Is there a business reason to create a fitness app in 2022? Are there enough fitness apps on the market? Which is the target audience for a modern fitness app? How to make a fitness app and get success? We tried to answer these questions in the article.

Why are fitness apps still popular?

Pandemia has changed the world. People understand that health is the priority, and it needs attention every day, but not only once when you or your family member are already in a hospital. During the first quarter of 2020, health and fitness apps were downloaded 593 million times.

The number of fitness apps downloads

Gyms were closed, so people needed "a pocket fitness trainer" to work out at home. The pandemic situation is still current in some countries. Still, even without pandemia, a fitness app gives users many bonuses, unlike a gym subscription or attending a fitness trainer. The main of them:

  1. the price of a fitness app is much lower than the price of the subscription to a gym or attending a private fitness trainer;
  2. an opportunity to do workout almost anytime and in anywhere (on vacancies, during trips, at home, in the street of your region, at work);
  3. the massive choice of sports practices — you can study yoga, qigong, rehabilitation exercises, classic fitness, sportive dances, and almost any what you want and what is not available in your region;
  4. a fitness app is often more understandable than a group live fitness practice — the speed of a trainer in a group often does not allow doing exercises correctly and repeating them as many times as you need to remember them or do them right;
  5. the progress in a fitness app is easy to follow — people don't have time, so having a fitness app that records their fitness activities and results is a must. Thanks to the constant analysis of the data that is recorded by the fitness application, people can make their daily schedules and correct their routine;
  6. an easy fitness goal setting and achieving — people can easily set their own goals in fitness applications. The person who knows his body best sets goals that can be achieved.

Building a fitness app from scratch is not easy. It can be divided into the main tasks:

  • to detect the target audience;
  • to analyze competitors;
  • to define features for an app;
  • to select the best algorithm to use;
  • to choose the technology stack for a fitness app;
  • to set the budget;
  • to create a plan of monetization and scaling.
  • Let's review all these points precisely. If you decide to take a spot in the niche of fitness apps, prepare well and complete these steps.

Fitness App Development

The app development process requires good preparation. Before developing an actual fitness application, check and do the following steps.

Detecting the target audience

Detecting the target audience for your fitness app means who will use your future fitness app? To segment the audience correctly, you can use psychometric or/and demographic ways.

Demographics and statistics help create an average user persona, while psychographics guides you to the matching algorithm.

Find the demographic characteristics of your future user persona, such as age, gender, family status, education, occupation, location, main hobbies. This information users can enter during the registration.

Try also to detect the main problems with the health and body state of a future app user with physical indicators:

  • weight;
  • height;
  • waist and hips measures;
  • pulse pressure;
  • blood sugar;
  • water consumption per day;
  • typical diet or nutrition type;
  • calorie intake;
  • chronic diseases, and so on.

And also, try to detect psychometric parameters:

  • lifestyle;
  • opinions;
  • values;
  • fitness/health goals.

These parameters will help you understand how your future users behave and why they act in such a way. You can build your app more engaging, ergonomic, and valuable, and, also, you can create effective marketing campaigns using this data. Create a personal portrait of your future customer before using your app, and make a personal portrait of your customer after using your app. Your user's start and final images will help you build steps between those states.

To collect this data, do research, conduct polls, and surveys, analyze competitors' audiences. The more you know about your potential users of your future fitness app, the better product you can propose to them.

Competitor analysis

The competitor analysis is a crucial step in app development and marketing strategy creation. Look at your competitors and answer such questions:

  1. What features do their fitness apps have?
  2. What feedback do their users leave?
  3. What are the pluses and minuses of their fitness apps?

You can mix and match features, create new mechanisms, and combine different functionalities to gain a competitive advantage. You may utilize your rivals' flaws to develop more popular and helpful fitness or health applications. Let's review some examples.

Strava

Strava might be right up your alley if you love the feeling of belonging and social connection that comes with fitness. The program is designed for runners, bikers, and swimmers who enjoy a little friendly rivalry while they work toward their best shape ever. You may join Strava's exercise challenges with other users of other fitness apps, upload photographs from your workouts, and follow the fitness activities of your friends. In addition to this, it provides some essential features such as monitoring your workout distance, speed, and duration.

Strava Summit, the paid version of the app, contains many of the features that users enjoy most. Within the app, you may create your fitness or race training objectives and receive customized training programs and real-time feedback to make your workouts more effective.

You may also compete with your pals in segments, compare your previous efforts, and get a deeper understanding of your training habits and performance by looking at advanced performance statistics.

Pros:

  • Easy to map, record, track and analyze workouts;
  • Great race training assistance;
  • Free monthly fitness challenges keep you motivated;
  • Described by a user as social media for people who want to be active.

Cons:

  • Lacks music integration;
  • Most features require a paid subscription.

Freeletics

If you're a fan of short, sweaty, and highly efficient workouts, you'll love the Freeletics fitness app. It emphasizes bodyweight exercises — such as burpees, squats, and sit-up variations — that are simple to do anywhere, any time. It also includes personalized high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routines with instructive audio coaching to assist you in getting into shape fast.

The free edition of the software includes 20 bodyweight HIIT exercises, 25 individual workouts, and 20 audio-based training sessions.

Freeletics Coach is an AI-powered personal trainer that puts activities together based on your experience, goals, fitness level, and preferences.

The premium version of the software opens up a world of possibilities for your fitness regimen and personal progress. The AI-powered coach combines the power of HIIT training, mindfulness, fitness knowledge, and motivation to help you attain your goals. It's also user-friendly for novices and experienced athletes alike.

Pros:

  • 5- to 30-minute workouts you can do anywhere, anytime;
  • Led by expert coaches who motivate you through every workout;
  • High-quality video workouts ensure you train properly;
  • 14-day money-back guarantee on Freeletics Coach subscription.

Cons:

  • Free content bank is limited;
  • Free workout programs lack customizability;
  • Users say the stretching portion of the workout feels a bit rushed.

Map My Run

MapMyRun is a long-time running app. It has maintained its popularity because of its broad capabilities and active user community. The app's 70 million+ running routes ensure that you have a new path to try at all times, and it accurately tracks your distance, speed, elevation, calories burned, and other data as you run. You may also listen to real-time audio coaching on your GPS-tracked runs.

The best part of Map My Run is the superb visual maps it provides. You can build a route map ahead of time using the easy online tool, and you may examine every element of your run right inside the map after completing your workout. The virtual membership also includes real-time live GPS tracking, which allows you to share your location with family and friends in real-time for additional protection.

Pros:

  • Most-used features are free;
  • Can track 600+ activities in addition to running;
  • Tracks shoe mileage, so you know when it's time to replace them;
  • Expert-led training programs are available with MVP membership.

Cons:

  • Can drain your phone battery on longer runs;
  • No longer supports music integration;
  • Users report problems with the Apple Watch integration.

Defining features for a fitness app

Each fitness application has a unique set of features to help its users achieve their fitness and health goals. However, here are the most critical aspects that every excellent fitness app should have:

  1. Users sign in when they start to use applications. Include login via popular sources like e-mail, social networks, and phone numbers for a better user experience;
  2. Another crucial component is user profiles. Users should be able to keep their health and body state information from the first day of exercise;
  3. Connection to external devices. Your fitness app must support as many trackers as possible. Wearable producers and mobile platforms provide developers with the chance to collect and store more helpful information such as heart rate, calories burned, type of exercises, and duration and intensity of physical activity;
  4. Second-by-second activity tracking. This feature aids in the calculation of more precise fitness needs and requirements. Users can use this function to track various activities, which might help them compare their fitness progress across time;
  5. Geolocation. The app can also be used to choose a route and input it using the touch-based interface. This feature allows users to build numerous walking, running, and cycling itineraries. It also aids in the viewing and tracing of distance when joggers or bike riders utilize the map supplied by the software. In addition to being able to view this data;
  6. Notifications — don't let users miss out on their fitness and personal care routines. App users must be given timely information about activities that need to be completed. However, it's critical that they can modify notification settings: enable and disable them, and choose which types of exercises should be notified about;
  7. Payment gateways are necessary for generating revenue. Allow customers to make it conveniently through internet payments if they're ready to spend money on core or bonus routines in the fitness app;
  8. Consider protection. Individuals will disclose much personal information on the app, therefore, use verification. Instead of passwords, use multi-factor authentication.

These fundamental features are the minimal basis for a successful fitness or health wellness application.

Fitness apps algorithms: best practices

A training guide is the essential feature of any fitness software. Algorithms require initial data from a user to be more precise in predicting workouts.

Based on matching approaches, applications can be divided into four categories:

  • Data-based;
  • Calculation-based (mathematical algorithm);
  • Behavior analysis;
  • Implementation of AI and AR.

The app's various features, such as educational content on how to stay healthy and fit, ways to improve your attitude toward working out, and even exercise instructional videos, keep users interested.

This feature aims to provide more incentive and entice people not to stop using your app. Giving rewards, badges, and competitions are methods for users to have a strong mentality about reaching their objectives and remaining motivated.

Adding social media features to your app allows users to advertise their findings and provides free advertising since they may share their results on their social media accounts. It's also critical to establish social media pages for your application so that people can see what it's all about while engaging.

To deliver the most significant health results for app users, all of these fundamental and distinct characteristics must be considered.

Technology stack for a fitness app

Finding and employing competent and experienced staff is a difficult task here. Not to mention you'll need funds for your employment. If you intend to hire a development team, take some time to learn as much as possible about potential employees:

  • Look at their portfolio;
  • Study their professional history;
  • Analyze the terms of employment and expected deadlines.

Another alternative is to hire an in-house development team or a single developer. It will save money but take longer to create a fitness program.

In both instances, you should be aware of the most common technology stacks used for development nowadays:

  • Programming languages: Swift for iOS, Kotlin for Android;
  • Database: PostgreSQL, MySQL;
  • IDE: Xcode 11+, latest Android Studio;
  • Web server: Nginx, Apache;
  • Cloud storage: Amazon S3, Heroku, Rackspace;
  • Social authorization: Facebook SDK, Twitter SDK, Google+ SDK, Instagram SDK;
  • Payment gateway: Stripe, PayPal;
  • General utilities: Optimizely, Twilio, Google Maps, Google Analytics.

As you'll be keeping loads of information and obtaining it, you'll need a lot of memory and processing power.

What is a budget for fitness app development?

According to Internet sources, the budget for fitness app development varies between $30,000-70,000 and can be even above $100,000. But the combined revenue generated by both the Apple App Store and Google Play health and fitness apps rose to 837 million dollars in 2020, against the total 592 million dollars of 2019.

There are at least five development stages for your investments while creating a fitness app:

  • Business and marketing analysis;
  • Project management;
  • UI and UX design;
  • Development and testing;
  • Maintenance.

Each stage requires numerous professionals to be compensated. The app's complexity influences the cost of development. Of course, if you choose to focus simply on the basics and use a simple design, you may undoubtedly cut expenses. That is why it is usually preferable to plan everything before development.

Monetization strategy

Of course, it's also critical to ensure that the fitness application you're creating offers worthwhile outcomes. There are several methods for monetizing your app. You may use several ways to profit or get money from your exercise program:

  1. Paid Apps – Users must purchase your fitness program to get the advantages. Offering a free trial and then charging or encouraging users to subscribe to continue using your app is one approach you may utilize.
  2. In-app Purchases – If you want to develop a free fitness software for users, you may still make money by encouraging people to purchase something in your app, such as an extra powerful feature setting or premium content that they can only get when they buy the particular functionality.
  3. Advertisements – Fitness businesses may be interested in working with you and running advertising campaigns through your app, which you can charge on a cost-per-mile basis.
  4. Free Apps – Give the app free with essential fitness tracking capabilities and allow users to pay for extra features. Users will be encouraged to buy premium features that they may require to achieve a better fitness outcome in the long run.

Final thoughts

We know that pandemic has an expiration date, but it's clear that fitness apps will endure. Creating a new one is a good and potentially successful concept. Remember to develop a unique concept, identify your target audience, and create a marketing plan. If you can't afford to pay $40,000 for application development, look into no-code.AppMaster.io. It has features that allow you to get your product to customers without coding anything. AppMaster.io has pre-built backend functionality PostgreSQL database. Make a prototype of your app in a few weeks, and then start working on the final version.