Bulking on the blockchain

Cryptocurrency can motivate people to spend millions of dollars on a single digital image. It can motivate people to risk (and even lose) their entire life savings. But can it motivate people to exercise? In one of the least fit countries on earth, the team at FitRated put this “meta motivation” question to the test.

By surveying more than 1,000 people across the country of all different backgrounds, body types, and investing experiences, FitRated was able to gauge just how much people would be motivated to work out in the metaverse. We researched specific blockchain-related incentives like Bitcoin in exchange for marathons, and which franchises they’re most hoping to see make their marks in the metaverse. To see how Americans intend on utilizing the metaverse for fitness purposes, keep reading.


  • 81% of people would be motivated to stay fit by earning cryptocurrency for exercising
  • 3 in 4 people are interested in signing up for gym memberships with cryptocurrency
  • 4 in 10 people would cancel their current gym for a fitness membership in the metaverse
  • Over 60% of people would exercise 5 days a week for a year to earn 1 BTC

Initial Assessment of the Digital Fitness Industry

Respondents were first given the chance to share their initial reactions to what a “decentralized,” or blockchain-backed fitness industry would even look like…

A Decentralized Fitness Industry?

In a previous experiment by the National Bureau of Economic Research, it was discovered that money will not motivate people to go to the gym. But according to this survey data, blockchain technology just might. Sixty-three percent of people agreed that more fitness motivation was a primary benefit of blockchain technology. Respondents also anticipated and valued more rewards programs (60.4%) and better transparency (51.2%) to come along with this new dynamic of fitness.

As a refresher (or perhaps an introduction), blockchain technology specifically refers to tech that enables the disbursement of a database shared among the nodes of a computer network. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are just some examples of the application of that technology. Specifically for exercise, people wanted this technology to help gamify the experience. In fact, 83% of respondents said they were supportive of the blockchain gamifying the fitness industry as a whole. And 75% said they would willingly sign up for a gym if it allowed them to pay with crypto.

What Would You Do For Crypto?

So what exactly was cryptocurrency motivating? And which types of crypto did people most want in exchange for their efforts?

Proof of Sweat

Bitcoin was the number one most desired currency that people requested in exchange for working out. This makes sense, as Bitcoin is still worth vastly more than any other available altcoins on the market. The next most valuable cryptocurrency, Ethereum, was similarly the second-most desired cryptocurrency, yet this trend broke immediately thereafter. The third most wanted cryptocurrency in exchange for exercise was DogeCoin, which is currently worth little more than a dime. Perhaps those looking to exercise in exchange for this crypto represent a very specific type of mindset —namely, those interested in meme coins.

Evidently, cryptocurrency motivates the type of fitness that covers a lot of distance, i.e. walking (49.1%), cycling (47.2%), or running (39.3%). Workouts that remain relegated to one location like boxing or weight lifting were not as appealing, at least in exchange for cryptocurrency. Activities like martial arts were only motivated by crypto for 15% of respondents. Perhaps those dedicated to these types of exercise find motivation elsewhere, while those who need the financial incentive are wanting to start someplace simple, like walking.

Most Popular Tokenized Fitness Apps

  1. Lifecoin – 54.7%
  2. Sweatcoin – 43%
  3. Lympo – 39.5%
  4. ActiFit – 34.7%
  5. Vlique – 16.9%

It’s important to note that the answers as to what you would do in exchange for Bitcoin are not entirely theoretical, but are happening in real-time. There are more than a few apps in existence that are currently paying people various monetary rewards in exchange for specific exercises. Lifecoin, for instance, pays its users for walking with rewards like Airpods or PayPal gift cards, which can, in turn, be used to buy Bitcoin.

Currently, Bitcoin is valued at upwards of $40,000 and by most expert accounts, is expected to hit at least $100,000 in the relatively near future. In exchange for this valuable and historical asset, 61.3% of respondents said they would exercise five days per week, every week for a year. Even for this potentially million-dollar asset, however, running a marathon was still too much to ask. Only 35.9% of people would do so in exchange for a Bitcoin, and even fewer would hike the Appalachian trail, which can typically take anywhere between five and seven months.

The Evolution of Mind-Muscle Connection

People aren’t working out in the metaverse just to earn Bitcoin, however. There are many other benefits (as well as drawbacks) to working out in this new digital realm. In one of the last portions of our study, we ask respondents to share their perceived benefits and drawbacks of working out in the metaverse.

Metaverse Muscles

Thus far, working out in the Metaverse involves donning a pair of virtual reality goggles and performing whatever exercise the virtual world prompts you to. Forty-three percent wanted to hire a personal trainer in this digital world, while 40% were willing to drop their current real-world gym memberships for ones in the metaverse. Many felt metaverse workouts would improve accessibility or promote diversity within their personal fitness communities.

Many, however, were wary of what type of community the metaverse would bring, even if it was more diverse. More than a third shared that this type of digital connection was less authentic. Where working out was concerned, 32% said the metaverse was less motivating than real life, while 30.1% feared issues with bullying. Meta (formerly Facebook) has made arguably the biggest strides in the metaverse, and most people (65%) did feel they could trust working out in this particular virtual world.

Top Anticipated Fitness Franchises in the Metaverse

  1. 24 Hour Fitness
  2. Anytime Fitness
  3. Gold’s Gym
  4. Cyclebar
  5. Crunch Fitness
  6. Planet Fitness
  7. La Fitness

Exercise companies like Peloton have been inching closer to metaverse gamification, yet no major fitness franchises have recreated their spaces entirely within the metaverse. Considering how many respondents wanted to switch their memberships, early adopters to this idea could stand to make a lot of money. Primarily, people were anticipating 24 Hour Fitness, Anytime Fitness, and Gold’s Gym entering the metaverse soon.

Fitness That Works for Your World

Everyone from companies to individuals and franchises has tried to figure out the secret sauce of motivating people to work out, so it’s exciting to see a new development —or an entirely new world —in the name of exercise motivation. Many respondents shared excitement at the thought of cryptocurrency motivations or metaverse workouts and even wanted to exchange their current gym memberships for ones in a digital world.


We surveyed 1,001 Americans about their perceptions of earning cryptocurrencies for exercising. The margin of error was +/- 3% with a 95% confidence level. The data we are presenting rely on self-report.

About FitRated

FitRated offers expert advice and verified customer reviews to make sure that your next fitness purchase is the correct purchase.

Fair Use Statement

Fitness is essential to health, and it’s fortunate to see that the metaverse may be offering a new path towards that health. If you think someone in your audience may benefit from information about this new technology, you are welcome to share the research. Just be sure your purposes are noncommercial and that you link back to this page.