You need an app for your online personal training business, but how do you know which is the right one? Sometimes the comparison is apples to apples – sometimes it’s apples to oranges. Because some apps may sound identical, but when it comes to features, they aren’t all built the same.
In this blog, we’ll highlight the differences among popular personal training apps so that you can decide which one is best for your unique business.
- Chapter 1: The Best Personal Training App Features
- Chapter 2: Personal Training Apps Feature Comparison
The Best Personal Training App Features
Obviously you will be inclined to compare features, so let’s start by naming some of the features that all of the best personal training apps have. Most personal training apps will help you:
- Build Workout Plans
- Deliver Them to The Client’s App
- Track Assessments
- Track Workouts
- Have an Exercise Database and Add Custom Exercises
- Accept Payment
But since most apps will have some version of all of these features, how do you choose the right one?
Answer: You need to compare how those features actually work.
For example: How does the workout planning feature work in an online personal training app? Does it allow you to save time? How is the interface of mobile apps? Is it user friendly? These are the types of things you should consider while picking the best online personal training app for your business.
Personal Training Apps Feature Comparison
Let’s break down the eight most helpful features that the best apps for personal trainers have. While going through, think about your unique needs and the experience of your clients.
Why should we discuss workout planning features? This is because, no matter what app you choose, a workout planner is where you will spend most of your time. So, it is important to see how different personal trainer apps implement their workout planners.
Even though there are many personal trainer apps, all of them have implemented workout planning features in one of two ways: consolidated and fragmented.
In a consolidated workout planner, all of the workout planning features are in one place. From a single dashboard, you can:
- Create Workouts
- Schedule Them
- Review Entire Workout Plan
- See Exercise History
- See Logged Workouts
- And More
In a fragmented workout planner, the place you create workouts is different from the place where you schedule them. You will first create the client workouts, then you will go to the calendar and schedule them for your clients, adding an extra step to your process.
So what are the pros and cons?
If you want to save time building plans for clients then the consolidated workout planner is a clear winner . Because all the workouts that you have planned for your client are in a single view, it is much easier and faster to review and design workouts. Plus, there is no need to go back and forth between views to design a workout for clients as everything is in the same place.
If you simply like to send workouts to clients and not schedule them, then a fragmented workout planner may fit your workflow better.
When you’re thinking of choosing a personal training app, you’re probably not envisioning always training clients from your desk.
The thing is you will see many features listed on the website of every personal trainer app. All of those features are available when you use the software from your computer or desktop, but only a fraction of those features are available on the actual apps that come with the software.
So if you don’t want to be stuck to your computer to do all your work then you should evaluate how feature-rich the mobile apps actually are.
Here is our evaluation of the most popular personal trainer applications.
|Personal Trainer Software||What percentage of features are available on the mobile apps?|
So why do some software have such skinny mobile apps? There are two main reasons:
- They designed their software mainly to train remote clients. As in-person training is minimal, a trainer can train clients from the comfort of their desk and don’t need a full fledged mobile app. For example: Truecoach has only messaging features available on their trainer mobile app. On the other hand, the TrainerFu mobile app is fully featured so that you can run your entire training business from any of the platforms (iOS, Android, or Web).
- If you have to implement features on just one platform you can develop software cheaper and still have the same number of features (which of course greatly limits users of the software).
Technology will determine the user experience for you and your clients, so it’s an important part of choosing the right app.
There are two ways to develop a mobile application: native technology and cross-platform technology.
With native technology you develop separate apps for each platform. While with cross-platform technology you create one app that can run on both the Android and iOS platform.
You must be wondering why anyone would use native technology if they can build the same app in half the time using cross-platform technology. The answer? User experience.
How would you feel if you had to use an app designed for Android on your iPhone device or vice-versa? Not great. Right?
With native apps, you and your clients will get to use the app that is designed for that specific platform. That means it will look and behave as expected.
Trainerize and MyPtHub have used cross-platform technology to develop their mobile apps. That is the reason their apps look exactly the same on every platform. It does save them the cost to develop the app but user experience takes a back seat. On the other hand, TrainerFu and Truecoach used native technology to build their mobile apps.
This is something important to consider since user experience can make or break your client retention efforts!
One of the reasons to use a personal training app is to save time. And one key way to do that is to automate repetitive tasks.
But what can you automate? Let’s take a look at an example.
Suppose you decided to run an online group fitness program. There are so many things that need to happen after someone signs up:
- They need to get the workout program delivered at a set schedule.
- They should get their onboarding material like a welcome message and other information delivered right away.
- You may decide to deliver them valuable content like recipe guides, meal plans, nutrition coaching articles.
- You’ll need to send them reminders and check-in on them.
- You’ll send them messages when they don’t log workouts for a few days.
- And more…
If you decide to do all these manually, you will end up spending a ton of time that is not adding value to your clients training. However, if you automate all of these things with the right app, you free up much more of your time to focus on more important things.
There are still major differences on how automations are implemented in different apps.
Trainerize uses a master program for automation. You can create an automation sequence just like the above and subscribe clients to that automation sequence. Clients will get all the scheduled workouts, messages, reminders you have in the master program once a client is subscribed.
But there is a catch.
A client can only be subscribed to one master program, so if a client is subscribed to a master program their personal program is replaced with the master.
This type of automation works if all the participants have exactly the same needs and need no personal modification to their program. For example: If one of the participants in your program can’t do an exercise in the workout plan, you will have to create his program from scratch rather than make a personal modification.
These limitations are something that are fixed in TrainerFu. In TrainerFu, a client can be subscribed to any number of automation sequences . Plus, every automation sequence is copied into the client’s schedule and you can make personal changes to a plan without needing to change the entire automation sequence.
PT Distinction has implemented their automation sequence similar to Trainerfu. Other software like Truecoach, MyPtHub, and TrainHeroic do not have such automation capabilities.
Obviously you are there to hold your clients accountable and support them during their fitness journey. But wouldn’t it be great to provide 10x the accountability and support without spending any extra time?
That is why community building features are essential in any modern personal trainer app, especially when lots of clients train remotely. This not only helps you provide added accountability and support, it also makes the whole experience much more fun and rewarding. Plus, community support for fitness endeavors is proven to keep people more motivated!
But every personal trainer app has a unique take on helping fitness businesses develop a tight-knit community. Let look at them:
- TrainerFu has implemented a Facebook group like feature inside their personal trainer software:
- A client can share their activities on the news feed.
- A trainer and other clients can comment and like the post and engage with each other.
- Trainers also get additional features like sending push notifications when they post anything on the news feed. They can also choose to pin the post and do news feed moderation.
- Trainers and clients can post their status or share content. They can share videos, files, images etc.
- Trainerize has implemented whatsapp style groups for building community. A trainer can create a group and then clients and trainers can send messages within that group.
- Though a community feature is very important, not every software has them at this moment. Truecoach, PT Distinction, MyPtHub don’t have any such community features at the time of writing this article.
What is a custom branded app plan? With a custom branded app plan, you get your own branded app for both Apple and Android.
Instead of downloading a third party app, your client will download your app. Your app will have your own logo, color scheme, images, and more. It will reflect your fitness brand, which will help you win the trust of your ideal clients.
Currently, Truecoach, PT Distinction, TrainHeroic, and MyPtHub do not offer a custom branded app plan. If you want to get your own custom branded app then at this time there are only 2 choices:
- Trainerfu - You get your own app starting from $99/month.
- Trainerize - Custom branded app option is available only on Studio plan which is $250/month
Price is an important consideration when choosing a personal training app. Many platforms price based on the number of clients you have. When comparing prices, keep in mind which apps make the best use of the features you need for your business. A great app is ultimately an investment in your business that will pay off.
|Trainerfu||$29/month for 20 clients $45/month for 40 clients $59/month for 60 clients|
|Trainerize||$40/month for 15 clients $60/month for 30 clients $90/month for 50 clients|
|PT Distinction||$59/month for 15 clients $89/month for 50 clients|
|Truecoach||$49/month for 20 clients $99/month for 50 clients|
|TrainHeroic||$44.99 for 25 clients $74.99 for 50 clients|
Note: These are the prices as of August 24, 2022.
More than likely, you check ratings when choosing which restaurant to eat at or what movie to watch on Netflix. So of course, these will factor into your personal training app choice as well. Ratings can help you determine how other personal trainers feel about the product, and can help you make a more informed decision. Here’s how the best stack up:
|Apple App Store (US)||Android App Store|
Note: These are the ratings as of August 24, 2022.
As you can see, though they have similar features, not all personal training apps are created equally. It’s important to find the right balance of features that make running your business easier while still providing a great experience for your clients.
TrainerFu is a personal training app that has been optimized so that all the features perform well for personal trainers. With our app, you can attract and retain more clients, save time, build out amazing programs, and much, much more.
Ready to make your choice? You can try TrainerFu for free to get started.