbells
  • Deck of Cards (or a deck-of-cards app like RipDeck)

For the deck-of-cards workout structure, you flip over one card at a time. Each suite corresponds to a different exercise, and the number on the card indicates the number of reps you’ll do. For example, a three of diamonds = 3 jack-jump planks in this workout. Go through the entire deck. There are smartphone apps out there (I use RipDeck) you can use so that you don’t have to be that weirdo walking into the gym holding a deck of cards. 😉

Cardio Deck of Cards Workout (perfect for the gym!)


Holding a dumbbell in each hand in a plank position, do a push up. Row your right hand up, elbow thrusting up, and then do the left. That’s one rep. If it hurts your wrists to hold the weights while in plank, place them besides you and just grab them after you do the push up for the rows.


Start in a plank position. Jump both feet up towards your hands. Jump them back into plank position. Jump feet apart (like a horizontal jumping jack) and then jump them back together into your starting plank position. That’s one rep.


To do a V-Up, you start on your back with arms stretched out overhead and legs hovering just slightly above the ground. You’ll then crunch up, bringing your hands towards your toes (keeping legs and arms straight). When done correctly, your body will make a “v” shape as you crunch; this means you’re not just reaching your arms up, your chest needs to move towards your knees. Lower back down to starting position. If possible, your feet should never touch the ground.


  • Face card or Ace = Sprint (9-12 mph)
  • 6-10 = Run (7-10 mph)
  • 2-5 = Jog (5-7 mph)

Cardio Deck of Cards Workout (perfect for the gym!)

WEARING | tank: Athleta // bra & leggings: c/o Reebok // sneakers: Nike


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  1. looks like a great workout! can’t wait to meet you today!!!!!! <3

  2. That’s great your heading to SF. This is my city. Hope you have a wonderful time! 🙂

  3. ummm, your trip sounds so fun!! how did you get involved with that hook up? have you ever been to SF? can’t wait to hear about it!

  4. Nicole, you’re push ups are on POINT! Have fun is SF! Can’t wait to hear all about it.

  5. Love the idea of incorporating sprints into my deck of cards workouts! Can’t wait to give it a try!

  6. This is a great way to mix it up! When I’m feeling bored with my routine, I’ll definitely give this a shot.

    Be sure to check out my latest video post talking about my workouts and how I stay fit!

  7. Just found your blog! Glad to see a fellow lifter and blogger like myself! yay 🙂

  8. Just did this and loved it! I’ve done a deck of cards workout before and somehow that stack gets me more motivated than when I just have my workout written. Foot was bothering me a bit today so I substituted two types of squats for the different face cards.

    Thanks for helping jazz up my workout!

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