September 19, 2013 – For fitness enthusiast Michael Volkin, 9/11 was a life changing event. He joined the Army only a few days after September 11, 2001. Once he graduated basic training, he found himself deployed to Iraq. But Sergeant Volkin had an interesting job. Among his other duties as a Chemical Operations Sergeant, he was the company fitness trainer. He found himself having to lead soldiers through fitness regimens with little to no training equipment available. So Sergeant Volkin quickly became an expert with bodyweight exercises.
Fast forward a few years and Sergeant Volkin’s mother was diagnosed with cancer. “I was living in California and she was in Texas. I just thought, what could I do to help her halfway across the country? “said Sergeant Volkin. “But then I got an idea, I started designing bodyweight exercises I learned in the military on playing cards.” The creation of 5 cards he made for his mother eventually grew to 114 bodyweight exercise cards he now calls Strength Stack 52. He is launching his product on Kickstarter with a compelling video explaining the story behind his bodyweight fitness cards.
“My mom loved these cards.” said Sergeant Volkin “I knew they were portable enough for her to take anywhere, and the exercises required no equipment so she could grab a workout wherever she was, in the hospital, at home, wherever. Her energy level went up and she asked me to make more.”
The fitness cards aim to add an entertaining component to a workout routine by making fitness fun. “Creating a gaming environment around exercising brings out a competitive side in people.” says Sergeant Volkin. All the cards are labeled by skill level; they’re all suited for playing games and numbered in order of difficulty. They’re even color coded by body type, so for example, if you want just a leg workout, you can pull out just the yellow cards. Probably the best feature is the QR code.
When the QR code is scanned with a Smartphone (yes, there are many free apps for this), a video of the exercise on that card plays. So with a full deck you can now turn a classic game of war into a fitness challenge, or bring the cards to work and play the coworker drop.
These fitness cards are getting big attention. They were recently featured on NBC’s the Today’s Show showcased by the senior fitness editor of Women’s Health Magazine. The cards have been completely redesigned since that segment aired too.
“This product was created completely by accident.” says Sergeant Volkin. “It was intended just for my mother, but then I realized the diverse demographic of people who could benefit from them. The busy person that has no time for the gym, or those that go to the gym and want to add variety to their workouts; Military personnel, crossfitters, families can play fitness games with each other, people who want to start working out, or even the advanced exercise enthusiast who wants to break through plateaus.”
You can check out Sergeant Volkin’s Kickstarter campaign between September 19th and October 18th.