If you just signed up for a gym membership, completely convinced that you’ll go every day this year, keep in mind you’re essentially throwing money away when you don’t go. If you need a little more motivation to make the trip and work out, Gym-Pact is a new iOS app that lets you put your money where your mouth is. Go to the gym and check in with your phone and you’ll be rewarded with cash payouts. Skip your workouts, and the service penalises you and your bank account.
From the “habit building by redistribution of wealth” department, Gym-Pact asks you to set the stakes when you sign up and tell the service how much money you’re willing to lose if you miss your workouts and how frequently you want to go to the gym. The service then uses your phone’s GPS to make sure you’re actually at the gym and not on your couch at home.
If you miss too many days, the service penalises you by charging you the amount you put on the line to make sure you go. The money it collects from people who don’t go to the gym is then distributed every week among the people who did go, meaning you’re rewarded with cash if you actually work out.
Gym-Pact’s database contains US gyms, but you can add your own, local ones, as long as they’re actual fitness centres. No home gyms or office gyms allowed, likely because they worry that would make it too easy to game the system. Signing up may be a bit masochistic, but if you really need motivation to hit the gym, this service will definitely give it to you.