How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Fitness App? | Uptech (2024)

More people are turning to fitness apps to stay healthy and keep themselves fit. Whether learning yoga, managing diet, or tracking footsteps, users seek apps that let them embed this routine easily in their lifestyle. This results in a growing demand for different types of fitness apps, which is a strong reason for founders to venture into the industry.

According to Statista, the fitness app market is predicted to hit $6.86 billion by the end of 2024. The figure is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.99%, reaching $10.04 billion by 2028. But before you venture into the industry, it’s crucial to learn how much fitness app development costs.

This article is co-authored by Aliona Nikolaieva, Uptech’s Delivery Manager, and Stan Burenko, Uptech’s Business Development Manager. Together, we’ve helped startups worldwide launch successful apps in their respective industries, including healthcare.

In this guide, we’ll compare the costs of developing various types of fitness apps, expanding into their complexities, platforms, and other cost factors.

Let’s begin.

Average Cost to Develop a Fitness App: Examples of Real Apps

So, how much does it cost to make a fitness app? The best way to learn that is to analyze existing apps in the market. By studying their features, design, and purpose, we can roughly estimate the fee the fitness companies pay to plan, develop, test, and launch the apps.

Activity tracking apps, like MyFitnessPal

These apps keep track of physical metrics, such as heartbeat, footsteps, and food intake. They allow users to have more clarity about their lifestyle and adjust their routines accordingly.

MyFitnessPal is an activity-tracking app. It lets users support their diet with calorie trackers and also connect to wearable devices to monitor physical metrics.

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MyFitnessPal’s key features:

  • Personalized calorie goals. The app lets users set target calorie consumption. As users consume food, they can add the type of food, which the app automatically deducts from the calorie limit.
  • Synchronization with fitness trackers and devices, including Apple Smartwatch and Google Pixel Watch. Users use these devices to synchronize calories burnt during workouts with the app’s fitness data.
  • Extensive food database. MyFitnessPal can conduct nutritional analysis from the user’s food intake by referring to catalogs listing millions of food items.

Supported platforms: Android and iOS.

Estimated cost: $60,000 - $100,000

Fitness & Workouts app, like Peloton

Workout apps provide exercise instructions, video guides, and helpful information for users to start and maintain their exercise routine. These apps cover a broad range of activities, including yoga, cycling, Tabata, and cross-training.

Peloton is a fitness app that provides users access to hundreds of fitness classes. Users can select classes based on the workout type and instructor.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Fitness App? | Uptech (3)

Peloton’s key features.

  • Live workout classes. Peloton lets users join live classes with other members for a more interactive workout experience. The app sends out notifications in advance so users won’t miss their classes.
  • Wearable devices integration. The app supports popular smartwatches like Apple Watch and Garmin to collect heart rate data and calculate calories burnt during the workout.
  • Activity sharing. Peloton has a thriving community where users can follow other members, interact with others, and share their progress.

Supported platforms: Android. iOS, Roku TV, Amazon Fire TV.

Estimated cost : $100,000 - $150,000

Health & wellness platform, like BetterMe

These are holistic wellness apps that let users create personalized self-care programs for physical and emotional wellness. Like personal coaches in real life, these apps let users set goals, tailor a wellness routine, and track their progress over time.

BetterMe is an app that falls in this category. It helps users balance their lives with proper diet, workout, and mental relaxation.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Fitness App? | Uptech (4)

BetterMe’s key features.

  • Wellness tracker. BetterMe tracks the user’s daily routine based on the goals they set. For example, the app can monitor calories consumed, water intake, and steps taken.
  • Workout routine. Users can choose and schedule different workouts on the app, such as yoga, strength, and mobility routines. It also has a library of various workouts that users can try at home.
  • Mental exercise. Besides supporting physical wellness, BetterMe offers guided meditation, sleeping sounds, and breathing exercises to help users support their mental well-being.

Supported platforms: Android. iOS,

Estimated cost : $100,000 - $150,000 for MVP (depending on the features). The cost for full feature set will be $250,000+

At a glance, these apps seem expensive to build because they consist of many features, integrations, and visually pleasing designs. But remember, the fitness companies we mentioned started small by creating an MVP with 2-3 key features to keep the development cost minimal.

With proper planning, user research, and appropriate technology stacks, it’s possible to launch an MVP for only $50,000-$70,000. We’ll explore that later in this guide. In fact, we strongly suggest that our clients start with an MVP so they can quickly test their ideas in the market at a minimum cost.

Average Cost to Develop a Fitness App: Simple, Medium, and Complex App

A simple workout app costs much less than a fitness app with advanced features. Developers spend fewer hours building a simple diet-tracking app with basic registration and social sharing functions.

However, the development cost increases if the app requires more features and integration. For example, your spending may exceed $150,000-$180,00 if the fitness app supports in-app purchases, geolocation, wearable device integration, and workout tutorials.

Be prepared to pay $200,000 or more if your app requires sophisticated functions like AI personalization, gamification, and video streaming. Developers take more time and effort to code, integrate, and test these features.

Here’s a comparison of workout app costs by their complexities.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Fitness App? | Uptech (5)

Whether you build a simple or complex fitness app, developers go through similar stages to plan, build, test, and launch. We share how these phases influence your final cost.

Initial Development Costs

The complexity of the app isn't the only factor influencing the cost of developing a fitness app. Product discovery, app design, development, and testing affect the initial development expenses.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Fitness App? | Uptech (6)

Discovery phase

During the product discovery, developers and the project manager work closely with you to validate your ideas. They interview the target users, conduct competitor analyses, and identify key features for the MVP. From there, developers choose the tech stack, identify challenges and list compliance requirements.

Estimated duration: 40-80 hours.

Estimated cost: $15,000 - $25,000

Design

A well-designed app is appealing and increases user engagement. After finalizing the app requirement, UI/UX designers create wireframes and customer journey maps to visualize user interaction with the app. They present mockups to selected users to validate initial assumptions before designing the app’s visuals.

Estimated duration: 80-160 hours.

Estimated cost: $5,000-$10,000

Development

This is where developers code and integrate various components. In addition to developing the user-facing app, they also build the necessary backend services, such as database management, server provisioning, payment gateway integration, and data encryption.

Estimated duration: more than 200 hours.

Estimated cost: $50,000+

Testing

QA engineers spend time testing the app throughout the entire development cycle. They perform software tests such as unit tests, integration tests, and performance tests to identify bugs and resolve them. Also, the QA team works closely with developers to ensure your app fulfills compliance requirements.

Estimated duration: more than 50 hours.

Estimated cost: ~$6,000

Launch

Upon passing the final check, developers prepare your app for launch. They submit the app for review on the App Store and Play Store. While waiting for approval, they provision the backend server and ensure all services are operational. Meanwhile, you will need to market your app across various channels to increase exposure and sign-up rates.

Ongoing maintenance and updates

After your app goes live, you need to actively respond to bug reports, change requests, and feature updates. Maintaining your app is a continuous process, which means you need to budget the cost as long as your app remains operational.

If you hire an in-house support team, your cost is the salaries, benefits, and other operating expenses. Your cost remains the same even if your app has stabilized and requires very few updates. Alternatively, you can engage outsourcing software companies for more flexibility in the support costs. This way, you can pay only for the time and resources committed by the outsourced vendor.

Fitness App Cost Estimate for Basic Features

Below, we give an approximate time and cost estimate for fitness app development. We based these estimates on a list of basic features we developed and calculated the average development time required for both Android and iOS apps, including backend services.

Please note that the cost is based on Uptech's average rate of $50 per hour. Hiring developers from the USA or other European countries typically goes up. We have a dedicated article that discusses the costs of hiring app developers and the factors that influence these expenses.

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Factors That Influence Fitness App Development Cost

The average cost of developing a fitness app ranges from $50,000 to $150,000, depending on the app’s complexity, platform, app type, and other factors. Let’s explore each of them.

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The Development Platform

The cost of a workout app depends on its platform. Developing a fitness app for both Android and iOS requires twice the effort if you choose native development. Native apps are built for a specific platform, which means you need to create and maintain two separate codebases.

Platform Development cost
Native app (Android & iOS) $50,000 to $100,000
Cross-platform $25,000 to $70,000

Alternatively, you can develop a cross-platform fitness app, which is more affordable. Cross-platform development is suitable for fitness apps that don’t require platform-specific functionalities or extremely high app performance. We compare developing a basic app with native and cross-platform development below.

Fitness app features

Most fitness apps consist of basic features, such as registration, diet tracking, and push notifications. Such features are fairly easy to build and don’t significantly inflate the development cost. What greatly affects the final cost are advanced features that take longer to build.

Basic fitness app features Average duration Average cost
User registration 60 hours $3,000
Activity tracking 110 hours $5,500
Social sharing 70 hours $3,500


Developers will likely spend hundreds of hours building, testing, and integrating complex features, which translates into a more expensive app cost. We share advanced features and their estimated cost below.

UI/UX Design

UI/UX app design is essential to attract, engage, and retain users. To do that, designers start with researching the target audience and collaborating closely with the product management to get the description of personas, market analysis, ect.

Design elements Average duration Average cost
Wireframes and Prototypes 24-40 hours $1,200 - $2,000
App design 80-160 hours $4,000 -$8,000


Based on this info, the design team combines fonts, colors, layouts, and other aesthetic elements to make the app relevant and likable for the potential users. They also consider the user’s journey and optimize interaction at every touch point to create an intuitive app.

All successful apps prioritize UI/UX design, which makes it a cornerstone in app development. Depending on the app’s complexity, designers might spend more time drafting app visuals, validating them with users, and refining their drafts. Here’s how UI/UX design contributes to a fitness app’s cost.

Backend Development

Fitness apps require backend services to function. You will need to hire a backend developer to provision the server infrastructure, manage databases, and build the required backend applications.

The effort developers put into backend work differs depending on your app’s requirements and complexity, so our recommendation is to ask for the estimate for backend services before the project starts. If you decide to engage an app development company, pay attention to their price tag and development approaches.

At Uptech, we offer custom backend development services. We gather the team of developers or provide you with one Backend developer, depending on the specific needs of your projects. Tell us about your project and get a free estimate for it.

Country where you develop your fitness app

You pay a higher cost if you hire app developers from countries like the US, UK, and Australia. Conversely, the cost of app development in emerging economies like India, the Philippines, and Argentina is cheaper. Check out the comparison below.

Country Hourly Rate
United States $100-150
United Kingdom $80-100
Ukraine $50
China $30
India $20


While developers in some countries offer an extremely low hourly rate, don’t hire solely based on cost. Rather, consider other factors, such as cultural differences, language barriers, and quality, when hiring developers.

Hiring Approach for Fitness App Development

Depending on your hiring model, you might pay more for the fitness app.

  • In-house hiring: In-house hiring requires founders to fund the salaries, training, infrastructure, and other perks that employees enjoy. In exchange for more control, you will have less flexibility with allocating funds for other business expenses.
  • Outsourcing: On the other hand, outsourcing provides more flexibility and, in some cases, cost reduction when building apps. Instead of being committed to long-term expenses, you can engage an outsourced developer based on time and resources, fixed price, or other staffing model. This lets you keep tighter control of your budget.

Cost Comparison: DIY vs. Using a Platform

Fitness app development costs also vary greatly if you use low-code/no-code platforms instead of building it from scratch. Traditionally, developers code the entire app from the ground up. Even if they have access to development libraries and frameworks, they still spend significant time on coding, debugging, and testing.

On the other hand, using low-code/no-code platforms like Bubble greatly accelerates app development time. Developers create the app with an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. They use ready-built modules to save time and cost. For example, you can create a prototype with a no-code platform within hours instead of weeks with traditional programming.

While low code/no code development seems attractive, it isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for all types of fitness apps. In exchange for speed, there is very little room for customization. Plus, your app will be locked into the vendor’s architecture and may face scalability issues.

4 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Fitness App Development

So far, we’ve answered the question of how much it costs to create a fitness app. But equally important is knowing how to reduce that cost. We suggest applying these recommendations.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Fitness App? | Uptech (9)

Outsource the development

Engaging outsourced app developers is more financially viable for startups, particularly those based in the US, UK, or other expensive regions. Outsourcing to developers in countries like Ukraine lets you develop your app at a much lower cost without compromising quality. For example, you pay at least $100 per hour when hiring a US developer but pay only $50 per hour outsourcing to a Ukrainian developer.

Validate your idea

Don’t build the app until you’ve confirmed that there’s a market for it. Otherwise, you would have spent a significant amount and have no returns to show for the effort. We recommend conducting a thorough discovery phase to validate assumptions with the target audience. Learning what users want in advance lets you create a fitness app with product-market fit.

Create an MVP

It’s tempting to include every possible feature your competitors have in your app. However, doing so will result in a hefty development fee for functions you don’t necessarily need. Rather, it’s better to focus on key functions by developing an MVP. An MVP is more targeted to the user’s pain points. Besides, you save time, effort and fees in getting the app to the market.

Use 3rd party resources

You don’t need to build everything from scratch for your fitness app. There are many libraries, plugins, frameworks, and third-party services you can leverage to speed up development time. For example, you can integrate with Paypal or Stripe by using the provided API. This way, developers can direct their efforts on business logic, user experience, and other aspects to make the app more engaging.

Why Choose Uptech to Make a Fitness App?

Uptech is an international app development company with a solid track record in developing engaging apps. Since 2016, we have successfully completed 200+ projects. You may check some of our cases on our website. Our clients trust us to deliver their apps on time, on budget, and meeting functional requirements.

At Uptech, we believe that creating apps that users love starts with understanding their needs. Therefore, we establish a strong development foundation by seeking user feedback throughout the entire process. Their feedback guides our development team toward building a purposeful, intuitive, and functional app.

When you build your fitness app with Uptech, you can expect the following advantages.

Cost efficiency

We’re sensitive to a startup’s budget and cost expectations. When building the app, we provide various collaboration options that help you maximize savings. Our team also accelerates development with appropriate tech stacks, automation, and processes.

Customization

Technological trends, user needs, and business requirements evolve with time. Our team helps you tailor your apps to the market, not the other way around. Whether integrating simple in-app messaging or generative AI assistant, our experts are equipped with the skills and knowledge.

Full-cycle development team

From ideation to launch, Upwork supports your development effort with a multidisciplinary team. Our team of designers, developers, QA engineers, business analysts, and project managers frees you from tedious coordination and technical leadership in creating the app.

Time to market

Our development team practices Agile methodologies to meet strict deadlines while remaining flexible to changes. We communicate transparently with you to ensure your projects are on track and aligned with initial goals. Also, our prior experience in healthcare software development further speeds up the time it takes to create fitness apps.

Ongoing support and updates

Uptech is more than an independent contractor. We’re an app development partner whom you can depend on for ongoing support. Clients trust us to resolve issues, analyze market trends, and implement feature updates. We take your long-term success seriously right from the start.

FAQs

What is the average cost to develop a fitness app?

Building a fitness app costs between $50,000 and $150,000+. The final fee that startups pay depends on several factors, including app complexity, design requirements, and the developer’s location.

How can I reduce the costs of making a fitness app?

Outsourcing to developers in countries with lower costs of living can reduce app development fees. Validating your idea in advance and building an MVP also helps to keep development costs low.

How much does it cost to maintain a fitness app?

App maintenance requires ongoing support from a development team. If you hire an in-house support team, your cost includes the salary, benefits, infrastructure, and other recurring staff expenses. Meanwhile, your cost to maintain an app is slightly lower when you outsource to an external team. You pay only for the time and resources that the outsourced developers committed.

What are the best monetization strategies for fitness apps?

Many fitness apps offer freemium memberships. Users can sign up and use the app for free, but they need to be paid members to access premium features. Alternatively, you can offer in-app purchases, where users pay to access workout videos, fitness content, and other on-demand content.

How Much Does It Cost to Develop a Fitness App? | Uptech (2024)
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