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FitDeckFitDeck creator Phil Black hopes an investment is in the cards in Shark Tank episode 518 on January 24. Black is a a modern renaissance man: he’s a Harvard Business School grad and Navy Seal who also happens to be a father of four, an investment banker, personal trainer, firefighter, motivational speaker, AND entrepreneur.

Phil’s fitness product, called FitDeck, is a set of playing cards that have exercises on them. By shuffling the cards, you get a varied workout every time. There are over 40 different FitDeck card sets that feature training exercises and nutritional tips for different sports, activities, and lifestyles. He’ll even make custom decks for corporations, gifts, specialty wellness programs, and sports teams.

Phil founded the company back in 2004 and he sells FitDeck on his website and on Amazon. He’s likely looking for a Shark to help him with developing the FitDeck app.

FitDeck Shark Tank Recap

Phil comes to the Sharks looking for $300,000 in return for 20% of FitDeck. He brings his fitness playing cards to the Shark Tank, explaining that each card represents an exercise, and includes illustrations and instructions. Each deck is themed, including things like Cross Training and Yoga. The cards sell for $14.95 on the website, and cost around $4.95 to make.

Phil impresses the Sharks when he reveals that he’s sold 500,000 units thus far, until he mentions that his sales are spread over 7 years. In the past year his sales were $640,000, but he broke even. Previously, sales have averaged around $700,000, and profits have averaged around $120,000.

Robert Herjavec wants to know where the money’s going. Phil explains that the profits have been reinvested into research and development, and creating videos to support the products. He wants to use the investment to further develop the app, which is currently selling about 1,000 downloads a month at $9.99.

Mark Cuban calls mobile apps “the most brutal business in the world.” He just doesn’t see it as being “an equitable outcome.” He’s out.

Kevin O’Leary doesn’t buy into the company valuation, but Phil responds that he’s built a brand. As a former Navy Seal, he’s got the background story to bring the FitDeck to the market.

Daymond John isn’t buying into the dream. He believes the app is too risky. He’s out.

Robert Herjavec feels that the lack of profit is a serious problem, and that there’s a problem with the model. He’s out.

Lori Greiner likes the cards, and loves Phil’s passion, but she thinks it’s hard to create a niche in the digital market. She’s out.

Kevin O’Leary tells Phil that his “resume is very impressive,” but he isn’t buying into the cards. The final Shark is out, and Phil leaves the Tank without a deal.

FitDeck Shark Tank Update

Although the FitDeck sales were impressive, they couldn’t overcome the lack of profitability of the company. With the numbers where they were, Phil should have been turning a healthy profit. Instead, he was reinvesting the money in hopes of creating a successful app. In a very tight digital market already flooded with exercise and fitness apps, his chances of success are shaky at best.

The FitDeck continues to sell through the website, and through online retailers like Amazon. Phil even created a “Shark Tank Bundle”, a three-deck package that retails for $39.95, taking advantage of the hype from Shark Tank. Whether this entrepreneur’s card-based fitness program will stay afloat seems doubtful, but Navy Seals are known for their ingenuity, so there’s no writing off FitDeck just yet.

FitDeck was acquired in 2014 by Implus, a manufacturer of footwear, outdoor and fitness accessories. Phil Black moved on to start PrepWell Academy which appeared in Shark Tank episode 1119 in season 11.

Posts About FitDeck on Shark Tank Blog

Exercise Playing Cards

FitDeck Information

Get a FitDeck





  1. I saw you on shark tank and would like to share an idea with you. Please email me at [email protected].


  2. Adora Infantino says

    Listening to this guy on Shark Tank last night I felt like I was exercising just listening to him! He did not need to pitch all the details about his schooling & other activities. Shark Tank investors want to know about sales figures & how they can recoup their investments. Shark Tank people were impressed with his credentials, but it’s numbers that impress them not how many degrees or badges a person has. I’m afraid to ask what other pursuits he is following. Too much overload.

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