With everything going digital it was a no brainer that Fitness would have taken the same route. A lot of mobile apps as well online solutions have come up and are still getting added to list. So with so many applications and solutions in place what should one be looking for before selecting the right one for themselves.
Fitness solutions can broadly be divided into two categories from perspective of usage
- For Individuals
- For Gyms owners / personal trainers
As an individual what we are looking for in an app is that it provides details and easy to follow instructions related to exercises, diets to follow, recipes for healthy diets, calculators like BMI, Macros, etc., feedbacks from a trainer/expert, sessions with experts, goal setting, tracking of goals.
Let us now explore what each individual section mentioned above should have to make it comprehensive.
- The exercises should be categorized based on the goal of the individual
- Exercises for various body parts along with which muscle or body part does it impact
- Right movement of the exercise is being described in text, images and videos
- It should also mention the number of sets as well as reps that one should be doing
- Which days that exercise should be done and in combination with what other exercises i.e. there should be exercise plans which covers all different exercise combination that one has to follow and for what duration
- Exercise completion tracking as well as reminders / notifications
When a person onboards he/she should be able to know where they stand with resect to their goal. There are various body stats that they should be aware of so that they can set the goals accordingly and not just through random judgement.
- BMI calculator
- MACRO calculator
- Food nutrient calculator
- Body fat calculator
These calculators should not only mention a what is an ideal value to achieve but should also explain what they stand for and how it can vary based on gender, age, physical condition (like pregnancy) and more such factors.
Option should be there to also keep the history so that the change and trend can be seen as that helps in seeing if the person is moving in the right direction
Diets & Recipes
- What a person eats and quantity eaten as well as when it is eaten impacts the body a great deal and this is where such fitness solutions come to help
- Elaborate diet plans mentioning the nutrient contents like calories, fat, energy, etc
- Diet plans should be linked with the goals of the individuals
- The diets for individual should be based on the MACRO calculations
- Diet suggestion should take into consideration an individuals allergies with various foods like milk products, nuts, berries, etc. This can either be mentioned as warning or better still it should take input from the individual and present it accordingly
- An exclusive feature can be to include local flavor as food habits and availability of lot of veggies / meat products are not consistent across the locations
Records and Tracking
One of the most motivational things for anyone following a fitness regime is to know that the work and effort being put is showing results and they are progressing towards the goal
- Feature to set goals
- All solutions should have a continual record keeping functionality
- Option should be available to key in all body stats as well as images. Like they say an image is worth a thousand word
- The figures being entered if seen individually does not have the same impact as when it is seen in totality e.g. like a trend in the graph, which shows the actual progress
- Feature should be there for the user to see progress between certain time period
- Progress should be tracked with respect to the goal set
Interactive Sessions and / or Feedback Mechanism
- Feature to view Live sessions from the instructor as viewing an expert perform and getting tips is like having a personal trainer for you
- One on One sessions with an expert so that queries can be resolved, next steps can be discussed and get tips on how to make the entire regime more effective
- If Live sessions or one to one sessions are not available there should be some feature from where the experts can view an individuals progress and provide their expert comment.
Cost Effective & Flexible
- There should be multiple subscription option available
- User should have flexibility of upgrading / downgrading their plans
- Lives sessions, chat, expert feedbacks, etc should be an additional option that user can get
The functionality of the solution will change a lot in case you are looking at it from a Gym owner / personal trainer point of usage.
As a business owner there are certain facilities that you should be looking before making your final decision. First and foremost is the availability model of the app which generally is either of these two
- White labelled one time payment model
- Monthly / yearly subscription model
Both have their pros and cons but what makes either of these a winner is your business model which apart from depending on the cost also depends on exclusivity.
With a white labelled solution you market it to your clients as your own solution (which is the truth as you have paid for it) plus you can look at getting it customized a little to suit to your specific needs (which obviously comes at a cost). The downside is that you will need some support over time to maintain the solution but you get the exclusivity and for a business to become a brand you need this exclusivity.
With a monthly / yearly subscription the upfront cost is negligible and it is only a small fraction that you pay on a fixed frequency. So your capital is not invested and you are not at risk. Another benefit that you have is if the
solution provider is really serious you keep on getting new features and also you do not have to worry about backend support. The downside being you look like part of the tribe and nothing exclusive or no brand recognition.
Coming to what you should be looking at in the solution is amalgamation of what we saw as decision making pointers for individual application and few additional pointers.
- As the owner you need to have control to build your own content (exercises, diets, recipes, videos, text, etc
- Content creation should not be limited per say you either have enough bandwidth to put in all your content or there is an option to increase the bandwidth as per your requirement
- You have control over all you users
- You can manage the different form of subscriptions that you want to give to your users to select from
- Option to create & manage multiple trainers under your gym
- Trainer assignment to user
- Check on trainer activity
- Trainer reviews to which only you have the rights to view
The features and topics covered are quite comprehensive but not the only things that you need to look at. There can be other factors that will be more important to you as an individual or as a business owner.