What if it cost you $5 every time you missed the gym? Do you think you’d be more likely to go? That’s what happens when you break your pact with the new GymPact iphone app.
Two Harvard grads recently introduced a service called Gym-Pact.com based on that premise. They contend that the sting of losing money for missing a visit and the promise of collecting money for going is enough to keep you on the treadmill.
So how does it all work? For starters, you need to have an iPhone to use the service, though it will soon be available on Android and HTML5 devices.
When you sign up, you’ll need to decide how many days a week you want to go the gym, along with what sort of penalty you’ll be slapped with if you’re too lazy to get there. You need to commit to at least one day a week for 30 minutes, with a minimum penalty of $5 for every missed visit. Gym-Pact’s average user commits to three days a week.
How does it know if you show up? Given that your smart phone knows where you are at all times, it’s also able to track if you’ve hit the gym. Gym-Pact has more than 40,000 gyms in its database — or more than 70 percent of gyms — and you can easily add your own (as long as it’s not a workout room in, say, your basement – trust me, I tried). Or, if you aren’t the gym sort, you can connect the app to your RunKeeper account and any GPS based workout you do using the RunKeeper app, be it walking, running or cycling, will count towards your gympact workouts.
If you fail to get to the gym altogether, the credit card that the company keeps on file will be charged $5 per visit (or more, if you raised the stakes above the minimum).
But if you do satisfy your agreement, you will be rewarded with cash, which comes from lazier peers who did not meet their commitments. The money is funneled into a PayPal account, and you can withdraw your winnings once they reach $10 (the company deducts a $1 fee every time you pull money out, though they may eventually charge a percentage of your earnings).
I downloaded the app yesterday based on a referral from my friend, Emma. As you know from my recent Motivation Monday posts, I’ve been struggling to get back into a routine – some weeks are great, and some are complete misses. Being as cheap as I am (the birds sing songs about me, “cheap, cheap, cheap”) I’m sure that knowing I’ll be dinged $5 for every missed workout during a week will really help to get me back into routine.
And right now the app/site has a special promotion: Refer your friends to GymPact and if they sign up for GymPact with your referral code, you guys will both get an extra $5 in rewards after their first workout!
My code is: gripJanic