Jan 2, 2012

A new gym aims to promote working out by charging customers who do not use the gym.

GymPact, an app that is available for download, is hoping to capitalize on that with a service that incentivizes users to hit the gym or open their wallet.

At the start of the week you make a ‘pact’ and tell the app how many days a week you want to exercise. You then ‘check in’ at the gym using your iPhone – but must stay for 30 minutes. For each day missed, your credit card if charged a minimum of $5.

The app is billed as a game changer within the gym community.

“Every week, we will pay out cash rewards to those who met their Pact from the Stakes paid by people who didn’t quite make it. Rewards can be cashed out via Paypal. We think if you put real money on the line, you should get real rewards,” says the app’s website

The app’s website notes that the app has been a success thus far. Nearly 90 percent of users have reportedly kept their dates at the gym.

If you do meet your goals, the startup gives you cash rewards from the collective pot of those who didn’t meet their goals, with GymPact taking a 3 percent fee based on those transactions.

The app was developed by two recent Harvard grads who introduced the service earlier this year.

“Behavioral economics show that if you tie cash incentives to things that are concrete and easy to achieve like getting to the gym, it’s very effective,” said Yifan Zhang in an interview with the New York Times. “People don’t like losing money and it’s one of the strongest motivators, much more than winning money.”
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