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Personal Training Software

Personal Training software, also known as Personal Trainer software, assists fitness professionals to schedule and track workout sessions for their clients, as well as collecting payments and automating communication. Common features found in Personal Trainer Management software include activity dashboards, client portals, and website integration. Find the best software programs for personal trainers in Australia.

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Personal Training Software Buyers Guide

Personal training software, or personal trainer software, refers to software packages designed to assist personal trainers, instructors, and similar fitness and health professionals manage their clients and schedule training or workout sessions. Personal trainers generally use this software to organise their schedules or calendars, automate client communications, manage memberships, process payments, and tailor client services to meet specific individual needs.

In general, personal training software can help to improve the quality of the services offered by personal trainers, and this can be achieved by, among other things, facilitating the provision of more customised workout and diet plans and enhancing online offerings. For example, many software packages deliver online training or workout sessions using video and live streaming technology. However, software of this kind can also help personal trainers by making some of the more time-consuming administrative tasks uncomplicated and more efficient.

Software for personal trainers has a powerful organisational component, it allows trainers to have the ability to manage a database of clients, access contact details and other important information quickly, and assists with organising their workloads. The software can also automate processes, helping trainers avoid accidentally overlooking their key tasks.

Many of the features and functions of PT software have significant overlap with more generalised solutions for workers with clients, such as appointment scheduling software and membership management software. However, the additional features ensure that personal trainer software can be categorised alongside fitness software.

The exact features of personal training software packages vary depending on multiple factors. These include whether the software is geared more towards online instruction, in-person training, or a combination of the two. On top of this, some solutions are more comprehensive than others, and the actual implementation of features can also vary. Nevertheless, there are core features that users can find in almost all solutions of this kind. As a result, professional trainers will generally be able to carry out the following tasks or activities:

  • Create and manage a database of client profiles, complete with contact and fitness information
  • Schedule appointments and manage communication surrounding training sessions and cancellations
  • Process payments from clients and run all details related to memberships or subscriptions
  • Provide fitness plans, perform fitness assessments, and offer access to an exercise library

What is personal training software?

Personal training software refers to software packages that are designed to assist personal trainers, fitness instructors, and health professionals working in similar roles in managing their day-to-day activities. These tasks can include everything from scheduling training and workout sessions to delivering instructional information to clients. Essentially, software of this kind plans to serve as an all-in-one solution that can assist trainers with the delivery of their services while also providing clients with access to main resources.

One of the major components of personal training software is the administrative aspect. The best solutions will provide fitness professionals with the tools needed to manage memberships and renewals, process payments from clients, view appointments, access a calendar, and create fitness plans for individual clients. Furthermore, the software can also record fitness assessments, monitor the performance of clients over time, and set individual targets.

Many products within this category allow personal trainers to upload useful content that their clients will be able to access throughout working with their trainer. It can include a library of exercises and various other instructional content. Software for online personal trainers may also include a significant communications component, including the potential to use live streaming and video streaming technology. Having the ability to offer this service and do training online is especially valuable for personal trainers who work with remote clients or have clients with more flexible requirements.

What are the benefits of personal training software?

The benefits of personal training software are focused on helping personal trainers manage their clients and their schedules while also optimising the delivery of online sessions and training content. Furthermore, the best software for personal trainers will have various knock-on benefits for their clients too. And some solutions will have specific features that focus on those clients. In general, some of the most significant and essential benefits associated with the acquisition of high-quality software solutions in this category include:

  • Centralised information: One of the main ways PT software can assist personal trainers is through the centralisation of client data and other important information, including their teaching materials. Without software of this kind, it would be necessary for personal trainers and similar fitness and health professionals to maintain a digital address book to manage contact information, and this would likely be kept separate from fitness tracking information for specific clients. With personal training software, all relevant information can be centralised and easily accessible, including contact details, fitness tracking, teaching materials, and payment information. Individual client records can be added, altered, or removed effortlessly, making it easier to onboard new clients and quickly keep contact details up to date. These features will help improve efficiency and avoid unnecessary data duplication or other inferior practices that can lead to confusion.
  • Improved communication: The quality of communication between a personal trainer and a client can make or break the relationship, so trainers and instructors must take the correct steps to maintain a relationship with their clients. The personal training software can assist with this by clearly communicating information related to a workout schedule, making it easy for clients to know when they should attend a session. On top of this, the software can be used to communicate how to perform specific exercises, and how they can benefit a client. Details related to payments can also often be conveyed through the software, and some solutions include built-in messaging and live chat functionality, meaning clients can easily ask a question and receive a response.
  • Better client retention: The numerous features included within most software for personal trainers can boost client retention, helping trainers and instructors optimise their earning potential. One of the main contributing factors to client turnover in areas like personal training and fitness instruction is miscommunication, leading to missed appointments or lack of flexibility. Yet, this issue can be avoided or resolved through a high-quality software solution, meaning they are less likely to lead to clients leaving. Additionally, there is a convenience component to using software for handling membership-related information. It can improve transparency, help clients keep on top of payments, and ensure everyone is on the same page. Automation options can also play a role here, with one example being automated communication about membership renewals.
  • Remote teaching options: The COVID-19 pandemic considerably contributed to the increased adoption of remote teaching methods, and the same principle applies to personal training and instruction sessions. Much like how software can assist teachers with the creation of digital classrooms, personal training software can assist trainers with the creation of digital workout spaces. This allows personal trainers to expand their client base beyond what would have once been natural geographical boundaries, and it also ensures business continuity is possible in situations where physically meeting clients may be impossible. Remote sessions also mean clients have the possibility of continuing training sessions, even if they go away on holiday or need to travel for work. With all things considered, the potential for remote offerings within online personal trainer software can improve the client experience enormously and help break down the physical barriers between trainers or instructors and the individuals they work with.

What are the features of personal training software?

The features of personal training software mainly focus on consolidating information so that personal trainers can access it easier. However, various features also assist with the delivery of training sessions, the management of memberships, and handling other administrative tasks. Beyond this, it is important to remember that personal training solutions are not only valuable for trainers but also for clients, too. Although the precise features included within applications can differ, the majority of options on the market will contain the following core features:

  • Client profiles: Create and maintain a core database of client profiles, ensuring that information about specific clients is always accessible. On a basic level, these profiles can store names, telephone numbers, and other contact information that can be essential when a personal trainer needs to get in touch with a client. However, going beyond this, client profiles can also be used to track the progress of individual clients and to maintain a viewable history of past training or workout sessions. With some PT software solutions, clients will be able to use this feature to access a record of their progress. This could include exercise tracking information, personal bests, and the ability to track progress concerning their weight and body measurements.
  • Appointment scheduling: Manage appointments with clients and create a personal training schedule. This is typically achieved by using a calendar tool, allowing personal trainers to add, remove and see appointments they have each day. As a result, trainers have access to a visual interface, which can optimise time management. The best-in-class solutions may also include an in-built booking engine, allowing registered clients to book sessions using self-service tools. Having access to a scheduling history can be valuable for invoicing purposes. Integration with third-party calendar software may also be on offer.
  • Attendance tracking: Keep track of each client and their attendance of sessions. This can be especially important for personal trainers who teach classes with multiple clients at the same time, as it allows the trainer to see who attended each class and to get a complete picture of the overall attendance of classes. In some cases, the attendance tracking feature can also be used to schedule events and allow clients to confirm whether or not they will be attending in advance. In light of this, it becomes a beneficial planning feature because an event or session can be set up based on the number of people expected to be there.
  • Exercise Library: Provide clients with access to a centralised exercise library, where they can view specific exercises or workout routines quickly and easily. This serves as a centralised database for the main exercises that a personal trainer or instructor intends to use as part of the fitness plans they are creating for clients. Generally, there will be options to record videos and upload this video content to the library so that users can see the exercises being performed correctly, with the correct form. There may also be options to include written descriptions, photographs, or animations, and these can all be valuable in situations where clients may not have access to a reliable internet connection or when data restrictions may make it preferable to avoid video content.
  • Fitness plans: Create, amend, and otherwise manage a fitness plan for each client. This allows plans to be fully customised and tailored to the specific needs of every individual. Clients can use the fitness plan to stay on track and ensure they reach their health, fitness and wellbeing goals, including weight loss targets or personal best performances. Moreover, personal trainers can use the fitness plan to prepare for sessions and monitor the progress of clients over time. Additionally, many software solutions allow for the creation of more generalised fitness plans, which can then be used as a good starting point when creating more tailored plans.
  • Fitness assessments: Carry out fitness assessments to ascertain current fitness or performance levels and accurately analyse progress. A personal trainer can use this feature to carry out a standard fitness assessment routine while monitoring performance levels and entering the data into the software. Most solutions with fitness assessment functionality will allow users to compare current measurements with the measurements from past assessments so that improvement or regression can be understood. The very best PT management software packages may also provide options to integrate fitness assessments with wearable technology. When this functionality is present, a personal trainer can take accurate readings from clients, track heart rate readings, the number of calories burned, the number of steps taken, the number of reps of specific exercises, etc.
  • Membership Management: Carry out all tasks related to membership management, including sending membership or subscription renewal reminders. The membership management function is critical to personal trainers who work for fitness clubs with a membership policy. The central database will usually contain all of the pertinent information about types of membership and the duration, but membership management functionality can help to make this information more immediately accessible. There may also be options for clients to enable automatic membership renewal, while cancellation requests can also be handled through the software. Once a membership expires, that client's access to the software and training content can also be restricted following wider policy.
  • Payment processing: Process payments from clients and oversee all other relevant financial information. Clients may be able to schedule payments in advance, and personal trainers might provide options to pay weekly, monthly, or annually. In some instances, the software can provide specific clients with discounts or other special offers. Generally, payments are processed using credit cards, debit cards, and online or mobile wallets, with examples like PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. However, alternative payment methods such as gift cards may also be available, and in the most advanced solutions, there may also be options to process payments using cryptocurrencies.

What should be considered when purchasing personal training software?

When purchasing personal training software, several different factors need to be considered, and many of these factors relate to the personal trainer or fitness centre in question and their specific setup and requirements. Nevertheless, some more general considerations should be prioritised, too. When searching for the best personal training software, buyers may find it useful to ask some major questions and then use these to explore the area of consideration more thoroughly. Examples of these questions include:

  • How much does personal training software cost? For any buyer, the issue of cost is significant, but buyers of personal training software need to think of this issue on a more holistic level than simply contemplating the upfront price of acquiring software. For example, will there be extra costs associated with storing the data or maintaining security? How much will it cost to find technical support if it is needed? Are there any ongoing subscription fees? Will new updates or new versions of the software cost extra, or are they included in the purchase price? Are there any other costs associated with acquiring a particular software option, such as a need to update hardware or invest in new equipment? Some packages may have hidden costs, which can make them seem like good investments initially. Of course, it is also a good idea to think in terms of value, too. After all, it may be sensible to spend more on a solution that is higher in quality and comes with more features, as this could be a more future-proof product that offers greater long-term viability than a cheaper alternative with a more basic set of features.
  • How can cyber security be optimised? Personal training software is primarily used by personal trainers or individual instructors who are likely to be running their businesses or working for a relatively small business, like a gym or fitness centre. Regardless, anyone acquiring personal information from clients or customers needs to be concerned with cyber security. The clients of personal trainers need to know that their data is safe, this makes it essential for buyers to explore the different software options fully and try to understand the features in place to prevent breaches and safeguard client information.
  • Is cloud-based personal training software a better option? There are two main deployment options for personal trainers software: on-premise deployment or cloud-based software. For trainers working as part of a bigger business, such as a sports centre or fitness centre, on-premise deployment may be viable, and self-employed personal trainers with the necessary equipment at home could also consider this option. This deployment method is a more traditional approach, where the buyer acquires the software license and is then responsible for setting the software up, installing it on their systems, and handling data storage and security. The alternative to this is cloud-based software, delivered via a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) approach. For many personal trainers, this is a more viable option because responsibility for delivering the software and handling data storage and much of the security is instead passed to a third-party service provider. The software is delivered using cloud technology, while the application can be accessed on a wide range of internet-enabled devices, and this can often include mobile devices and tablets. On-premise deployments also have higher upfront costs and unpredictable long-term costs, although there is a greater sense of personal control. By contrast, cloud-based software has extremely low upfront costs and very predictable long-term costs, although the continuous subscription fees are something that needs to be taken into account. Finally, cloud-based software can be easier to use when clients are also going to have access because it is less reliant on meeting specific hardware requirements, and remote accessibility is built into the system.

The most relevant personal training software trends are another major factor that needs to be weighed up by personal trainers and others who may be interested in software of this kind. The best personal training scheduling software will be designed with an awareness of the current and emerging trends within this field, as this will help make the applications more future-proof. This is important because small businesses must try to plan for the long haul to maximise investment. By contrast, software that has not been developed with this kind of awareness about key trends may only have a limited shelf life. In general, the most significant trends in this area include the following:

  • Compatibility with wearable technology: Within the field of fitness and wellbeing, the emergence of wearable technology has been one of the most significant technology trends of all, so it stands to reason that personal training software developers have adapted to this. More applications now provide integration options with wearable technology, like heart rate monitors, activity trackers, and smartwatches. This allows clients and personal trainers to measure changes in performance over time more accurately. Common metrics that can be tracked using wearable technology include heart rate, Co2 max readings, number of steps, calories burned, and more.
  • Increased need for mobile accessibility: In the past, personal training software was often desktop-focused and primarily geared towards helping trainers and instructors with admin tasks. However, it is now much more important for software to be accessed remotely and on the move, which is why mobile accessibility is such a crucial trend to be aware of. Personal trainers should focus on solutions that provide access to a mobile app, or access via mobile web browsers, as these will provide the broadest compatibility and make life as easy as possible for clients. Mobile accessibility can be combined with remote teaching to expand the potential client base for personal trainers, too. User interfaces should also be optimised for mobile displays.
  • Demand for in-app communication: Finally, a key trend within personal training software is the growth in demand for in-app communication methods. This demand has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic, where personal trainers were forced to adapt to restrictions on close contact by delivering services remotely. With this in mind, modern clients may expect software to include tools for messaging, live chat, and even video calling. Ideally, written communication between clients and personal trainers should also be stored for future reference, boosting the quality of support available to clients and allowing trainers to remind themselves of previous discussions.