Digital Fitness Revolution: The Creation and Development of Successful Fitness Applications


Alexandra Kazemir-Yampolska


10 minutes

As the world transitions back to its normal rhythm post-pandemic, one thing is irrefutably clear – the digital transformation of businesses is here to stay. Particularly for industries that were predominantly offline, this new digital frontier offers an opportunity for resilience and growth.

Amidst this trend, fitness applications and workout apps have emerged as a leading sector, merging technology with wellness to offer unparalleled convenience.

This article explores the burgeoning fitness app industry, discussing the function, development, and implementation stages of these applications. We’ll explore what fitness apps are and how to create one.


Overview of how to create a fitness app

The negative changes that the pandemic brought gradually subsided, and life is returning to its previous format. Cafés and bars resume normal work, fitness clubs and gyms restore their usual work schedules, and the authorities lift restrictions on visiting public places.

However, the world will indeed be the same again. At least not for businesses whose activities have so far been mostly offline. Quarantine has shown how unpromising their situation becomes without regular personal contact with the consumer. And entrepreneurs who want to keep their businesses stable despite the crises should think seriously about the dense mastery of the Internet space.

The rapid development of technology and growing popularity of virtual sites would somehow lead enterprises to this idea; it just would not have been such a fast and noticeable leap.

However, Covid-19 has set its own rules and forced business owners to look for new, more flexible ways to earn money. Many of them have taken their services to a new level, making them more convenient and accessible to the client and making their businesses more stable so that the next crisis does not turn them into ruins.

There are three most promising types of applications for mobile devices that provide a real opportunity to stay afloat during storms. These apps are for streaming, delivery, and fitness.

The last application is for training, proper nutrition, and similar problems. Recently, workouts have become increasingly popular; therefore, a reasonable entrepreneur with a creative streak and initial capital has every chance to fill the still-empty niches in this sector.


Reasons for the popularity of fitness apps 

Grand View Company, with 20 years of experience in analytical research, has made serious calculations. According to the forecasts of its experts, between 2020 and 2024, revenues in the field of development and implementation of software for gym apps should grow by $1.68 billion. And such an authoritative source can be trusted.

The calculations are partly confirmed by the research and consulting firm Polaris Company, indicating that the number of applications for regulating nutrition and solving health difficulties increases constantly—in some years by 200 million downloads. In addition, sales of sports equipment for practicing at home also went up.

People bought yoga mats, jump ropes, dumbbells, and other sports equipment. At the same time, many people understand that the benefits of self-study will be immeasurably lower than a workout developed by an experienced specialist, and they want to continue to keep in touch with the fitness club, even remotely.

This is easily explained because the way to the gym can be inconvenient or time-consuming, so the idea of getting a competent set of exercises or a well-thought-out diet menu without a personal meeting with a trainer and nutritionist looks very tempting!

Moreover, there is a good chance that even after a full return to life without quarantine, many users who have appreciated the availability of home activities will not want to change new habits. So it definitely makes sense to listen to forecasts which promise further rapid development of this industry.

Currently, the fitness app development market has several prominent leaders, such as Calm or Weight Watchers, but does not yet cover all user requests, so the chances of taking a place among competitors and finding your consumer are quite high.

You may ask, “What is the first step in creating a successful fitness program?”

For this, you first need to analyze the target audience to understand what type of application can attract more attention and make a person prefer your product. This is a necessary step because you risk investing your money in a dummy without it. Take it as seriously as possible! Of course, it is most desirable to entrust the analytical work to the masters since, without proper preparation, it is impossible to create a workout app correctly.


Types of fitness apps with the highest ROI 

The surge of interest in virtual workouts and menus has given rise to a wide variety of fitness applications, the essence of which can be reduced to three options.

  • Tracking user activity. This application will count the number of steps taken by a person per day, determine how long he has been exercising, what distance he has went, and how many calories he has burned. With it, it becomes easier to get an idea of our activity during the day, which we ourselves cannot always evaluate objectively.
  • Healthy foods and diets. The application saves the user from the boring counting of calories and analyzes their quality, helps to take control of eating habits, monitors the consumption of enough water, suggests recipes for healthy and tasty dishes, and tracks the rate of weight loss. This is a real salvation for those who do not have time or desire to learn all the subtleties of a healthy diet on their own!
  • Exercises and workouts. The application will provide information about sets of exercises for different muscle groups, recommend the correct technology for their implementation, and, in general, become a real virtual trainer. It can be used at home or in a fitness club to achieve the best results from training.

As soon as you decide on the audience and the type of workout app you’re going to show them, it’s time to start thinking about functionality.

How difficult it will be depends on your plan, the experience of the development team, and the funding you can afford.


How does the fitness app work?

There is no definite answer to this question. For example, a diet app can track a person’s activity as a bonus and give recommendations on the most optimal way to burn calories, and exercise complexes may be well supplemented with links to dishes, which can increase the effectiveness of training.

But even if you have significant funds and want to invest them in creating your own fitness app, there is no need to develop cool functionality.

Start with an MVP and develop a minimally working fitness app. You will always have a chance to complicate it later, when you test the finished product and understand all its strengths and weaknesses.

Minimum fitness app features:

  1. Registration. If you link it to your email, make sure that the process is not complicated and does not cause unnecessary trouble for the user. Another way to simplify the procedure is to submit the application through social networks.
  2. Profile. Firstly, the client places his basic personal information here and indicates his gender, weight, and other data. Secondly, he can track his progress, which is very useful in stimulating a person to continue logging into the system and using its services.
  3. Training plans. They should be enough to meet the needs of the client, whether he wants to lose weight, build muscle, or target a particular body part. You can gain access to the training programs of various celebrities in the fitness world.
  4. Activity tracking. If you decide to focus on proper nutrition, this feature is optional. However, it is useful. Even the simplest program for counting steps and burning calories will add popularity to your product.
  5. Hints. A pop-up window with notifications will tell the user where to go according to his preferences and progress.
  6. Integration with wearable devices. Smartwatches, bracelets, glasses, and other achievements in modern technology, together with the application, allow you to collect more accurate data about a person, his activity, and diet, as well as improve the quality of recommendations.
  7. Connection with social networks. Most users share their successes gladly on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Provide them with this opportunity.

Finally, when you have developed a fitness app, it’s time to think about how it will be monetized. Options to choose from:

  • Monthly or annual subscription with a fixed amount;
  • Combination of simple free features and higher-quality or interesting paid features;
  • Free content with advertising.

It’s great if you can combine several monetization options; this will improve the payback of the project and bring you to the plus point faster.


Algorithm for how to create a fitness app step by step 

After all the preparatory stages, software developers begin to work to make a fitness app; thanks to them, your product will receive a visible embodiment. The process is carried out according to the standard scheme, with minor deviations in one direction or another.

4 steps to creating a fitness app:

  1. Search for a team of professionals and discuss the idea. Each interested party must understand the set goals clearly, have an image of the business model, and understand what and how to do it. At this stage, you need to discuss the budget to avoid unpleasant surprises while working.
  2. Creation of a prototype. Entrust a team of specialists, with whom you have an agreement, to develop an MVP. It allows you to test the functionality of the workout app and your ideas.
  3. Writing a code. The stage begins after the minimum viable product has been tested and validated. It takes a lot of time and effort, and often additional investments; be ready for it beforehand. Quality control specialists should be involved in the process; they will check the software using automation and manual means. Do not doubt that the result is worth the effort because you will have the opportunity to find all weaknesses in advance and solve problems.
  4. Launching the fitness app. Even after the development team creates a workout app, you can’t relax. Now the task of the team working on it will include tracking feedback and eliminating mistakes as quickly as possible if they suddenly show up. In addition, perfectly working software needs updates and service.


Calculating the time and cost of developing a fitness application 

The time necessary for building fitness app software varies depending on its complexity, functionality, and your willingness to invest additional funds if required. We will calculate approximate dates that you can use as a guide.

Application features and approximate development time:

  • Registration – 32 hours;
  • Profile – 30 hours;
  • Training plans – 120 hours;
  • Activity tracking – 135 hours;
  • Hints – 24 hours;
  • Integration of wearable devices – 60 hours;
  • Connection with social networks – 30 hours;
  • Design – 100 hours.

In total, we can conclude that the development of a fitness app for mobile devices will take at least 531 hours.

Multiply it by the average salary of a good software engineer ($100–150), and you get an amount of money ranging from $53,100 to $79,650. This is the bottom line for a finished fitness or workout app. Multiply the received amount by two to consider all risks, corrections, additions, and unforeseen circumstances.

However, the cost of developing a fitness app can be significantly reduced by outsourcing software development to a company with lower rates, but in this case, you will have to do a lot of work and choose a contractor with more experience and good references. Real specialists rarely value their work.

A few tips for beginners:

  1. When picking a strategy, do not try to cover as many market segments as possible. Define your range of users. Sweat, for example, focuses on women and their needs.
  2. Contact professional trainers to create training programs; pay attention to the prevention of accidents; and do not forget to leave warnings if some exercises are not suitable for beginners.
  3. Do not try to create complex schemes while creating a workout app; practice shows that simple workouts at home have been one of the most requested products during the pandemic.
  4. Choose simple solutions for integration with wearable devices. Why reinvent the wheel when you can produce it with the Google Fit and Apple Health Kit APIs and get all the information you require?

Fitness, workouts, and gym apps can be a good investment if you calculate the risks and plan your actions. Even crises do not force people to give up their familiar comforts, and often vice versa – they only increase the popularity of the product. The main thing for you is to cooperate only with professionals and control every step of creating a new workout application.


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