Coming Soon: A Fitness Tracker That Zaps You When You Slack Off
If you’ve ever struggled with workout motivation (and seriously, who hasn’t?) a new fitness band is here to help. Scheduled to be released next year, the band will jolt you with an electric shock whenever you step out of line.
Yes, you read that right — jolt you. With electricity. If you fail to meet your goals, the Pavlok fitness band will hit you with 340 volts of electric current, which Pavlok founder and CEO Maneesh Sethi compares to the static electricity you feel when you touch a metal doorknob.
Sethi says that while the fitness bands currently on the market are great for tracking everything from the number of steps you take to your sleep pattern, they can’t actually change your habits. That’s where the Pavlok fitness band comes in, helping you form good habits and break bad ones.
Here’s how it works: You start by setting a goal — for example, you want to go to the gym every day — and Pavlok holds you accountable. If you reach your goal, you’re rewarded (you could win money, a gift card, or a free month at a local gym; Sethi is still working out deals with sponsors). But if you skip a workout, you’ll owe money to another Pavlok user … or get shocked. The shock doesn’t hurt, Sethi says, but it’s a stimulus for your brain to associate with a particular action, which is how habits get formed, he says.
He first created the fitness band when he noticed that he was way more productive if there was someone staring over his shoulder, holding him accountable. He even went so far as to hire a woman to slap him in the face every time he logged on to Facebook. He decided that Pavlok was a more practical solution, and after using it for a year, Sethi says he’s lost 30 pounds, meditates every day, and spends significantly less time on Facebook (even without the slapping).
We’ll have to wait and see if a little electricity will be enough to drag you out of bed in the morning; Pavlok is still in development and should be available at the beginning of 2015, costing between $149 and $229. In the meantime — and if the idea of getting shocked isn’t working for you — these 31 little tips for never skipping another workout can help you stay motivated.