February 9, 2012
We’re only six weeks into 2012 and the number of people who flooded gyms around the country to start the new year has already dwindled. It’s no surprise that resolutions simply aren’t enough to keep many people motivated. That’s the idea at the heart of a clever new mobile app that ups the stakes for people who need an extra push. Gym-Pact lets you set your goals for getting to the gym along with a dollar value you’re willing to lose each time you get lazy and miss a scheduled day.
Every time you break your pact, your credit card is charged. The interesting twist: the money people lose each week is split up among all the people keeping up with their workouts (minus the small percentage Gym-Pact takes). The creators based it on a Harvard behavioral economics class, and a pilot launch in Boston had a 90 percent success rate at getting people to the gym when they committed.
The pact is serious — there’s no honor system involved. You must check in for at least 30 minutes at a qualified gym using your GPS-enabled mobile device. And, you need to submit a note from a doctor to receive an excused absence.
It’s an interesting concept and I’m all for getting people to stick to their routine. As Gym-Pact continues to evolve, here are a few things they should consider:
Head-to Head Settings — Create an opportunity to challenge a friend. You each put up the same stakes and money goes directly to the person who works out more frequently
Group Settings — Small groups of friends or coworkers could use the app for Biggest Loser-type competitions if the money could be redistributed within that group
Charity Option — Allow participants to designate a charity their money will go to instead of other users
Gym-Pact reports that it signed up 2,300 users on its Jan. 1 launch date and has been steadily gaining members ever since. If you’re someone who never misses a scheduled day at the gym, sign up help subsidize your membership fees. And, I you need a little nudge to get you on the treadmill, maybe putting a little dough on the line will do the trick.
February 14, 2012