It’s 5pm – almost time to knock off from work. You feel so lethargic, but figured a quick work out would be good to give yourself an energy boost and refresh yourself.
You WhatsApp your friend: “Eh, want to gym together after work?”
Blue tick, then double blue tick. Message is seen and read, but no replies.
An hour later, there’s still no new messages from your friend. “Aiyah, forget it lah. Lazy to go gym already.”
No doubt, this is the bane for those who are struggling to get fit. For some reason, we feel the need for a workout buddy to tag along with us, else we won’t have the motivation to even slip on our workout clothes.
This new locally-developed social fitness app aims to not just organise workouts between friends, but also bring like-minded strangers to exercise together.
Simply said, think of it as a dating app for those who want to get fit.
The App Developers Are Not “Fitness Fanatics” Themselves
A quick look at Motivatormob’s page on the app store revealed a rather quirky story that led to the conception of this app idea.
Three out of four developers of Motivatormob asserted that they are not “fitness fanatics or gym bunnies”. That said, it’s not necessary for their users to be one either.
Like everyone else, they struggle to find the time and motivation to exercise. “We enjoy burgers, beer and biryani just as much as the next conflicted and time-strapped individual.”
And this, by all means, is “reasonably normal”, they emphasised.
What’s abnormal to them is their “outlier” co-developer, who starts falling sick if he doesn’t work out for two days.
Fitness freaks or not, the four of them concurred that working out in a group actually makes it more manageable and fun, even.
“The answer may seem simplistic – but finding people to work out with on a regular basis is no easy task. It started small with us – just two guys training a couple of times a week with some rusty weights. But before long, the numbers grew as friends and friends of friends joined, eventually settling at about seven or eight regulars with plenty of occasional guests.”
“With a group, a 10-minute drive followed by an intense workout becomes easier than thirty push-ups in your own living room. And once that routine’s established, you quickly find yourself in decent shape and staying that way.”
Workout Buddies Serve As Motivation
Motivatormob, which launched just last week, lets users create workout and activity groups that they want others to join in, listing down a time and location so that other users can find them easily.
Once a user logs on to the app, they can choose a list of all available activities created by other users, with the option to switch to a map view to see which ones are in their immediate vicinity.
These activities range from various forms of exercises and sports, such as running, yoga, soccer, high-intensity training, or even dragon boat.
“When you work out together and have someone else to motivate you, working out becomes so much easier,” told co-founder Thomas Bennett to The Straits Times.
And this phenomenon is actually scientifically proven! A recent study published in the journal Nature Communications noted that the sense of competition created when working out with others leads to either longer or more intense workouts.
The app also takes away the hassle of scheduling a workout session through other channels such as a WhatsApp group chat or a Facebook group.
“If you are a member of a running club in the app, for example, you will receive an alert whenever a new session is created, and you can join from there,” said Bennett.
Only a week since its inception, Motivatormob already sees about 250 users on its app.
Since the app leverages on a crowdsourcing model, Bennett said that their priority is to establish a larger user base so that more sessions can be created and be easier to find.
Different From Other Fitness Apps
Fitness apps have long recognised the benefit of integrating a social aspect to their apps to help their users stick to their fitness goals.
The Fitbit and Fitocracy apps, for example, have features whereby users can compare their workout progress with that of other online users.
But Motivatormob sets itself apart from the barrage of existing fitness apps as it actually focuses on bringing people together to boost motivation rather than compare statistics online.
This encompasses the true spirit of ‘friendly competition’, I feel.
Commenting on the app, the developers said that it hopes users will “enjoy the app as a way to connect with others and get each other motivated.”
Featured Image Credit: Buildingbody.sg