WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards Make Workouts Simple

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards Make Workouts Simple

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards

WorkoutLabs compensated me for the time it took me to test their product, write about it, and share it on this blog. Compensation I receive from any company is not compensation for my good opinion. Consider this an advertorial where I have complete editorial control.

I travel a lot. And while I do my best to squeeze in runs wherever I go, sometimes I’m traveling in an area or at a time when I don’t feel safe running alone; can’t stomach the tiny, windowless gym in the hotel basement; or might not have access to a gym at all.

I’m also a fan of calisthenic workouts. I’ll often roll-out my mat in front of the TV to squeeze in 30 minutes of exercises while I watch an old Friends or Seinfeld episode. But my rotation of exercises often gets stale, and I’m constantly losing the pages of exercises I’ve clipped from magazines over the years.

Enter WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards.

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards Make Workouts Simple

Deck contents

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards: The Basics

The concept is simple—a deck of cards, the size and shape of playing cards, depict an exercise or stretch per card. Each deck has 40 exercises that don’t require any equipment, nine stretches and five workouts plus a stretching routine. A blank exercise card and workout card are also included, so you can create your own favorite routine among the included exercises or add an exercise of your own.

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards Make Workouts Simple

Exercise illustrations

Every exercise or stretch is numbered with an illustration and description. Each also tells you what area of the body the move targets.

Decks come in men’s and women’s versions with male and female illustrations, respectively. Each deck also has one gender-specific workout of the six included workouts. Otherwise, the decks contain identical cards and exercises. The cards are indeed waterproof and tear proof as claimed. I dunked them in the pool and tried to rip them without success.

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards Make Workouts Simple

A sample workout

Workouts give you a sequence of exercises, total time the workout takes, and a suggested duration plus rest time for the circuit. The card will also tell you what areas the workout targets and how often to repeat the workout.

The Full Body Blaster, for example, is a 17-minute circuit that targets every major muscle group through 11 exercises. The suggested duration is 30 seconds on with 10 seconds rest, repeating the circuit twice. And that’s just a jumping off point. Every workout card tells you: “Increase difficulty by increasing exercise duration, reducing rest time and repeating the circuit additional times.”

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards Make Workouts Simple

Ready to workout with my deck. (

My Experience

I brought the cards with me on my latest trips to Italy and Long Island to test them out. After 17-minutes of the Full Body Blaster, my whole body was definitely blasted. My husband, Phil, did the workout with me and we were both sweating, grunting and groaning by the time we finished our last set of burpees, the penultimate exercise in the workout. We used a simple timer function on my watch to time our repeats. WorkoutLabs also has a Repeat Timer Pro iOS app, where you can set up an interval timer and number of repeats for any workout.

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards Make Workouts Simple

Exercise sequence in a workout

Downsides? I know lots of folks who use a variety of 7-minute workout-style apps that do much the same thing as the cards, leading participants seamlessly through exercises in a workout.

Certainly, that might be easier than shuffling through the deck of 40 exercise cards to pull out numbers 3, 28, 34, 9, 32, 35, 11, 23, 14, 5, and 40 to organize and order them so that you can manually flip through them. That’s the sequence for the Full Body Blaster. No doubt, it took some time to find each card and order them. Then I had to repeat the process for the Six Pack Abs Core Strength Workout, which I tacked on afterward. This is an analog product in a digital world.

But call me old-fashioned. I don’t have a single workout app on my phone, and, as I mentioned, I still clip exercises from magazines. So the cards suit me better than an app. Case in point: I chose not to download WorkoutLabs companion app. Plus, I did some of my workouts outside in the full sun, where I can’t read the screen on my phone, anyway. Another win for the cards.

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards Make Workouts Simple

Shuffle the deck for a variety of workouts.

The only other downside? Wind. While exercising outside, my cards got blown around and I had to eventually anchor them in the grass with a bottle of sunscreen, lest they all blow away with one mighty gust. But that’s a specific problem for a specific day.

For me, the Exercise Cards are great for using just about anywhere—my living room (where I do most of my calisthenic workouts), hotel room, pool side, in a park, on the beach or even at the gym. Those are all places I’ve been known to drop and eke out a few push-ups.

The cards also allow for great flexibility. You don’t have to follow the six set workouts. Shuffle the pack just like a deck of cards and do whatever sequence of exercises comes out on top, make up your own workout, or play 52 Pickup—throw ’em down and do each exercise as you pick up the card. It’s a great way to make sure your workouts don’t get stale.

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards Makes Workouts Simple

My weekend bag (

The Takeaway

WorkoutLabs Exercise Cards have earned a permanent home in my workout rotation—both at home and on the road. I’ll be heading to the beach this weekend, and they’re already packed in my bag next to my bathing suit and sneakers.

WorkoutLabs Exercsie cards retail for $24.95. If you’re interested in buying a pack, use promo code KARLARUN for $3 off. I don’t get compensated in any way.

For more information or to buy visit

WorkoutLabs compensated me for the time it took me to test their product, write about it, and share it on this blog. Compensation I receive from any company is not compensation for my good opinion. I really say what I think. For more information, read my Disclosure Policy.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.

16 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    This is genius. As someone who sticks with basic body weight exercises and really does NOT want to do much research to change that, I like the idea of these little cards telling me what to do and giving me some variety!
    Lauren @ Lauren’s Glass Slipper recently posted..Race Day Man CrateMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      I just did a workout yesterday: shuffled the deck and pulled out 15 exercises. There were some I’ve never done before!

  2. 3

    These look very cool and doable. I can’t afford them right now :( but will put them on a wish list (unless of course they see these and want to send me a set then I would gladly take them LOL :) )
    Tami Grandi recently posted..Sunday Inspiration- TryMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      These are perfect for Christmas, Birthday or any other wish list!

  3. 5

    I’m definitely interested in these. When I was on my cruise, I was doing the Travel WODs that my CrossFit box had, but I could definitely do with some more options.

    I hate burpees. Just saying. Hate. Them.
    Kellie recently posted..Happy Friday!My Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      It’s really nice having a stack exercises you can do anywhere. Just did another workout with them yesterday while away for the weekend!

  4. 7

    Hey Karla, totally off topic but wanted to let you know I had a great time at the Philly Midnight Madness run! So glad I won the entry :) Thanks!
    Kristi recently posted..The 20 Minute ChallengeMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Yay! Can’t wait to read about it :)

  5. 9

    These are really cool. I am terrible at doing bodyweight exercises and stuff mostly because I hate thinking up what the heck to do!
    Danielle recently posted..Weekly Training RecapMy Profile

    • Karla Bruning

      Me too! That’s why I’m a magazine clipper and now Exercise Card devotee.

  6. 11

    I can never think of what exercises to do and end up doing the same ones over. I think these cards are a great idea! And very transportable!
    Emily recently posted..2014 Biggest Loser 10KMy Profile

  7. 13

    These are great! My favourite “anywhere” workout (besides running) is my deck of cards workout! Simply pick an exercise for each suit and then do the amount of reps for the number on the card and Aces are a one minute (water) break! You can do it twice and mix up the exercises. I always carry a deck of cards with me now. :)
    Kaella (KaellaOnTheRun) recently posted..Vega Sport Endurance Gel ReviewMy Profile

  8. 15

    Looks like a good workout guide – especially on the road. I always take my workout clothes with me when traveling. Nice to have options.
    BTW, if I compensated you to write about me, can I have control over your opinions? 😉
    Scott Evans recently posted..The 9 Mile Lake Loop Run & Taco RewardMy Profile


  1. My Favorite Running Gear of 2014: Clothes, Tech, Shoes + More | Run, Karla, Run! 22 12 14