A new iPhone app uses fines to get people into the gym, literally making people pay every time they skip a workout, in order to keep them motivated.
GymPact charges users a fee, from $5 to $50, for every gym commitment they skip.
After providing a credit card, GymPact’s users make a commitment for the number of times each week they will go to the gym, along with the financial penalty if they don’t.
At the end of the week, the company charges users who didn’t meet their goals. The money collected is distributed to users who kept their commitments.
The app was developed by two Harvard graduates who saw a market in workout laziness when they took a behavioural economics class.
“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,” co-founder Yifan Zhang says.
“People don’t like losing money and it’s one of the strongest motivators, much more than winning money.”