We are really close to the launch of our first iPhone app. We’d love to know, what you think of FitChallenge, even before it starts. That’s why we’ve prepared a tiny sneak peek at the app and a short description of our idea for workout motivation.

Below you can see a short ‘Take a Tour’ – the first 8 screens which describe main features of FitChallenge, and explain (clear enough, we hope) how the app works.

The app will be free to download.
Take a tour

FitChallenge is to serve as an interval timer: first, you can set the time of work and rest intervals, and the number of rounds in your session. But it’s not an ordinary timer – it has a function of video recording, so you can see your workout from the coach’s perspective.


Sometimes we are not aware of the technical mistakes we make while exercising – after each workout session, you can check through the video for the mistakes and remember to correct them next time. That’s how you can literally improve your performance every time you work out.



The video is totally private, and you can use it for your own purposes.

How to enter the game of 52Challenges?

After each completed workout session, by pressing one button you can send workout’s algorithmic data, along with 12 frames from your video to verification by our system. The frames are black-and-white and cartoon-like, so there are no visible details – we cannot see your face or your room. Our algorithm will only analyze the movement amplitude. You can preview the 12 frames you are going to send us.

After session

(The two very important rules are: 1. There has to be no more than one person on the screen; and 2. The background of the video has to be static.)

And that is actually how you can meet the weekly challenge you set at the beginning. You send us 1 session a week, if your challenge assumed 1 workout per week. You send us 2, if you decided you would exercise twice a week, and so on. The maximum number of verifiable sessions per week is 7 – that is, one session a day.

At the beginning, you also set the fine for each session that has been planned, yet wasn’t completed. The minimum fine is $5. 80% of the money from the fines for skipped workouts goes for real prizes for the best players. 20% is our company’s income.

However powerful, the money isn’t the most important motivational factor. The game is. By joining the 52Challenges rebellion, you enter the game of workout.

You get “rebel points” for each completed, positively verified, workout, as well as for every “won” week. By getting the points, you level up. You play for badges and special achievements. You develop and customize your rebel character in the game.

You can realize your own workout routines, or use the Training tab in FitChallenge.


New training routines and plans – or, as we like to call them, quests and paths – will be gradually added to the Training tab. Some of them will be free, and some will require Premium Access ($5/month).

52Challenges’ Perspective on Motivation to Workout

Creating FitChallenge, we focus on two main problems:
a) How to work out? What to do exactly?
b) How to stay motivated for workout on a daily basis?

In fact, our outlook on workout comprises of simple assumptions based on observations. We don’t want to sell you a golden recipe for success and well-being. We just want you to realize that it is possible to look at workout from a different angle.

Our inspiration, so far, have been two groups of people: professional athletes and gamers. We looked at the two groups and tried to define their source of motivation. What we realized is that:

Professional athletes work out to reach clearly specified goals, like championships. They do not focus on weight loss, or muscle gain in the first place. Nonetheless, they look great. They work out for themselves because it brings them satisfaction. That’s why they stay motivated, even if their workout schedule is really harsh.

But we don’t want to make everyone a professional. And that’s when we thought of gamers. They become really skilled at playing games, but the skill is just a natural outcomerarely a main goal. The main goal is fun. The main goal is enjoying their time while playing.

When workout meets the game…

Our idea bases on combining those two attitudes to create a new perspective on workout. Maybe the lack of motivation is a result of a wrong focus. Maybe we don’t want to exercise just to lose or gain kilograms and pounds, and lose or gain centimeters and inches in our waists and biceps. That’s obviously not enough to keep us going.

Perhaps we need other goals and triggers in workout. The goals can be of course marathons, CrossFit championships, and other types of competition. It is great to aspire to be a professional, or like a professional.

But it’s also OK if we don’t want to take workout so seriously, yet we want to work out regularly. 52Challenges is to create those other goals and triggers for workout in the game. We want to show you that it is possible to play the workout and have a lot of fun doing it.

Why the rebels?

We see ourselves as rebels in the sense that we want to change the omnipresent perspective on workout which treated predominantly as a way to weight loss, flat belly, impressive muscles, etc. We believe that if we work out regularly, these effects will come anyway, even if we don’t pay to them as much attention, as most of us tend to nowadays.

We want to redefine workout – refocus it. Take it as a game – play it.

We can’t express in words, how much we will appreciate each of your remarks considering our idea. Comment right under this post, or write to us on takeup@52challenges.com .We are particularly curious about:

  • Is the ‘Take a Tour’ (that is the first 8 screens describing the app) clear enough? Does it tell you what to expect from FitChallenge?
  • Do you like the idea of gamified workout plans?
  • What would be a better motivation for you: the fines and prizes or the gamification?
  • Are there any features you would add to, or change in, FitChallenge? We will appreciate any suggestions.

Thank you for your time!

Cathy, Kinga, Maciek & Matt

About Matt Tarczynski

The co-founder and CEO of 52Challenges.com. A graduate of the University of Wroclaw, majoring in economics and political science. The captain and the brain of our team, and the self-appointed guinea-pig for our apps and projects. He won’t offer you anything before he tests it on himself. A type of a well-organized organizer. A fan of simple apps for monitoring and analysing workout performance and progress. Displays a lasting affection for boxing, and a recent infatuation with kitesurfing. He’s not very keen on the word “try”.