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?  

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