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“Deck of Death”

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Benchmark WOD

41.5K 940
  • Complete the Deck For Time
  • Draw cards from a standard 52-card deck plus 2 Jokers. Each card drawn determines which exercise to do and the number of reps.
  • Suit determines the exercise:
  • Hearts = Push-Ups
  • Diamonds = Sit-Ups
  • Clubs = Air Squats
  • Spades = Box jumps (24/20 in)
  • Card value determines the number of reps (face cards = 10, Aces = 11).
  • Jokers = 15 Burpees

Before the clock starts pick the first card from the deck to determine what exercise to do and how many reps. Card value = number of reps (face cards = 10, Aces = 11).

Don’t have a deck of cards handy? Check out the ‘Deck of Cards’ app (iOS)‘.

Score is the time it takes to complete the work dictated by all 54 cards.

Tips and Strategy

To minimize transition times and keep moving you may pick all cards in advance to determine the whole workout or have someone else choose the cards one-at-a-time before you’re ready for the next movement.

Alternative Versions

The movements above are one example but any five movements (and any equipment – or no equipment) may be used. To design your own version of the workout, select five movements that correspond to each of the four suits (Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades) plus Jokers in a standard 52-card deck of playing cards. Jokers are typically a longer movement or higher-rep movement.

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Background: The original source of this workout, also known as "Deck of Cards," is unknown but the oldest mention we found by a CrossFit affiliate was from November 27, 2008 by CrossFit Portland (Portland, OR) - who said they actually borrowed the workout from CrossFit South West (East Bunbury, AUS).

The movements in the example shown above are from CrossFit Intensify (circa 2012) but any five movements may be used. Select five movements that correspond to each of the four suits (Clubs, Diamonds, Hearts, Spades) plus Jokers in a standard 52-card deck of playing cards. Jokers are typically a longer movement or higher-rep movement. CrossFit Intensify originally made Aces = 15 reps but usually Aces are 11 reps, which is the standard we used here.

See also: "Deck of Fitness" (a no-equipment version of the workout that circulated in 2020)
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