The problem with most personal training apps is that they are too enterprise-centred and lack a client focus. Some target gyms that seek to increase revenues by engaging trainers and members. Others help fitness instructors run their businesses and stay connected with clients. Yet, almost none of them offers entry points for people who want to benefit from professional guidance through technology without attaching themselves to a particular gym or trainer.
To solve this dilemma, our client commissioned us to create a platform that will enable fitness people and trainers all over the world to connect regardless of geographic location and club membership. As we believe this model will unlock the truly mobile potential of personal training software, we want to tell you more about this inspiring project.
The platform: website + mobile app
The solution comes in two integrated parts – a Zend website and a cross-platform Unity mobile app. The website plays a more administrative role, enabling trainers and clients to register and manage their subscriptions as well as to connect with each other for future cooperation, whereas the app does the workout magic by keeping clients’ training plans, motivating to exercise more and tracking their progress.
There are two common ways of how most personal training apps engage fitness clients. It’s either gyms buying out-of-the-shelf products, branding them as proprietary software and adding trainers and clients to the system; or trainers themselves using the software on a subscription basis and adding several clients depending on their plan. However, in either case, there is virtually no way a person can find and connect to a trainer – they can only be connected.
This approach leaves many people out of tech-enabled personal training. What if none of the local fitness studios offers training software? Or what if a person has no studio membership and works out at home or outdoors?
Our solution changes the rules of the game completely, and here’s how it works. Clients register on the website or in the app and instantly access the base of trainers from all over the globe. They can browse through profiles and choose a professional with relevant experience and rates. But there is a lot more to it for both trainers and clients.
Upon matching trainers and clients, the software helps them work together to achieve goals such as weight loss, higher fitness level or bodybuilding. Trainers can create workout plans and edit them from their mobile device at any time. In turn, clients can follow the plans and log their workouts. Notifications remind clients of what exercise they need to complete this day or this week.
When a workout is finished, users can input their weight, pulse, blood pressure level, nutrition, calories burnt, sleep, stress level, mood and other data. Tracking and analyzing the metrics, the system offers smart insights on how to alter the training program for better outcomes or what exercises to do in order to improve the person’s current condition. As the app detects problems with vital systems as well, it can, for example, recommend aerobic exercises to increase the quality of sleep and normalize the nervous system. Trainers are also able to see the stats and provide their recommendations in comments.
In addition to that, clients can upload photos for trainers to evaluate their fitness level. With their consent, trainers may use these photos on their profiles to show the before-and-after of their programs.
The app’s navigation is built around a 3D body model that shows muscle groups and highlights each group’s fitness with a particular colour to help clients track their progress. This way, we want to engage users, who are more likely to interact with the visual projection of their body instead of wading through some plain text. With the interactive body at their fingertips, clients can check goals, exercise overviews and trainers’ notes for every muscle group.
Remarkably, even when a client discontinues cooperation with the trainer, the app is still fully actionable. The user can create training programs on their own by simply clicking on the model and assigning goals for a specific muscle group. The app will keep them updated about the forthcoming goals as well as track and analyze all the metrics.
Though still working on the project, we are impatiently looking forward to its launch. The platform has a great potential to make mobile training software really mobile, engaging fitness people and trainers no matter which gym they belong to, and offering equally beneficial cooperation models on both sides.