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Use IFTTT, iOS to hold you accountable for going to the gym

Having a friend hold you accountable for your gym visits can be a terrific motivator. So how about an app?

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET

One of the hardest parts of starting to work out is staying motivated to actually go do it. Friends and family members can be terrific motivators, especially if you team up with someone to go work out with you.

But not everyone is going to have the option of a regular workout buddy. So instead of sitting at home unmotivated, use your iPhone, the automation service If This Then That (IFTTT), and a friend to hold you accountable.

First you'll need to install IFTTT's iPhone app. (IFTTT can be used with Android, but it's easier with iOS.) It's free, and it gives you access to all of your recipes and allows you to create new ones. You can find it here. New users will need to sign up for an account, which is also free.

Now that you have an account and the app installed on your iPhone, add this shared recipe to your account:

IFTTT Recipe: Hold yourself accountable for the gym connects ios-location to gmail

I created it as a test using the local YMCA as the location that triggers the recipe. You will have to change the location to your workout spot. You will also need to fill out the e-mail address field, entering up to five addresses.

The above recipe works like this: you set up a location trigger for your gym, or wherever it is you go to work out. Your iPhone detects when you've arrived at the gym, triggering the IFTTT recipe, which in turn sends an e-mail (using Gmail) to up to five of your contacts. By doing this, you make sure that anyone you deem scary enough to hold you accountable will know when you actually go to the gym, and so they'll also know when you haven't. In other words -- you can't lie anymore.

To really follow through on your gym commitments you could create yet another recipe on IFTTT to alert the same people when you've left the gym. Although, that does seem a bit overkill. Unless you find yourself driving by the gym just to trigger the recipe!