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How To Create A Fitness App: A Detailed Guide 2021

23 Dec 2020

In unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become imperative to stay physically active and keep fit. To overcome the negative impact of a sedentary lifestyle during the lockdown, more and more people start proactively doing sports and fitness exercises on a regular basis. Good physical condition and sound health is a great way to be productive at work and live your life to the fullest.

Fitness app development: market overview & trends 2020-2021


That’s where mobile app development comes into action. The healthcare industry is one of the early adopters of web and mobile applications created to streamline physician-patient interaction. Custom healthcare software development enables mHealth and telemedicine, thus helping people track their health condition and get reliable treatment via distant therapy.


Fitness mobile applications comprise the lion’s share of the overall mHealth app market. While there is a plethora of successful healthcare mobile app use cases, fitness app development still has much room for improvement. A recent global industry report from Grand View Research indicates the progressive growth of the fitness app market. With the market size value of $3.4 billion in 2020, the revenue is projected to reach nearly $11 billion in 2026.


Speaking of fitness apps accessibility and inclusion, the number of smartphone owners in the USA that use health and fitness mobile applications at least once per month has drastically increased from 68 million in 2019 to almost 90 million in 2020.

With this given, all the evidence suggests that investing in fitness app development looks quite promising in terms of business revenue and ROI boost.

Types of fitness apps to compare

Before getting any further with estimates of fitness app development cost, let’s have a closer look at the variety of mobile fitness applications offered today for business and everyday use. Much like the umbrella category of mHealth applications, fitness apps fall into several subgroups according to their roles and functions.

There are four main types of mobile fitness applications in today’s market:

  • Sports and workout apps
  • Fitness trainer & class finder apps
  • Fitness activity tracking apps
  • Nutrition and diet apps


  1. Sports and workout apps

Mobile fitness applications for workouts are the most popular and numerous. These apps help app users work out at home when going to the gym is not an option. Not surprisingly, during coronavirus times, the workout apps have gained much traction among the owners of smartphones and wearable devices.

Workout applications allow users to create personalized step-by-step roadmaps for wellbeing. Based on historical medical data, these apps provide in-depth recommendations that meet individual health & fitness needs. What’s more, sports and workout mobile applications are ideal for both novices and professionals and serve private and business purposes.

Users can customize the intensity and duration of their exercise sets. They focus on improving stamina, strength, and other physical characteristics.   


  1. Fitness trainer & class finder apps 

These mobile applications supplement communication to a large extent. At the same time, their importance can be hardly underestimated. Fitness class and trainer finder apps bring much value to both the owners of gym businesses and health motivated end-users.

The fitness finder applications come in handy to find local personal trainers, neighboring gyms, and sports grounds. They simplify checking of user reviews and getting relevant contact information like phone numbers, email addresses, and office hours.


  1. Fitness activity tracking apps

Unlike workout apps that help users mostly at the beginning of exercise, fitness tracking applications are geared for ongoing monitoring of physical activities. Instead of using historical data, they leverage operational data sets collected for gaining personal progress insights.

The fitness activity apps let users track multiple metrics, like steps taken, weight loss, running/jogging routes and distances, heart and pulse rates, calorie counters, and many other factors. The results can be easily synced across user devices and visualized on any display in the comprehensible UX-driven form of data-rich diagrams, charts, and infographics.


  1. Nutrition and diet apps

Getting enough vitamins and minerals during physical training is vital for good health. Among a wide variety of food products available, fitness enthusiasts should thoroughly select a set of meat, grains, fruits and vegetables, and dairy products according to individual diet schemes.

It makes nutrition apps a perfect software solution for daily guided assistance on the necessary food, portions, water balance, etc. Users can keep tabs on how many calories they burn, whether they lose or gain some weight, and if some products agree with their specific diet schedule.

How do I make my own fitness app?


If you start thinking of how to make a fitness app, there are two main variants you should know. The first option is to build a fitness mobile application on your own. The other variant is to let a reliable IT service provider create an app for you. Just bear in mind that your outsourcing software provider should have a proven track record of successful mobile app development.

To guide your business growth, the benefits and drawbacks of the two variants above boil down to the following:


  • Pros and cons of creating your own fitness app

Before opting for a self-driven app development project, you should realize all the risks it may involve. Firstly, turn an unbiased critical eye on your in-house software development team to ensure they meet the high proficiency level required to build robust mobile applications.

If not, the entire software development process will be a nightmare in terms of deployment delays, clumsy UI/UX design, poor app performance, and project cost overruns. Eventually, it can result in customer dissatisfaction with the app and jeopardize your business.


Fortunately, this option has a silver lining as well. You can create your fitness app with the help of one of the ready-made software suites, namely mobile app builders, available on today’s market. Such no-code app makers usually enjoy an easy learning curve and are suited for non-tech users.

With this, however, the vast majority of these out-of-the-box software solutions fail to meet any business-specific needs. While being a relatively good bargain for boilerplate projects, they are no match for complex feature-rich app development challenges.


  • Pros and cons of getting your fitness app developed

As mentioned above, the only risk factor of outsourcing your fitness app creation is to find a decent IT service provider with extensive expertise in mobile app development. Once you make sure of their credibility and read through the detailed case studies, you can initiate further collaboration. You can freely discuss how to make a fitness tracker app from scratch, scrutinize all the details, and agree on your project budget.

While partnering with an external software dev team, you usually retain full control of your fitness app project. Setting the end goals, budgeting, overall project management – all the decision-making activities remain on your side. In the meanwhile, the IT service company takes up responsibility for prototyping, development, and deployment of your fitness application.

In case of dealing with an experienced software service provider, you are free to choose between various engagement models. For example, you can relay the whole app project to your external IT partner while staying focused on your core business. Or, you can instead augment your in-house team with extra app dev professionals under the team extension model.

Either way, it’s totally up to you which option to choose for your fitness app project. Here’s just a quick reminder of what you can get along with a step-by-step strategy in both cases.


If you take on a fitness app development project:

Step 1. You ideate and vet various app product ideas

Step 2. Conduct scrupulous market research and competitive analysis

Step 3. Identify end-user needs and expectations with an app

Step 4. Set business goals

Step 5. Define technical requirements for your project

Step 6. Settle on a project budget and deadlines

Step 7. Ensure team staffing and upskilling, if necessary

Step 8. Monitor every stage of the app development flow

Step 9. Hold control of QA testing and MVP release

Step 10. Provide tech app support and customer feedback analysis


If you pass on your app project to seasoned professionals:

1) Clarify what type of fitness app you need

2) Specify all the features of your prospective app

3) Find a robust IT service provider you can rely on

4) Agree on how to build a fitness tracking app from scratch

5) Define budget and time frames for your app project

6) Approve an initial app prototype based on the best BI & UI/UX design practices

7) Give regular feedback on all the SDLC steps

8) Make sure that MVP meets your business expectations

9) Enjoy the post-launch support and updates

10) Reach out to your app development partner in case of getting the source code, scaling up your fitness app, or some new app features are required.

Core fitness app features and characteristics

No matter what type of fitness app you are planning to get after all, here’s a list of core features every fitness app must have. It is no secret that competition in today’s mHealth market is quite tough. So, having a full-fledged fitness app with all the features necessary for your customers is the only chance to stand out from the crowd of competitors.

The essential features for your fitness application are:    

  • Fast app’s loading times
  • Cross-platform capability
  • Responsive app design
  • Easy sign-up and login procedure
  • Strong multi-factor authentication
  • Personal user account
  • Rock-solid security of user’s private data
  • Intuitive UX-driven app menus with smooth navigation
  • Smart app controls coupled with IoT wearable devices
  • Customizable app settings
  • Custom-tailored app reminders and push notifications
  • Secure cloud-based app data storage
  • User progress monitoring and analysis
  • Social integration for sharing personal fitness achievements


How do fitness apps make money?


As to your go-to-market strategy, there are several ways on how to monetize your fitness application. Certainly, capitalizing on your mobile apps is what this is all about. However, while considering what monetization practices to apply, please keep in mind that some techniques are quite unpopular among app users and can lead to significant customer churn.     

  • Paid subscription plan. Putting aside free applications (which is obviously not your case), you can offer your fitness app under the one-time or SaaS payment model.

  • Freemium pricing model. Your application grants access to most of the core features, albeit with some functional or data storage restrictions. With this said, full access usually entails an additional charge.

  • Cross-sale ads. App users are offered to evaluate and buy fitness software solutions other than the application they already have. They can belong to your own brand or your partners’.

  • In-app purchases. Quite a disputable pricing method that many mature customers may have mixed feelings about. End-users can improve your fitness app with enhanced content and extra features.

  • Built-in promo content and links. These are usually third-party content or external links leading to sponsors’ websites and social media accounts. Not to put at risk customer loyalty with your app and brand, think twice to ensure the sponsored content is decent and violates no law.  

How much does it cost to create a fitness app?


Seeking the right answer to how much it costs to make a robust fitness app can lead you nowhere close to the exact project price. Much like there is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to mobile app development, any cost estimate can provide you only with ballpark figures.

So, to get a clear picture of your future spending on fitness app development, make sure to provide your IT service partner with a full breakdown of app features and functionality. Depending on project scope and complexity, it may involve additional BA research, data mining and analytics, UI/UX design prototyping, QA testing, and suchlike. Although it all sounds a bit difficult for the uninitiated, an IT company with hands-on experience in app development can quickly provide you with a pricing model that suits your time and budget expectations.



With all that said, the success formula of how to create a fitness app is pure and simple. To turn your business ideas into reality, all you need is a professional helping hand. With a bevy of success stories under the belt, here at ByteAnt we perfectly know how to get you covered with custom-built app development solutions. Contact us to gain a competitive edge.

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About the Author
I’m a content writer sharing expertise-based advice & tech insights for business owners. Explore how innovative ideas change the game, or get useful advice on SaaS, IoT development, innovation, and startup growth.

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