What is the Poker Body Weight Workout?

Are you one of those people who would like to workout more, but find that doing repetitive exercises bores you after some time? Or maybe you’re one of those fitness buffs who has tried every workout trend under the sun, and is looking for something new to try?

Whatever the case may be, trying out interesting and new routines can make for a more effective workout, so try expanding your horizons! Here’s a unique one you can try. It’s called the poker body weight workout, and it can dispel your workout boredom and help you smash through workout plateaus in a flash.

What it is

Also known as the deck of cards bodyweight workout, the poker workout basically matches up against different cards with different exercise forms. Excluding warming up and cooling down, it takes around 35 minutes to burn through a full deck of cards.

How it works

The beauty of this workout is that you can alter it to focus on a certain muscle group. For instance, if you want to tone your arms and upper body, only assign cards to exercises that focus on that area. You can even transform it into a high-intensity interval training session (HIIT) by limiting the recovery time between exercises.

This workout can do more than just break the monotony of your usual routine. Going through an entire deck of cards will require some serious stamina, meaning it packs all the benefits offered by HIIT.

Setting up

To begin, assign one exercise form to the numbered cards of each suit, like tricep dips for diamonds. You’ll also assign an exercise form to each royal card, regardless of suit, like planks for Queens. Throw in a Joker as a wild card, separate the numbered cards from the royal cards, and shuffle each pile.

Playing the game

After your warm-up, draw one royal card and three numbered ones. While the suit of the card will indicate the exercise you’ll be doing, the card’s number will determine how many reps you need to do. And, if you draw the Joker, you get to do any exercise you like, as many times as you want.

The rules for reps required for royal cards, however, are a little more complicated. If a Jack is drawn, you can choose between doing 10 or 11 reps. For Queens, the upper limit is raised to 12, and the number of reps for Kings can range between 10 and 13.

Say, for example, you draw a Queen of diamonds, a 4 of spades, a 9 of hearts, and a 5 of clubs. Assuming that the following royal card and suits were assigned to supermans, squats, crunches, and jumping jacks, you’d have to do 10 to 12 supermans, 4 squats, 9 crunches, and 5 jumping jacks.

Aces, however, may become your most dreaded card. Avid players know that there’s a poker term called an “Ace High,” which refers to the best non-made hand. It doesn’t contain a pair or anything higher than that, but it does have an “Ace” – the highest single card in a deck. This is why Ace exercises are some of the most challenging: When you draw one, you need to choose between doing 10 or 14 reps.

The more, the merrier

Once you’ve got the basics down pat, you’re guaranteed to have one of the most memorable workouts of your life. And you don’t have to enjoy it alone, either. With simple video conference apps like Zoom and FaceTime, you can virtually bring a whole host of friends to the exercise mat — or, well, the poker table — and challenge each other to become the best versions of yourselves that you can possibly be.

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