Build Your Body With the GymPact iPhone App

Fitness-related New Year?s resolutions can be tough. A six-pack and improved health sound nice, but so do Taco Bell and all-nighters with ?The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.?

Assist your workout

If you?re someone who?s not used to working out, hour after hour of sweating and heavy breathing without immediate gratification sounds like a poor alternative to snacks and relaxin?. Add in the fact that visible results take time to show up, and the whole working out thing becomes a lost cause to many people. It?s just too easy to fall back into Pringle-binging on your gaming chair.

Would you be more apt to work out if not only your healthy and looks were on the line, but your wallet as well? Would you hit that elliptical more often if your weekly bar allowance was on the line? According to a new startup, that?s exactly what you?ll do. GymPact, whose slogan is ?Incentivize your Exercise,? aims to encourage users to exercise by bringing cash into the equation.

The concept is fairly simple. You make a pact (hence the company?s name), deciding how many days you want to hit the gym. You then decide how much you?re willing to fork over if, say, you don?t show up on these days. You then check into one of the more than 40,000 listed gyms using your smartphone. Every week all of the money is tallied up. Those who worked out receive money via a PayPal transaction, while those who didn?t lose it. The more days you work out, the more you earn. Who knew arm curls could be such a good investment?

The idea for GymPact came about in a Harvard dorm room after founders attended an inspirational behavioral economics class. According to GymPact, 90 percent of the users on its pilot run? in Boston were successful in frequenting the gym.

As to how GymPact can tell whether or not you?re visiting LA Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, Planet Fitness, or Bob?s Discount Bodybuilding, the system revolves around an iPhone app. You simply download the app and hit the ?Check In? button when you get to the gym. GymPact then confirms that you?re actually there via GPS. Bad news for everyone that thought they could cheat from the comfort of their gaming chair.

Think your six days a week pact is a bit much? GymPact allows users to change their pacts to meet their specific needs. Not only that, but GymPact allows users to get friends, family, coworkers, etc. involved to make it less of a solitary venture.

Take a look at GymPact?s tour and see for yourself what you think about the company?s system. While it?s a unique idea, it?s just getting off the ground and can?t offer any long-term results as of yet. If your New Year?s resolution is to visit the gym more often, GymPact might be of use to you. If your resolution is to save more money,you best be sure to keep at those curls.


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About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.

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