The Life Experimenter : Change Your Life, One Month at a Time

Conclusion #49 – How To Never Skip A Workout Using Your Smartphone

By Allen Rinehart


Do you struggle with going to the gym?  Are you reading this instead of exercising? What if I bet you $5 that you weren’t going to workout this week?  What about $100…would that motivate you then?  That’s exactly what I did to motivate myself during my One Month of Trail Running.  I’ve been using  GymPact or now called Pact app for the last two months.  The free app available for both Android and iPhone allow you to set-up a “bet” of at least $5 that you will commit to going to gym or run at least one day a week.  You can adjust the amount of days to everyday and increase the total bet to as much as you can pay.

Basic Running Program Using Pact

The pact app works on by either checking in at a gym in their database for at least 30 minutes or using either the RunKeeper or MapMyFitness app to run or walk at least a mile in a total time of at least 30 minutes.  You receive a reward of about $0.20 for each completed workout and lose all of your money for each missed work out.  I made $1.82 running everyday the first week.  I set-up a basic running program of 2-3 times per week. I’d do sprints one day (8 x 100 meter dashes),  long distance of at least 5 miles and a high evaluation run of at least 200 feet.  At first my planned on doing all trail running as part of my 30-day trial, but I realized that it’s important to mix up your routine with different distances and paces.

Using Technology To Hold Yourself Accountable

I think the idea of using an app to penalize yourself for laziness is genius.  I only wish there were some other way to apply this to the rest of my life.  What if your bathroom scale Tweeted your weight to all your friends when it got too high or your TV charged you $20 for every hour you watched it too long or your alarm clock donated to charity when you snoozed.   Suddenly your home is filled with a bunch of robotic coaches helping you to ditch bad habits.  I think it’s important to motivate yourself beyond just avoiding a cost, but the sometimes it helps to have a little push when you’re first getting started.

I already have some ideas on how to change certain habits:

I’m sure as our things get smarter, then recording their behavior will be easier.  Like what if your toothbrush could record how often and how long you brushed….apparently it already can!



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