So, I’m a little obsessive about exercise. It makes me look and feel way better than I would without it. It gives me the ability to challenge myself with goals and discover myself through accomplishments. It’s made me many friends, who are just as passionate about the physical and psychological benefits exercise bestows on those of us lucky to be caught in its grip.
Which brings me to this, somewhat controversial point: It might be so that, when it comes to exercise, you either wanna do it or you don’t.
People will indulge in a lot of quick fixes to get their butts to the gym, but a lot of those don’t pan out, simply because they aren’t properly motivated in the first place. Right? Even the most expensive personal trainers get stood up.
For years, I’ve been running/racing with a fantastic app called RunKeeper, which GPS-maps all my runs, times my splits, and gently interrupts my music to tell me my pace whenever I want to hear it. RunKeeper is motivating because it gives me solid data about my workouts that I can use to measure and track improvement. When I heard RunKeeper was teaming up with GymPact, a motivational fitness app that pays you to work out, I was pretty stoked. I thought, “How amazing! I can get paid to do what I already do!”
Here is how GymPact works:
You have two workout options:
1. Sync GymPact with your RunKeeper, and take it for at least a 30 minute run/walk/bike however many time you pledge to a week.
2. Set your gym’s location in GymPact, check-in to the gym each time you visit, and spend thirty minutes on-site (presumably working out) as many times a week as you say you will.
Before you sign up to collect your money, you have to create an account and submit your credit card information. Then you set your goals and your stakes. For example, you could promise to workout three days a week, at the penalty of five dollars if you miss a workout. At the end of the week, all the people who miss a workout (or more – if you set five dollars as your “punishment” you’ll pay it each time you skip a workout) will have to pay up, and the winnings get split up amongst the people who kept their workout promises. If you’re one of the winners, you’ll earn around fifty cents a workout, which would add up to a pay out of about $2.50 a week for someone like me.
That is awesome, right? I could earn well over $100 a year, literally just for doing what I love. Gympact could pay for a new pair of running shoes, or even my gym membership, so the whole thing is a rather brilliant investment in my fitness.
But here’s what I know about at least my own psychology: When my heart’s not in something, I cheat. There are two major downfalls to GymPact as I see it now:
1) Just because you check into your gym, doesn’t mean that you’re going to workout (in any meaningful way).
2) Just because you bet money, doesn’t mean it’s enough to make you care. (Because your gym membership costs a lot of money too and, if that doesn’t motivate you already, clearly money isn’t the right carrot (or cookie) to be dangling in front of your nose.)
Gympact alone probably won’t be the miracle training tool that shaves a minute off your 5K or 5 pounds off your butt. And, if you haven’t been motivated to go to the gym already, it might not make a dent in your mindset either.
I know, I know, it’s the fallen exercisers that fill the GymPact money pot at the end of the week! I don’t think most of them are going anywhere. But, if you’re on a budget and you really don’t like exercise, this probably isn’t the app for you (because the only thing more depressing than falling short of an exercise goal is going flat broke over it).
If you like exercise though, this is totally for you! And it will be an incentive. Because everybody, even marathoners, get lazy.
Have you worked out with GymPact? How much money are you raking in (or shelling out)? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!