As most of our readers are aware, over the past few months I have done away with my regular gym routine and have been trying some home-based exercise routines. While my personal random mini-exercise program was fine for a while, it quickly became boring.
After a couple of weeks, walking water jug curls sort of lose their novelty.
Over a month ago one of our readers suggested I try FitDeck – a product that I had not heard of before.
Shortly after our exchange I received a box of various FitDecks in my mailbox. Over the past month I have been using the FitDecks exclusively, and now would like to share my experience with our readers.
First, we’ll start with a brief description of what a FitDeck is.
According to the website,
FitDeck is a unique deck of 56 playing cards containing illustrations and instructions describing over 50 different exercises, stretches, and movements.
And just to be clear – there are MANY different FitDecks to choose from. I got to try out the following:
– Bodyweight (the flagship FitDeck product)
– Navy seal
– Core Blast
– Speed, agility and quickness
There are any number of ways you can use the FitDecks, but I simply adapted the cards to my already established routine of doing a number of exercise breaks throughout the day. Each day, my goal was to do between 20-30 exercises, or cards, and always perform the Advanced (highest) number of repetitions.
While you don’t need any equipment to do 80% of the exercises, items such as a pull-up bar, a kettlebell (an obvious necessity for the Kettlebell FitDeck), a skipping rope, an exercise mat, a step, and a stop watch will certainly come handy. Of course you can get creative like I did, and again use water jugs as kettlebells, for example.
I found the cards to provide quite a bit of variety, and I was pleasantly surprised by some exercises I have never come across before. Out of all the exercises I went through, handstand pushups were the only ones I could not master – my balance once upside down is non-existent.
Of the specific FitDecks I used I really enjoyed the CrossFit, the Navy Seal, and the Body Weight versions. Of those three, the BodyWeight definitely provides the best bang for your buck as it comes with the most cards, therefore the greatest number and variety of exercises.
Very broadly, the cards contain everything from aerobic type exercises (burpes, double-unders, jumping jacks, bear crawl), upper body exercises (wide variety of pull ups, push ups), lower body exercise (lots of lunges and squats), to core exercises (lots of very good abdominal exercises), plyometrics (lots of jumping), and agility work.
Here’s my breakdown of the Good and Bad of the FitDecks.
The cards certainly add much needed variety to a home based workout, and work very well as a temporary replacement for your regular gym routine.
The cards are well designed and include clear instructions.
Due to their limited size, they would be a great travel accessory. You could skip on paying to use the hotel’s gym and have a decent workout in your room.
While many of the exercises would be quite challenging for beginners, the cards include both low repetitions as well as alternative (easier) ways to perform some of the exercises.
These would be much more convenient as an app for mobile devices, than in card deck format. Although from what I understand a downloadable version will soon be launched (if it hasn’t already).
For me personally, with the exception of a few (damn you hand stand pushups!), many of the exercises became quite easy with time. I realize that I could have done a number of things, like doubling up on the reps, or doing the movements slower, or faster, etc to increase the difficulty.
Also, I found that for many of the exercises the resistance of my own body weight was simply not enough – since I don’t weigh that much, doing 20 squats with no barbell and weights is pretty insignificant.
And finally, some of the exercises became a bit too repetitive. For example, the Navy Seal FitDeck is pull-up overkill (widegrip, narrow, chin ups, negatives, etc).
The FitDeck is a great supplement to a current exercise program for those who are currently active, and could work as a nice transition towards more intense exercise among beginners. I will certainly continue to use the decks – particularly when travelling or when not in the mood to go to the gym.
Have you tried the FitDecks before? What did you think?
Have a wonderful weekend!
Disclosure: I am making absolutely no commission on the sales of this product. I am very grateful to Phil Black for letting me try the FitDeck and I wish his company success.