"When in doubt, work-out" -Gazelle

I get it, I get it,  "New year, new you, new me" blah blah blah. Some people use the first of the year as an excuse to start over again, and that's fine! Look, I'll even help you break through that first wall with a fun little game called... "52 Card Bulk-Up".

Let me first begin by stating that this workout is not for the faint of heart. As a matter of fact, consider it more of a challenge. I created this work-out in my dorm room in college back in 2007 and it's been a way of life ever since. Plain and simple, the more you work at this challenge the better and stronger you'll get. Here's what you'll need:

-Deck of playing cards (52-count)



-Incline Pushup/Tricep Extention Bar

Basically, the most important item is the deck of cards.


If you don't have any dumbells, find something heavy you can curl or simply grab a towel and pull tight (creating friction in between arms as you curl up and down). If you don't a Push-up/Tricep extension bar, no problem... Simply do wide arm pushups and diamond pushups to substitute for the Tricep regiment of the workout. There are 18 sets to this game total, each set is 3 cards each for the three workouts described above. Are you ready? Here's how the "Challenge" works:


  1. Shuffle cards well (your shuffle = your fate).
  2. The number on each card = the number of reps for the designated workout that you're on. Face Cards such as "J" =11, "Q" =12, "K" =13 and "A" = 1 Slow Rep (As slow as you can, down and up at an 8-second count each way) + 1 Regular rep.
  3. Turn over the first card, the number or face value is for your Tricep-extension, the second card is your push-up and the third card is your bicep curl.
  4. Once you've completed all three exercises, you have completed one set of 18.
  5. Continue with as much rest as you need in between. Remember, it's a challenge, not a race.
  6. Once you get to the end, you'll notice there's one card remaining. I call that the bonus card. Whatever number or face value is on that card, you must do the same number to all three exercises.
  7. Once you run out of cards, the game is complete.
  8. Keep your cards in order so that you can count how many reps you did for each and keep track of time to try and beat your personal record for next time. Each workout will have different end results in reps, it's just a matter of how you shuffle the deck. Below is an example of my personal workout to show an example:

Gazelle's 52 Card Completion- January 20th, 2017 (45 Minutes)

Tricep Dips = 102 Reps Total

Wide Grip Push-ups = 159 Reps Total

Bicep Dumbell Curls (Each Arm) = 115 Reps Total

That's pretty much how it works, but please keep in mind that even if you don't complete the entire deck the first time, keep working at it until you reach a set goal.

Best of luck, now go get #Swole!

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