There are dozens of ways to use a smartphone to help stay in shape. One of them is to find a reliable app that can help you plan a fitness routine and diet. FitCoach is one popular option for this. It has more than 10M downloads on the Google Play store and often appears in the top fitness apps on iOS.
FitCoach is designed to help create a personalized fitness routine. This comes at a cost though, with subscriptions ranging from $14.99/week up to $59.99 for a year. There is some legitimacy to the discount the annual seems to have since much of the value of the app is in the initial creation of the plan. Although the app claims to update based on feedback, for the most part the recommendations are formulaic and repetitive.
What to Expect from FitCoach App
The digital fitness coaching app is a tool that provides users with access to personalized coaching and exercise plans tailored to their individual goals. The app works by combining “personalized” coaching with artificial intelligence to create a unique, personalized program for each individual user.
The key benefit of using a digital fitness coaching app is convenience. Users can access their personalized programs from anywhere in the world, eliminating the need for in-person training sessions. Additionally, the app provides users with the flexibility to tailor their program to fit their own schedule and lifestyle.
While all this is great, users still need to actually do the workout. Unlike other apps that focus on the mental aspects of training, FitCoach is solely focused on providing a check-list of things to accomplish. The app does point out that diets should not be restrictive, but at the same time makes weight loss claims that can only be achieved with a calorie deficit (since that’s what all long term weight loss will be)
Is FitCoach A Scam?
The app does provide users with access to an array of activities and challenges to keep them motivated, although many reviews point out that the coaches and videos can be repetitive. This should help user stay on track with their goals but ultimately there is nothing more than notifications and reminders to keep you coming back. The app does provide some value and has decent content. It also has significant issues.
Tabs for the app are broken down into four categories:
- Plans – The generic workout plan created after setup
- Challenges – A series of simple bullet points to challenge yourself with weekly
- Workouts – Video content for workouts that are split by area of the body, workout type, etc.
- Meals – Recommended recipes with nutritional information
The content in each of the tabs is fine. For many users that want it the curation is decent, although it should be noted that except for the “customization” of the plan the rest of the items can be found freely via a web search or on youtube.
Meal plans for the app do allow for sorting by different dietary restrictions. You an search for vegan, vegetarian, or full diet. There are no options to include other allergies or sensitivities, so if you have already identified a sensitivity (check out our food sensitivity test reviews) there is no way to get this level of personalization from the app.
What are the issues with FitCoach?
Based on our own experience, as well as a look at the reviews the major concerns with FitCoach boil down to a few main categories.
- Cost – As noted above the $14.99 per week is pretty steep for an initial purchase. While some people report being able to get a free sample of FitCoach when we downloaded it and tried there was no free trial option. This meant you had to pay $15 at a minimum before understanding what you were buying. Refund are also difficult to get from FitCoach, and many negative reviews point this out.
- Recurring Charges – The subscription for FitCoach comes directly through your Apple account or is automated on Android. It is set to renew automatically and many reviews highlight that there are limited or no alerts before being recharged.
- Unrealistic Claims– When we tried out FitCoach the initial plan allowed us to input current and target weight. It resulted in showcasing that in just over two months the expected weight loss of 48 pounds was fine. This is well outside of the normal expected weight loss plan and quite simply does not match with their own claims that “restrictive diets do not work”. There is no way to loose 48 pounds in 70 days without restricting calories.
- Lack of Personalization – From the setup of FitCoach it is clear that they try to drive users into certain buckets. The selection of what your goals are and the sample body types are limiting and cartoonish, lacking any personalization beyond simple stats.
- Need for Other Devices/Plans – FitCoach works as an Android or iOS app and can pair to Google Health or Apple Health to pickup activity data. However, you still need to log things correctly which means either carrying a phone on your at all times or getting a wearable. The meal plans also require planning and shopping, and there is no rhyme or reason to the overlap of ingredients. Of course if you have a preferred workout, there is also no way to really import it to the app, and any deviation from their workouts is left to be outside of the FitCoach monitoring.
Does the FitCoach App Work?
There is no easy answer to this, but it is possible for the FitCoach app to work, despite its short comings. In order for it to actually be effective you will need to be dedicated to the plan it outlines. This level of personal commitment and dedication though is difficult. Nearly impossible.
We would argue that if you succeed with FitCoach that you could have succeeded with any number of other plans, based on the personal dedication it requires. Still, FitCoach has all the items in place to provide a plan and resources to achieve your goals.