Investing in your health just got a lot more literal with Deposit the Work — an app that pays users when they burn calories — explained Jasper Sanders.
“I was trying to come up with a way for people to stay with fitness,” said Sanders, the app’s Kansas City, Kansas-based founder. “A lot of people go into their fitness journey and then fall off after a couple months or so. With this business model, it motivates people and keeps them accountable. By actually seeing your cashback earnings, it pushes you to stay on track.”
Deposit the Work is a lifestyle app containing healthy recipes curated by a nutritionist, workout programs designed by Sanders and a fitness apparel shop.
“Our lifestyle approach is based on the philosophy that the bigger picture in your life is built on the smaller things you do every day,” Sanders noted.
The app contains a system that tracks points users earn from: active calorie expenditure, active distanced covered, referring family and friends, purchasing activewear on the app and training consecutive days. Once users obtain a certain amount of points, they can withdraw their cash earned, and it goes directly into their bank account. The app is also pre-integrated with Apple Health and Fitbit for consumer ease.
With an idea that may seem too good to be true, Sanders urged that there is no hidden “catch.”
“I’d like for the app to essentially be viewed as a virtual gym membership, and subscribers have the chance to earn their money back,” he stated, adding that it is along the lines of “getting out what you put in.”
Sanders founded Deposit the Work in June 2019 as a fitness trainer and quickly adding the clothing line. Soon after, he knew he wanted to make his business into an application. Reaching out to developers in April 2020, Sanders and his team started had been working nonstop on the bootstrapped venture until its launch in January 2021, he recalled.
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Deposit the Work has a monthly subscription fee with two workout programs offered as an extra purchase. The programs, Cut and Build, range between 6 to 12 weeks.
“Cut is for someone who wants to lower their body fat percentage, and Build is geared toward building muscle,” Sanders explained. “From there, we have hundreds of workouts for people to choose from, and there’s a video explaining how to do each workout.”
Workouts are comprehensive, yet challenging, with options to perform different levels of a specific exercise. Because of this, both beginners and advanced athletes can benefit from Deposit the Work, he said.
On the nutrition side of the app, it contains more than 100 recipes — with options ranging from keto to vegan-friendly. The recipes will update throughout the year to provide meals with fresh, in season ingredients, Sanders noted.
“On the app, we have calculations for each user’s suggested calorie and macro intake, depending on whether they are looking to cut, maintain or gain [weight],” Sanders said. “That’s all based on your height, weight and age.
“… A lot of people get confused with nutrition, thinking it’s harder than what it is,” he continued. “But with our recipes, it shows that you can live the lifestyle you want to live and not have a strict diet of chicken and rice every day — nobody wants to want to do that.”
What are macronutrients (or macros)?
Macros — known as carbohydrates, proteins and fats — are the building blocks of nutrition. “Macro counting” is used to help one understand where their calories come from and how those calories affect their body.
Fitness and health has always been a significant part of Sanders’ life, he shared — noting his training got serious when he was offered an opportunity to play football at the University of South Dakota.
“[After college] I was training for the NFL and hurt my hamstring on pro day,” Sanders recalled. “So I came back to Kansas City in the summer of 2015, and I have been training people — from 5-year-old kids to 80-year-old women — ever since.”
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Within the first few weeks of the app’s launch, it has been rewarding to see people diving deeper into their personal fitness journeys by using the technology, Sanders shared.
“I’m really happy to see everybody’s enjoying it,” Sanders said. “People who hated working out have now said they love working out with the app. I think it motivates them to see the cashback they earn and pushes them harder. That’s important because the more we invest into our health, the better off we’ll be later in life.”
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.