Creating an App

The Ultimate Guide for How to Create a Fitness App

Whether you're dreaming of becoming a personal trainer or an established fitness influencer ready to monetize, we walk you through how to build a fitness app.

By Mighty Team

June 14, 2023

14 min read



    When Oiselle Volee–a women’s apparel brand–wanted to create a space for runners to get inspired and connect online, they turned to an app. The result was an amazing and engaged community of runners, learning and growing together. For Oiselle, it’s turned into a six-figure membership business of 4,000 members who share the company values.

    There are a lot of different ways to think about a fitness app:

    • You might be a personal trainer, wanting to give your clients workouts in the palm of your hands.

    • You might be an influencer with thousands of followers, and ready to monetize your social media channels.

    • You might run a gym and want your own branded apps for that.

    • Or, you might have a fitness product and want to create a fitness app around your brand.

    In this article, we are going to talk about how to build a fitness app. We'll include something for everyone, whether you're dreaming of becoming a personal trainer or an established fitness influencer ready to monetize.

    Creating a fitness app doesn’t have to be intimidating. And there are honestly options for each and every person on the list above. So, for the mega gym owners and the basement gym rats with a cult following to the devoted personal trainer–this one's for you.


    What is a fitness app?

    A fitness app is software that gives people access to fitness on their phone. Fitness apps take a lot of different shapes and sizes, from running apps and biometric apps to course apps to community apps, the role of tech in our health and wellness is expanding quickly.

    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Event Series -Body Soul CollectiveMighty Networks - Graphics - Event Series -Body Soul Collective

    What problem does a fitness app solve?

    When coaches, trainers, and influencers come to see us, they're often dealing with a lot of the same challenges:

    • They're juggling multiple software options to try to make their business work. Things like Slack, Facebook Groups, Kajabi, Zoom, and Calendly–all jumbled together. It's exhausting for them and confusing for their clients.

    • They're struggling to get engagement. In theory, access to their clients on social media should help them produce better offerings and better results, but they're not seeing it.

    • They need to scale but they can't. The software stack they're using actually stops them from scaling. Creating a fitness app can scale your impact and business (especially if you want to grow past 1:1 coaching).

    • They want to sell more. And they know that a premium experience like an app is worth more.

    • They want to scale, but are worried this will require hiring a bunch more people.

    Building your own fitness app helps to get your product into your ideal user’s pocket. It simplifies your life and your workflow, especially since you can often lose most of the software you're currently using.

    Get everything into one place, all your users on the same page, offer a better product, and watch your profitability jump.

    That's what building a fitness app can do for you.

    Types of fitness apps

    When we talk about types of fitness apps, there are basically two ways to think about them.

    Types of fitness apps by the features

    First, you could divide the fitness apps up by the features they offer.

    • One app might give you options for scheduling.

    • Another might let you build a program and host videos.

    • Another might let you connect with wearable tech.

    • Or another might let you build a community.

    And some will let you mix and match these. We'll get more into features below.

    Types of fitness apps by development style

    The other way to think about fitness apps is by development style. Basically, this means the level of custom building you choose.

    • Custom app development: when you work with a company to completely design the app you want from scratch. This is highly customized but usually the most expensive option.

    • White-label development: when an app building company offers a proven solution, and customizes it to your brand. Often the best option because you get expertise and experience mixed with a lower cost.

    • DIY app builders: for those with lots of time and no budget, a DIY app builder will give you a platform to build an app on. The apps may have templates to pull from. Can be used to create a basic app, but you will need to put in the time to build it and figure out how to get it into the app store, launch it, support it, etc. Lowest cost but also the lowest quality and biggest headache.

    How much does it cost to create a fitness app?

    This feels like a cop out, but it's almost impossible to say. Custom app development can run you in the millions. A DIY solution might cost $50-100 a month. Then there’s everything in between. As you walk through the process below, you can explore some of the app-building solutions to get individual pricing ideas.

    We’re super transparent with our pricing, so if you want a quote, schedule a call and we’ll help you figure out what it would cost you – no pressure.

    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Body Soul Livestream Paired LightMighty Networks - Graphics - Body Soul Livestream Paired Light

    How to build a fitness app

    1. Find your ideal client

    Every fitness app starts with an ideal client. Your ideal client is the person who needs your app the most. You can help them meet their goals with it.

    And every ideal client is looking for one thing: a transformation.

    • They may want to drop 10 lb.

    • They may want to start moving again after a life-changing surgery.

    • They may want to run their first marathon

    • They may want to learn how to run their first 20 steps

    The secret to unlocking your ideal client is to be really clear about the person you serve and the transformation they will go through.

    For example:

    • New moms (client) + becoming active postpartum (transformation) = New moms looking to get fit again after having a baby (ideal client).

    • Power lifters (client) + qualifying for X competition (transformation) = Power lifters training for their first competition.

    If you struggle to find your ideal client, chances it means one of two things:

    First: you're already serving them without realizing it. Look at the clients you have and the problems you're solving. What do they have in common?

    Second: you might need to go and interview people, either your existing clients or potential clients. Ask them some questions about the problems they're trying to solve.

    There's no point in building an app without having your ideal client in place. You will waste a lot of time and/or money.

    Once you know your ideal client is, you're ready to scale.

    2. Figure out what features you need

    If you know your ideal client and the transformation they need, the next step is to think about what they need to get there.

    For example, if we are thinking about powerlifters training for their first competition, they might need things like:

    • Video training and demonstrations

    • A community to go through it together

    • Regular one-on-one coaching

    • A personalized meal plan

    So when it comes to building your app, here are some of the features you’ll find that fitness apps offer:

    • Live streaming

    • Community

    • Fitness plans

    • Live courses

    • Pre-recorded courses

    • Chat & messaging

    • Member profiles

    • Point of sale

    • Plans & bundles mixing

    • Scheduling

    • AI assist

    It really depends on what you decide you need to help your clients reach their transformation!

    3. Find a platform

    The next step in building a fitness app will be to find a platform to build with. We won’t go too deep into the nitty gritty here, we have a full guide on fitness app development software.

    When it comes to choosing a fitness app builder, you’ve basically got three choices:

    • Totally custom development. The most personalized but also the most expensive.

    • White-label software. Using a proven app solution that has built apps for tons of fitness trainers and influencers. You get a proven software under your own brand, and it’s less expensive than custom development.

    • A DIY builder. If you’ve got no budget, you can spend the time and energy on a drag-and-drop online app builder. You’ll need to spend the time to figure out how to get it developed, get it into the App Store and Google Play Store, and be ready to troubleshoot any problems. This is the lowest quality for the lowest cost.

    Since you’re here, we’ll walk you through the following steps based on how our process works.

    Who are we?

    Mighty Pro builds fitness apps for fitness trainers, coaches, and influencers. Mighty brings together content, courses, community, and commerce. With flexible Spaces you can use for live streaming, live events, pre-recorded and live courses, discussions, chat, messaging, member profiles, and more, it’s a powerhouse of an app-builder.

    We’ve built apps for trainers and fitness influencers like Martinus Evans, who built a fitness business for 1,600 “Back of the Pack” runners: The Slow AF Run Club.

    Or, listen to Cristy “Code Red” Nickel talk about how building her own app and getting her audience OFF Facebook Groups made a huge difference for her $1 Million coaching business:

    Schedule a call with us and we’ll show you what you could build!

    Book a Call

    4. Meet with the app building company

    The next step in building a fitness app depends on how you choose to build. If you’re choosing a DIY app, you’ll probably jump into it and start tinkering.

    If you’re building with an app-building company like Mighty, we always start with a kickoff call. We’ll talk about things like your Ideal User and the app features you’d need..

    Then we’ll put together a game plan for our work together.

    5. Planning & Strategy

    With any app building process, there will probably be some planning and strategy involved. You’ll need to figure out the build process, but also think about launching and being successful with your app.

    At Mighty Pro, we think about your app as more than just a technical project. We have a team of Account Executives and Community Strategists who have scaled 7-figure creator brands and 8+-figure subscription businesses standing by.

    We’ll work with you to develop a strategy based on what we’ve learned from launching over 300 apps to make sure that together we ROCK your app launch and your fitness business can take off! This will include things like: your community structure, membership acquisition, membership plans, and more!

    6. App Design

    The next step will be creating the design for your app. Different companies work differently, but generally speaking there will be planning and some back and forth on the actual build feel.

    For example, when we build apps, you bring us your brand, and we’ll design your app! The Mighty Pro dev team will build it, creating things like splash screens, marketing images, and adding in your own custom design features to fit your brand.

    7. Plan the launch strategy

    While the app is being built is a good time to plan your launch strategy. You can think about letting existing clients know, and how you’re going to get them started with it. And if you’re looking to reach new clients with your fitness app, you can think about things like marketing and launch events!

    It’s time to get your audience excited about your new fitness app!

    8. Launch!

    Once the app is ready, it’s time to launch!

    When we build, the launch means that we finish up the technical details and do the work to get your app live in the App Store and Google Play Store (a lot of people underestimate how much work this is to do on your own!).

    You can sit back and enjoy the launch and have the fun of watching your first members sign up to your fitness app!

    It’s a great feeling.

    9. Ongoing support

    However you choose to build your app, there will be some sort of ongoing support required. This might involve tech support or answering customer questions. It might involve dealing with outages and downtime, or working to resolve glitches.

    When you build with Mighty Pro, we take care of all of this for you. We make sure that you’re going to be successful with the app, checking in at monthly strategy calls. We’ll show you what’s working and what isn’t with analytics. PLUS we give you VIP support, dealing with any policy changes, new integrations, or any other issues you might have.

    We really want to help you succeed. So we’ll take care of all the nitty gritty of your app and let you focus on doing what you do best!

    Mighty Networks - Graphics - Build a Fitness AppMighty Networks - Graphics - Build a Fitness App

    Fitness app development checklist

    1. Figure out your ideal client

    2. Choose the features you want

    3. Find a platform to build on

    4. Meet with the app building company (if getting a build)

    5. Plan the app & strategize your business

    6. App build

    7. Plan the launch strategy

    8. Launch

    9. Prepare for ongoing support and maintenance

    Fitness app FAQs

    Should I build my own fitness app?

    • It depends on your needs. If you’re just getting started or you have a small client base, it might make sense to build on one of the cheaper app software options. But for established businesses or fitness influencers, building your own app rarely makes sense. It will take a ton of time, the tech requirements will be overwhelming, and you’ll lose profitability because of a badly-designed app.

    Is it worth paying for fitness app development?

    • For many established fitness trainers, coaches, brands, and influencers, the cost of app development is immediately worth the price. People generally see immediate boosts to revenue and no tech headaches – both of which are a huge return on investment.

    What if I’m not ready to pay for a fitness app yet?

    • If you want a fitness app that mixes courses, community, training, and events, you can get started on Mighty! You can start on the business plan–which comes with the Mighty Networks app–and grow to a custom app when you’re ready. Schedule a call and we’ll get you started.

    How much time do I need to manage my fitness app?

    • The obvious answer is, “It depends.” But since you didn’t come here to hear that, here’s how it works for Mighty Pro clients. Many people running apps on Mighty Pro can spend as little as a couple hours a week engaging their community, answering questions, and issuing challenges. And Mighty Pro comes with Mighty Co-Host™, our powerful community AI engine that can build landing pages, sales pages, invite messages, and even start conversations with the Infinite Question Generator! We’ve done everything possible to help you spend as much or as little time as you want on your app.

    What if I don’t have a team member who can handle the technical upkeep of an app?

    • In some cases, an app development company will include ongoing support. That’s what we do with Mighty Pro clients, taking care of any tech issues that arise and checking in to make sure you’re satisfied. An app should simplify your business, not make it more complex!

    How can I migrate existing content onto my fitness apps?

    • Again, it depends on the app company. In our case, we handle the migration to make your life easier AND to make sure your existing content shines on a new app.

    Will my clients be happy with my fitness app?

    • In our experience… yes! Fitness clients usually get way more value once you launch a high-quality app.

    Should I stop running X software once I have my fitness app?

    • If you are running things like Facebook Groups or courses on a learning platform or scheduling group sessions and sending Google Calendar Invites, should you stop using those? The answer could be, “It’s up to you.” But since we’ve incorporated all these features and more into a Mighty Pro app, it’s probably easier just to ditch those and build everything in one place.

    Companies that develop fitness apps

    Again, we’ve got a full guide to choosing a fitness app development company here!

    Mighty Pro: Best for community, courses, and content – built for coaches, trainers, influencers, and brands who are ready to scale.

    Virtuagym: Best for tailored gym management solutions.

    My PT Hub: Best for personal trainers to run individual coaching on. Features like workout templates, nutrition planning, and wearables integration.

    Trainerize: Alternative option for individual coaches with similar features to My PT Hub.

    Ready to start?

    We hope this guide has demystified fitness app development! It can be intimidating to think about creating a fitness app, but it doesn’t have to be: especially if you already have a profitable business.

    And if you want community, courses, content, and commerce in one place, come build with Mighty Pro! We’ve built fitness apps for influencers, coaches, and trainers – and told some of their stories throughout this post. We see a huge jump in profitability when you launch your own app, that means your own branded courses and your own branded live streaming. Plus community AI brings it all together!

    Mighty Pro quickly pays for itself, and you can deliver an amazing, scaled fitness experience with only a few hours a week of work.

    Schedule a call with us and we’ll show you how!

    Book a Call

    Ready to launch your own branded apps?

    Get a live demo of Mighty Pro