“What smartphone app or computer program could you not live without in your business?”

May 16, 2017

Tricks of the Trade

I could not live without the Tabata Pro™ Timer and MyFitnessPal apps. Tabata Pro Timer is essential to my private and small-group training sessions and our group running program. I can set three different timers to meet all my interval needs.

MyFitnessPal enables my clients to track exercise as well as food and water intake, and to share these publicly or just with me. The app provides accountability for my clients’ fitness and nutrition goals.
     Kristen Horler, MS
     CEO and Founder, Baby Boot Camp®
     Sarasota, Florida


As a personal trainer conducting both in-person and online training appointments, I rely on two apps: Trainerize and Google Calendar. Trainerize provides the framework for my exercise programming. It allows me to see what my clients are doing on a daily basis and to make changes that will optimize their progress. The tracking software allows me to see consistent progression and to measure progress so that I can tweak, improve and customize all programs for my clients.

I find Google Calendar really helpful for my business. It provides a clear and easy structure that helps me to stay organized with my clients and provide the best service possible.
     Eric Bach
     President, Bach Performance
     Fitness Business Coach
     Denver


YouAte is an app that I recently started using both personally and with my health-coaching clients. It is a user-friendly, photographic food-journaling app that helps establish and maintain healthy eating habits by creating awareness about food choices. What I like most about this app is its simplicity, making food journaling quick and easy.
     Justin A. Seedman
     Health Coach and Personal Trainer, JustinFit In-Home Personal Training
     Pembroke Pines, Florida


The smartphone app and feature I cannot live without are basic and effective: Calendar app and the speech-to-text feature (both on my Android phone).

An idea may come to me at any time, so a speech-to-text phone feature is most effective when I don’t have time to write down an idea. I am always taking detailed notes on, for example, conversations with potential clients or gym members, ideas to improve the fitness center, and health and wellness questions I am asked. Organized scheduling of phone calls, meetings and appointments are also essential in improving time management. Once an idea or event is saved in my calendar with a memo and a reminder, I can clear my head and focus on the task at hand.

Taking detailed notes and setting reminders for events allow me to be fully present and more efficient with my time. As a result, clients receive quality workouts and fully enjoy fitness classes, and everything runs smoothly in the fitness center. Using the calendar app and speech-to-text feature, I have more quality time and reach my goals in business and life.
     Erik Maida
     Personal Trainer and Health Coach
     New Boston, Michigan


As an “older” trainer, I have made a deliberate choice to avoid excessive technology or canned programming apps. I truly believe that what makes personal training a life-changing endeavor is the relationship between the trainer and the client; technology is often impersonal.

However, I do love Instagram as a super simple way to share who I am, as a person, with my clients. More importantly, I use Instagram to share photos and videos of exercises, enabling my clients to execute their strength programs when I am not with them. My clients also share pictures and videos of themselves performing an exercise so that I can check their form and posture.
     Kathy Ekdahl
     Personal Trainer, Personal Best Personal Training
     Hudson, Massachusetts


At One on One Fitness, effective real-time communication is critical to our success. Our staff is expected to understand each client’s experience in detail, and we expect clients to provide formal feedback on a regular basis. We’ve created “behind-the scenes” communication systems to ensure that we are providing the best possible experience for each of our more than 500 weekly sessions.

Wufoo™ online forms allow us to effectively communicate about everything related to our business. By viewing client injury/incident reports, client conference summary notes and nutrition consultation notes, our staff can remain current on each client’s experience. We also use Wufoo as a mechanism for clients to communicate with us. Initial registration/intake forms, program evaluation forms and special event invitations are just a few examples.

As a high-volume personal training business, we know that efficiency matters. Wufoo forms streamline our communication and allow us to know pertinent information in real time.
     Ryan Burke
     Director of Business Development, One on One Fitness
     State College, Pennsylvania


Timely appointment calendar is the scheduling app I found the most user-friendly of all the ones I tested. Appointments are a snap to change on Timely by just “dragging and dropping.” I am not a computer/technical guy at all, but I was able to teach myself how to use this app. The calendar syncs with my smartphone and sends either text or email notifications to clients when they have an appointment the next day. I have been very happy with this app.
     Tim Clark
     Fitness Center Manager, Community Medical Centers
     Clovis, California


The most important smartphone app that I use in my daily business activity is Instagram. A lot of the learning process in personal training is based on visual cues. Instagram allows me to upload training videos and make them accessible to all of my clients. I use the videos to demonstrate good exercise technique, meal preparation, various stretches or my own training. Instagram provides a free platform to stay in contact with clients outside of the gym and to form connections with industry experts. Plus, I also get a platform to market myself along my fitness journey.
     Bryan Crossley
     Personal Trainer, BC Strength Training
     Washington, D.C.


I rely on Quickbooks® software to let me know how my business is doing and where I need to focus my effort.

The app that I find most valuable is my custom online trainer app by PT Distinction. It really sets me apart from other trainers and allows me to have my own 100% branded app in Android and Apple stores. The app features my name, icon, logo, colors, background, images, screenshots and descriptions. I can create, share and schedule delivery of training programs, assessments, emails, questionnaires, coaching notes and tracking results for as many clients as I like—all at the same time. It provides in-depth results tracking and charting to keep my clients accountable, and it enables them to see their progress.

The app also includes a set of forms and questionnaires that I can use, or I can upload my own forms and exercise videos. I can easily schedule everything for my clients so that all they have to do is click on their schedule and see what they need to do that day.

One of the best features is the ability to run short programs that are totally automated. I create the program, design the workouts, set up the schedule, provide forms and a welcome video, set up auto-responding emails and PayPal buttons, and market the program. It’s great to do all the work once and then receive revenue from it for a long time.
     Holly Kuovo
     Founder, Fitting Fitness In
     Stow, Massachusetts

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