5 min readOct 23, 2021


Website: https://powerup.mobi

Twitter: @ThePowerUpGym

Discord: https://discord.gg/5FZgGQmCDu

Creator: mbuckle.eth

Artist: esketcho


Our mission is to build a community that encourages and motivates others to build healthier daily habits through the gamification of fitness using NFTs. We aren’t just creating NFTs, however, we’re building a mobile game and brand that go beyond the digital realm to provide utility for our members in the real world.

The Origin Story

Our story begins in 2017, when Pokémon Go and the Apple Watch were hitting the mainstream. Software developers (ourselves included) were exploring ways to create new app experiences for the watch. No one had really figured out yet how to make best use of the sensor data combined with the user experience of a device with such a small display.

We had been prototyping different ideas for apps for the Apple Watch including a Walkie-Talkie app (ultimately released by Apple the following year) and using the watch’s heart rate sensor to alert you if your heart rate was spiking during periods of inactivity (also eventually released by Apple).

Good ideas, yes, no real epiphany until a lunch one day when we talked about Pokémon Go. The genius of the app, we reasoned, was that developers were able to use gamification to get their users up off of their couch and walking around in the real world in order to earn rewards in the digital world. It’s a very relatable concept for anyone tied to a desk job.

We started to think about creation alongside the Apple Watch that would use some similar elements of gamification and competition combined with fitness tracker data in order to encourage and motivate people to build healthier daily habits. PowerUp was born.

One of the early concepts of PowerUp (initially called 1Up) was a simple Apple Watch app which would allow friends to challenge each other in various exercise competitions.

The Mobile Game

Initially, the mobile app was pretty simple: a single-player game that used health data including steps taken, flights climbed and heart rate in order to calculate daily Exercise Points (XP). If you gained a certain amount of XP in a day, the user was rewarded with in-game tokens which could be accumulated and redeemed in a marketplace to equip the user’s game character with cool gear. The user could choose between 1 of 4 game characters depending on preference: Bear (Weightlifter class), Gazelle (Runner class), Flamingo (Cycler class) or Otter (Swimmer class).

Later, we added what became the most engaging feature of the app: daily head-to-head matchups with competitors. Each day, users were randomly matched up against an opponent to compete for the most XP, and the winner was awarded with more in-game tokens at the conclusion of the matchup.

This is an app preview video showing the core features of the app (2017).

Within a short period of time, more than a thousand users used the app, and we were able to validate our hypothesis that these elements of gamification actually helped people build healthier daily habits. We were excited to see the positive impact that our mobile app was having on the small fitness community we had created, but sadly our funding ran out, so the app was sunset. Our users were also sad to hear the news, but they remained supportive and appreciative as you can see from this testimonial — among many — that we received:

“Thanks PowerUp Team. I’m sad to hear the app will not be back. Myself and a group of people were having fun with the app sharing and comparing our daily challengers and our records. We loved the competitive and fun aspects of it. There was not another app out there like it which made it unique. Overall I found an app I thought was awesome and hope to see more from your team in the future. If you ever need beta testers I’d be happy to help!”

— Jim S.

This is a silly, fun marketing video that we created to share on social media.


So, where is an NFT in all of this, you ask? For the uninitiated, NFTs have recently exploded in popularity and have allowed creators and artists to utilize the advantages of blockchain technology to build and grow tokenized communities around shared interests whether it be art, games, sports or even words on a page (yes, that was a thing for a hot minute).

The reason why NFTs are so popular aligns with the mission of PowerUp: Build a strong community around shared interests. But the key differentiator is that no one is yet doing this to add meaningful utility in real life (IRL). PowerUp has a great opportunity to be one of the first NFT projects to combine amazing art and gamification with real-world utility like helping people build healthier daily habits.

When we originally created PowerUp, we fell in love with the game characters. They were cute, very likeable in their own way and users of the app felt connected to them while playing the game and enjoyed customizing them with the gear they earned.

Although the art for this NFT project will be inspired by the original art, each game character will be adapted to fit the aesthetic which has become popular with NFTs. We have an amazing artist, esketcho (the same one who designed the art from the original app), and we’re hyped by the new designs we’ve seen so far.

The Gym

It’s important to be clear that our ambitions don’t stop at creating a cool 10k Profile Picture (PFP) project. We plan to be here for the long run. This is a marathon, not a sprint. We’re building a community around fun art, games and fitness. We hope to use this project to promote physical education all the while having a lot of fun in the process!

We are creating the premier Gym of the Metaverse where our community will gather to encourage and motivate each other to build healthier daily habits, and if we’re lucky, maybe even have a PowerUp Gym in the real world as well (seriously).

All gyms have memberships, and our gym will be no different. The first NFT we plan to launch will be the PowerUp Gym membership card. Everyone with a gym membership card will be able to mint their game characters during the presale period in order to avoid the dreaded “gas wars”.

The Course Map

We have many mile markers on the course map, all of which are being carefully planned, and we expect to have plenty of input from all members of the gym in order to properly chart the desired course.

After membership card holders have minted their game characters, we plan to begin working on rebuilding the mobile app so that members can use their characters in the game to earn rewards which can be used to level-up the characters. That is one of the major mile markers, but we have many other fun checkpoints along the route with lots of real-life utility.

We hope you will run alongside us. Please stop by the gym in Discord so we can huddle around the water cooler and chat more!