Updated: Dec 24, 2019
Finding your custom fitness app is getting harder and harder, don’t you think? With more fitness apps coming out offering the same thing in a different layout makes it even more confusing. The thing I dislike the most is that today everything depends on marketing. Apps with the most money overload the market while good quality apps are buried somewhere under. Here, I’ll list down some of the common problems of finding a custom fitness app today and present a possible solution for this problem.
The number of various fitness apps today;
The misinformation and the pressure of sales;
The Nature of Fitness Apps;
How to find a custom fitness app that best matches your needs;
How the fitness industry should change from going quantitative to going qualitative.
Demand for Custom Fitness Apps
There are various reasons why we decide to go with custom fitness rather than traditional gyms. Here are only a few of these reasons:
A cost-efficient way of starting out & progressing;
More convenient to do from home & saves time;
You’re more in control of your workout calendar;
Save energy on planning your own workouts;
Custom fitness apps give you tools & knowledge when you're a beginner don’t really know what to do;
We become more aware of our goals;
No one will see if we do an exercise in a funny way, therefore, it’s less embarrassing;
We want to try new things.
Now, when I look back, I started to work out with Fitness Blender because at the time it was summer and I was sick of doing the same old running every day. There was no point in going to the gym on a hot summery day, but I did not know what to do really. I didn’t know any of the exercise, nor the technique on how to do each move. So for me, Fitness Blender's workouts from home was something easy, motivational and educational.
There’s no secret that gyms are always smelly, crowded, stressful and, in most cases, far away. With today’s technology, we can easily do a quick and sweaty session at home with or without equipment. The transparency is breaking down the accessibility of fitness because now you can even find custom fitness apps to download for free. The world is becoming healthier and custom fitness will just play an even bigger role in this growth. Besides, fitness apps are easy, cheap, accessible and immediate.
The big problem of overload and selling
The more fitness apps I review, the more I realize that all of them are ultimately trying to get you to download their app. The marketing agencies will try to speak your language and emphasize the pain-points you’re facing. Most likely they will try to connect with you through a certain emotion and even give you a free trial period – all that just to persuade you to download their app. You see, the app is already done, all the production costs are over so now the only goal is to get as many downloads as possible. With free perks, strong visuals, and heavy marketing emphasizing custom fitness, they usually succeed.
But then all of a sudden it’s not as fun as we wanted, it’s soon getting boring, we dislike some of the exercises, we’re lacking personal approach, we don’t have the equipment they require, there’s no community support and so on.
If there are over 250k fitness apps launched and ready to be sold then what are the chances you’ll find the one that’s best for you? I’ll tell you right now that, if you are a beginner, most likely it’s close to zero. I’m not talking here about those fitness enthusiasts who are all over a particular brand so they will follow it everywhere. I’m talking about a beginner that doesn’t know much about custom fitness or fitness in general.
The marketing agencies will try to speak your language and emphasize the pain-points you’re facing.
The user sees a flashy ad of a particular fitness app that promotes custom fitness and he downloads it – great, so what’s next? He takes his first routine that beats him to the limit. What’s most likely to happen next? He’ll quit.. Now, not only he has spent money to purchase the app, but he also has left disappointed and thinking that fitness is too hard. He feels like a loser because he could not even do the beginner's workout till the end so the confidence goes to the ground. Why bother anyway? I’m a loser and nobody likes me either way.. Is that really a custom fitness program?
The Nature of Fitness Apps
A fitness app itself is something that you do alone so you must motivate yourself enough to continue. If the fitness app, which you have just downloaded, is lacking things that are important to you then most likely you’re going to quit too.
The truth is that all workout apps work, but what's lacking is suitability. It’s not as simple as putting you under a “beginner, intermediate and advanced” level. Also, fitness goals are extremely limited. For example, I don’t really want to lose weight, but this is what I usually go with only because I like cardio every once in a while - it makes my sleep deeper and gives me energy. My main reason why I work out is that I sit all day, every day so fitness is the only thing that makes me move and feel alive. For me it has always been about having energy. Yet, with every new fitness app, I still go with the weight loss option because I don’t have weights at home and I don’t want to buy weights as I’m always moving.
What People Want vs What Sells
Again --> at the end of the day all fitness apps work. But for us to make fitness as a sustainable habit, we must find our match. Here the custom fitness or custom fitness program comes in play, and I'm not talking about a custom fitness program developed by a personal trainer. We all know the struggles of finding a personal trainer that is worth the money. So naturally on-demand fitness and custom fitness in general is getting more and more popular. Now you can even find a personal trainer online that best matches your needs or book classes when you want without an actual gym membership.
But to come back to custom fitness apps, according to Google Keywords, people are searching for the following types of apps:
Best fitness motivational apps;
Best workout apps for men;
Abs workout apps;
Fun workout apps;
Best workout log apps;
Best workout calendar apps;
Best free HIIT apps;
Workout planner apps.
Still, companies are using unique selling points as "Fast results guaranteed", "Number one fitness app", and "Personal trainer in your pocket". They do this because it sells. In this case, what doesn’t sell are the fitness apps above because they’re actually meant for people who know what they need and want. Apps with slogans like “Number one app in the world” are meant for the masses, which does not know about custom fitness as much. But what happens is we get this super-duper app that’s #1 in the world and all of a sudden it’s so not what we have imagined.
The truth is that all workout apps work, but what's lacking is suitability. It’s not as simple as putting you under a “beginner, intermediate and advanced” level.
The more fitness apps I review, the more they look the same to me. I mean, if the app is not asking for your gender, age and fitness level then delete that app immediately because that train is long gone. But if you see an app that is promoting customization then please know that’s nothing new. Today all apps should be using a custom fitness approach. Yet, even with all this customization happening, it still does not mean that we will find our best match instantly.
How to find what works best for you?
All apps ARE and ARE NOT custom fitness apps if that makes sense. Yes, you will enter your weight, gender, goal and bla bla bla. But they will not care how much you’re willing to spend, if you have the technique down, if you even have dumbbells at home etc.
Even though the fitness app is promoted as “Suitable for all fitness levels” it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true. You see, I myself can take an advanced level in one app and have an okay feeling afterwards – a bit of an unfinished work feeling so to say (30-Day Fitness Challenge or Workout For Women). And then other apps like Nike Training Club is kicking my butt even on a beginners’ level. So we never know what is what.
Most reviews on the web are very short, or very sponsored (meaning that it’s too praising). I myself have the privilege of honesty because none of the suggesting apps are sponsored. This allows me to be as honest as possible.
I haven’t reviewed all of the apps, but I have reviewed some. So from those “some”, I will do my best to find the most suitable app for you. I'll keep adding new apps so if you feel that you’ve overgrown one, then hitch me up and I’ll recommend you a more challenging one.
Custom Fitness Apps
I was extremely lucky to find an app that gave me exactly what I was looking for, but I realize that it’s not the case for everybody else.
Positive Fitness Blog is dedicated to workout apps and suitability. The more I discover new apps, the more I see who this app can be good for. And because I was there myself going through that experience of testing and finding, I have an objective point of view which is not related to sales at any level.
I'll keep adding new apps so if you feel that you’ve overgrown one, then hitch me up and I’ll recommend you a more challenging one.
The first thing I want to do is leave the fitness goal as an open question. There are so many reasons why people are picking up fitness. Here are some:
Getting over a breakup;
Getting away from negativity and stress at work;
Improve sleep quality;
Reach the feeling of success and victory;
Feeling less guilty to treat yourself with sweets;
Want to look better and increase confidence;
Gain energy & strength;
Get rid of bad habits;
Learn to be patient;
If you’re over-energetic then you must put it somewhere;
Listen to motivational songs and SO ON.
The list goes on and on! It’s not just limited to a) lose weight; b) stay fit, and c) gain weight. So here I argue that today we're lacking a qualitative approach.
I am determined that with a qualitative approach and honesty we can clear the fitness industry and provide value. 4 years ago I was that girl who bought supplements because someone said it’s good for me and I'll lose weight. Today, I exercise with no goal – I do it only because it’s the thing I do. Fitness should not come hard or fake. Instead, it should come natural and that is what Positive Fitness is all about.
The Age of Custom Fitness - Summary:
The quantity is there so now it’s time for quality. The industry cannot be limited to a 3-goal generic answer approach. One might want an abs workout app while the other wants to find the best workout log app on the web. We as operators should come together and help make sense of this massive information overload.
If you're new in workout apps then make sure to read this post. It might surprise you!