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Detailed Guide to Create a Fitness App from Scratch

Olha Anurina

Content Manager
  • Why Create a Fitness App: Market Overview
  • The Most Popular Types of Fitness Apps
  • Step-by-Step Process to Build a Fitness App
  • How to Make a Fitness App: Features
  • Tech Components & Elements Used to Build a Fitness App
  • Fitness App Development: Monetization Strategies
  • How Much Does it Cost to Create a Fitness App?

During the coronavirus lockdown in 2020, Nike Training Club app hit a 100% increase in active weekly users. This shows that the necessity to stay fit is on the rise.

Obviously, this makes it a good time to find out how to make a fitness app of your own and grab a piece of this hot pie.

This article is a detailed fitness app development guide, wherein we share:

  • technical and marketing insight on how to create a fitness app
  • tips to find a reliable software development vendor
  • advice on how to stand out from a crowd of 250,000 similar solutions
  • an answer to the question “how much does it cost to make a fitness app?”
  • fresh news and success stories of how to build a fitness app in 2020

Let’s dive right into the insight!

Why Create a Fitness App: Market Overview

If you are thinking about whether or not to create a fitness app, think no more as statistics state the following:

  • In the first quarter of 2020, the number of downloads of health and fitness apps reached 593 million.
  • Health and fitness app statistics project that by the end of 2020 apps from this category will have been downloaded 656 million times.
  • According to a Statista Survey, the number of fitness app users grew from 62.7 million in 2018 to 87.4 million users in 2020. It is projected that in 2022, the overall number of users will equal 86.3 million.
  • In 2019, the number of FitBit devices sold worldwide constituted 16 million.

Fitness Applications Market State

Would you like to create a fitness app?

Receive a free consultation and app estimate from experts! Let’s discuss your app idea in greater detail so we can provide you with recommendations as well as estimate your project cost and timeline.

Fitness applications are gaining traction as more and more brands invest in mobile and web development. Creating a fitness app gives your business a powerful competitive edge.

Still not sure whether building a fitness app is worth your time and budget?

Read on to learn how to make a fitness app and win a lucrative place in the market.

The Most Popular Types of Fitness Apps

We will start our fitness app development guide with a couple of words on the most popular types of fitness apps.

A custom fitness app is a powerful booster to a sports or healthcare business, and is also a great platform for advertising. Therefore, many businesses decide to build a fitness app to supplement their services.

You definitely don’t want to bet on a web or mobile fitness application that users won’t be interested in. Your task is to create a fitness app that has the highest chance of being noticed among similar solutions.

Types of Fitness Apps

Health and fitness app developers should consider the following fitness app ideas:

  • Workout or exercise apps

Workout apps are the first to come to mind when it comes to fitness app development.

These solutions allow users to track their workouts and weight loss. These apps make up 73% of all health and fitness app sessions.

Typically, workout and weight loss apps provide users with a set of exercises and functionality to count burned calories and keep track of a workout routine.

When integrated with fitness wearables, they can act like custom workout apps. Based on the collected activity and health data, apps give recommendations for building the most effective personalized fitness programs.

Usually, the workout fitness app category includes a few sub-categories:

Fitness app category Description Fitness app example
Exercise apps provide exercise guides, videos, customized training. Some offer personalized AI-based recommendations for workouts and nutrition based on your fitness goals, age, weight, height, etc. Freeletics, Fitbit Coach, Pear, Shred, NTC
On-demand personal trainer apps allow users to hire coaches for one-on-one training or on-demand. Trainers create personalized fitness programs based on users’ goals, physical strength, and health Fitmo, MyKanthaka, Handstand
Yoga and gym fitness apps provide customized training to combine yoga activity with workouts Alo Moves, Yoga Wake Up
Apps to plan workouts elaborate on planning and tracking progress My Workout Plan, Simple Workout Log, Gym Workout Planner
  • Activity tracking apps

Running and jogging apps are part of a highly popular category (in the USA alone, almost 60 million people practice running) that offer unlimited opportunities to create fitness apps.

Running fitness apps rely on GPS to track distance covered, speed, and elevation. For the most part, physical activity tracker apps are integrated with wearable devices that they can pull the useful information from.

Some apps, like Strava (considered the best social fitness app), let users share their achievements, motivate each other, join clubs, and monitor their friends’ progress.

Below, you can find more info on the best fitness applications for tracking.

Fitness app category Description Fitness app example
Running trackers aside from tracking routes, they send alerts on safety, differentiate between activities (running or walking), provide coaching for workouts Couch-to-5K, Human, Pacer, Runcoach
Cycling apps allow users to record rides, make routes, send notifications regarding free roads, etc. Strava, Komoot, MyWindsock
Yoga trackers offer counts of completed training sessions, goals achieved, etc. Track Yoga, Glo, Asana Rebel
Gym trackers help track your gym workout progress based on data feed from wearables, geolocation data, timers, etc. Strong, Gym Workout Tracker, Fit Notes
  • Nutrition apps

These apps are used to help users gain or lose weight and better control healthy eating habits.

When you create a fitness app with dietary recommendations, pay attention to the following subcategories:

Fitness app category Description Fitness app example
Apps to lose weight help count burned calories, offer food insight, healthy recipes, and shopping lists My Plate Calorie Counter, 8fit, My Net Diery
Apps to build muscle focus on gaining useful weight by combining targeted workouts with a diet geared toward muscle growth MyFitnessPal, Dr. Muscle

Now you should have a general understanding of what kind of fitness app you may need.

In the next stage, we want to give you an idea of the general flow and show how to make a fitness app step-by-step.

Step-by-Step Process to Build a Fitness App

If you want to begin fitness app development, first you need to formulate a project concept, then move on to market research, define the target audience, as well as create a unique selling proposition. Then, you should focus on all the stages of app development and release, which should be supported by a well-planned marketing campaign.

1. Analyze the Market & Define Your Target Audience

In order to begin the process of fitness app creation, you must first discover what people need from these products and how your competitors are satisfying these needs at the moment. You can check out Google Play and the Apple App Store for apps in the fitness category, study their functionality, user reviews, take a look at popular products, and compare prices, reviews, and feature sets.

This will help you detect gaps in market offerings and outline your target audience.

Here’s a brief guide on how to work with a target audience for your fitness app:

  • Conduct polls and present your idea to as many people as possible
  • Document and analyze their remarks
  • Modify your primary idea according to findings
  • Test your assumptions by presenting modified idea to TA again
  • Select a segment of people who showed the most interest in your idea: they are your early adopters

2. Finalize Your Unique Value Proposition

At this stage, you should have two major findings from the previous stage:

  • You should know weaknesses of competitive fitness apps (via reading negative reviews, interviewing users)
  • You should know pressing needs of your early adopters (they usually eagerly share their views on the future app)

After this, you can outline one or several features that will make your fitness app unique.

It is helpful to define your USP using a formula X for Y substitute. This formula helps inform future users and investors about the place your app takes in the niche.

For example, you like the concept of the FitBit app, but want to make it better or more specific. Therefore, you can create an app targeted toward a narrower group. This was the case of FitOn, whose USP may be described as:

FitOn is FitBit with celebrity coaches.

Another example:

Yoga Studio is like Dr. Muscle for yoga.

Tip: You may also define the USP by answering questions: “What?” “Who?” “Do what?” and “How?” For example:

Shock app(What?) - helps “stay-at-home” moms (Who?) stay fit (Do what?) by creating personalized training (How?).

Kineticoach (What?) - helps busy people (Who?) exercise (Do what?) by offering a program for a busy schedule (How?).

You can finalize your strategy by employing the Business Model Canvas. This model covers all the necessary areas for any startup, namely:

  • key activities
  • key partners
  • value proposition
  • customer relations
  • customer segments
  • channels
  • cost structure
  • revenue streams

Check out a high-level sample of the business canvas used to create a fitness app below.

Samples of Business Model Canvas for a Fitness App

3. Design & Develop an Appealing Fitness App

As you already have an idea of a great competitive product, your next task is to build a fitness app flawlessly and in accordance with the highest quality standards.

This is possible on two conditions:

  • if you hire a professional team experienced in fitness app development
  • if you know the basic principles of building a fitness app, or how the project is organized

In this fitness app development guide, we’ll help you with both points.

First, we’ll share a couple of tips on finding a reliable team that knows how to make a fitness app effectively and at an acceptable cost and shed light on the way a typical software development project is organized.

This knowledge will help you create your own fitness application while avoiding the most common pitfalls and misunderstandings.

To build a fitness app, you will need to hire a reliable software vendor. In this respect, we recommend centering your attention on Eastern Europe. Here’s why:

  • Eastern Europe is one of the key outsourcing regions in the world; therefore, local companies have enough expertise and deep knowledge on how to make a fitness app.
  • Due to taxation subvention in countries like Ukraine, the prices for software development stay moderate (ex. the average hourly rate of a Ukrainian software developer is $40/h).
  • You have a chance to create a fitness app without abundant expenditures. Most likely, the cost to develop a fitness app will be lower compared to prices in Western Europe and the US. Additionally, local developers are well-versed in business communications, which means you’ll get an answer to the question - “How much does it cost to make a fitness app?” - from the very beginning of the project.
  • This region houses specialists in the widest range of technologies. For the quality of development services, Ukraine is ranked 11 worldwide according to HackerRank.

Regions to Outsource Fitness App Creation

Now, we’ll share a couple of lines on project flow to let you know how to create your own fitness app in terms of organization.

If you come to MLSDev as a client, we shall first discover your needs, research the market, and outline the project in what is called the Discovery stage.

The Discovery stage includes the following services:

  • Business analysis
  • UX and UI design services
  • Software architecture planning
  • Project management
  • Team review

As you can see, this stage includes all the preliminary preparations you need to create a fitness app technically.
In the next stage, Development, the actual work starts. We develop the way your app will look (front-end) and the way it will work (back-end).

During the Development stage, we provide such services as:

  • Early planning
  • Development (iOS, Android)
  • Quality assurance and testing
  • Project management
  • Team review

Main Processes of Fitness App Development

As you can see, in this stage, we build a fitness app and test the way it looks and works.

As you find a good software vendor and begin to develop your product, you can also make a shift to marketing.

4. Plan & Roll Out an Effective Marketing Campaign

Properly designed and developed custom fitness apps have a value that some users are anxiously waiting for.
Therefore, it is recommended that you start your marketing efforts with the early adopters, as they are likely eagerly expecting your fitness app and will provide generous feedback.

Furthermore, you may use a few of the following practices:

  • Announce the app on social media (SMM marketing)
  • Use paid apps (Facebook, Google, YouTube)
  • Promote on topical websites (blogs, news aggregators, specialized resources)
  • Reach out to industry influencers about potential collaborations
  • Launch a landing page to show app benefits and collect a database of potential users
  • Employ content marketing with tips to stay fit and healthy

You should have a general idea of how to make a fitness app, so now we will elaborate on the functionality set.

If you need more details, guidance, and insight on fitness app development, you may contact the MLSDev team for a free consultation and cost and timeline estimates.

Drop us a line for a consultation

How to Make a Fitness App: Features

The best fitness tracker apps are feature-rich.

Thus, when you create a fitness app, there are certain must-have functionalities that your product cannot go without. Let’s review these in greater detail.

Must-Have Features of Fitness Applications

Core Features Used to Create a Fitness App

Obviously, to find an answer to the question of how to create your own fitness app, you have to gain some understanding of its core features. We recommend centering your attention on the following:

  • User account & login

When you build a fitness app, a user account and login feature should be number one on your list. Fitness and nutrition apps let users store their vital data on devices and in the cloud, which makes it easier to access said data from anywhere.

For example, JEFIT, has built a holistic system, including an app and a web service, with a shared user profile and community.

Jefit - Fitness App Screens

Provide registration and login options via social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, and offer sign up via email. If you plan to create a fitness app with on-demand content or a paid subscription, a user profile should also store billing information and the app should have an integrated payment system.

User profiles in a fitness application should contain fields for data about age, gender, weight, and height. When you build a fitness app, keep in mind that different countries use different units of measurement, like kilograms vs. pounds, and meters vs. feet.

  • Wearable connectivity

When you create a fitness app, use HealthKit and Google Fit APIs to access data from the Apple Watch and a number of Android gadgets.

Wearable devices collect and store a lot of useful information that you can use in your application:

  • Number of steps and distance covered
  • Heart rate
  • Calories burned
  • Type of exercises
  • Duration and intensity of physical exercises

Additionally, wearables may be used to send physical notifications like wrist taps. It is also possible to create synchronization between your phone app, a wearable, and a device with a bigger screen, like a tablet or laptop.

For example, Seconds Pro connects simultaneously to a heart-rate monitor and Apple Play Mirroring which allows the user to display instructions on a big screen.

  • Activity tracking

Activity tracking includes indicators like steps, burned calories, distance, push-ups, or other routines.

The task of activity tracking can be performed both with the help of integral smartphone sensors and the use of a wearable device.

Apple Health Indicators & Activity Trackings

Fitness app creators strive to make the activity tracking function more attractive and “easy-to-understand.”

For instance, Freeletics analyzes your past performance and builds recommendations based on the data collected. Stronglifts 5x5 builds beautiful graphs to visually present a user’s progress.

  • Goal setting

When you build a fitness app, try to make the goal-setting feature richer than those of your competitors.

This task is done well by 8fit, which includes meal goals to a usual training set. Thus, a user can build a holistic health strategy.

  • Geolocation

Geolocation allows users to create routes for walking, running, or cycling, track their current position, and record covered distance.

Just take a look at what Strava offers and you will get a good idea of this feature.

When you build a fitness app, goal setting is an integral part of the basic feature set. Users love to set objectives and achieve them. This motivates them to move forward and improve their physical form.

Screens of Strava Fitness App for Running

If you want to build a location-based app, you will need a step-by-step guide, practical use cases, technical tips, notes on security, and much more. You can find all this information in the article: How to Create a Location-Based App: Detailed Process & GPS Technology Explained.

  • Calorie counting

Whether you create a fitness app or build a diet app, you should consider adding calorie counting. This feature helps users track how many calories they consume and how many they burn during training sessions or throughout the whole day.

To build a fitness app with calorie counting, refer to MyFitnessPal. The app allows users to enter data about their food intake. These days, the app has a search library of 6 million products. Clients can track their food’s energy value and macros, as well as enter food manually or scan QR-codes. You can create custom groups for your favorite products and also build nutrient dashboards.

  • Notifications & reminders

When you contemplate how to make a fitness app, you’ll find numerous examples of notifications and reminders about when it’s time to start training, switch to another exercise, or stop a routine.

However, most of them are plain smartphone notifications with a sound signal.

You may take a step forward like the Shock app for fitness. This app sends notifications to wearables. They come in a variety of wrist taps, vibrations, and sound alerts. This allows users to follow instructions without distraction. This is a great idea when you are thinking about how to build a fitness app that stands out.

Overall, users should be able to adjust the settings for notification frequency and time based on their personal preferences.

  • Workouts

Even if you don’t know exactly how to make a fitness app in terms of functionality, a workout feature is a must. This lets users create their own workout, provides a set of standard ones, or combines these two features.

When you create a fitness app, refer to Asics Studio. This app possesses a feature-rich workout functionality with different timers and prompts.

Asics Studio for Workout - Fitness App Screens

  • Educational content

If you are thinking about how to create a fitness app that users will stay engaged with the most, provide access to educational content in your application. This could include almost anything, from small tips on how to stay fit and healthy, to long videos of workouts.

There are different approaches to building a fitness app with educational content. Nike Training Club, for example, gives tips on nutrition and wellness, as well as content from renowned trainers.

  • Device connectivity

Aside from wearable connectivity, it’s great to include integration with other devices when you map out how to make a fitness app.

For example, Yoga Studio can synchronize with a TV by using Apple TV, Chromecast, or AirPlay and build video-chat app. This allows users to follow downloaded video-instructions from a big screen without the need for an internet connection.

  • Integration with other apps

If the above features are a must in every bit of guidance or blog article about how to make a fitness app, this one is often underestimated.

Basically, this feature allows the unification of health and fitness applications for better visibility on progress.

This is also a great idea when you already have a healthcare service that feeds on data from apps and devices that your clients use. By making a custom fitness app that integrates with the apps preferred by your clients, you’ll show that you’re paying attention to their needs.

A great example of this symbiosis is the Keelo integration with Apple Health. Keelo, is an app for intense workouts and its users benefit from tracking health data via Apple Health.

Interesting fact: The RockMyRun app made integration with other apps a core feature. This service allows users to build music playlists during training sessions of different intensity. The playlist is then adjusted based on your steps or heart rate. This app integrates with a wide range of products: Apple Health, Nike+, Strava, MapMyFitness, and Runtastic.

  • Personalized content

Personalization-focused apps strive to create a fitness app geared toward a very specific customer group.

The Kineticoach app, for example, provides training programs to people who spend a lot of time on planes. Another example, the Shock app, offers routines created specifically for women.

Shock Fitness App Screens

Both of these apps move forward ambitiously to fit the needs of every user. They enable personal training programs for every individual.

  • Meal plans and shopping lists

Since the overall outcome of a fitness program is tightly bound to a healthy diet, combining dietary and physical routines is the new normal for fitness app developers.

When you build a fitness app with meal plans and shopping lists, refer to 8fit. The app generates lists of foods to eat or avoid based on your tastes and goals, and comes with long-term dietary plans.

  • Settings

Each feature of your app should have default and customizable settings for a streamlined user experience. This functionality should be easy to access and predict most of the customer needs.

These are the basic features you should consider when you create a fitness app.

But, do you know how to make a fitness app that will stand out from the crowd?

Read on to learn about additional innovative features that can be implemented to build a fitness app with extra opportunities.

Want to know how to make an app that users will love?

We have collected all the tips and best practices in one article for you. To learn more, read How to Make Your App Successful. A Detailed Step-by-Step Guide.

Built a Fitness App Further: Additional Features

When you create a fitness app, think about adding a distinguishing feature. The following functionalities could provide your application with an extra competitive edge.

Nice-to-Have Features of Fitness Apps

  • Social media features

These days, users don’t want to just work out - they want to share their achievements.

Just look at your Instagram feed, full of hundreds of photos from gyms. In addition to letting users share results on social media, create a fitness app with integrated social features.

Let users create shareable content like achievements, personal records, motivational phrases, and favorite music for workout sessions.

Generally, fitness app creators use a human desire for approval and praise in different ways.

Apps like Shred create communities and let customers invite their social media friends to train together.

FitOn also uses communities, where people cheer for each other on achievements. The app also presents leaderboards where everyone can see those with the best achievements. JEFIT created personalized record tracking that you may share on social networks.

Special photo frames and star-client badges are just a couple of examples of how you may use social media for your benefit.

  • Gamification

Lack of motivation is the main reason why users stop using fitness applications. If you are contemplating how to make a fitness app that users will love and won’t abandon, gamification should be your ultimate choice.

Rewards, badges, and elements of games and contests motivate users to continue exercising. You can see this point in apps like RunKeeper, Nike+, Apple Health.

Rewards can include general goals and milestones. For example, you can praise users for workouts completed, monthly streaks, or workout frequency, and for completion of a whole program.

Apple Health Achievements

JEFIT sends its clients weekly progress summaries. Thus, each user can compete against buddies they know from the gym or app community, as well as outperform their own past personal results.

FitOn follows the same strategy by allowing users to collect badges and achievements. Aside from these app features, the above-mentioned leaderboard displays public info about records.

You can also allow users to exchange scores and points received for something real or for something from the built-in store.

  • Virtual reality

Virtual reality is not a feature every fitness app should have. Nevertheless, when you create a fitness app, VR may add a whole new level to customer engagement: training while playing.

The idea to merge VR games and workout routines has simple reasoning behind it: while involved in certain game activities, while using accessories like swords or guns, a person has to sweat a lot.

This niche is quite new, but if you are thinking of how to make a fitness app with VR functionality, there are some great examples to follow.

Box VR lets you mimic boxing activity by offering a selection from 45 workouts of different intensity and duration. A similar line is presented by the workout game Thrill of the Fight.

As the two apps above are more about training your upper body, there’s also a great fitness app for your feet. Dance Central presents choreographed routines for a nice aerobic training session. It is based on 32 songs that allow you to get back into the romantic rock atmosphere of the 70s.

With VR, you can bring other ideas to life. For example, take a personal coach to the comfort of the user’s home, or recreate a gym-like experience.

VR requires the use of additional headsets in an environment that is safe for users. Applications like this usually demand extra expenses. This is why VR is often perceived as an additional feature of an application for fitness.

Note: some people feel dizzy when moving actively with a VR headset. Therefore, when including VR functionality to your app menu, don’t turn it into your main competitive advantage; rather, make it an interesting additional perk.

  • Customization

Many modern apps make the content fully customizable in order to build a fitness app that meets the special needs of every user.

This is the core advantage of Skimble’s Workout Trainer app that allows users to build fully customizable programs for all sorts of audiences, from beginners to gym veterans.

Skimble Workout Trainer Fitness App Screens

If the range of exercises presented is still not sufficient, the app allows users to hire a one-on-one trainer of the preferred specialty.

  • User-generated content

The ability to post and share user-generated content is a great perk when it comes to customer engagement.

Yoga Studio allows users to create their own classes. You may engage your clients to do the same, while at the same time involving them in the active life of your app’s community.

It’s not a rarity for a former user to become a professional star trainer. The story of FitOn’s star coach Jonathan Van Ness is a great illustration.

Before partnering with FitOn, Van Ness was an active user of the app. In his interview with Cision PR Newswire, he mentioned that the app helped him train on a schedule that worked well with his busy lifestyle.

Conclusion: when contemplating how to make a fitness app, plan to allow users to create and share their personal training programs.

As a final note on this section, we should mention that any advanced features should be implemented gradually. Most successful fitness apps started small. For example, Shred was first developed only for Android, and only as its customer base grew, did it migrate to iOS.

Tech Components & Elements Used to Build a Fitness App

The functionality shapes the choice of technology required to build a fitness app. Whether it’s creating routes for a run or sharing your badges on social media, the technical side of these features requires third party integrations.

Here’s a list of integrations you might need to create a fitness app and their short descriptions:

Integration Description
Google Location API (Android)
Core Location (iOS)
Used to implement geolocation functionality
Google Maps Android IP
MapKit (iOS)
Building routes for running or biking
Google Directions API Used to calculate directions between locations
Google Places API Refers info on establishments, geographic locations, points of interest
Twilio Communications Used to send notifications via short messages (SMS)
Google Cloud Messaging (Android)
Apple Push
A service to send notifications to Android or iOS devices
FitBit Friends API Sends friend requests within a community, gets a friends leaderboard
ELCIES Connected Services Collects data from wearables
Walgreens Balance Rewards Enables reward points for different activities
Stripe
PayPal’s SDK
Apple Pay
These services allow you to build a fitness app with a payment gateway

As well, it is very common to do personal research on how to make a fitness app technically, so that you know what competencies you should expect from a development team.

Here is a list of technology best suited for fitness app development:

Description
Front-end (client-side) HTML 5, CSS3, JavaScript, Angular js, Vue.js - for web client
Kotlin - for Android client app
Swift - for iOS client app
Back-end (server-side) Ruby (Ruby on Rails framework) , Phoenix (elixir framework)
Python (Django, Flask), PHP (Lavarel, Codelgniter)

Your app will operate on a web server. At MLSDev, we prefer the Nginx web server. Other popular solutions are Apache and IIS.

We hope the above info has brought you some understanding of how to make a fitness app from a tech perspective.

Fitness App Development: Monetization Strategies

There are four ways for fitness apps to make money: paid use, advertisement, in-app purchases, and brand promotion.

  • Paid apps usually offer wallet-friendly monthly fees from about $5 to $15 per month.

These apps don’t include ads, but sometimes offer in-app purchases. Typically, your acquaintance with a product starts with a 7-day or 30-day free trial, after which you can unlock more of the app's services and functionality.

The most successful examples from this niche are Fitbit Coach, Pear, Shred, Shock, and Kineticoach.

Fitbit Fitness App: Plan Comparison

  • Ad-based apps, like You Are Your Own Gym and JEFIT, offer a wide range of exercises on the condition of constant, torrential ads.

If you want to train ad-free, you may switch to the paid version of an app, which, in the case of “You Are Your Own Gym,” is only $4.99 a month.

  • In-app purchases are the main reason that feature-rich free apps shine and earn top dollars.

We can’t help but share a true success story about making a regular, free app grow globally and win major investments.

Key example: At the start, FitOn raised $400,000 from Telstra Ventures to create a fitness app, and then gained $4.6 million to launch an app in 2018. The app offered a lot of high-quality, free videos from top coaches. These also involved lessons from star trainers like Cassey Ho and Christine Bullock.

The favorable conditions, and also the lockdown at the beginning of 2020, have led to a 200% increase in active users this year. The owners of the app completed funding rounds with a total of $12 million in investment and plan to spread an app worldwide.

More funding, as well as growth in popularity, allowed FitOn to invite more star trainers in June 2020 and attracted new investors.

This is a great illustration of how to expand your fitness app business by being in the right place at the right time.

  • Completely free apps exist to advertise branded products.

For example, Stronglift 5x5 is a free app that popularized its training programs. Nike Training Club, originally a paid app, also went completely free - including its premium access. Yet, it acts as a powerful advertising platform, as it redirects you to the Nike store. There, you can buy all the necessary gear from socks and sneakers to gym bags.

All of Nike’s training classes are provided by certified world-class Nike Master Trainers, not to mention, the apparel and equipment they use in their videos.

So, if you have a brand to develop, you can build a fitness app as a powerful tool to advertise it.

How Much Does it Cost to Create a Fitness App?

App development cost is a deciding factor to consider before you start to build a fitness app.

How expensive is it to create a fitness app? The cost will depend mostly on the final set of features, and the time you spend discussing, researching, and implementing your idea.

The price to build a minimum delight product (MDP) for a custom app development for fitness is roughly $60,000 per platform (iOS or Android) with a 3 to 6 months timeline. If you want to create a fully-featured, competitive fitness app, expect the price to come out to over $150,000+ per platform.

Finally, we can now break down the question - how much does it cost to make a fitness app?

Basic app version
(simplest features, 1 platform)
Medium app version
(custom design, additional features, 1 platform)
Large app version
(complex design, unique features, development and support, 2 platforms)
UX/UI Design $5,000+ $15,000+ $25,000+
Custom Development $40,000+ $95,000+ $200,000+
Quality Assurance $5,000+ $15,000+ $25,000+
Project Management $7,500+ $15,000+ $35,000+
Business Analysis $2,500+ $10,000+ $15,000+
Total setup ~ $60,000+ ~ $150,000+ ~ $300,000+
Time ~3-6 months ~6-9 months 9+ months (ongoing)

Please note that the above cost is based on the average rate for the services of app development companies in Eastern Europe ($40/hour) and on the average feature set that is required to release the first version of your future full product.

To sum things up: the cost of an app will depend on:

  • your preparation (or how well you do your homework with market and competitor research, features to choose, etc. )
  • time spent on discussions and discovering your needs
  • number of platforms you want to target (iOS, Android)
  • number and complexity of features
  • use of high-tech functionality (VR, AR, AI)
  • complexity of app design (custom themes, gamification, etc.)

As well, the final cost directly depends on the level of the development company you hire. If you want to make a fitness app of good quality it is reasonable to outsource and find a software development team in Ukraine. Ukrainian software companies like MLSDev combine a high level of expertise with moderate prices.

Want to better understand what influences the app development cost?

We can give you useful insight into the cost formation process and calculations. Read our article How Much Does it Cost to Make an App.

Final Words on Creating a Fitness App

The fitness application market is a fruitful area, especially if you have a great, unique idea.

After you come up with a fitness app idea, you have two options - either plan and create a fitness app yourself if you can, or hire an app development company that will do everything for you.

There are many vendors in the market, so the options are numerous. You just need to choose carefully in order to be satisfied with the result in the end.

If you create and launch a fitness app, but fail to follow the success of FitOn with star coaching and global growth, don’t be disappointed. Lindsay Cook, the owner of an app, was the Vice President of FitBit before she launched her own app.

If you don’t have business relations in the area or star friends to promote your app, you may start small on the local market and become a star in your own niche.

Have a great fitness app idea?

The MLSDev team will help bring it to life. We provide web and mobile app development services and have expertise in creating fitness apps.

Frequently Asked Questions:

📈 What are the predictions for the fitness app market size?

Polaris Market Research indicates that the fitness app market size is expected to reach $14.7+ billion by 2026. The general idea is that people invest more money in their wellness and health. Global Wellness Institute Survey supports the information that the global wellness industry market accounted for $4.2 trillion with $595 billion in spending on fitness and mind-body products in 2018.

📊 What are the most popular types of fitness apps on the market?

Generally, there are three main types of fitness apps; namely, workout or exercise apps (e.g. Freeletics, Nike Training Club, Fitmo), activity tracking apps (e.g. Strava, Runkeeper, Nike+ Running), and nutrition apps (e.g. MyFitnessPal, Lose It!). Each has some sub-categories like trackers for running, cycling apps, on-demand personal trainer apps, gym apps, and so on.

🌟 What are the core features of every successful fitness app?

In general, the core feature-set for a fitness app depends on its type and objectives. Some of the basic features to use in fitness app development include user login & account, activity tracking, goal-setting, calorie counting, geolocation, and, of course, notifications & reminders.

🚀 What features can help my fitness app to stand out from the crowd?

To add value and deliver a unique experience to fitness app users, it is possible to extend functionality. You may add social media features with achievements, motivational phrases, and favorite music. As well, gamification elements like rewards, badges, and contests motivate users to continue exercising. Finally, the advanced functionality of VR can definitely take any fitness app to the next level.

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