App of the Week #2: GymPact

Developer: GymPact (http://www.gym-pact.com)

Platform: Apple iOS (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/gympact-money-as-motivator/id456068701?mt=8) / Coming soon to Google Android

Price: Free

I’m back guys! Sorry for the month-long layoff. I’ve been plenty busy including my 5k training with my 5k Runner app and I reaped its benefits from a 5k 2 weeks ago:

At the Tri-State Classic in Port Jervis, NY, I placed first in the category of age 20-29 males and thus got a gold medal. The app won’t make you an Usain Bolt but you’ll feel like him after crossing the finish line. Speaking of gold, what if I say that you can actually gain money just by working out. It’s not a chance to be in a fitness commerical but it’s rather an app called GymPact.

What is it and how does it work?

GymPact is a timer app for people who want to make extra money and motivate oneself to go to the gym. The app can be only used in the gym and recently (synced with the RunKeeper app) for your daily runs. The basic idea of this app is placing a monetary bet per week and achieve the bet by working out your choice amount of days, thus the ‘Pact’ in the name. The amount of cash you place on the line is at least $5.00 and is linked through your credit card or PayPal account. It’s up to you on the number of days you bet on working out, whether it’s one or all seven days of the week. The use of the app is simple after it is downloaded. After setting up an account, a stopwatch is shown on the app’s homepage. Every time you’re ready to workout at your local gym, press the ‘Check In’ button and GymPact will show a list of gyms in the vicinity based on GPS. Pick the gym you’re at or add one if it’s not on the list and hit the weights for at least 30 minutes. When you complete your workout, you hit the ‘Check Out’ button to end your session that day (or let the app do it automatically when you exit the gym) and you can also tweet and facebook out the status of your workout. There are consequences when it comes to achieving or failing your weekly bet. If you complete the pact you set for the week, you get notified that you earned money that week, averaging $0.30 to $2.00 a week. The money that you earn actually comes from people who failed to achieve their own pacts. If you fail your pact for the week, the amount of money you placed on the line that week is withdrawn from your account and goes into a monetary pool that is split to users who have made their pact. In order not to cheat the system, you can only update your pact for the following week during the current week so pacts do not get changed mid-week. Learn more details of the app by visiting its website and its iTunes page.

Personal Review

I have used this app since its inception in January and initially set a pact of $5 for 3 workout sessions in a week. What got me hooked to use this app is the basic concept of making some side cash for something I do a couple of times a week. When I started using it, I love it’s simplicity of being a timer/gps app as well as its friendly appearance in characters’ design and a orange/blue theme.

My drawbacks with GymPact is because it’s a simple app, it can be a forgettable one. As time went by using this app, there were times I simply forgot to open up the app and check-in. If I did remember, it was mostly during the middle or towards the end of my workouts. I know I should blame more on my short-term memory but I still wish GymPact would remind you to check-in based what gym you’re located in. Since this app is relatively new and produced by a new startup, there will always be some internal bugs in the app. I’ve had instances where the app couldn’t find my location, couldn’t register a check-in or deceiving me  that I accomplished a pact when in fact I still have one more day left. All these problems have cost me a couple of $5s and forced me to change my pact to one day just so I don’t face future problems of missing a day.

An interesting point with this GPS/timer app is that because it only monitors time and not your workout routine, it could be used even if you’re not working out. Let’s say your at a shopping center where a gym is located. If the app is close enough to detect that gym, you could check in and go on with your shopping routine. It’s a blessing and a curse because you could be making cash for free but you can lose focus on the goal of the app which is to get you into the gym and make your body healthier.

Rating: 3.5/5

Overall, GymPact is an app that motivates you to workout in a gym by putting money in the line and rewards by not taking away anything from your wallet plus giving you an extra cash bonus.  While there are still internal bugs you might encounter, they don’t overshadow the fact that this app brings a great idea on getting people to the gym.  Apple users can download it straight from the iTunes app store while Android users will have to wait for its debut in the Google Play market.  What do you think about it? Do you have apps or any technologies that motivate you? Let us know in the comments below.

Look out for next week’s post and with that, I leave you with a Song of the Week (Shaggy – BoomBastic), a 1995 classic.

Song of the Week

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