Inspired by what William Regal once mentioned on Twitter, I’ve chosen to give the cards exercise a chance. Started this on 11 June 2016. Let’s see how long it lasts.

Because I didn’t do much sport recently (except for the almost daily bicycle tour), I wanted to start a daily workout that actually makes me doing it for a long time. I’ve got the tendency to start a lot of things but don’t finish or continue them until there is some routine to it, so I can’t stop anymore.

So, this new workout had to be challenging and exciting but also not too hard at the same time, also not too time consuming. I’m easily on the verge of getting bored. So…

So, I remembered what William Regal once mentioned on his Twitter account about doing playing cards every day to stay fit even without being a professional sportsman any more. He explained it to someone asking and wondering about and it just sounded interesting.

My 12 cards exercise challenge from 11 June 2016, i.e. day one.
My 12 cards exercise challenge from 11 June 2016, i.e. day one.

I always liked the style of the German playing cards with its knights and medieval characters but you are free to use the French playing cards or other. The most important thing is that there are four suits / colours / types and every one of them stands for one exercise. Then, when you draw a card, the number of repetitions of an exercise depends on the value of the card. The German cards only start from 7, go up to 10 and then you’ve got the Under Knave (Unter), the Over Knave (Ober), the King (König) and finally the Ace (Ass). My chosen value for the high valued cards are 11 for the Unter, 12 for the Ober, 13 for the König and 15 for the Ass.


If you’d like to have a more likely probability to draw a low card for less exercises to make it easier at first, you can chose the French playing cards, since their numbers reach from 1 to 10.

If you’ve got your preferred deck of cards, you can chose your exercises. I went for:

  • Eichel = press-ups;
  • Blatt = crunches;
  • Herz = weight lift;
  • Schellen = weight press.

Since I’m only starting, I went for one dumbbell of 5 kilograms. So, for example I now draw one card of Schellen Ober, I have to weight press the dumbbell 12 times with every arm. Or when I draw one card of Eichel 10, I have to do ten press-ups.

For more excitement and suspense during the workout, shuffle the card deck, then place the pile of cards on their front and take the first card on the top and you’ve got your first or next exercise. Do this twelve times, take your needed time between two exercises (but not too long) and that’s it for the 12 Cards Exercise Challenge.

What follows here next is a little table of my adventure with it. Click the very date and you’ll get the twelve cards of this day. For my four exercises, I counted all repetitions together and the sum of the repetitions of the day are there. So, if you are into maths (like I am), this is also a great experiment if – in the end – all colours get an almost equal number.

Date Press-ups Crunches Weight lift Weight press Time
11 June 2016 45 44 26 26 36min
14 June 2016 45 11 30 45 22min
15 June 2016 53 31 16 21 19min
16 June 2016 20 32 15 54 19min
17 June 2016 29 33 27 43 24min
18 June 2016 25 31 20 53 17min

If you didn’t know already about the cards exercises but give it a try, I’d be interested what are your chosen exercises and how you like this way to train. And now, enjoy!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s