One of the things many people face challenges with is staying motivated to exercise. Too many routines are exactly that: ROUTINE. People get bored. They get in good enough shape that what they're doing is no longer a challenge. Keeping things fresh can help maintain motivation and interest. Enter the FitDeck products. Essentially a set of "playing cards", FitDeck offers an easy way of keeping your exercise routine continually changing and challenging. Their expansion specialty packs help you tailor your workouts more to your own needs.
The most basic FitDeck program is the FitDeck Bodyweight set. The set contains 50 exercise playing cards and six cards I refer to as support cards. The support cards contain all of the usual warnings about checking with your doctor before starting an exercise program (especially if you're over 35 according to the cards), information on the FitDeck philosophy, how to use the exercise cards, categories, warming up, stretching, and cooling down. The FitDeck philosophy is worth understanding if you're going to use the cards, so let's review it real quick:
Simple: FitDeck cards demonstrate hundreds of exercises, stretches, and movements in a user-friendly format. Clear illustrations and concise instructions eliminate non-essential information.
Convenient: Choose a FitDeck that suits your specific needs, fitness level, and lifestyle - no equipment, with equipment, or a combination.
Fun: Shuffle cards to create thousands of routines with unexpected combinations, sequences, and intensity levels.
Of course, me being the cynical retired cop that I am, when I first read that I thought, sales hype. But because I had been asked to do a review of the product line (good or bad) I had to look into it a bit more. In this case, education is a good thing. Just using that one deck of cards which has four different bodyweight categories (upper body, middle body, lower body, full body) can give you a pretty good workout with variety available and unpredictably changing every day. Remembering how many times I'd hear the term "daily dozen" while I was in the service, I figured I'd spend a week just doing a dozen exercises each day as directed by the cards. So, each day I took the 50 exercise cards, shuffled them and then took the top 12 cards to use as my workout.
My normal stretching routine also serves as my warm-up, so with that complete I started in on the FitDeck dozen cards I had. My exercises were:
- Reach Ups: think inverted toe touches you do laying on your back.
- Fire Hydrants: yep - I looked like a dog lifting my leg to pee on a hydrant.
- SKIP NEXT CARD - these are wild cards that unexpectedly mix up your program.
- (card skipped was lunges)
- 30-second water break (I didn't feel I needed this yet but took it as directed)
- Arm Rotations: specifically above my head
- Chase the Rabbits: I always called these mountain-climbers.
- Superman: laying on your belly you extend one arm and put the other at your side; lift and lower them both rapidly. Switch.
- Push-Ups: anyone not know what these are?
- The Bridge: used to be called "toes and 'bows" when I wrestled in high school 'cause that's all that touches the ground.
- Swimmers: laying on your belly extend arms; lift opposite arm and leg together off ground 6". alternate sides, repeat.
- Reach throughs: like situps but your reaching for your toes through your knees each time.
In that workout set I had three middle body cards, two full body cards, three upper body cards and two lower body cards. I also had the one wild card and one water break card. As you can see from the sample card shown above, each card is color coded. Lower body cards are orange. Middle body cards are green. Upper body cards are blue. Full body cards are red.
Each card has pictures that show how the exercise should be performed with simple bulleted written directions to accompany the images. If you look to the upper right corner you'll also see that the recommended number of repetitions based on fitness level: Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced. The Wild Cards in the deck include: