If the up-and-coming bathing suit season isn’t enough motivation to hit the gym, the new Gym-Pact app may be able to help. Using money as an incentive for working out, Gym-Pact offers a creative and effective way to help users get in shape.
Users commit to working out a set number of days per week, agreeing to pay a certain amount of money for every workout they skip. Gym-Pact users also receive monetary rewards for each completed workout.
“I could see the Gym-Pact app becoming very successful in the future and possibly become an extremely effective means of motivation for working out,” said Justin Martinez, an employee for Fitness First gym.
According to a January 2011 Boston Globe article, the founders of Gym-Pact feel strongly that people are more motivated by immediate consequences than future repercussions. The prospect of losing money serves as a true consequence for not following through on one’s workout commitment.
The concept arose from co-founder and CEO Yigan Zhang’s behavioral economics class at Harvard. In traditional gym memberships, missing a few workouts is not very costly. However, Gym-Pact users actually might feel the pain of not going.
“I would be more motivated to go to the gym if I knew that I would actually be losing money if I didn’t go,” junior Jared Liss said. “You don’t feel like you’re really losing money with normal gym memberships because you have already paid.”
According to a Jan. 2 New York Times article, users are charged a minimum of $5 every time they miss the gym. This money is then pooled and divvied up to those who stick to their workout regimes.
In some instances, people need to prioritize and not go to the gym. Fortunately, Gym-Pact has a policy set in place for life’s unpredictable events.
“I want to get Gym-Pact, but I worry that if I have a ton of homework one night and can’t make it to the gym I will be out of luck,” freshman Isabel Mangan said.
According to the Times article, you can change, freeze or cancel your agreement up until midnight on Sundays. After that time, you need a legitimate doctor’s note explaining the illness.
According to a Jan. 1 Mashable article, a social media and technology web blog, it is possible that Gym-Pact will soon work with other fitness tracking apps such as RunKeeper, which provides personalized fitness information and records outdoor workouts.
“I have the RunKeeper app and use it all the time,” sophomore Rachel Glick said. “It gets me excited to workout, so I am considering getting Gym-Pact as well.”
So far, Gym-Pact has shown to be very effective. According to the Times article, on average Gym-Pact users make it to the gym 90 percent of the days they commit to, and most users commit to three days per week.
“Gym-Pact is a creative and innovative new product that will be very successful in the near future,” Liss said.