A technologist in Seattle said that he followed a continuous running routine, improved his health with it, and lost 26 pounds using neither a fitness program provided by an instructor nor with a gym membership but only using the free chatbot provided by OpenAI, ChatGPT.
Greg Mushen in an interview with Insider told that in February, he turned to ChatGPT to develop a healthier routine in order to keep up with his 6-year-old daughter.
“She’s at that magical age when she’s developing a personality of her own, and I want to be around to see different milestones,” he said. “I needed to change my lifestyle.”
And just after no more than 3 months, Mushen said that felt a lot of changes in his body and his lifestyle as he lost weight. He also felt a lot of improvements in his energy levels along with measures of heart health like his resting-heart rate.
“It’s been fun to see those metrics change, I just feel so much better,” he said.
Mushen is well-informed about modern technology but says that it is very easy to use ChatGPT to coach you into something that is beneficial for you. The AI chatbot motivates and guides you in a way that will save time and money. But, you have to be wary of your entered prompts and do some fact-checking hence it’s not good enough to put professional trainers out of their business yet.
Mushen hated every time he tried to get into the running trail located near him which is why he got the idea to use the very familiar AI chatbot and to “prompt the bot to act as if it had doctorates in sports psychology and neuroscience, asking it to devise a plan to get him addicted to running.”
“I was curious about what would happen, but didn’t think it would work,” he said.
After several prompts, ChatGPT finally came up with a plan that seemed low risk and feasible, so much so that Mushen didn’t believe that it would actually work.
For instance, the plan didn’t recommend any actual running until day three — and then only suggested five minutes of pounding the pavement.
“It seemed really strange that the steps were so small. I’m a ‘go to 11’ person, really all in, and so this was the opposite of how I probably intuitively would have done it,” Mushen said.
Still, it seemed like an easy experiment, so he immediately followed the first step, getting up and putting his running shoes by the door and surprisingly he immediately felt more invested in the project.
“Even doing that small task, I was bought in,” he said. “It was just so easy that when I was done, I remember feeling accomplished.”
With plenty of rest days and runs that stopped well short of exhaustion, the slow and steady pace of the program got him motivated and fired up to keep on going.
“It had an interesting effect on me because it was holding back so much, for whatever reason, that made me want to do it more,” he said.
Mushen now says that he does six running workouts a week, including four easy runs of about 45 minutes to an hour at a pace of around 13 minutes per mile for overall health and aerobic capacity. He’s recently added more intense sessions, such as hill sprints, but in shorter sessions of about half an hour.
“It’s something I really look forward to now,” he said. “I had a tendency to go really hard, get burned out. The maxim burned into our collective consciousness is no pain, no gain. But I’ve learned that it’s not always right.”
“It saved me so much time. I probably wouldn’t have done it if I had to go read books on running,” he said. “A coach would have been the way to go, but didn’t know if I wanted to invest in that upfront, so ChatGPT was a good compromise because it’s free.”
“I’m still a beginner, but I’m in such a better position to even evaluate what a good coach is. Before, I never would have thought of getting a running coach. Just the thought would be so bizarre,” he said.