Workout Tracking Software: How To Develop Useful Solution?

, , analytics, scheduling, fitness

Are you a sports enthusiast, or maybe you own a gym? Do you want to build a custom workout tracking software solution for your needs and the needs of your clients? If you do, you are on the right track.

Selecting the Feature Set for the Application

By definition, workout tracker is an application for tracking and monitoring workout-related metrics like burned calories, consumed calories, quality of sleep, and heart rate.

But what would be the perfect workout tracker and what are it's characteristics?

Before any planning or development, you need to focus on the task that you are planning to solve with the application. For example, you might want to:

  • improve workout results for users
  • simplify instructors' work
  • increase gym revenue
  • allow people to train efficiently at home

Based on this you must specify who is your target audience and who will eventually pay for the application. This will allow you to prioritize features correctly and schedule development efficiently, in order to see benefits fast.

The Perfect Workout Tracking Software

Here are some of of the possible functions that a workout tracking app can have.

  • Workout Tracking - This feature, while simple at first, quite hard to get right because of a vast range of possible workout types. Also, UI must be simple and snappy, so that users could enter data with tired shaky sweaty hands.
  • Performance Progress Tracking – Track and visually show the user's achievements over time and send monthly reports.
  • Gamification - Ability to set goals, earn badges and show off before friends is alway a good way to keep motivation at the high level
  • Dashboard – Place where the user will be able to check all the crucial information and latest feeds, daily tips, feedback, and comments.
  • Nutrition and Diet Tracking - Ability to show preferred food on a daily basis depending on the goals of the user. Measure the overall calorie intake and alert the user for possible deviations from the dieting plan.
  • Sleep Tracking – Section where the user can input the time and duration of sleep manually, or automatically through smart accessories.
  • Fitness Workout Library – Variety of different workout plans and approaches that users can choose to fulfill their needs.
  • Knowledge base – Online library where the user can find all the exercises for particular muscle with instructions and videos.
  • Client Management – Ability for the personal trainers to manage their clients and set their goals accordingly.
  • Compatibility – Ability to use the application with different accessories like smart wearables, etc.
  • Messaging - Ability for the clients to ask questions and receive answers.

Technology Stack

Workout tracking software will most probably consist of three parts:

  • Server to store and serve the data
  • Web application to be used by managers and trainers on the laptop or desktop for things like scheduling, messaging, client management, etc
  • Mobile application to be used during the workout

Server should be built using proven toolset that won't get in your way while creating custom features. We suggest using Django or RoR.

Web application frontend will need a custom design by UX expert and will most probably need dynamic features, that are good to implement with Angular or React.

Mobile app can be built with native tools in Objective C or Java, but it's more efficient to use web frameworks like NativeScript or Ionic.

Sensors and Gadgets

To widen it up, even more, scientists use many new, diverse ways of measuring the fitness metrics. They create specialized devices with sensors to improve the accuracy of the results. To build a workout tracking app for personal trainers and clients, we must answer the next question.

What are the most used sensors and gadgets in the fitness tracking industry?

GPS

This sensor is capable of locating your position anywhere on Earth. All modern smartphones and many smart wearables use this kind of receivers to map the route of movement that users made. It even can measure the speed of movement.

Gyroscope

This is a gadget that uses earth gravity to detect the position of an item in space. It is widely used in all the smartphones and helps the fitness software to track clients during a walk or run. It is a gadget that counts steps popularly known feature as a pedometer.

Compass

Compass is a device that will help you differentiate cardinal geographical directions. Fitness trackers use it often to determine the direction of movement.

Accelerometer

As the name says, this device measures the acceleration and helps the tracking software to define the movement speed in particular moment.

Heart rate sensors

There are various kinds of heart rate sensors, but here we talk about the optical type of the sensors. These accessories use light to measure your pulse differentiating the oxygenated and de-oxygenated hemoglobin in your blood. Most of the smart wearables with an embedded sensor like this, measure the heart rate periodically at predefined time intervals. There are devices specially designed to measure the pulse only during a workout.

Heart rate sensors allow users to workout in the desired heart rate target zone and get out the most benefits of the training.

Pressure altimeter

This gadget will show you the height above mean sea level. Mountaineers use it the most.

Skin temperature sensors

As the name suggests, these sensors measure the temperature of the skin. Using this sensor, users can follow their body temperature changes during different activities.

Existing Solutions

There are hundreds of existing solutions on the market. Different workout trackers may vary in the feature set, but also in the area of application. Some of them get more popularity than others. Here is the comparison between the most popular, workout existing solutions on today’s market.

FeaturesMyFitnessPalMyNetDiaryLose it!LifeSumMyPlateArgus
Social
Share PhotosYesYesNoNoNoYes
News FeedYesYesYesYesNoYes
Share WeightYesYesYesNoNoYes
MessagesYesYesYesNoYesNo
AwardsYesNoYesNoNoNo
ChallengesYesNoYesNoNoYes
Price
Free versionYesYesYesYesYesYes
Paid (Monthly)$9.99$4.99$8.99$9.99$2.99$9.99
Food and Diet
Database entries6 million5 million1 million4 million3 million3 million
Meal Logging RemindersYesYesYesYesYesNo
Recipes From WebYesNoNoNoNoNo
Nearby RestaurantsNoYesYesYesYesYes
Plan Future MealsYesYesPaid VersionYesYesNo
Workout Logging
Step CounterYesYesYesYesYesYes
Strength LevelYesYesNoNoYesNo
Time LoggingYesYesYesYesYesYes
Exercise TrackingYesYesYesYesYesYes
Sets LoggingYesNoNoNoNoNo
Reps LoggingYesNoNoNoYesNo
Weight Per SetYesNoNoNoNoNo
WorkoutsNoNoNoNoYesPaid Version
WorkoutsNoNoNoNoYesPaid Version
Cardio LoggingYesYesYesYesYes
Goals
Weight GainYesNoYesYesYesYes
Daily GoalsPaid VersionNoNoNoNoNo
Food GoalsPaid VersionNoNoNoNoNo
Workout GoalsPaid VersionPaid VersionPaid VersionNoNoYes
Reporting
Weekly CaloriesYesNoPaid VersionPaid VersionYesYes
Body MeasurementYesNoPaid VersionPaid VersionNoNo
DietHistory(CSV,XLSX)YesYesYesYesYesNo

Building Custom Software Pros and Cons

You’ve just get the picture which are the workout tracker leaders on today’s market. Now you are wondering whether building your own software solution would be a better idea than using some of the existing ones. Here are the pros and cons of developing a custom workout tracking software.

  • If you choose to create a workout tracking software, you choose a scalable solution. If your business grows, you can easily reconfigure or rebuild the application according to your needs.
  • Achieve High Level of Efficiency. It is a custom solution. Your business is unique, and your workflow processes are unique. Therefore, your workflow automation will be unique too.
  • Reliable and effective technical support plan. The developer team will entirely focus on solving potential problems of your application.
  • You can develop a solution capable of fully integrating with your existing software packages.
  • Unlimited Maintenance. You can maintain your application as long as you want.
  • There are no external threats. You fully have the control to your business.

Besides the pros, building a custom software solution has its own cons. Here you can read all the cons of creating a custom software.

  • Building custom software may require high upfront costs.
  • Maintaining and monitoring the custom software is your job.
  • Your solution will age over time and you'll have to update it.
  • Building custom applications often requests a lot of time and energy. I am talking about months and sometimes even years till the final release.

Ultimately, you will need to decide if you are going to use custom software solution or not. Put your needs and expectation on the table and make the estimation. That’s how you will choose the right option for you.

How Much MVP Would Cost

Now when you know all the benefits and disadvantages of a workout tracking software development, it’s time to make the math. How much MVP would cost?

Obviously, it depends on your needs and specify feature set, but you can expect to have initial version for about $ 15 000 - $20 000 Taking into consideration our experience, we can create our first MVP version for less than 4 months.

 
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