Why build an app when you can take advantage of a ready-made solution?

Fitness enthusiasts and fitness centers crave more than just class scheduling and activity tracking solutions. This is why we frequently receive requests from both gym chains and personal trainers seeking to create robust multimedia skill tracking and lifestyle management and wellbeing incentive apps. The concept of advanced fitness apps also excites IT companies and those dreaming of creating their own app, who reach out to us with requests for something akin to a specific app, but better, cooler, and with a few extra features.

And although, seemingly, there are more fitness apps on the market than excuses one can come up with to skip the gym, the demand continues to grow, and the niche remains highly competitive. Why so if there are already so many off-the-shelf solutions to choose from? To get to the bottom of that question, our pretty representative will test the hottest fitness apps on the market, looking into their technological components and business aspects, all while scrutinizing them through the lens of the end-user convenience and benefits.

ABC Trainerize, Virtuagym, and TrueCoach

Meet our cute EdTech girl who’s eager to test a few fitness apps!


“Okay, I’m all revved up to test some of the most popular apps (ABC Trainerize, Virtuagym, and TrueCoach) and give you a definitive answer to the question: do any of them come without a catch?

A little disclaimer: we won’t get bogged down in the weeds of their libraries of exercises and content quality for now and assume that a charismatic trainer is an unquestionable base (because why bother with these apps otherwise, right?).”

To start things off, let’s put ABC Trainerize under the microscope

1. Let’s see how user management stacks up from the trainer’s angle.

The first thing I’m happy about is having immediate access to training history, since it reduces the chances of the student slacking off. You can keep a close eye on their progress and step in if they’re stuck, tailoring the workout program to get them back on track.

Oh, and you can log in through Facebook, which is a massive time-saver. Plus, when it comes to adding clients, you can do it via email, and that’s pretty nice because it just adds to the whole ease of the experience.

2. So, how versatile is the app? Can you do online workouts for those abroad?

The video features are great — you can do both online consultations and workouts, and there’s even an on-demand video option. So, you can mix things up in terms of how you teach. This variety in lesson formats is sure to please clients and keep them engaged for the long haul.

3. Speaking of making things easy for fitness businesses, let’s talk about payment options.

From what I can see, when it comes to payment integrations, there don’t seem to be any issues. Whether you’re going for the basic package, the premium one, or personalized training — you can easily pay with just a click through your own account. I haven’t put all the options to the test, but it looks like you can link up your PayPal, Stripe, or whatever accounts. This is a definite win because you won’t lose a single user for not having a payment option they might prefer.

Fitness apps payment options

My verdict

When it comes to the organizational side of things, it looks very good, covering smooth payment processes, flexibility in structuring various workout formats, and solid visibility into client information. Alright, time to dive into testing the communication capabilities with clients now.

What went wrong

Well, this aspect is a bit of a whammy, and there are some additional areas that could benefit from improvement. I’m unable to send reactions to messages, scheduling group messages is impossible, and I can’t even send a link to product options to a client.

Lack of reactions to messages

Moving on, next up is Virtuagym

1. How’s the situation with remote learning here?

It’s really nice that besides the usual creation of personalized workout plans and training programs that can be sent directly to the client, here you can also hook your users up with access to some insightful articles, videos, and resources on nutrition and wellness, as it saves them from going to the web looking for answers and stumbling into a rival’s ad by accident.

Plus, it looks like you can record and share workout sessions with others, which is always a great motivator. The feedback part is also pretty good — coaches can chat with clients and keep them in the loop with workout plans and updates.

2. Let’s now explore the pleasant world of payment handling.

I really liked how the app takes care of client billing, fees, and payments. You can easily get yourself a membership, or if you’re anything like me and not sure about going all-in for a whole month, you can just buy individual sessions separately. However, there are some significant nuances here, but I’ll get into those a bit later when we go into the not-so-great stuff.

3. And now about the perks for the coach: how easy is it for them to keep tabs on their clients’ progress?

This app is just a visual paradise! It’s loaded with a whole bunch of metrics to help you keep your clients on the right track. Personally, I find all this data visually pleasing, so clients won’t get lost in the details and come to you asking for explanations. And the option to set clear goals — just a synonym for firing up clients’ motivation.

A whole bunch of fitness metrics

My verdict

The ability to record and share workout sessions with members, along with valuable educational materials, is a big win. Plus, the impressive number of metrics is definitely a standout. However, there’s still a catch.

What went wrong

I guess manually inputting weight and reps for exercises with a timer for breaks is a must-have. But this app overlooked this nice feature. Plus, you can’t turn off the rep counter, which has a mind of its own and runs at different speeds for various exercises.

Now, when it comes to the payment, as I’ve mentioned earlier, it’s not all smooth either. User accounts are okay, but things get quite complicated when it comes to keeping track of completed sessions. You can’t edit past ones, so if a client schedules a session but then cancels, and the scheduled time has already passed, you can’t undo the session.

But the biggest letdown for me is the absence of customizable push notifications. Trust me, sometimes a single, perfectly chosen emoji can be more uplifting than a thousand words.

And many will likely notice another drawback: the lack of full integration, such as with popular wearables like Garmin and others.

Lack of full integration

And completing our trio of contenders — TrueCoach

1. What’s the word on the ease of interaction with clients over there?

I can see that besides the videos in the library, trainers can attach their own video demos or instructional clips for exercises — super personalized, super good. But hey, there seem to be some pretty significant hurdles in the mix, let’s circle back to this later.

The app has all the standard tools for trainers to manage client profiles, from adding new clients to dishing out custom workout plans and sharing updates. So no complaints on that front.

As for in-app messaging and notifications, I see they’re alright, not perfect, but we’ll get into that in a bit, like usual. But what really deserves some applause — is the chance to create and send customized assessment forms to gather updates on your clients’ health, goals, and preferences, so you can keep your finger on the pulse all the time.

2. How easy and enjoyable is it to receive payments?

From what we saw, handling finances can be tricky, but no worries here. The app keeps all the admin tasks in one place and collects the revenue almost instantly. Seems like an example to follow.

3. Can users and trainers easily keep tabs on all the processes and results?

Here, you’ve got the option to keep track of exercise history and metrics, which is fantastic for both trainers and clients to track their progress towards specific goals over time. But wait, I see something even better — trainers can see various health metrics, like heart rate and sleep data, to make smarter coaching decisions. Now we’re talking about a serious approach. Oh, and, without pointing any fingers, if you’re the forgetful type, there are customized reminders to complete workouts or check in. Looks promising, but, as experience has taught us, there’s always room for a hiccup or two to be detected.

Exercise history and metrics

My verdict

The ease of checking performance history, sending custom assessment forms to collect information on your clients’ well-being, aspirations, and preferences, and effortlessly incorporating your own video instructions for exercises, in my opinion, makes this app super handy for folks who like things neat and under control. However, there were a couple of “buts” that I noticed while using it.

What went wrong

The customer interaction here certainly suffers a bit. I couldn’t manage to reassign workouts to another day if they weren’t completed, which, let’s admit it, is a significant drawback considering everyone’s busy schedules.

Moreover, the coach doesn’t have the capability to send a link to the day when an exercise is completed, not completed, or skipped to provide comments for that day.

Oh, and one more thing, which I believe many would agree with — the auto-generated pop-ups for exercises can be quite annoying when you don’t want to use them.

Additionally, within the application itself, it’s impossible for the trainer to directly upload video feedback to clients. A trainer must download the video, create feedback in a different app, and then upload the feedback video back to TrueCoach. It’s a bit cumbersome, don’t you think?

Aside from the challenge of providing feedback to students, there’s also no way to connect with other coaches.

Besides, it seems somewhat unfair that when clients are archived, they can no longer access their programs, which I believe should be changed to allow clients who are no longer actively training to continue utilizing the programs they paid for previously.

There’s also no feature that lets a client choose from a menu of workouts or activity options based on how they are feeling on a particular day.

Oh, and one more surprising quirk in this day and age — the supported language is only English.

Access denied

Ladies and gentlemen, I’m rendering my conclusive verdict. No appeal

Fitness apps verdict

You probably couldn’t help but notice that every application has at least one area that could use some improvement. Some struggle with catering to the specific needs of coaches, while others lack support for multiple languages, customizable notifications, full integration with wearables, or encounter difficulties in properly tracking client progress.

As a result, my conclusion is as clear as day — each one of the pre-built solutions available today has its unique strengths, but none of them can perfectly check off all your boxes. As there’s a significant risk that your customers might be the ones desperately missing that tiny detail that users of other applications are blissfully ignoring. And this is where the concept of customization comes into play, whether it involves developing new apps, modifying existing ones to optimize monetization, or integrating the app with other systems you use.

If you’re eager to explore ways to overcome the constraints of pre-made solutions or tired of compiling an endless checklist of must-have features for your fitness app, Oxagile, equipped with many years of experience in fitness software development, is here to lend a hand, fine-tune the existing apps to create an exceptional user experience or help you decide on creating one from scratch.

Case in point: Creating a flexible online skill tracking solution is easier than you think

Driven by the goal to provide both coaches and trainees with a 360-degree view of student progress and performance, the solution delivered by Oxagile became much more than just about simplifying gym management, which it certainly did.

It made the whole fitness routine more personal, providing certifications that actually mean something, real-time achievement notifications, and video and photo tutorials. Also, the solution empowered coaches with full customization options to effortlessly adapt levels, plans, and skill rating systems, letting a personalized gym experience go far beyond the typical workout.

Online skill tracking solution