Why did we dare to write this article? Well, simply because we have had enough of health and fitness’ ads or whatever picturing muscled athletes with their incredible superhuman strength, god-knows-how-they-do-it fitness feats or stunts, and six-cube pack. What’s more surprising is that all these seem achievable due to the right pair of trainers, protein shakes, calorie counting, and super-personalized physical training program.
All these smells like “the sauce of promises” that can’t be kept. The fitness world is tricky and sometimes sucks, as after doing 100 sit-ups while having dozens of magical smoothies, you may end up shaming yourself that still you don’t look like those jocks.
WorkoutMe App team is more focused on your internal changes by not letting you chase your “false” goals and building up a certain love for doing sports that subsequently will turn into a routine that sticks. Further, you’ll see how we’re trying to make it work.
Aches and Pains of Health & Fitness Market
In 2020 the inclusive idea of self-care and health control made 825M people install various fitness and wellness apps. But are they still using them now?
We’ve done some research and can say for sure that the majority of fitness apps or trackers are based on willpower and setting short-term goals (-22 lb in three months instead of being permanently fit and healthy) packed up with an unbelievable picture of you before-after in an athletic shape. Seems like a perfect mixture, but where’s the catch?
There are several reasons why they have a small stickiness index, but the main one is that they don’t make users happy. They push people to exercise intensively and eat less because they want you to be the bestest version of yourself. Does it work to keep you motivated? Let the numbers speak for themselves: 7-day Non-Organic Retention Rates for the Health & Fitness sector are worriedly low — 6,4% in the US, for instance.
To make their apps more effective — to their opinion — they add:
- Ton of info or videos on how to do exercises right.
- Goals monitoring.
- Motivational reminder-messaging.
Well, seems like those don’t work, as the same issue is observed in fitness centers or studios. After the Christmas holidays, people tend to be impulse gym membership buyers with positive and healthy aspirations in mind. In a couple of months, the fitness goals fade, which results in non-attendance. To be more exact, the impressive 80% of “gym-goers” don’t train regularly. What do fitness studios/centers do about it?
There are some fixes like:
- ‘We’re waiting for you..” text-messaging.
- Fitness classes for achieving your targets.
- Clean towels.
- Reward-type programs.
- Front desk shining smiles.
Obviously, the lists of “aids” are not enough to address human motivation at its heart.
Anyway, we can’t deny that they are trying to get and keep people strong and healthy. But do they really care if you actually show up — having in mind that you’ve already paid for a one-year membership/subscription? You see, the point is that you don’t even want your money back, you have “maybe tomorrow” syndrome, that keeps you putting workouts off for better days. You may end up judging yourself, thinking it’s your fault, but you are WRONG. We are going to tell you why.
Behavior or Pocket Impact?
After really grueling days or weeks of workouts, you will sit long hours on the couch watching your favorite Netflix series accompanied by a massive though romantic pint of ice cream or donut box, beer, or wine. That’s your much-deserved reward for working hard on achieving your “health” goals. Bad news: your willpower met your backfire and they had a war, where the first fighter was crushed in the least gentle way possible.
You’d rather not rely on willpower if you want positive long-term changes: psychologists have the theory saying that willpower has a limited supply of psychic energy. It means once you run out of it, be ready to lose self-control, which will end up in self-judgment. Do you need that? Nope, you don’t. Neither do fitness centers/apps want it. But most of them can take advantage of the situation. They don’t fight your barriers to workout, they are quite delighted that you paid for their services in advance. The real problem is — they lack habit formation support.
Birth of a Habit
First off, habits assist in changing the behavior in a way that will have a long-lasting effect. Secondly, a profound understanding of its structure can help design the product where a user starts a new routine and makes it permanent.
Before downloading an app or buying a gym membership you should make a CONSCIOUS CHOICE in your head. Some books or articles claim that 21, 30, or 60 days are enough to develop a habit, but that’s all bullskirt.
When you force yourself to do something, you are more likely to backfire — as your mind remembers that after hard work, you should get a reward. Your brain is as old as you, so it’s quite important to give it an explanation of why you decided to do something useful for yourself, like working out, eating less or reading more.
So how is the habit born?
Thanks to modern neurological studies, which were kindly described by Russian psychotherapist Andrew Kurpatov in his book, we’d touch on two phases of forming a habit. Each one is fed into by a completed step from the previous phase. They are as follows:
A loading phase
It is usually missed or mixed up with willpower, which ends before having expected results. So the first step of the phase is to make a conscious choice, aka to set a long-term goal. During it, you should follow your new routine ignoring millions of things aimed to be threats — a sudden headache, self-pity, whining — to your current plans.
“The absence of an obligation to do a lot or for a long time is a good way to trick your brain: just do 5 sit-ups instead of forcing yourself to train for 20 minutes.”
Let’s go on with my own story as an example. My name is Paul by the way. So, I agreed with my brain to do workouts on a daily basis after reading tons of researches about the outstanding benefits of exercises. The most recent study, which resulted in a great finding that daily physical activity reduces the risk of premature death to 30%, most affected my decision.
That’s why my long-term goal is to be the best of health once I retire. I told myself:
“I’m gonna take my fitness efforts as a value raising it to a power of 365 — the number of days in a year. If I do a little less than I can, I’ll end up with zero results. If I do 1,01% more than I’m able every single day, the after-effect will increase manifold.”
We can’t mess with Math, right? So I’m aware of the outcome and willing to double-cross my mind. Here comes the next phase.
A supporting one
Once your new behavior is stable, and you’re sure that no backfire will come after, the supporting stage enters into force. This phase requires an environment that is favorable for holding up your current model of behavior.
For me, the best time to train is before having breakfast while listening to my favorite tracks or podcasts. It became a routine for me like brushing my teeth before going to bed. In other words, I created a trigger event mixed up with a time trigger and I’m getting a thrill out of it!
How do we incorporate this knowledge into our app?
Merging habit-developing techniques into our app is as hard as being a person, who decided to form a new behavior feature for himself. It’s incredibly stressful for the body, that’s why the brain is gently whispering: “Dude, stop, take a nap/eat that delicious burger instead”.
Guess what, we ain’t gonna listen to the procrastination monster!
All we are aimed to do in our product is to create an environment where you WANT to train, not have to do it. That’s why our workout lasts only for 1 minute. Why so short? Because it’s easier for your mind to get used to doing transitory things, like sending messages, in order to get them automated. One minute a day equals 7 minutes a week and it’s a powerful, yet simple ritual that will help you reach an agreement with your brain and make your day more successful than before.
You don’t have to look for the exercise, it will be randomly selected by our magical roulette. Plus, we provide you with a detailed video guide on each workout before accomplishing it.
Once you are completely certain that your workout routine is steady, you’ll be able to try our new workout sets of various intensities and lengths. Those were built by fitness instructors. We don’t mean to promote their chiseled bodies, we just use their crucial knowledge to be sure you’re doing great and boost your entire body.
So, easy, joyful, short workouts are not an actual blueprint of our app. We blend it with a social commitment feature by matching you with a random person from all over the world or your buddy to do exercises together. Why would we do that?
CEO’s Story Through Social Facilitation
My partner and our CEO, Fedor, was doing push-ups after quite a long break. He made himself train and that’s why he didn’t put any effort in doing the exercise diligently. Suddenly, his beloved girlfriend was passing by and stared at him. At this very moment, Fedor was working out so fast and was ready for a couple of reps as if Freddy Krueger was chasing him. He started looking for an answer to what the fork happened earlier. Finally, he came across the effect called “social facilitation”.
The definition was first introduced in the 19th century by psychologist Norman Triplet. Various experiments were made showing that the effect is applicable to many areas of life. The point is that motivation is high when fulfilling short-paced or easy tasks that other people are observing. The effect is better achieved when the guys who are watching you are not familiar with you.
No wonder, social facilitation serves as the basis for our product. No one will evaluate how you do the exercise as it’s coach/fitness-instructor-free. But since our workouts are so freaking simple and short, you aren’t going to stretch or break anything. You and your matched like-minded person will motivate each other to complete the workout and afterward will happily experience achieving the goal together. These small victories will boost your dopamine, which in turn is sure to increase your productivity during the day.
There will be three options to start your journey of acquiring a new healthy habit under social facilitation conditions:
- Workout with a randomly matched person.
- Train by sending a special link to your friend.
- If previous alternatives are out of your comfort zone, you’ll be able to exercise alone.
What you finally get is an awesome combination of a short trigger-event (a 1-minute workout), which is based on Kaizen concept, with a commitment to yourself or to another person who may help sustain your motivation.
Your task is to make a deal with your brain and choose a time slot convenient for you. The work with two stages of making a habit stick is on us!
Where We Are in the Identity Matrix
Finally, we came up figuring out our identity in a global Health&Fitness market. We actually built a kind of a matrix for you to realize where we put ourselves among lions, sharks, and bears of the market.
We consolidate 4 things to be associated with our product:
- Fitness-instructors free. What bugs us most is that the majority of them place themselves as the one and only source of motivation and inspiration. Sure thing some of them are cool dudes and awesome professionals and we will be glad to see them joining our community and bringing content that will make our users feel like RocknRollas.
- No short-term goals, aka “pump up by summer” or “lose weight”. Only long-term ones, like being able to run around and play basketball with grandkids.
- A community of real people who help each other in building a new healthy routine for themselves.
- A gamified atmosphere where you’ll be getting points to be at the TOP of various leaderboards.
WorkoutMe app wants you to start with a small change — a 1-minute workout with a partner or a friend or alone, which by the way is completely free forever, and escalate from there to pull off a new routine that sticks. We are pushing you not to follow your “goals”, but to a joyful while short-paced adventure sometimes outside your comfort zone.
Our app is not just a chunk of software committed to the sport and headed by its experts. It’s an encouraging community of similar-minded people that helps you acquire a new healthy behavior with pleasure and no stress.
Before downloading our app, which is sure to be the best decision after reading the article, please share your thoughts or feelings about the current situation in the H&F market — even if you don’t see the same aches and pains in it.
Is it hard for you to get off the couch and start exercising? Do you catch your second wind when someone accidentally watches you fulfilling something? Looking forward to getting any feedback from you, our dear readers.