There’s nothing like having your very own personal trainer to keep you honest and accountable about your workouts, to keep the routine interesting, and to help you achieve your fitness goals safely and efficiently. However, one-on-one training time can be pricey, personal trainers sometimes aren’t available when you are, and as we’ve seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting with your personal trainer in person isn’t always possible.
Fortunately, there’s an app for that.
Actually, there are a few apps for that, but TrueCoach is the personal training app that’s gotten a lot of buzz since it was first started in 2015.
Now, just a few years later, over tens of thousands of coaches and several hundred thousand of their clients across more than 80 countries use it for their personal training endeavors. With gyms staying closed for months on end during the pandemic in 2020, it became more popular than ever.
The question is, is TrueCoach the best personal trainer app?
What is TrueCoach?
In short, it’s an iOS and Android app that allows personal trainers to provide custom, individualized workout plans for their clients.
It provides almost all of the benefits that one-on-one training offers while giving clients the flexibility (and, during a pandemic, the safety) to do their workouts on their own when it’s most convenient for them. Stars and the schedules don’t have to align anymore for personal training to have an impact, and TrueCoach may actually be a less expensive way for clients to get a customized plan that hits all of their needs since there’s less one-on-one in-person time (and since a coach’s time is money).
What TrueCoach allows personal trainers to do is create custom workout plans for clients, give tips and encouragement, provide feedback, and even demonstrate how certain activities should look.
Initial set-up is intuitive and straightforward, and it contains features that make virtual coaching surprisingly easy.
What Are TrueCoach’s Features?
The workout builder is one of the key components of TrueCoach, and the more you use it, the faster it is to create customized workouts. That’s because you can create and save exercises and program outlines, called skeleton programs, and then personalize and deliver them as needed. It’s a great timesaver, making it so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel (or the workout, as it were) each time.
TrueCoach has a video exercise library of over 1200 short demonstration videos, allowing your clients to see how a particular activity is done so they can perform it with confidence and minimize injury. If you can’t find the exact video you need in TrueCoach’s video bank, you can use videos from YouTube or Vimeo, or you can even create and upload your own videos.
There’s also real-time messaging, which includes in-app text messaging functionality plus the ability to comment on client’s specific workouts. In fact, there are many places within the app to add notes and instructions to clients. Coaches can use the nutrition tracking function to keep tabs on their clients’ macronutrient intake. What’s more, there’s compliance tracking, so you can see if your clients are actually doing the workouts you’re designing for them.
To streamline the financial side of your coaching business, coaches can set up payments through the TrueCoach app, keeping clients’ plans and payments in one place. If you’re a coach who works with a team of coaches, you can add extra coaches to your business profile too.
What may be most helpful about TrueCoach for personal trainers is how it can allow them to grow their business. Coaching virtually rather than in person means that trainers are no longer limited by geography, and they can use TrueCoach with clients literally all over the world.
How is TrueCoach for Training Clients?
As long as your clients are relatively comfortable using technology (and if they have a smartphone, they probably are), they should find the user experience of TrueCoach to be relatively smooth. Onboarding can be done in a matter of minutes, and once they’ve set up their account, you’ll be able to send them workouts. Then, all they really need to do is exercise and report back.
TrueCoach has multiple spots where clients can interact with their coach and provide feedback on things like how the workout went for them, how much weight they used, how many reps they did, what the environmental conditions were, or anything else. Clients can even upload photos and videos instead of writing.
The app keeps a log of past and upcoming workouts for both coaches and clients, so you can always refer back or look ahead. Plus, the app sends clients notifications when there’s a new or upcoming workout waiting for them.
Is Truecoach Worth It?
Putting aside the fact that quality software that helps your business is usually worth it, TrueCoach is definitely worth it for coaches who work with more than 20 clients. The app itself is free, TrueCoach will give you a 14-day free trial, and then the charges kick in.
The cost is $25 per month for up to 5 clients, then it goes up to $55 per month for up to 20 clients, and then $110 per month for up to 50 clients. With the two higher price points, you have the ability to add your own logo and do custom branding on the app. There are no long-term contracts; you’re just billed by the month.
For clients, there’s no charge. The app is free for them to download and free for them to use, and this seems to be standard for other coaching apps.
What is the best TrueCoach alternative? Let’s take a look at how they stack up.
Truecoach vs. Trainerize
While Trainerize is certainly popular and contains many of the same features as TrueCoach, it’s a bit less sleek and a little more clunky to do things like input workouts. Trainerize does have a more user-friendly communication interface, and it integrates with more outside platforms.
Trainerize is also less expensive than TrueCoach, and in fact, if you want to see how it works, it’s free to use with just one client. Bump that up to two clients, and it’s just $5 per month, or go up to 50 clients, and it’s $90. Trainerize does offer a 30-day free trial, and for a one-time fee of $99, you can custom-brand the app for your own business.
TrueCoach vs. MyPThub
The primary advantage of MyPThub over TrueCoach is that it has a calendar feature. Otherwise, it’s pretty similar for tracking and assigning workouts, and it contains a database of demo videos. Another thing MyPTub includes is a way to track in-person training, so your clients’ remote and in-person training days can all be kept in one place.
Pricing for MyPThub is more competitive than other training apps. After a 30-day free trial, it will run $20 a month for up to five clients or just $49 a month for unlimited clients! Plus, if you pay annually, you get a 25% discount.
TrueCoach vs TrainHeroic
Like Trainerize and MyPThub, TrainHeroic does offer many of the same features as TrueCoach, with two notable omissions. First, there’s no nutrition tracking in TrainHeroic, which maybe isn’t a dealbreaker, but if your approach is for clients to balance activity and diet, this may not be the app you want. Also, TrainHeroic’s scheduling and billing all go through a third party app; again, not a dealbreaker, but certainly less convenient for you and your clients.
The pricing for TrainHeroic is a bit more complicated, but it’s roughly $45 per month for up to 25 clients with one coach. The cost goes up or down depending on the number of clients and coaches, topping out at $400 per month for up to 1000 clients.
Pros and Cons of Using TrueCoach
TrueCoach is really all about customizing your personal training business for each client. A big pro is that it’s so easy to use; the software just gets out of your way, whether you’re a client or a coach, and lets you do what you’re there to do.
It also makes you look professional: TrueCoach keeps everything in one place, the design is clean, and it all looks like a well-put-together package for your clients.
Part of that package includes seamless billing; you can take credit cards, and it’s safe and secure. The one downside of TrueCoach’s billing is that it goes through Stripe and Stripe only; there’s no link-up with Venmo, PayPal, or other billing protocols. You also pay a fee for transactions: standard processing fees are 2.9% plus 30¢ per transaction. You can only charge for regular training, and there’s no way to do a one-time charge or sell products, though hopefully that will be improved in future TrueCoach versions. Your first payout takes 7-10 days, but after that, payouts take just two days.
Other minor downsides are the lack of an appointment set-up calendar, along with no easy integration with social media – a real drawback if you use Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to promote your training business.
The main drawback, with TrueCoach and really, the main drawback of any coaching app, is that it lacks the human touch. The app makes it easy for you to engage with your clients, but you need to bring a high level of engagement to make your clients feel seen and valued. No software will do that part of the job for you.
However, as long as you’re comfortable interacting with clients in this specific way, TrueCoach offers many advantages as you work with clients everywhere at their convenience.