A new fitness app charges you for every minute you spend at the gym - here's the verdict

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mercedes club Mark Matousek/Business Insider We think POPiN could change the way people exercise.

  • The new app POPiN allows users to pay by-the-minute at participating gyms.
  • Users currently have access to six gyms in Manhattan.
  • Per-minute rates run from $0.14-$0.26.

Gym memberships are expensive, especially if you don't use them regularly. But even if you do use your membership consistently, they often only apply to a select number of gyms that have limited hours, which means you may be forced to pay $50 for a one-time pass if you want to exercise after staying late at work or traveling.

The new app POPiN attempts to solve this problem, allowing users to pay reduced rates to workout at participating gyms based on the amount of time they spend there. (There are six gyms available so far-all in Manhattan-with two more the company's website indicates will be available soon.) The per-minute rates run from $0.14-$0.26, which means that a 45-minute workout would cost between $6.30 and $11.70, a significant discount from the average gym's day pass.

We tried the app at the Mercedes Club in Midtown and saw why it might change the way we exercise.

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After trying the app, it's easy to understand how POPiN could be very useful for people who don't want to pay for pricey gym memberships or day passes.

After trying the app, it's easy to understand how POPiN could be very useful for people who don't want to pay for pricey gym memberships or day passes.

Once you're finished, you simply return to the front desk and scan the QR code again, at which point the app calculates your total cost. After spending 85 minutes at the gym, my final cost, $22.10, was less than half of the gym's $50 fee for a day pass. The company is giving first-time users a code for a free workout on its website.

Once you're finished, you simply return to the front desk and scan the QR code again, at which point the app calculates your total cost. After spending 85 minutes at the gym, my final cost, $22.10, was less than half of the gym's $50 fee for a day pass. The company is giving first-time users a code for a free workout on its website.

Source: Mercedes Club, POPiN

...or go for a run.

...or go for a run.

...swim...

...swim...

...box...

...box...

...play basketball...

...play basketball...

Once you've checked in, you have complete access to the gym's facilities, which makes the app useful whether you want to lift weights...

Once you've checked in, you have complete access to the gym's facilities, which makes the app useful whether you want to lift weights...

After that, the app begins to time your workout.

After that, the app begins to time your workout.

But instead of showing a membership card or paying upfront, you use the POPiN app to scan a QR code on a mini IPad.

But instead of showing a membership card or paying upfront, you use the POPiN app to scan a QR code on a mini IPad.

You check in like you would as a member or guest.

You check in like you would as a member or guest.

We chose to go to the Mercedes Club on 550 W 54th St.

We chose to go to the Mercedes Club on 550 W 54th St.

For each gym, you can see its hours, per-minute and per-hour rates, and reviews from other users.

For each gym, you can see its hours, per-minute and per-hour rates, and reviews from other users.

When you open the app, it shows you a map of available gyms and lists them according to how close they are.

When you open the app, it shows you a map of available gyms and lists them according to how close they are.
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