You Only Pay For The Time You Workout With This New Gym App

Down to the minute.

POPiN fitness app
Image: POPiN

Not every week is a good week. Fitness wise, I mean.


Let’s be honest: we go on holidays, we get back from holidays, we get busy, we’re tired. Some weeks we hardly work out at all. That’s why there are moments when I wish we could pay only for the time we actually use the gym … it would have saved me a lot these past few days (read: months).

Turns out, I’m not the only one who’s felt this way. “Early last year I found myself in a place where a full gym membership didn’t make a lot of sense. I was travelling and working all over the city. Getting day passes was a huge hassle, and I didn’t always want to sign up for a class. I knew there had to be a better way to get a workout without spending a fortune, and without being locked into something that my schedule would prohibit me from utilising the full value of,” New Yorker, Dalton Han, told us. “I began to realise that the gyms were also really under utilised. They had the capacity to hold more users than members on location. I felt that there was a piece of the market missing and I felt that I could develop a system that could bridge that gap.”

And so, he did. Launching last month, POPiN is a new fitness app that lets you pay only for the time you use the gym, down to the minute. Designed for travellers, people with unpredictable schedules or even those wanting to try a new studio, it’s an entirely flexible membership that allows users to simply ‘pop in’ (cue ahhhh).

“We sought to create a platform that grants people complete control over their workout routine and fitness budget while giving gyms access to a new customer base,” says CEO and Co-Founder, Dalton Han. “POPiN bridges the gap between commitment-based facilities and health-minded individuals hesitant to be tied into contracts.” And for all those times I’ve been hounded on the phone by my gym manager, that’s music to my ears.

With the app, users can see all gym details: location, hours of operations, and amenities (sauna, steam, pool, basketball court, etc.). The app also shows pricing, of course. The gyms run from 16-26 cents a minute (US$9.60-15.60 an hour). While you can view, search, and filter amenities within the app, you cannot view classes. You can, however, filter by which gyms have classes. “The primary use for POPiN is to access the facilities,” says Dalton.

So how does it work? Easy. Simply download the app to find a nearby health club that fits with your preferences and schedule. Check in at the front desk via the app. When you’re sweaty enough, scan out at the front desk to automatically pay.

While POPiN isn’t a replacement for a regularly used fitness membership, it’s a more cost-effective method for those working out about twice per week and those who want flexibility. Perhaps you enjoy morning walks but want to have access to a weights occasionally or maybe you don’t have a consistent routine, POPiN lets gym-goers fit their fitness into their lives, as opposed to scheduling their lives around their fitness.

At this point, POPiN is only available in New York City with four locations—albeit premium ones—but Dalton says there’s much more to come. “We plan on growing very quickly in New York over the next few months, and we will be on the West Coast next year.” And if Classpass’s success is anything to go by, it might be a matter of time before they’re global.

If you live in NYC or you’re travelling, test it out, the first class is on them.