How to Create a Fitness App from Scratch in 5 Easy Steps

Key Takeaways:

  • Developing a fitness app involves a step-by-step process, including planning, design, development, and launch.
  • There are four types of fitness apps personal trainers, nutrition and diet trackers, workout and exercise apps, and activity tracking apps.
  • The cost of building a fitness app depends on the type of fitness app, complexity, time duration, and platform you choose.

Want to create a custom fitness application from scratch? Don’t have coding experience? Don’t know how to get the app developed and get it published on the App Store or Play Store?

This guide is for you. If you check our website, you might have noticed that earlier, we had written a complete guide on how to create an app from scratch.

Let’s check out how to create a fitness app from scratch.

Statistics About Fitness Application Market

Here is the recent statistics about the fitness application market.

  • According to a report by Vantage Market Research, the global fitness app market size is projected to reach $15.1 billion from $5.1 billion by 2028. It is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 17.6% from the year 2023 to 2028.
  • According to Research Dive, the subscription revenue model of the virtual fitness platform is to reach $28,555.6 million by 2027, with a CAGR of 33.6%.
  • According to Statista, the fitness apps segment revenue is estimated to reach $16,596.42 million by the year 2023.

This growth has created a demand for fitness apps in the booming fitness industry.

Let’s check out the process of how to develop a fitness app.

How to Create a Fitness App? (Step-by-Step Process)

  1. Identify Your Target Audience

    Conduct research to identify your target market. Make a list of the top fitness apps for the type of fitness app you want to create. This way, you can identify your audience through these top apps.

    Why do you need to identify your target audience?

    It allows you to design and create your fitness app as potential users are likely to want to use it. You need to be specific in your approach and clearly define the audience whose problems you’re aiming to solve.

    Thoroughly research the solution you’re willing to provide. We have shared some points that help you to conduct proper market research.

    • Define the USP of your application
    • Install top fitness apps and workout apps from the Apple and Google Play stores
    • Check all the applications in detail, for UI/UX, review, downloads, business model
    • Identify your competitor’s strategies
    • Get inspired by your competitors and resolve the loop of existing apps

    Most important to know before you create a fitness app is to get an exact idea of the specific audience you want to target. This helps you to shape your mobile app. So, it becomes easy to make a decision on whether you want to create a workout app or diet maintaining app or fitness app or health-tracking app. Next, it also helps you to decide on the features.

  2. Want to Develop a Fitness App?

    We have a team of experienced fitness app developers to build your fitness app with advanced technology like AI, ML, AR/VR and IoT.

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  3. Determine the Features of Your Custom Fitness App

    When you want to make a fitness app that stands out from your competitors, deciding the features of your application is the essential part. Make a list of features you want to consider in your fitness app.

    Therefore, you must begin by picking up features that you think must be integrated into your fitness app. Then determine the functionalities that make your mobile application best from the rest of the fitness applications. You will learn more about the MVP and advanced features in detail in the coming sections. Once you are ready with the list of features, it’s time to approach the top mobile application development company.

  4. Approach Mobile App Development Company

    Hire a fitness app development company to create your own fitness app.

    Why is it important to hire a mobile app development company?

    Most mobile app development companies follow a standard app development process to accomplish the project development. Also, app development companies have a team of developers who have years of experience in developing custom applications.

    To find a fitness app development company, you carry out basic research on companies. While researching the fitness app development companies, you need to take care of the following points.

    Check if a company has:

    • Expertise in the relevant niche
    • Developed similar solutions earlier or not
    • Genuine testimonials

    Create a list of requirements from your end. Write it down on paper. Explain the whole idea and project vision after signing an NDA document.

  5. Develop Your Fitness Application

    Generally, after selecting your workout application development company and discussing your requirements, the company starts creating a design. Designers start creating the wireframe of the application. Once the wireframes of the app are ready, then you need to review these wireframes for final approval.

    After the finalization of the wireframes, mobile app designers start designing the user interface of the application. Parallelly, fitness app developers or dedicated mobile app developers start creating the functionalities. Once the development of your application is done, afterward the QA team starts testing the application.

  6. Launch Your Fitness Application

    After your fitness application development is done, the fitness workout or nutrition app is launched into the market.

    Whether you have developed a fitness workout plan app or any other fitness app, it is then deployed into the app stores either on Google Play Store or Apple App Store or on both platforms.

    Remember the quality of your application should be good so it easily gets uploaded into the app stores.

    So, what are the costs of developing a fitness app? Let’s check in the following section.

How Much Does It Cost to Create a Fitness App?

The approximate cost to develop a fitness application ranges between $25,000 to $40,000.

The development cost also varies depending on these 4 factors –

  • The complexity of your idea and its implementation
  • The mobile application development team you hire
  • The deadline of time in which the app has to be delivered
  • If you want to develop a fitness application on both the Android and iOS mobile platforms

To get the exact app development cost breakdown, get in touch with us and share your requirements.

Here is a complete timeline bifurcation of developing fitness applications.

FeaturesEstimated Man hours
Sign In77
Create Account1111
Workout Menus2324
Activiy Status1516
Integration with Third-party Apps1515
Relevant Database1920
User Activity Tracking and Geolocation2020
Notifications and Reminders1212
Goal Setting77
Workout Tips and Video Tutorials1010
Social Media Integration88
Live Streaming2424
Coach on-demand1313
AI Algorithm4038
Total number of hours in coding phase233234

How Much Time Does It Take to Make a Fitness App?

The approximate time required to develop a basic fitness app ranges from 600 to 700 hours. While if you want to create an advanced fitness application with more complex features, then it takes 1200 to 1800 hours.

Next, you will learn the types of fitness apps that are available in the market. Knowing the types helps you to reduce the time and define clear requirements for your app.

4 Types of Fitness Apps

Before you think of creating your own fitness app, you must first determine what niche of fitness you want to enter. Here are the four basic types of fitness applications.

  • Diet and Nutrition Apps
  • Activity Tracking Apps
  • Workout Logging Apps
  • AI-fitness Assistance Apps

Get a brief understanding of each type of fitness in the following table.

Types of AppsDescriptionTop Apps
Diet and Nutrition AppsUsers monitor caloric intake regularly. The logging of this data helps the users to determine whether they are in a state of caloric excess or deficit.
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Waterlogged
  • Lose It!
Activity Tracking AppsWith users preferring to indulge in outdoor activities like running, swimming, and cycling as opposed to gymnasiums, these apps use geolocation services to monitor data.
  • Strava
  • Nike Run Club
  • RunKeeper
Workout Logging AppsSuch apps guide the users through exercises, miming the role of a personal trainer. It helps users to create a specific workout regime based on personal goals.
  • Sworkit
  • Tone It Up
  • Freeletics
AI – Fitness Assistance AppsTechnology provides virtual assistance, addressing the nuances of actually going to a fitness instructor. AI-based algorithms sift through the data submitted by users and draw parallels from their daily routine.
  • Aaptiv
  • Cure.Fit
  • FitnessAI

Let’s understand each category of fitness app in detail.

  1. Diet and Nutrition App

    Diet and nutrition app

    The workout routine is only one aspect of good health. Adequate rest and proper nutrition also play a pivotal role in maintaining good health. You can make a fitness app that aims to help users keep track of caloric intake. These kinds of apps allow the users to log their daily calories in addition to the microelements and fiber that they consume.

    Nutrition apps help the user to monitor eating habits and daily water intake regularly to stay fit. Gathering these data helps the user to determine whether they are in a state of caloric excess or deficit. Thus, based on data, a user creates customized workout plans for weight loss/gain.

    Therefore, it is important to include these features in your diet apps –

    • Easy Navigation: Using the fitness/diet app should not feel cumbersome and overwhelming for the user. Your fitness app should provide visual cues to the user. Consider providing tutorials for first-time users.
    • Database of Multiple Food Items: Nutrition apps must contain information about food/meal plans from different parts of the world. This helps users to easily track their product and understand its nutrient composition and caloric content.
    • Adding Custom Food: Make sure you provide this solution in case you cannot cover all food products. Adding custom food items with appropriate caloric contents should be considered in your fitness app.
    • Recommendations: Your diet app should provide the user with healthy recipes to complement their workout regimes. This feature can be monetized through app purchases.
  2. Activity Tracking App

    Activity Tracking App

    Activity tracking apps are helpful to users who actively take part in outdoor activities like running, swimming, and cycling. Using such apps allows the user to get insight into steps travelled, kilometres completed while jogging, and calories burned.

    In-built fitness app features also provide further insightful data like pulse, oxygen level, and heart rate during the activity. This helps fitness enthusiasts to gauge their performance to a benchmark and further try and improve their fitness.

    You need to provide these functionalities within your fitness app to make it relevant for the user.

    Geolocation Tracking: Your workout app should be able to monitor routes, display local maps, analyze the trip duration, and so forth.

    Trip Metrics: Allowing users to analyze their activities such as

    • Time taken to complete a certain distance
    • The calories burnt
    • The elevation gained throughout the journey
    • A speed metric that gives insight as to the fastest kilometer traversed

    Your workout app should make provisions for these metrics to make the fitness app more insightful for your user.

    Accelerometer: This is an important indicator for tracking activity. Devices calculate a metric called cadence during cycling and running to optimize loadings and achieve better results.
  3. Workout Logging App

    You can make a fitness app that solely focuses on the workout. With workout logging apps, users can create personalized workout plans. With a plethora of fitness app features, these apps include exercises and a workout plan and enable users to gain more insights about their workout plan.

    Details like the number of calories burned via the exercise, the activated muscle group, and the correct form in which the exercise is to be performed.

    Partnering up with third-party applications further allows the fitness app to provide more data to the user. Specifics like pulse rate, oxygen saturation, core strength, and muscle-to-fat ratios can be made accessible to the user.

    Wearables like smartwatches and fitness bands have incorporated this technology, making fitness an integral part of the user’s daily routine.

    These workout apps essentially guide the user through exercises, mimicking the role of a personal trainer. It is important to create a relationship with users via your workout app so it adds value to the user.

    • Third-party Integration: Provides users with data like pulse rate and heart rate that makes your workout app more meaningful for the user. It boosts the user experience. For example, integration with Fitbit app web API so if any user is using Fitbit iOS device.
    • Workout Database: Your workout app should provide users with a vast database of workout regimes. It should also recommend to users which exercises are best aligned with their fitness goals. The more data you provide the user, the more relevant your workout app becomes.
  4. AI-Fitness Assistance App

    Measuring fitness growth and trying to create a diet plan that complements your lifestyle is something that is curated by personal trainers.

    The fee that is charged by these personal coaches is relatively high. So, developing an AI-driven fitness app could be a good solution. This type of fitness application guides users on the fitness plan and exercises.

    With the use of technology, it has been possible to create a reliable solution that helps humans to perform the right exercise and training. AI-based algorithms provide assistance by filtering through the data submitted by you and drawing parallels from your daily routine.

    AI-Fitness Assistance App

    After processing the data, these training apps come up with personalized diet and training plans. What’s even more remarkable is the fact that you can further customize this template as per your needs.

    For example, Freeletics is one of the leading AI-powered fitness and mindset coaching apps that has 53 million users. Also, it is one of the top fitness apps on the European continent.

    Here are the features you must consider while making your own fitness app that is backed with AI –

    • Workout Libraries: Provisions should be made for users to indulge in workouts of varying difficulties. Workouts ranging from novices to experts should be included within the AI-gym app.
    • Live Progress Indicators: The progress of the user should be indicated during the workout. This helps users to gauge the duration of the workout left.
    • Tutorial Screens: Explanatory screens that help users to understand the form to be maintained during a particular exercise. This will prevent injuries and promote adopting fitness as a lifestyle.

Let’s check the MVP features for creating the best fitness app.

8 MVP Features for Fitness App Development

Either you are going to make a paid or free fitness app, it is essential to have these MVP features. Every workout app is unique and depends on its usability in one niche.

So, how to make a fitness app that is more accomodating and user-friendly?

Here are some basic features that you should consider while creating a minimally viable product (MVP) version of your app.

  1. Sign In

    Within your workout app whether it is a simple step tracker or advanced fitness app, allows users to signup via social media apps to ease the process.

  2. Create an Account

    Having a user profile helps in gathering specific information such as fitness goals, age, gender, weight, and height among many other parameters. Depending on the user’s fitness level, a fitness plan is created.

  3. Workout Menus

    Workout menus that are easy to access and are easy to navigate are a must. After all, your product is your own workout app. Menus can be customized to have a short snippet explaining the exercise. This section of your app is where you can get creative.

  4. Activity Statistics

    By storing data, your app must provide the user with detailed statistics. This helps the user in monitoring their progress while on their quest to their fitness goal. Based on the span of a period over which statistics are accumulated, they can be classified as:

    Long-term Progress: Helps the user track data over a considerable duration which may span for a couple of weeks or months. These stats are useful for users who have been into fitness for a considerable period.

    Daily Progress: These stats encourage newly joined enthusiasts to develop fitness into a habit. Data is monitored from one training session to the next while stats like running pace, heart rate, and distance travelled are emphasized.

  5. Integration With Third-Party Apps

    This helps to elevate the user experience further. In addition, features like syncing the users’ data across various devices and health applications help in personalizing the fitness journey.

    Allowing access to platforms like Apple Health to gain user insights into calories burned, heart rate, and oxygen levels regularly.

    Devices like fitness trackers and smartwatches further help in establishing fitness as an integral part of your user’s life.

  6. Relevant Database

    Regardless of your app type, make sure that you provide the user with sufficient options to choose from. For example, do consider the demographics of your niche audience while building your app. If users do not find any of their desired choices in your app, they are likely to abandon using it and will start looking for alternatives.

  7. User Activity Tracking and Geolocation

    Make sure to provide this feature as this real-time data processing adds more value to your app. Allow users to monitor different routes for walking, running, and cycling while having access to the local map. This will encourage users not only to use your app but also to traverse longer distances.

  8. Notifications and Reminders

    By providing reminders and notifications, you can encourage users to become more punctual in their workout routine. Let the user adjust the frequency of these notifications.

Now that we’ve covered all the basic features of your fitness app, it is now time to take a look at features that help you make your fitness app competitive with others.

Advanced Features for Fitness Mobile App Development

Advanced Features for Fitness Mobile App Development

These advanced features will help in establishing and retaining your target audience.

  1. Goal Setting

    One of the integral parts of a fitness app is goal setting. Allowing users to set objectives and goals is motivational as this also translates into a goal tracker to assist the person in achieving the fitness goals without fail.

  2. Workout Tips and Video Tutorials

    Educational content that tells users how to perform a particular exercise, tips on how to stay healthy, and meditation sessions will add benefit to them rather than simply being a data monitoring application.

  3. Offering Rewards or Gift Cards

    By creating a sense of competition amongst users, you will get them hooked to your app. Weekly leaderboards, rewards, badges, and other scores will further motivate users to incorporate fitness into their lifestyle.

  4. Social Media Integration

    Humans are social beings, and there’s better than engaging on social media with your friends and family. Make sure to allow users to connect their social media accounts with the accounts on your app. Run relevant hashtags and encourage users to post pictures on your app’s social media pages.

  5. Live Streaming

    To encourage users, try binding in professional trainers and coaches to conduct live interactive workout sessions. Users start their workout simultaneously and post it; they can ask questions.

    This will help establish a routine and will also be something that users will look forward to. We have developed a live video streaming app for the global cannabis community.

  6. Coach-on-Demand

    Make sure to include features by which users can schedule personal sessions with professional coaches depending on availability. These training sessions will be useful for users who have certain queries that could not be cleared during the group sessions. This workout feature is very popular while developing Uber-like apps.

  7. AI Algorithms

    Use technology in your favor to create features like an instant barcode scanner that displays the calorie breakdown to the user in an instant. Food items that do not have a barcode can be identified with the help of AI-backed algorithms. In addition, AI helps to generate personalized weight lifting plans. AI can optimize sets, reps, and weight for each exercise for each time a user works out.

    Machine learning, on the other hand, can help in analyzing users’ health data and prescribe personalized diet and exercise reps that are appropriate for them. Incorporating these features into your app may be expensive, but it is recommended.

    This is by no means an exhaustive list. Instead, it is an outline along which you can work and create your own fitness app.

  8. Targeted Training

    When you plan to make a fitness workout app, it is advisable to keep track of users’ data like fitness level, height, and weight in order to set goals like losing or gaining weight.

    So, with the help of users’ data, you provide them with targeted body part workouts as well as full-body workouts. Following the targeted training helps users achieve their goals faster.

    It helps users to measure and track their daily progress. This way, you make an advanced fitness tracking app for your target audience.

  9. Integration of Video Functionality

    Integrating video instructions from the field experts makes it easy for your users to get access to detailed videos of training instructions and diet plans.

    When you plan to invest in health and fitness app development, integrating advanced features like these make your service and user experience better.

Now, as you know the process, basic and advanced features of a fitness app, let us know the technology stack chosen in gym workout app development.

Technologies Use to Build a Custom Fitness Application

Check out the following table of the technology stack that developers use while creating a health and fitness app.

Tech Stack
Programming Languages
  • Kotlin
  • Swift
  • PHP
  • Node js
  • Xcode
  • Android Studio
Cloud Storage
  • Amazon S3
  • MongoDB
  • Redis
  • MySQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • Google Analytics
  • Mixpanel
  • VIsual Website Optimizer
Payment Gateways
  • Braintree
  • Paypal
  • Stripe
Messaging Platform
  • Twilio
  • Nexmo
  • Sinch
  • RestComm
  • Google Map
  • Socket
Deployment platforms
  • Cloud
  • iOS
  • Android

While developing your fitness mobile application, your end purpose is to monetize it. For that, check the following section of monetization strategies to use for your app.

Want to Hire a Fitness App Development Team to Build Your App?

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How Do Fitness Apps Make Money? [5 Simple Ways]

With your app established, it is also important to visualize a monetization model for further enhancing the features you provide your app users. Here are some of the most common revenue streams to monetize your fitness app.

  1. Paid Apps

    If you are providing the user with above-average features, then you have the option to charge a premium for the usage of your app. Before any user buys a subscription, you can even provide a trail of your application. It adds an advantage as it increases the chances of signup for your mobile application.

  2. In-App Purchases

    You can monetize your app by allowing access to certain advanced app features by charging some fees from users. This helps users to further customize and personalize their fitness apps and align them with their personal fitness goals.

  3. Advertisements

    It is a very effective way to monetize your app. Running ads need not necessarily be Google-run ads, you can consider partnering up with other fitness apps and can charge a commission for the same.

  4. Membership Model

    You can monetize your app by allowing access to certain features for only ‘premium’ users who have to pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee. These premium users will be provided with additional discounts and benefits, in the long run, to enhance their health and fitness experience on the app.

  5. Affiliate Sales

    By partnering with reputed fitness brands, you can help sell your health and fitness application on their platform and vice versa. It is important to align with brands that are in sync with your fitness ideology.

So, as you have understood the monetization strategies, let’s check some of the best fitness apps available in the market.

3 Best Fitness Apps

Here’re some of the best fitness apps available on the Google Play Store and Apple App Store. Check the features, UI/UX, and flow of the application, as it will help you design your custom fitness app solution. These apps are listed according to ratings and reviews of app stores.

App IconNameRatings and Reviews (Google and Apple App Store)Download Links
Map My RunMap My RunRatings: 4.8
Reviews: 608.7K
Android | iOS
Google Fit: Activity TrackingGoogle Fit: Activity TrackingRatings:4.0
Reviews: 504.5K
Android | iOS
Fitbit iconFitbitReviews: 4.1
Reviews: 141.1K
Android | iOS

Fitness is a broad-avenue topic and people often have a lot of queries when it comes to a health and fitness application.

Below, we have answered some FAQs that will be helpful for you. Check the following section.

FAQ About Fitness Apps Development

  1. How much money do fitness apps make?

    Here are the names of some famous fitness apps that make decent money.

    • My FitnessPal – $8.3 million
    • Fitbit – $7.2 million
    • Strava – $5.1 million
  2. Is it profitable to make a fitness application?

    Yes, the fitness app idea is profitable. The Health and fitness app category in the mobile apps is one of the popular categories. According to Statista, there is 3.48% of health and fitness apps available on the Google Play Store and rank at 9th position in app categories.

  3. Where should I look if I need health and wellness app developers?

    Refer to the following websites to hire fitness and health app developers.

    • Space-O Canada
    • Upwork
    • Toptal
    • StackOverflow
    • People Per Hour
  4. What are the challenges faced in creating a fitness mobile application?

    Here’s a list of challenges that are faced while developing a fitness app.

    • Date security and privacy protection need to be maintained by end-to-end encryption
    • Integration of hardware and wearables with the fitness app to provide accurate results
    • Releasing regular updates after fixing bugs and errors sometimes might become complex

Let’s Together Make Your Custom Fitness App

Fitness is a lifestyle change, which is why it is considered a challenge. In this blog, you have learned about the process of creating a fitness app, its cost, its types, and its advanced features.

Let’s summarize the important points of creating a fitness mobile application.

  • Make sure to keep your fitness application offering custom workout programs
  • Collaborate with third-party wearable applications with fitness devices as much as possible
  • Keep your app flexible in terms of exercise variations and techniques
  • Improve your mobile application by taking action on users’ reviews in the mind
  • Also make your fitness application attractive to your users by adding gamification

So, looking to develop a custom fitness app? Or do you have a fitness app idea? We are a leading iOS and Android app development agency in Canada, having a team of experienced developers, designers, and quality analysts. Let’s connect and discuss your idea.

Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies (Canada). He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311

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