How to Create a Fitness App in 2023: A Step-by-step Guide

How to Create a Fitness App

The fitness industry has been significantly transformed since the introduction and adoption of the first mobile applications built for the needs of fitness lovers, gym administrative staff, and coaches. Such solutions are becoming the new standard, which explains skyrocketing demand for fitness app development. Do you want to find out how to create a fitness app that will be positively received by users and leave its rivals far behind? That’s exactly what we’ll discuss in this article.

Fitness app market

It is expected that in 2023, revenues in the fitness app market will hit $19.33 billion — a huge figure that experts believe will continue to increase. With a projected CAGR of over 14% for the period from 2023 to 2027, it’s expected to rise to $33 billion by 2027.

revenue fitness app market

In 2023, an estimated 760 million people are using fitness apps. For those planning to develop a fitness app, it’s worth noting that it represents a global penetration rate of about 9.7%, which could rise to 12% by 2027.


the number of fitness app users

Types of fitness apps

With a professional fitness app development company by your side, you can build a unique solution that will greatly enhance the fitness experience for users. But to better understand the current landscape of the fitness app market, here are some categories to consider. (There are different ways of classifying them, but this is our preferred method.) 

Types of fitness apps
  • Activity tracking apps

With the help of such solutions and wearable devices, users can monitor their physical activity throughout the day. These applications typically count the steps a user takes, distance covered, and calories burned. They can also analyze the quality of sleep and help users visualize the gathered data in the form of various graphs.

  • Workout apps

The popularity of such apps was greatly boosted amid the lockdowns introduced during the coronavirus pandemic. People were obliged to stay at home but wanted to continue training. Such apps can offer highly personalized and diversified training programs. While some are intended for gym sessions, the majority are suitable for practicing at home. The most successful apps in this category are enriched with features such as rewards, progress tracking, social sharing, and communication tools. Thanks to such apps, people can enjoy unique experiences and get a powerful shot of motivation.

  • Nutrition and dieting apps

A healthy diet is one of the most important components of healthy living. People need to take care of what they eat to keep fit. And mobile software solutions can help them do it. Apps from this group can usually offer functions such as calorie counting, nutrient monitoring, diet planning, recipe suggestions, educational materials, and others. The key goal of launching such an app is to help users learn more about healthy eating and help them develop the right habits.

  • Mediation and yoga apps

These applications are aimed at supporting both physical and mental health via various relaxation and mindfulness sessions. Usually, users of such applications can get access to breathing exercises, mediations, and guided yoga sessions. They can track their progress, create plans for their training, and get personalized recommendations.

Features of fitness apps

The functionality of your solution will mainly depend on its type and the core tasks it will be expected to solve. That’s why the exact set of features can be discussed only when you already have a clear concept of your app. You will also need to decide on the technologies you will apply to create a fitness app, as a different tech stack will offer different opportunities.

But to gain at least some general understanding of the available options, here’s a look at the most popular features of modern fitness apps.


features of fitness apps
  • User profile. This is the most essential feature of any fitness app. Here, users will need to indicate some personal details, age, weight, height, and fitness goals. If an app offers dieting plans or various options for physical activities, users may be also asked to indicate their preferences in products or types of exercises. And they will receive recommendations based on the provided information.
  • Goal setting. You can integrate this feature as one of the elements of a user account or add it as a separate section. You can allow users to indicate their goals (for example, a run distance or weight loss) and to observe how they are moving towards them. More advanced apps can also be enriched with AI-powered tools that provide personalized tips on how to achieve the set goals faster. 
  • Progress tracking and analytics. It’s cool to have an app that’s able to accumulate various data (such as weight, steps per day, distance, or calories burned during a workout), process them, and provide reports in a convenient format. When people can see their progress, it can motivate them to conquer new peaks.
  • Gamification elements. Regardless of age, we all like games. The spirit of competition, rewards, bonuses, and achievements are engaging. That’s why it’s useful to add some gamification features such as leaderboards, points, and in-app prizes for those who demonstrate the best results.
  • Notifications. Via notifications, you can remind users of upcoming workout sessions or let them know they have been sitting for too long. Notifications can be sent to a smartphone or duplicated and also show up on a smartwatch or fitness bracelet. We highly recommend making it possible to set this feature in accordance with the user’s preferences; otherwise, such reminders will annoy some users.
  • Social features. You can allow users to share their achievements on their social media accounts directly from your app. This option can motivate users to do their best and demonstrate better results. And secondly, thanks to this feature, more people will learn about your app. You can also build in-app communication tools that will let users create group chats or communicate in private dialogues to share their experiences and discuss common topics.
  • Educational content. It’s possible to enrich your app with helpful materials on healthy dieting and training. Some exclusive information from the best industry experts can be provided on a paid basis, which may be a good idea for monetization.
  • Live streaming. If you want to create a fitness app with online training functionality, this feature is a must. Thanks to live streaming, people can have individual sessions with a coach or participate in group events. But here it’s important to think about ensuring the quality of the video regardless of the users’ connection power to provide a seamless experience.

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How to create a fitness app in 5 steps

Detailed planning is vital when you are going to make a fitness app. We typically define 5 key steps of the fitness app development process. Bear these main stages in mind, as they will help you to better organize all the related tasks.

  • Step 1. Market research and development of an idea

The decision to develop a fitness app will involve a wide range of issues, including its type, goals, features, and target audience. For inspiration, you can analyze existing workout apps and consider their strengths and weaknesses. Market research will help you discover which solutions are most popular and what the market still lacks. Your main task will be to determine what might make your own application unique and focus on these features in the future.

  • Step 2. Preparing requirements and planning

In the process of deciding how to create a fitness app, you’ll need to formulate and describe all your requirements for a future solution. What is the exact list of tasks your app will need to solve, and what features must it include? Based on the prepared requirements, together with your development team, you will be able to choose the right approach and tech stack for your project.

  • Step 3. Design and development

This stage is the most time-consuming and requires the combined efforts of a team of designers and developers who will transform all your ideas into a real product. Quite often we suggest building an MVP first to check the feasibility of launching a project. Only after gathering users’ feedback and understanding whether the future app will be positively received do we proceed to creating a full-scale solution with all the desired features.

  • Step 4. Testing

The importance of this step shouldn’t be underestimated. The development of modern mobile apps, especially those connected to wearable devices, requires conducting various types of tests to check not only the performance of all the components but also the compatibility of your software solutions with different types of devices. Some tests are conducted in parallel with development. But it is also necessary to test the solution after the development process is over to make sure that everything works as planned.

  • Step 5. Release and maintenance

When you are fully satisfied with the results and all features function in full accordance with your expectations, you can release your app and publish it on marketplaces. Here, it is crucial to check whether your application is compliant with the rules introduced by app stores; otherwise, your submission will be rejected. 

Even after your solution is successfully placed on marketplaces, you will have a lot of work to do. You need to continuously monitor its performance, track changes in its position in the market of workout apps, and take measures that will help you to deal in a timely way with any vulnerabilities that may appear. It is also recommended that you regularly analyze users’ feedback to learn what improvements may be required.

How much does it cost to make a fitness app?

As you know, all custom software products are different. Their development may take different amounts of time, tech stacks and skills. All these factors and any number of variables have a huge influence on the final amount.

That means that if you want to plan a budget for your fitness app development project, you need to start by preparing your requirements and taking them to a development team who can make accurate estimates.

Sometimes, clients who want to build a fitness app come to us with a very strict budget. But we always can find an approach that will allow them to have a fully functional app that will meet their requirements and fit into the set budget frame.

Our experience in fitness app development

If you’re planning to create a fitness app, it’s crucial to work with a professional team that has developers with relevant expertise and a deep understanding of market needs. If you work with Cogniteq, you can be confident we will be able to make a fitness app that will fully meet all the set requirements.

Our portfolio includes a range of successfully built and delivered fitness app development projects. 

One of them is TeamZWATT. On this project, our customer was a company that creates power metering equipment for cyclists. It needed power metering apps that would collect and interpret sensor data.

When the company contacted us, they already had an application for Android devices, and we were asked to build new applications for TeamZWATT and its partner based on the existing solution but with enhanced design. The apps were expected to have a different UI but share similar functionality, with slight changes. We also had to develop iOS applications with the same features.

The built application can recognize the sensor, ensure its connection with a smartphone via Bluetooth, receive and store data locally, as well as synchronize data with the server that will generate reports and visualize data. App users can also calibrate the sensor and check for firmware updates. These applications also have functionality for managing users’ subscriptions.

These mobile solutions are now successfully used by the company and its clients. The company has noted growth in sales of its devices for cyclists, thanks to the increased brand recognition.

Final word

Modern fitness and workout apps, together with advanced wearable devices, can greatly enhance the efficiency of training for sports lovers. Software solutions make the entire experience much more engaging and motivating, which allows users to achieve better results in their physical activities. Given the growing interest of users in such software products, it is not surprising that fitness app development services boast popularity among startups and well-established businesses that want to diversify their profits.

If you also have plans to make a fitness app and are looking for a professional development team, do not hesitate to contact us. Our experts will analyze your idea and business needs to offer the most suitable model of cooperation.


How much does it cost to develop a fitness app?

The cost of fitness app development services will vary depending on a series of factors. The complexity of the solution, the required tech stack, the number of integrations, the size of the team that will work on the project, etc., must all be taken into account. It’s possible to accurately calculate the cost only after analyzing the exact requirements for the project.

How long does it take to create a fitness app?

There are no universal timeframes, as the time required to build your app will depend on the precise tasks you will have for the development team. Another important factor is the number of team members who will contribute to the development process.

How do fitness apps make money?

When you decide to create a fitness app, you need to think about the monetization strategy that will be applied. To make money via your app, you can provide in-app ads, offer paid content and premium features, or work with sponsors.