Some time ago, I am thinking back in 2019, I discovered an app called Diet Bet. You pay money to join a game and then have 4 weeks to lose 4% of your weight, or 6 months to lose 10%. If you are successful at the end of the game you get your money back plus a split of those who were unsuccessful. You could simultaneously join two games. I joined several and succeeded in dropping 20+ pounds. Whilst in the process of this I discovered two other apps by the same company: Run Bet and Step Bet.
In Step Bet you typically have a game that lasts 6 weeks. Each week you have to meet your regular goal 4 days and a higher power goal 2 days. The 7th day is a day off. The goals are different for each user, they set the goals after syncing with Garmin, Apple, Fitbit or whatever step tracker you use. They base the goals using an algorithm based on your history. Again, if you succeed you get your money back plus a split from those who did not. I typically have 3 games running concurrently with a new one starting every two weeks. The cool thing about step bet, is that some days, even if I don’t have to run, I still have to get my steps in. Thus I have been getting in a lot of walking!
In Run Bet, you have a mileage or time goal to meet for a certain number of days each week. The goals vary depending on which game you join. The easiest are typically 4 “runs” of 30 minutes at a minimum pace 18 min/mile. Most people could easily do this walking. One of their harder games is the 10K trainer. It is 6 weeks long and is supposed to climax with a 10k at the end. You run 4 times a week of varying distance per a schedule that builds toward the 10k. The pace has to be 15 minutes per mile or faster. This game has become my go to game. I just finished one yesterday.
The reason I started using Run Bet was to ensure I get out the door and actually run. After 20 years of being a runner I have found that the day to day training motivation is often lacking. My favorite way to counter this lack of motivation is to schedule runs with others, but that is not always doable, so Run Bet ensures I get out there even if it is on my own. It is not that I am so keen on winning a few dollars – a typical Run Bet or Step Bet is $40 and I get back $47 or $48. It is that I don’t want to lose the $40, or actually I don’t want to have to tell my wife I lost $40!!
Starting the first of this year Run Bet has given way to Waybetter. The Run Bet games are still there, they are just part of the Waybetter app. Waybetter also has a variety of other games to join. So far I have tried Push Ups, Planks, Squats and Jump Rope. The app takes a time lapse video of your work each day for verification. The Waybetter games are cheaper – $10 to $25. They are also usually shorter – 2 weeks to 4 weeks. They are set up for people of any ability.
I had gotten away from my core and strength work whilst home with Covid, (and not training with my Hillview students.) When I joined my first push up challenge, all you had to do is as many push ups as you could 6 days a week. I had start with modified pushups. The 2nd push up game I joined asks for 3 sets, 6 days a week. There is no requirement for the length of each set. What I have been doing is each day my first set is “till failure.” Then I do that same number split among my other two sets. The other day I had my highest yet with 18, 10 and 8…. not modified!
The plank game is simple – hold a plank as long as you can (or want to) 6 days a week. The allow some variety in the planks so I have begun adding leg lifts and or switching from side to side.
Today I started my first jump rope game. This one is a little more challenging. You do jump ropes for a minute and take a minute to recover x 5. For me this works out to about 5 sets of 120 jumps! My biceps were getting tired by the end from swinging the rope!
Squats also just begun today: two sets of however many you want or can. I started with 2 sets of 18 – on a bosu ball.
I realize, that for hard core exercisers this is not much. But for someone like me, who is inclined to let it slide, a little money motivation goes a long way. I am getting stronger little by little and am making a few bucks along the way. My grand total of winnings thus far is $313.05
WHAT I NEED NOW IS A CYCLE BET…. HERE THAT WAYBETTER? HOW ABOUT ADDING SOME CYCLING GAMES? (I have suggested this to them a couple of times but it has not happened yet.)