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All You Need to Know About Building and Growing a Workout App

by | June 4, 2019

There’s no doubt that the app market has had a profound effect on our everyday lives and activities – in effect making them easier and arguably more automated.

Countless mobile fitness apps are now available in the app stores. The steep growth in the number of fitness apps is largely attributed to the fitness wave that hit in 2014 with the invention of wearables. Since then, the role of mobile apps became even more important.

In the current digital age, the number of smartphone owners has nowhere to go but up, and the popularity of custom fitness apps also increases proportionally. According to Statista, the number of fitness app users will be over 353 million by 2022. So, if you’re considering dipping your feet in this booming market, there are a few things to be aware of. Our clients have been there, so we know exactly how to help you. Read on and learn how to develop and market your application and how to avoid any newbie mistakes.

Figure Out What Type of Fitness App Your Product Is

Understanding what kind of a fitness app you want your product to be is important in both the long and short run. Keeping this in mind will help you stay on track (no pun intended) both in terms of the features you provide and how you target your market.

Here’s our breakdown of the major categories:

  • Diet and Nutrition: Apps like this help folks have a balanced diet. People who try to stick to their diet, manage their nutrition quality or learn about their daily food intake enjoy these apps since they help them stay more aware and disciplined. Features like calorie counters and listing the nutritional value of the food are must-haves here.
  • Weight loss: These apps help users reach their goals of losing weight with customized plans that focus on all aspects of a rigorous regime. Features often include an exercise database and tools to track meals, activity, and other relevant biometrics.
  • Activity Trackers: These apps track all physical activities like walking, cycling, running, and jogging. Most smartphones already have some general built-in options that users can activate if they choose to do so; other apps focus on a specific activity. Here, the motion sensors of smartphones and wearables help collect accurate data of users’ activities. Features include sleep, food and water trackers and integrated geolocation.
  • Exercise Routines: Such apps aim to behave like a gym instructor. This comes in handy for people who don’t have the time to make it to the gym. Users can create their own workout calendar, keep track of workouts, and get access to a variety of exercise routines through videos, instructions or live streaming.
  • Yoga and Meditation/Mindfulness: Apps in this category have a more holistic approach to health and combine physical and psychological wellness features. They are used by individuals as well as yoga studios. Features include tracking records of practices and meditative music selections. Communities are also popular on these apps and are mainly used for networking, sharing practice moments, and Q&A.

The most successful health and fitness apps integrate aspects from two or more categories to offer comprehensive fitness solutions. However, if you have a new app, stick to a single category at first to ensure better market penetration. Remember that feature integration depends on how long the app takes to develop and how much it costs. So, starting with the minimum necessary features is the safest bet.

Features Every Fitness App Should Have

Getting people to download your application and retaining them is equally important. To give you more chances of gaining and keeping your users, try to prioritize these features when developing your app.

  • Easy Sign-up

It’s like getting people to join a gym. No one really wants to go through a lot of paperwork. Similarly, users hate complex registration processes when signing up for health and fitness apps. Try to keep things to an absolute minimum, asking users for only what is really necessary to get them started.

Pro tip: Ingrate social platforms so that sign-up becomes possible by using their social media accounts. Alternatively, just ask for name, email, or phone number. This way a verification code can be sent to users that will confirm their registration on the app.

  • Social Media Integration

Social media integration goes beyond sign-up. Most users already maintain a presence on several social media platforms. Integrating them into your app is mutually beneficial for your app and for users. Letting users share fitness-related activities across many channels is a win-win: users get to show off how they reach their fitness goals and the app gets promoted.

  • Wearable Device Connection

As the wearable devices are widely used now, it’s only practical that users have the option to connect the app to their wearable devices. This is a key step to making your app more user-friendly.

  • Record Tracking

Plain and simple, this is how data collection is actually useful for users. Whether it’s a workout regime or a diet plan, the app needs to keep a record of user activity and fitness schedule. This means keeping track of individual activities such as walking, running or cycling to calories burned and weight loss. The goal of this feature is to provide users with real-time updates.

  • Geolocation Facility

This may seem excessive at first glance, but for a fitness app, this is also a must-have. The geolocation feature allows the app to monitor direction and routes, which comes in handy particularly when users go walking, cycling, or jogging.

  • Push Notifications

Once you’ve enabled push notifications to be sent to your users, refer to your marketing team for inspiring or exciting content and constant encouragement that will get users to, well, push! Keep users motivated and help them achieve their goals. Use pushes to send regular exercise reminders or inform about new features. Push notifications can also be used to remind users to perform certain activities on the app.

  • Video Tutorials

Many people like workouts and exercises but have no idea how to learn those online. Video tutorials are a great way to teach and show users the proper way to do a particular exercise. It is easy to give necessary tips regarding every workout and their impact on a particular part of the body with video tutorials.

  • In-app Purchases

The option to buy fitness equipment, supplements, and other relevant items may not be something every user goes for, but it’s worth having. By offering an option for users to purchase fitness-related items, you will keep users longer in your app and generate extra profit from every user.

Getting Your App Out There

Now that you’ve got a solid fitness app, your next all-important step is promotion. Your promotional campaigns will mainly be based on what kind of an app you have and who your target audience is. First, define your SMART goals and then create a marketing plan to help you get there.

To help jumpstart your fitness app, check out this monthly guide of what you should be focusing your attention on and in what order. This plan will give you plenty of time to strategize and ensure that upon and after being released your promotional efforts will be hitting on all cylinders.

Pre-Launch Phase

Month 1

  • Create key messaging and brand tone
  • Define KPIs
  • Single out keywords for ASO
  • Get your analytic tools in place
  • Create an original cache of articles, images and other relevant content for each platform
  • Stack up on photos, screenshots, videos & creatives
  • Decide which platforms you will use for app promotion

Month 2

  • Launch your website or landing page and social media pages
  • Start creating content for social media to engage with users
  • Conduct media outreach
  • Establish partnerships with influencers and industry leaders

Month 3

  • Set up Facebook Advertising, App Store Advertising & Google Ads Campaign

Month 5

  • Do a launch beta test and encourage users to provide feedback
  • Add in-app tooltips based on received feedback

After-Launch Phase

Month 7

  • Begin re-marketing
  • Encourage social media followers with contests
  • Launch an email marketing campaign to develop a loyalty program for current app users

Month 9

  • Establish a referral program
  • Encourage users to share positive experiences using the fitness app
  • Encourage client reviews via push notifications or email campaigns

Month 12

  • Review goals
  • Update the marketing plan to fit current goals and target audience
  • Develop new campaigns
  • Get a support system in place to keep current users loyal
  • Promote new app features
  • Work on app improvements based on user feedback.


Health and fitness applications are on the rise with more and more people turning their attention to being fit and active. A good fitness app with a user-friendly interface and quality features is what will make your application stand out from the pack. Stay true to your vision and, just as you would encourage your users, don’t stray from your goals!

If you would like to start a project, feel free to contact us today.
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