Making money by being fit used to be reserved for those who could dominate a marathon, hack it in the NFL or run around the competition on the basketball court. The sport of being fit – or CrossFit – changed all of that and allowed more competitive athletes to thrive outside of traditional, professional sports.
Exercise Race seeks to democratize the sport of fitness even more, taking away the barrier-to-entry of expensive travel to competitions and huge entrance fees. This online fitness competition allows athletes to use only a cell phone camera and some simple equipment to compete against athletes of all skill levels from across the world.
The premise of Exercise Race is true to the name: The company releases a prescribed workout and athletes compete to finish that workout in the fastest time.
To ensure that athletes perform the standardized exercises correctly, Exercise Race uses a technology called Dartfish, which helps to judge video submissions, eliminating the possibilty of human error. The Technology can determine whether an athlete released their hands at the bottom of their range-of-motion in a push-up as prescribed or flopped through the movement, which would land them in the disqualified category.
The entire process of completing an Exercise Race, Co-Founder Charlie Hunt said, is meant to take less than 20 minutes.
To break it down, those 20 minutes are divided between actually doing the workout (which has a 10-minute cap), filming the workout and uploading the workout to Exercise Race. The website explains you can expect your time to be spent something like this:
- Three minutes to setup your workout area
- Two minutes to introduce yourself and explain which workout you are doing and show the equipment for the competition
- Up to 10 minutes for the workout
- Three minutes to upload your workout
- Two minutes to enter the link and your time
The key to winning any competition – whether it’s Exercise Race or not – is to understand and to prepare for what you’re up against. This competitive field is incredibly varied and includes everyone from everyday athletes who make time for fitness outside of their nine-to-five jobs to elite CrossFit Athletes.
“This is the only outlet that we could think of where a normal guy could compete against a Mat Fraser,” Hunt said.
For readers who don’t follow the sport of CrossFit, Fraser is a superstar among those who consider the kipping pull-up the only way to do a pull-up. For the record, Fraser is listed as being able to deadlift a 500 lb barbell, was the runner up in the 2014 CrossFit Games, was named 2014 CrossFit Rookie of the Year and was the winner of the 2015 CrossFit Open. He’s the LeBron James of CrossFit.
When a new platform starts dropping the name of a fitness celebrity, one’s immediate assumption may be that he or she was paid to try it, but Fraser isn’t being compensated to compete on Exercise Race.
“Mat Fraser is just using the platform because he’s really excited about it,” Hunt said.
That doesn’t mean Fraser isn’t making money off of it – he scored $2,500 for his top time in Exercise Race’s pre-season competition.
Twenty minutes for $2,500? Not bad. But even if you’re not able to clinch that top spot, the top 10 male and female athletes all take home prize money, with number 10 just breaking even and prize money amounts increasing from there.
The current Exercise Race comes with a totally un-intimidating name, The Terminator, and is open to competitors who swap $10 and 20 minutes of their time to see how they stack up.
Want to know what you’ll be up against? Hunt said that a previous race, Godzilla (it’s not just you, these Exercise Race names seem to have a “beast” theme), required participants to do six rounds of four exercises: 10 reps of weighted squats, 10 reps of push-presses, 10 reps of pull-ups and 10 reps of kettle bell swings.
For athletes that have a set training schedule, these five- to six-minute workouts are designed to not interfere with their program design, “which is good for athletes who have regimented schedules,” Hunt said.
Want to know if you’re tough enough to make it into those top ten spots? Try it for yourself.