Fitness App Development Guide: Choosing the Right Type and Functionality

19 Apr 2018
15 min
author avatar
Yana P.

With a flourishing mobile development industry, every smartphone user can do whatever he wants from the comfort of his home. The lack of a free time to attend foreign language classes or to go to the gym is not a problem anymore because everything you need is a dedicated mobile application. Literally, your phone is your teacher, doctor, and coach at the same time. Surprisingly, but the last two smartphones embodiments have become incredibly requested recently. Since that, we've decided to focus on them and find out what to do if you want to create your own fitness application. So ready! Steady! Go! 

Fitness application: How to develop your first one?

Different types of fitness apps

There are millions of fitness apps on app stores different fitness app development companies, yet, not all of them are popular. If you plan to create fitness app, let's consider the apps which customers love and use the most according to their types:

1. High-intensity interval training

HIIT is a kind of applications which offer customers short period training workout (usually 10 minutes long) with lots of high intensive exercises. Such exercises require plenty of energy and torches lots of calories in a short time. HIIT app exercises are very effective but they require a certain level of training from a customer. It isn't safe to use this app to a person who has just started doing sport. Remember it when you build your own fitness app. One of the brightest examples of a HIIT program is an Android fitness app Tabata HIIT Interval Timer.

how to build a fitness app - example

Tabata HIIT Interval Timer - fitness app

2. Diet and nutrition app

Such apps help users track the number of consumed calories. A user chooses a product he ate in the list, indicates it's weight and gets a precise number of calories. In such a mode, the person can see how many calories he consumed during the day, control, loose or gain some kilos. If you want to build a fitness app of this type, you need to know that these applications usually have a barcode scanner which is extremely helpful when a customer is doing shopping.

All these features you can find in the Calorie Counter - My Fitness Pal app. It's one of the most popular diet and nutrition apps on Google Play store. The app is free and it claims that 88% of it's users (who visit this app 7 times a week) has lost some weight.

If you want to know how to develop a fitness app like My Fitness Pal, our specialists at Cleveroad will give you a hint.

how to make a fitness app to count calories

My fitness Pal  - app to count calories

3. Activity tracking app

These of apps can cover one specific kind of sport or a lot of them. For instance, there are apps for cyclists, runners, or exercise trackers, and so on. Usually, they also cover person's movements as well. Like tracking the distance travelled, number of steps taken or climbed, burned calories and some other metrics.

While considering how to make a fitness app to track users' activities, don't forget that these apps work much better if they are compatible with wearable devices. It can be a smartwatch or fitbit, for instance. These gadgets significantly extend the functionality of a fitness application.

One of the great motivation tricks which activity tracking app often uses is social integration. For example, Nike Run Club allows customers to share their progress in a number of various social networks and, what is even more helpful, to find a companion for a user in his area for joint exercises. You also need to add such social features when you make your own fitness app. It's always great to train with friends or other fitness enthusiasts.

In case you don't even imagine how to make fitness app, you'd better look at one of such programs and download Runtastic Running and Fitness Tracker. The app easily tracks users' movements with the help of GPS. It's also compatible with different fitness wearables.

how to create a fitness app for running

Runtastic Running and Fitness Tracker app

Concept of a running app from Cleveroad team

Running app concept by Cleveroad (Source: Dribbble)

4. Personal trainer or studio app

These are the apps created specifically for personal needs of a particular trainer or a fitness studio and their customers. Such programs can have very different functionality. Some of them can work like an organizer, where a user arranges or cancels his training. They can also have a newsfeed where a studio or a trainer post some news.

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Live streaming is one of the most required features for personal trainer apps. Mind it if you analyze how to create your own fitness app. A user arranges a session with a trainer and can train anywhere. Using a live streaming feature, a trainer can see how a customer does an exercise and the user sees the trainer which explains how to do one exercise or another.

Cleveroad team created a concept of personal trainer app

Concept of personal trainer app be Cleveroad (Source: Dribbble)

5. Meditation app

The yoga and meditation apps usually have a range of sessions which are classified according to a level of a user. A person chooses his level and a program he or she wants to get. Such sessions are usually daily. Which means these apps have high retention rate! Many apps have a reminder option. They inform a user about a session at a specific time every day and users never forget of a training! A classical example of such an app is Daily Yoga app

build a fitness app - yoga app

Daily Yoga app

To satisfy the needs of modern customers, the majority of popular apps are trying to combine several types in one. For instance activity tracker, or HIIT apps can also have a calories calculator. Or a yoga app can offer services of a personal trainer.


Be careful! Meditation apps have lots of peculiarities. Check our comprehensive guide to a meditation app development before you start a project!

Basic fitness app features

All the apps are different and can provide a user with various functionality set. Yet, we offer you a list of the most basic features you can use to form a base when you make a fitness app for your business:

fitness app features for your app

MVP features of your fitness application

Log in

If you check out how to create fitness app, remember that health and fitness app development demands a high level of personalization. That's why there should be an option to create a personal account. Various services either suggest logging in through social networks like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Instagram, etc. or signing up via email. Your future application should give users both opportunities, though. With the personal account created, all the data on the users' progress won't be stored on a single device solely.

Social integration

First of all, the information stored on a social network account will be synchronized with the one for a fitness app. On the other hand, authorizing in an application via Facebook makes the search for friends much easier; thus, the application can combine some functions of a social network, the news feed, and do it's main job, tracking. Many apps also allow users to publish their results on Facebook alongside the screenshots of routes they ran/cycled/walked and upload photos made during the workout; the same will be reflected in the app feed line.

Personal account
There are several types of data that should be added manually at the start, the rest can be configured in settings. You should also suggest adding a profile photo by either taking a new photo or downloading it from a library. And don't forget to enable users to choose between pounds and kilograms, if it comes to the users' weight, and between feet and meters if it comes to the users' height. Be international!
Device connectivity

It's very important for a fit app to be compatible with as many trackers as possible. Fortunately, wearable producers and mobile platforms give mobile fitness app developers such a chance.

User activity tracking

Actually, this point is deeply connected to the previous one. Traditional fitness tracking applications are focused on activities like walking, running, cycling, and even swimming sometimes. The application normally shows a number calories burnt, steps made, miles run, time taken, and so on and so forth. You can use both, tracking with the help of a fitbit or using sensors of a smartphone.


With this feature, a user can build walking routes, track his current position, and record workouts. Have you seen those recorded routes on Strava? No? Then you obviously should.

Learn more about other benefits a geolocation feature can bring to your project and your business in our short video!

Why Should You Integrate Geolocation into an App?


Sport is about regularity. A few missed workouts and you will lose your shape. That's why reminders are very important when it comes to fitness and health app development. Although, they should not be annoying. In case the user is in poor health or very busy at the moment, he should be capable of adjusting them. Time and frequency are the main variables here.

Target setting

It's one of the most recognizable features of activity tracking apps. Let users plan ahead and set achievable (maybe not) goals, they should constantly move forward and develop.


These may differ depending on the type of an app. Most of the tracking apps allow creating your own workout or choose among offered ones.


Stuff this menu with as many points as you want. The most important thing is to make an app convenient and customizable. On the other hand, when adding a lot of settings, don't forget that the menu has to be comprehensive!

While working on your idea, don't forget that the key to success of any fitness or healthcare app development is users' engagement and motivation. And Visualization is an important part of this process. That is why you need to provide a user with detailed analytics and reports.

Fitness app trends or how to make your app better

When you are working on your project and learn how to make your own fitness app, don't forget to include the trending elements which will help your app to stand out from the others and attract more users. Here are the latest trends customers would appreciate in your program:

build your own fitness app

How to build a fitness app and make it viral

1. Gamification and motivation

One of the main reasons why people abandon training and, your app as a sequence, is a loss of motivation. Why? Because all exercises are usually hard and require lots of efforts. That is why you need to make training with your app very interesting and entertaining.

What you can do. Think how to create a fitness app and make it look and feel like a game. Add rewards and elements of a contest into your app. Give scores or points which a user can exchange into something real and attractive. Here are some examples for you:

  • Zombies run is a running app. While running a user hears a story and dives into a world infested with zombies and survivals. A user is more engaged in listening and forgets about fatigue.
  • Charity Miles is an app where every mile a user walks, runs or cycles can help save someone's life. How does it work? A user chooses one of 40 charities where he wants to donate his miles and starts moving. So far, the campaign has earned $2.5 million. Sounds like a great motivation.

2. Social Media

Nowadays, when a person does something, he wants to tell everyone about it. And you should consider this fact as a huge possibility for your business.

What you can do. Add as many social media features into your app as you can. The more you add the more free advertising you'll get. Let your users share their results in social networks, invite friends or set a competition via these services. That's why you need to create pages in social networks and communities around your app where you can gather people, engage and encourage them.


Find out how to protect your idea from being cloned or copied on every development stage and what documents can help you with it!

3. Virtual reality

What can be more fun than being a part of a video game? That's what VR does, it places a user in an absolutely another world or a nice and peaceful place where he wants to be right now. It is very exciting and never gets boring.

What you can do. Here we need to mention that this can not be an additional feature to an existing app. If you want to develop a fitness app with VR functionality, you have to understand that such a project requires VR headsets and special environment where a user can't harm himself or others. That is why such products are usually created in a partnership with various companies.

How to create a fitness app

We crafted a checklist which you can use to make a fitness app. Follow these steps:

  • Step 1. Choose a type of fitness app you want to create.
  • Step 2. Make an analysis of the fitness app market.
  • Step 3. Write a competitive analysis.
  • Step 4. Pick the features for MVP to create a fitness app.
  • Step 5. Make sure your app's functionality allows it to stand out.
  • Step 6. Find a reliable developer or software development company for your project.
  • Step 7. Get a rough and then detailed estimate of your fitness app.
  • Step 8. Set a budget.
  • Step 9. Take part in the planning stage of your fitness app development.
  • Step 10. Check the app's readiness by testing it's demo at the end of every sprint.
  • Step 11. Let your developers publish the app to the app store(s).
  • Step 12. Get the source code of your application.
  • Step 13. Keep track of metrics and create a promotion strategy.
  • Step 14. Update it on a regular basis and add new features.

Now, let's dive into details regarding your cooperation with the software developer. 

Once you've decided what type of a fitness and healthcare app you want to create, you will need to find and contact a reliable and experienced fitness app developer which will deliver your app wasting no time. To make it easier for your understanding, we've divided the whole development process into stages.

health and fitness app development

How to create your own fitness app

Rough estimation

During this stage, you need to tell us about a fitness app you want to create, features you think should be present there and some other details on the project. After this period, we provide you with the cost and time evaluation of your app. These numbers would be approximate. The final estimation can be given when we prepare technical documentation.

Planning stage

This is the stage when we create the full set of the required documentation and materials, including a list of requirements, users stories, wireframes, basic design and a prototype of your future app. When these docs are ready, we can tell you the exact sum and time needed to develop a fitness app for you.


Read our outsourcing guide for customers where we've described the process of our collaboration and find out more about each stage!

Development and testing

In Cleveroad we rely on Agile software development methodology and on the latest DevOps principles which allow us to develop and test code almost at the same time. In such a way, we save your time and money, of course.

Release and post-release support

We understand how important it is to support the product right after the release. That's why all our customers get a FREE product support within 30 days after the release.

Fitness app development cost

According to our estimations, the costs to build a fitness app may vary from $61,000 to $91,850. It’s the price for Android and iOS versions including UI/UX design. The price is based on the average hourly rate in Ukraine ($50/h).

The estimation is built around the Tammy Fit application. It means that we’ve analyzed it's features and estimated an approximate time they would take to be built.

You can use our app cost calculator below to estimate development time based on the specific features you need. Or contact our managers to get a more accurate project cost estimation and free consultation.

Cleveroad experience

Our team has proven experience in building complex mobile and web solutions in different niches, including health and fitness. TrainAway is one of the latest fitness-related applications we’ve delivered for our clients. It’s currently the world’s biggest mobile gym directory allowing travelers to attend gyms and easily pay for membership regardless of where they are in the world. We’ve already told about this project in our case study.

TrainAway application logo and interface

TrainAway application on iTunes and Google Play

If you can’t wait to start working on your idea and are looking for a reliable software development company, you can contact our managers to get appropriate consultation.

Start developing your fitness app
Contact us to get a consultation and custom project cost estimation. It's free of charge.

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Fitness App
04.09.2020 at 12:01
Thanks for sharing the valuable post here. Keep sharing!! I also created a fitness app on pole dancing workouts.
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