Fitness And Finance – My GymPact

I’ve written a little on the blog about how important we think it is to invest in our health. We want to make sure that we stay healthy for one another as long as possible, so a big part of our health investments are in fitness. What are some of the costs for fitness?

Altogether, that’s almost $1,200/year. Definitely a non-trivial expense. But what if I told you that you could earn money by keeping fit as well?

 

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My GymPact progress

Earn Money?

I’m not talking about future savings from the health benefits, I’m talking about money today. For going to the gym. For going for a run. For sticking to your goals. Enter Gympact into the equation. (For the record, this is absolutely not a sponsored post, and since the friend referral code has my name in it, I can’t even get $5 for referring anyone. So this is a totally unbiased review.)

 

What’s GymPact?

GymPact is a smartphone app that lets you earn financial incentives by sticking to your fitness goals. But it also can cost you money if you fall down on your fitness goals. The basic idea goes like this:

  • You make a pact to work out a certain number of days that week and then check in on your smart phone (or iPod touch) each time you work out.
  • Backing up your pact is a dollar amount ($5 is the minimum stake) that you agree to let GymPact charge your credit card for each missed work out that week.
  • If you meet your workout goal (ie. complete your pact), rather than being charged, GymPact divides up most of the money from users who were charged (they keep some for corporate overhead), and gives you a share according to the number of days you committed to.

If that’s not clear, check out this super-corny video from the GymPact folks that explains the basic concept.

In short, you’re putting your money on the line as an additional motivator to stick to fitness goals. If you’re so frugal that someone is going to have trouble prying a dollar from your cold dead hands, but having trouble sticking to a fitness routine, this may be just the ticket.

 

My GymPact Experience So Far

I started using GymPact about 8 weeks ago on my iPhone. My pact is currently at $5 days/week, $5 per workout. For me, leaving a couple of days for rest or the possibility of forgetting to check in is important. I’d rather miss out on a little bit of upside, but never get charged than the other way around. In these 8 weeks so far, I have never been charged for an incomplete pact, and have earned about $20. Just to test it, I withdrew my rewards, and they were deposited into my Paypal account within a few hours of requesting my money.

So far I’ve noticed that:

  • The rewards you earn from week to week will vary. With a 5 day pact, I average about $2.50/week (one week was over $3, but a couple were closer to $2).
  • Some people might have a tough time remembering to bring their phones to their workouts or remembering to check in. I’ve been using RunKeeper to record most of my runs for the last 4 years, so have gotten pretty used to firing up my phone at the start of a workout.
  • Adding gyms that aren’t in the database is pretty easy. The gym where I go for yoga (a tiny non-chain gym) wasn’t in the GymPact database at first, so I used the app to add it to the database. Its location was confirmed by GymPact, and now it’s in the database every time I go.

All in all, GymPact has been a great addition to my workout routine. While I was a pretty ardent runner even before joining GymPact, I’ve noticed that I am making a more concerted effort to get to the gym for weight lifting sessions so that I can record them in the app!

I’m planning on using the GymPact proceeds to support my road race fees.  I figure that at this rate, I’ll earn about $120/year – which is either one big race, or a few smaller ones.  So I’m letting my training help pay for the race.  Not bad, eh?

 

Some Caveats

  • You need to have a smart device to use GymPact. It started on iPhones, but supposedly works on iPod touches if your gym has wifi, and they’ve now got an Android version in beta testing.
  • Workouts in gyms or outdoor workouts with RunKeeper are the only type of workouts that can be logged in. (Since it confirms you workout with gps tracking, using the elliptical machine in your basement won’t count since it doesn’t know you’re just not on the couch watching tv.)
  • Workouts need to be 30 minutes long, and if they’re outdoor with RunKeeper at a pace of at least 2mph. That’s actually a pretty slow walking pace, but that’s the minimum.
  • Only 1 workout/day can count toward your pact. So if you commit to 7 days/week, you can’t workout twice on Monday and skip Tuesday.

 

Overall, I feel as though GymPact has helped keep my fitness and my finances in focus, and will hopefully help keep me on the paths of health and wealth!

 

What do you guys think about GymPact?  Would you ever put your money on the line to help meet fitness goals?  

27 comments to Fitness And Finance – My GymPact

  • Sounds like an interesting idea. Not sure how big this business can get. But if more people started to use it, and more gyms support it, I might join. I have a bad habit when it comes to working out which is I want to do it with friends. Maybe if I can get some other people on board it would be more fun and see how much money we’re earning/losing :0)
    Liquid recently posted..Beauty DiscriminationMy Profile

    • Maybe my description wasn’t clear – it doesn’t matter what gym you go to as long as GymPact can look it up and confirm it as a real gym. My yoga gym wasn’t in their db at first, so when I checked in the first time, it asked that I add it to the db. I entered the name of the gym, the address, and that was it. Later that day, I got a confirmation email that my gym was added successfully (I assume either a person or computer looked the yoga gym up online to confirm it was real), and now it’s just there when I check in. The gym owner doesn’t have to do anything (which is nice because I’m friends with our gym owner)!

  • This is super interesting. I almost want to get my hubby to start running again GymPact can pay for his shoes and maybe even his membership! Financial incentives and penalties work. I really wish I could use them in class. I think I’d get some better results for my highschool students.
    Mandy @MoneyMasterMom recently posted..Slaying the Grocery Bill DragonMy Profile

    • Financial incentives totally work – as for your high school students, I knew a kid who had to pay his parents if he got bad grades (C or lower) in high school! Totally worked in keeping him from getting lazy. =)

  • Very interesting. Having something like could be helpful to entice someone to work out. It probably wouldn’t work for me though as I like to use our exercise bike.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Frugal Friday: Posts That Ruled This Week, the Election is Over Edition!My Profile

    • Yeah, if all your exercise is at your house, you wouldn’t be able to count it. But it could be an incentive to get out and enjoy some fresh air while you exercise, too!

  • I was considering signing up for this, so I’m really glad to see that it is working out for you. Those $5 hits would suck, but it’s nice to make a little back from your workout. Maybe I’ll take the plunge and sign up, but there’s no way I could commit to 5 days per week. I wish!
    The Barn Cat recently posted..October Birchbox IRLMy Profile

  • great idea! I would be so motivated if I knew I would lose money otherwise!
    Pauline recently posted..Friday recap, plugged in, hammock hung!My Profile

  • Um…that’s pretty amazing! I’ve used Walk With Walgreens before to get coupons, but this sounds a whole lot more profitable!
    femmefrugality recently posted..How to Get Fit Without the GymMy Profile

  • This idea is totally brilliant.. I totally want in. So many folks out there are paying for gym memberships they don’t even use.. This puts it front and center that you finances are effected by their inability to carve out time for workouts…

    -j-
    jefferson @SeeDebtRun recently posted..Find Yourself Bored and Broke? Head OnlineMy Profile

  • I heard about this probably sometime at the start of the year when people make their New Years resolutions. I think that it’s a great idea. Plus I bet that once the New Years resolutions come in and people stop committing then you’ll make quite a bit more for a few weeks.
    justin@thefrugalpath recently posted..Friday’s Fork in the Path: Posts that Kept me on Track 11/9/12My Profile

    • I’m curious to see what happens on Thanksgiving week! Will payouts go up with people too tired to go to the gym after a Turkey overload? Or will they go down since people will have time off work and theoretically more time to workout?

  • […] PoP @ Planting Our Pennies writes Fitness And Finance – My GymPact – Mrs. PoP’s review of GymPact – an app that lets you earn money by sticking with your […]

  • Matt D

    Nice review of GymPact; I appreciate how you laid out the pros and caveats. Are you familiar with DietBet? It’s a 4-week social weight loss challenge where players bet on their ability to lose weight. I’d be curious to read your review of that.

    • Thanks – I’ve never heard of DietBet, but I’ll take a look at it. In general I’m not big on social networking competitions since I’m not big on publishing my individual workout behavior. (The idea that strangers might be able to tell what time or where my regular runs occur is a bit disconcerting.) But I’ll definitely look into it.

  • […] year I switched up my exercise routine, and have been welcomed into a someone hardcore club of reliable early morning exercisers in our […]

  • Hi Mrs Pop,

    Good review of GymPact, which I’m loving. What’s not to like about getting paid for doing something I’d probably do anyway and it’s that final kick I need if I’m flagging?

    It is annoying that the free $5 referral code uses your real name, but, as I’ve already posted mine above, I hope you won’t mind my gumption at suggesting that any readers are welcome to use mine: DNALukeE

    • Glad you’re loving Gympact – me too! Don’t mind the gumption at all – and I’ll also add that for a while, if you signed up using a referral code, it wasn’t just the referrer that got $5, it was the person signing up, too. So if someone signs up with Luke’s code, you and Luke could both get $5 if that offer’s still good!

  • soleuFrank

    if youre not using this app youre missing out. its very simple, you are getting paid to do something youre already doing. i have already made $22.87 in my first three weeks again for something im already doing. please use my referral code and get starter with $5 “soleuFrank” without quotes.

  • […] to want the answer to be no.  But I disagree.  I wouldn’t be making money every week from Gympact unless people were falling down in their fitness and their financial goals across the country. […]