I sometimes struggle with finding the motivation to workout, especially if I am not seeing the results I expect to see after weeks of working out. Ok, it’s probably more like a week, but still the will to get up off my ass falls flat if I don’t feel or see a change once I put in handwork. I know I am not the only person who struggles with this, so I searched the internet for some help. I looked for “Mommy and Me” groups in my area, which were very few due to the constant rain Tacoma has to offer. Since, I wasn’t going to get outdoors anytime soon and I actually like working out at home in our “box” I looked for apps. Queue GymPact, an app for smartphones that allows you to commit to any number of workouts per week (your “pact”) and charges you for the workouts you miss. GymPact charges a minimum of $5 for each day you miss and rewards you with a small amount of cash for the days you complete a workout*. Overall, the concept seems like it would work, I mean I don’t like giving away money so I just knew this would be the app to get me off my butt! Too bad I ran into a few problems and customer service was very little help.
When I first signed up there wasn’t a “workout at home” option so I had to either go to a local gym or use an app on my phone such as “MapMyFitness” and “UP” by Jawbone. I decided to go with these two because I was already using them before I joined GymPact. If you were tracking your workouts using a product like UP you had to hit a minimum of 10,000 steps/day in order for the workout to count towards your “pact”. So if you set a goal on your UP band to only his 8,000 steps in a day, you wouldn’t get the credit. No problem! Do more, move more. If you use apps by MapMyFitness, you had to move for a minimum of 30 mins and you had to cover at least a mile. Not 100% sure on the distance since I always went further than a mile when I used the app to track my jogs or walks. The first problem came when my jogs weren’t being credited in the GymPact app, I had made sure each workout was longer than 30mins and over a mile within the time specified by GymPact. I was still billed $5 for a missed workout. When I contacted customer service they told me the workouts had been edited. Good thing I took screen shots of each completed workout, I attached them to my response to customer service to prove that I completed the workout and it was within the restrictions. Come to find out, since I added “notes” to my workouts in MayMyFitness, it showed as the workout being edited. What the what?!
I was ready to just be done with GymPact, but then they added a new feature… working out from ANYWHERE! Nice! Now I could workout at home and not worry about going to the local gym or jogging in the rain just to avoid a $5 charge. The workout anywhere feature tracked your movements (through your smartphone) once you “checked in” and would let you know in one minute increments if you moved a little or a lot. I tried putting my phone in my pocket… failed. And then I tried using an armband for my phone, that worked like 75% of the time. I would constantly have to re-do workouts before it didn’t track movements while doing push ups or sit ups. Just a mess, it was a great attempt but it just wasn’t working all the time. And I was really getting tired of paying $5 when I knew I had completed my workouts.
I contacted customer service via email each time I had an issue and it wasn’t until I got a third reply that the rep actually handled the issue. When I signed up I used a promo code for a $5 credit, the credit never went through but the rep credited my account with it later. Also, after providing the screen shots of my workouts via MapMyFitness she credited my account for the “missed” workouts. Then there was the issue with my UP band steps not counting as a workout for my pact even though I completed the required amount of steps. She assured me they would count on the review they sent via email even though I wasn’t seeing it count on the app (they were working out some kinks). Since I was having so many issues with the workouts counting and GymPact has kinks to fix, I put my account on vacation mode. But for some odd reason my account was removed/deleted while I was in “vacation” mode. I had earned some money but was not allowed to cash in due to the closure of my account, but they had no problem charging me for the one day I had missed. I recently contacted them to see what the issue was with my account and why it had been closed. I haven’t received a response yet. Not sure if I want to give them another try or not. I think if you got to a local/global gym this app would be perfect since all you would have to do is check in for a minimum of 30 mins a workout. Also, if you decide to use this app, do not start off with a high commitment, test it out with a 1-2 workouts per week pact.
*Recently their website states they have added healthy eating, this review will be based on the workout portion as that is the only feature I have used.