We live in a get-fit and stay-healthy culture because people want sound minds in sound bodies. But every person is unique and requires a unique training program. Over the past few years, we’ve seen the rise of personal trainer apps. These apps help users keep fit from anywhere in the world if they don’t want to or can’t go to a gym.

The rise in demand for such apps motivates you to think over how to create a workout app. This article is a detailed insight into fitness app types and their must-have features. After reading, you will also know more about the cost of fitness app development and hiring an expert team. Let’s get started.

Types of personal trainer apps

You may think that creating a workout trainer app is easy. But it’s not really. If you’re new to the training culture, let’s go over the types of personal training programs and the best personal trainer apps out there.

Types of training

On your first visit to a gym, when your personal trainer meets you they’ll probably ask about your goals and ambitions as far as training goes. Your trainer will want to know whether you want to improve your appearance, become stronger, develop endurance, or simply do some stretching to keep your body in good shape. Apps fall into several categories. By settling on the category, you can create a personal trainer app that meets user demand.


Many applications exist to help people achieve the body shape they want. These apps are centered around workouts created by professional coaches or are based on fitness programs. In workout applications, users can find exercises tailored to them with detailed descriptions, videos, and audio guides.

There are many bodybuilding, fat burning, and high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout apps. There are also apps that let users connect with fitness coaches who can create personalized fitness plans.

For example, Freeletics welcomes beginners and advanced athletes and lets users work out for 10 to 30 minutes. Besides weight loss workouts, users can do HIIT workouts for the abs, arms, butt, and legs. If users subscribe, they can access a personalized training program with feedback from the Freeletics smart coach.

Source: Freeletics


Strength is a quality sought by many people. Applications can become go-to tools for developing body strength. For example, with SworkIt, users can choose the body part they want to train. Based on what users choose, they can be offered short workouts for the abs, daily stretches, or five-minute yoga sessions, for example.

Source: SworkIt


Endurance is another ability many people want to develop, so they turn to running or exercises. Apps like MapMyRun and Aaptiv let users create running routes. For example, MapMyFitness tracks over 600 types of activities including running, cycling, walking, and gym workouts. Users can get audio and voice feedback for GPS-tracked workouts. With MapMyFitness, users can also count calories, plan diets, and track weight.

source: mapmyfitness.com

There are also CrossFit apps that combine exercises from different disciplines such as weightlifting and gymnastics. They help users build endurance too. Some examples include Keep - Workout & Fitness Trainer,Daily Ab Workout, and J&J Official 7 Minute Workout.

Yoga and stretching

Yoga and stretching attract sports-minded people too. Instead of growing big muscles, some people want to train their minds and be strong. There are different types of yoga, such as Hatha, Bikram, and Ashtanga. With so many types, everyone can find a type of yoga that lets them combine exercise with inner peace. App owners have caught on to this trend and developed a number of solutions to cater to yoga lovers, such as Daily Yoga, Yoga Workout - Meditation, Yoga Studio: Mind & Body, and Fitbit Coach.

To strengthen one’s body and relieve pain and tension, there are stretching applications. For example, Stretching & Flexibility Plans lets users access over 100 customizable stretching routines with high-quality images. Users can also create custom workouts and listen to their favorite music while stretching. With Stretching & Flexibility Plans, users can also track their progress via graphs.

source: Stretching &FlexibilityPlans

Ways of staying fit

You can develop an app that lets users stay fit at all times no matter where they are. Some people look for guidance when it comes to exercising, running, or cycling. Others want to complement their fitness program with healthy eating habits. These user needs may be good grounds for building a mobile application.

Workouts with smart trainer apps

People want access to certified training programs and skilled trainers. A mobile solution can deliver just that.

Some applications let users practise with real trainers who give instructions online. Other apps check results and give users feedback from real trainers. There are also apps that contain recorded exercises from trainers. Personal trainer applications allow users to create personal profiles where they can input weight, height, illnesses, and other health-related data so that the system can come up with a tailored personal training plan.

Take Your Living-room Trainer as an example. The founder of Your Living-room Trainer asked SteelKiwi to build an online personal training platform. With this app, trainees can create personal profiles, view profiles of certified trainers, book online video sessions with trainers, pay for sessions, and chat with trainers via an inbox messenger.

source: Your Living-room Trainer

Activity tracking apps

Every workout can be smarter if a person wears an activity tracking device. These trackers are connected to mobile devices to collect data about a person’s physical activity and display it on the user’s smartphone. Wearables can track reps, sets, and exercises, log them, and present them in an understandable way on a phone screen.

People have various goals in mind when they use a wearable device. Some just want to measure the number of steps they take or burn a certain number of calories. Others are new to exercise and want to start moving more, so a step tracker can be a good start for them. Athletes may want advanced features such as heart rate monitoring and automatic activity recognition.

Overall, fitness trackers motivate users to achieve their fitness goals.

Healthy diet and nutrition apps

Mobile applications can help users track their nutrition habits. While some people want to track nutrition alongside their workouts, others use fitness applications because they simply want to count their calorie intake or measure how much water or coffee they drink.

Some people may want to eat healthy; others may want to lose weight without harming their health. Nutrition apps aim to help users reach their personal goals. For this, an application can feature graphs and send notifications when a user has achieved a certain dieting goal. Strong visualization is key when it comes to nutrition and diet apps. You can also encourage users to move through calls to action when they have calories to burn.

When people think of a nutrition application, they realize it will require manual input. However, you can build a database with a dictionary in your app to allow users to enter foods quickly. An autocomplete feature can make future entries easier as well. MyFitnessPal has a great nutrition database containing over 6 million foods and also lets users download recipes from the internet and create custom foods and dishes.

Source: MyFitnessPal

Barcode scanning is another useful feature to complement a diet application. Lose It! and Fooducate let users log food purchases with barcode scanning.

Personal studio apps

A studio owner can create a fitness app for personal needs and the needs of their customers. On average, such applications have different functionality depending on their requirements. Some apps are merely organizers for scheduling or canceling training sessions. Personal studio apps sometimes have a newsfeed and post useful tips on workouts and nutrition.

Basic fitness app features

If you choose to develop a fitness app, bear in mind that each type of fitness app has its own unique feature set. However, we’ve singled out some features that can complement any application which makes them very useful when you are thinking about how to create a fitness app.

User profiles. Let users create profiles to identify themselves and keep their fitness data in order. In profiles, users can always view their workout history and keep regular logs.

Notifications. In fitness and health applications, notifications remind users about their fitness goals. For example, users may be reminded of workouts or be motivated by push notifications to burn calories. To implement push notifications, we recommend using Twilio or Push.io.

Tracking physical activity. Google Fit and Apple HealthKit let you connect an app to mobile devices. This allows users to track their activity and display it on their smartphones. Google Fit and HealthKit both have APIs to collect fitness data, including:

  • weight
  • steps taken
  • calories burned
  • exercise duration
  • heart rate
  • pulse rate
  • distance walked, run, or swam

You can also integrate your app with Fitbit, Garmin, Apple Watch, or Jawbone devices.

Social sharing. Once users reach their goals, they may want to share their achievements with family and friends on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Adding social buttons to your app can provide additional exposure and satisfy users’ needs for social recognition. You can use the APIs of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks you want to integrate your solution with.

Workout programs. If you choose to develop a solution with workouts, you need to add an abundance of workout programs. These programs should take into account a user’s daily routine (office job, active lifestyle, etc.). Make sure to offer workout programs for different levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced, for instance.

Search. Trainees come from different backgrounds and have different needs, so they should be able to search for trainers or programs that meet their unique needs. Add relevant filters such as type of training, price, gender of the trainer, and type of workout program.

Geolocation. Users are highly motivated if they can track their activity on a map. For example, walkers, runners, and cyclists like to see how far they’ve walked, run, or cycled. This can be achieved by letting a device track a user’s location with GPS functionality. Additionally, applications with geolocation can suggest paths for workouts. For example, they can suggest to run or cycle near a river, sea, forest, or somewhere with good scenery.

Video tutorials. Some people who are new to fitness will require advice and tips from a real trainer. But even experienced athletes probably won’t mind a personal trainer’s help from time to time. Video tutorials can be a basic feature of your application, enabling interactions with real trainers online. Our health and fitness app developers use Twilio Video to implement video sessions. You can even let multiple users access the same session.

Payment. If you’re going to offer users in-app purchases or the ability to pay for services, you can integrate your solution with payment gateways including Braintree, Stripe, and PayPal to handle transactions securely. If you have a free application with ads, you can let users buy an ad-free version that comes with advanced features.

Live streaming. This is one of the required features if you want to build your own fitness app for your studio. This feature allows app users to arrange workouts with an instructor and train anywhere. Using the live streaming feature, the instructor sees how the trainee exercises and a trainee listens to the instructor's explanations on how to do this or that exercise.

Online consultation and chat. While discussing in-app features with fitness app developers, consider that the possibility to ask workout-related questions and get answers from trainers can be a worthy substitute to live streaming. Through online consultations, users can clear their queries at any time. Plus, users can get in touch with fellow workout bodies to share their progress and experience.

Gamification. Only a few types of fitness apps offer gamification. This feature both entertains and motivates. You can allow your users to compete, compare results and get rewards. There are also applications where users become participants of some charity programs. One of the examples is Charity Miles. There are Charity Miles users that raise money by running a marathon.

How do fitness apps make money?

Paid apps. Some fitness apps are paid, so you can set a price and sell them right away. The right price will depend on the type of application, available content, and the platform you target.

In-app purchases. Your app can be free of charge, but you can always encourage in-app purchases. Your users may want to buy digital goods such as additional content, recipes for a healthy diet, or music tracks for working out.

Freemium. Your app may offer a free feature set. But you can sell additional features. This monetization model is also called a premium subscription model, where basic features are free and advanced fitness plans or personal coaching services are paid.

Ads. You can partner with companies that want to advertise their goods through your app, in which case your revenue can come from advertising campaigns. Be careful not to overwhelm users with ads, though. Think about what users may consider useful and promote services and goods that are somehow related to what your application does.

Sponsored content. Another way to monetize your app is to partner with gyms and fitness experts. They can enrich your app with their expertise and distribute valuable content within your fitness platform.

Ecommerce. Exercising moves people to purchase fitness gear. You can let users buy branded goods and fitness products such as trackers via your application.

How much does it cost to build a fitness app?

The price of developing a fitness application depends on the functionality you want to implement and the complexity of those features. At Steelkiwi, we bill for the time spent on itness trainer app development. If you want to know more about billing, read our article about the three most popular pricing models. We’ll calculate how much time it’ll take to build your fitness application and offer a rough estimate on the cost.

We built Your Living-room Trainer from the ground up. This online personal trainer app has the following features:

  • user registration
  • personal profiles for trainers and trainees with relevant data
  • notifications
  • calendar and booking capabilities
  • video chat
  • text chat
  • Google Analytics integration

We spent approximately 350 hours developing a stable marketplace infrastructure for Your Living-room Trainer.

Besides the time spent implementing the necessary feature set, you should consider the time needed to create the UX/UI design and a requirements document. This will influence the cost as well.

We’ll also give you a rough estimate for all complementary services that development can’t do without:

  • Creating a project requirements document: 30–60 hours
  • Creating UX/UI design: 70–130 hours
  • Product testing: ~100 hours

Generally speaking, you’ll need as much as $20,000 to develop a mobile solution for one platform.

Getting started with fitness app development

Before you start developing a solution for fitness-minded people, you should consider the type of app you want to build. People want anything from toned bodies to physical strength, endurance, and a healthy diet. Narrow down your audience and build specifically for them. To help users see the value of your application, supply it with the feature set that appeals to them. This feature set should help users reach their goals so they use your app regularly. What’s more, think of how you can monetize your fitness solution in a way that doesn’t stress users out and discourage them.

We’ve built a personal trainer application that allows trainees to have sessions with professional trainers via video chat. To see more sports-related projects that we’ve worked on, check out our portfolio.

Our skill set and expertise can be an asset if you want to know how to build a fitness app. Should you have any questions on technical implementation or if you’re ready to discuss partnering and negotiate, get in touch with us!