As online personal training software developers, we can't deny that there are many app developers out there whose aim is the same as ours, to support aspiring online trainers and fitness coaches in their venture to help as many people with their fitness goals as possible.
We, at PT Distinction, keep an eye on our competition while also focusing on our members' feedback. That's how we determine future upgrade directions because we want to make sure you, the user, have the best tool available to help you and your clients.
In this article, we'll be comparing our software to one of our main competitors, TrueCoach.
The aim here is to use the facts, features and user reviews to show the differences and similarities to help you decide which software to choose for your goals.
User ReviewsAs this is a comparison written by us we understand a natural skepticism on your part as the reader. For this reason we feel it important to start this comparison with independently verified user reviews.
So, we used one of the biggest software review platforms, Capterra, to compare TrueCoach and PT Distinction, this is what the reviews can tell you:
You can see that both software are performing very well in reviews. PT Distinction outperforms TrueCoach in all four main aspects: Ease of Use, Customer Service, Features and Value for Money, as well as having a higher overall score. It's important to note though that these are two of the most highly rated personal trainer software on the market.
We can also proudly say that PT Distinction is the highest rated software on Trustpilot, Get App, and Software Advice and has multiple industry awards such as Most Recommended Software on Software Advice and Best Features and Functionality from Get App.
There are also other independent reviews such as this from Origym, which compare personal trainer software and rank them. Both PT Distinction and TrueCoach feature prominently on these as two of the leading software for personal trainers.
Program/ Workout BuilderProgram building is an important aspect in any personal trainer software, TrueCoach and PT Distinction provide two of the best program builders, here we look at both.
TrueCoach has a dedicated Programs menu on the top, and you'll have example programs to help you understand what you can do with the builder.
Workouts are easy to build you name your workout, write out a warm up, then type in your exercise names and select the ones you want. Sets, reps etc.. can then be written out. Making supersets and circuits is done by clicking a link between exercises.
You can add as many weeks as you need in the builder, create workouts for each day, copy session plans, and make a rest day. The system is relatively easy to use, and once you build out a few templates, you can duplicate and modify them pretty quickly. A downfall here is that you can't set a workout session to repeat. You'll have to copy and paste them week by week. You also can't copy sections of workouts meaning if you have a finisher you want to use on multiple different workouts there's no easy way to copy / paste it.
All in all TrueCoach has a nice, easy to use program builder that does the job well.
PT Distinction also has a fast, simple program builder. You name your program, then type in your exercise name and select the one you want. Sets, reps etc.. are very easy to add by putting the numbers in, a difference here is there's no need to write out the words “sets”, “reps”, “tempo” etc. like you do in TrueCoach which saves a bit of time. Making supersets, and circuits is done by dragging a link across the exercises.
Like TrueCoach you can copy / paste workouts and take from your template library. However PT Distinction also allows you to copy and paste sections of workouts i.e a warm up, or finisher to increase flexibility and save more time.
A nice feature in PT Distinction is the ability to add sets, reps etc. for all exercises in a section at the same time which can save a lot of time with many program styles. There's the flexibly to then edit for any individual excise.
Scheduling lets you schedule, repeat, and progress the workouts over the program phase.
All in all PT Distinction also has a simple to use program builder that does the job really well. When you dive in a bit deeper there are some extra time saving tools that make trainers programming super fast.
Nutrition Coaching/ TrackingMost clients will need some nutrition support. Whether they want to lose weight, add some lean muscle or improve their athletic performance, their diet will play a key role in achieving those results. Let's see how the two software compare regarding nutrition.
You can assign individual nutrition goals, including daily calorie intake and macronutrients. The platform allows you to upload files from your device, camera, various cloud storage options, or even Instagram. So if you created nutrition coaching offline, it's easy to add it to the system. Your clients also can sync their My Fitness Pal data via their client app for you to check their daily macros and calories.
Our software comes with a range of features to accommodate different ways of keeping an eye on your client's nutrition. The food diary allows clients to track everything with nearly 1 million verified food and drink items within the app. Alternatively for a quicker way to track food clients can take photos and / or provide descriptions. If a client is a seasoned My Fitness Pal user, you can ask them to link their account to PT Distinction and see their calories and macros from MFP. If you prefer to set up nutrition coaching habits such as “drink 2 litres of water a day” or “include vegetables in each meal” and track those this can be easily set up as well.
Everything your clients track comes directly to you with daily / weekly summaries and averages to see exactly how each client is doing with their nutrition.
As part of the Coaching feature, you can upload guides, videos, forms and more so your clients get a complete nutrition coaching experience to go with their tracking. PTD has a database of nutritionist made coaching documents and some generic meal plans that are unbranded and can be shared with your clients inside your app.
When you work with your clients online, you'll need to include great coaching to help clients see the results they desire. Habits can form an important part of the coaching process.
Let's see what these two software offer trainers to help your clients adhere to their habits.
You'll find a compliance rate assigned to each client based on how much they adhered to their workout programs. While this tool can be a good feature for keeping track of training, it might not cover other areas of clients' lifestyles. You can keep an eye on your clients' nutrition diaries. However, tracking habits like how much water they drink, how many hours of sleep they get, or more can only be done if you regularly ask them those questions via messaging or make a workaround using another feature.
Habit coaching was one of the features we aimed to push from the start, as we know how crucial they are for fitness success. You can create any habits such as drinking enough water, eating fruit and vegetables, eating protein at each meal etc..
Clients can track their habits easily and you both get to see their adherence and results timeline.
Group CoachingOnline personal trainers can serve more clients at a lower cost by offering group coaching for clients with group-specific goals and workout plans. This is much like the online version of a local bootcamp or group class.
In TrueCoach, you can create groups and assign clients to groups within the Client dashboard. Then if you'd like everyone in the group to follow the same workout program, you can tell TrueCoach to show a specific program for the whole group, not just particular clients.
In PTD, you'll have the same features for your groups as for individual clients. The difference is that you can manage the whole group together. You can add workout plans, nutrition coaching, meal tracking, habits, forms and more to apply to everybody in the group. You can also send messages to them all at the same time, or even set up a group chat forum. You can see all group members on leaderboards in case you intend to keep track of who's doing best, for a challenge, or a little extra client motivation.
Messaging and CommunicationYou want your clients to feel cared for and supported all the way. Great communication can make this happen.
TrueCoach has an in-app messaging feature that sends instant email notifications to both the coach and the client when they receive a new message so long the notifications are turned on. Clients can also receive emails about events on their calendar, like when a new program was assigned, and a weekly email about their following week's schedule on Sundays.
PTD also has an easy to use in app messenger service which sends app notifications to you and clients whenever a message is received. Added to this clients get app notifications as a gentle reminder for every item you've scheduled for them.
PT Distinction also has a Message Centre you can access from each client or group profile. You can schedule regular, weekly or one-off messenger messages ahead of time, allowing you to set up support messages and reminders, then let the software deliver them to your clients at exactly the right time. This is great for planning ahead and/ or for coaching online clients that live in a different time-zone.
The same goes for text messages and emails. When scheduling messages for a group, you can choose whether you'd like the group to send the message to all of the members individually or via group chat.
Exercise LibraryEach software offers an extensive exercise library with many excellent options for all types of programming. You can also add your own with ease but there are a few critical differences which we compare here
When you enter TrueCoach's library, you can search exercises by name or keywords. The movements are categorised by multiple factors like pattern, types, primary muscles, and planes. The videos are provided by Central Athlete's YouTube channel and contain their branding with links to other videos on YouTube. This obviously promotes another training company so if you'd rather have videos without another company's brand on them, you can add your own videos by uploading a file or inserting a link. If you don't mind your clients having another trainers branding on your exercise demos and links to be taken to YouTube from your programs then the quality of video is very good. There is background music on each of the videos which is fine but will interrupt any music your clients play if using the same device.
Clients write in results as a note on each exercise in their workouts. This is simple to use but can lead to a lack of consistency and means no progression charts are made to show progress over time.
PT Distinction's library has exercise demonstration videos categorised by muscle groups and/ or type of movement. The library includes numerous gym, home and outdoor variations and can be filtered or searched to find what you want. All videos are built in to the system and none have branding or music on them.
Each exercise has written coaching points and appropriate tracking metrics such as reps, weight, distance etc. so clients know what results to add and can clearly see progress and plot progression charts on any exercise. You can edit anything about any exercise if you wish to.
When adding your own videos, you can drag and drop the file from your computer or import one from YouTube or Vimeo. It's important to note that when importing from YouTube or Vimeo PT Distinction removes any adverts, annotations, or links to give you a completely professional looking video. You can also add photos along with a written explanation if you wish to.
You can set the metrics you'd like clients to track with each exercise. Choose from measurements like weight, reps, speed, time, distance and more so clients are always recording the results you want them to.
AutomationWhen it comes to coaching online, automation helps a personal trainer automate repeated tasks such as sending a welcome email or PARQ to new clients. This alone saves a lot of time but, as your about to find out, so many things can be automated to make the delivery of your coaching super smooth and stress free.
The automation features with TrueCoach are mostly limited to reminders and notifications via email to clients when they have a workout to complete or have been sent a message. This in itself saves a good amount of time for trainers, and if you're in the US, you can set up automatic payment renewals for clients who have a payment method on file.
In PT Distinction you can deliver any workouts, coaching items, assessments, tracking items, habits, messages, or forms on autopilot. It's your choice how much you automate but we always recommend at least the things that are the same for every client such as assessments, forms, welcome message, intro video, progress photos, food diary etc.. should be set up and automated to save you having to constantly repeat basic tasks.
You can also create sales funnels, challenges, or trials where PTD integrates with your website and PayPal, so onboarding new clients doesn't need to require work from you so long you've set up the process in advance. This feature is available for all members regardless of their location because PayPal is practically available anywhere globally.
Clients will only ever work with you so they achieve the results they desire. The only way for them and you to know when that happens is to keep track of their progress throughout their journey.
The tracking features in TrueCoach are mainly focused on workout performance and health metrics. You can see a live feed of clients workout results and keep track of BMR, Body Fat, Resting Heart Rate. You can also measure your clients' strength development through the 1RM of the main lifts like the Deadlift, Bench Press and Squat. You can create conditioning metrics by tracking their 1-mile run or 2k row times. You can set up your own custom tracking metrics which allows the flexibility to add extra tracking with your clients.
Viewing your clients metrics globally is difficult so you would need to go through each clients individual dashboards and select their metrics to view them. This process can get time consuming.
Tracking results in PTD is incredibly flexible and can be tailored to each client or group you coach. Clients can track all training results, assessment results, nutrition, body composition, exercise technique, progress photos, forms, and anything else you wish to set up for them such as sleep, or daily activity. This all comes through to you in our live dashboards and is summarised for all clients, groups, and individual clients. You can see everything at a glance then click any item to see it in full detail.
BrandingMost online personal trainers will eventually want to create their own brand, which comes with a logo, brand colours, etc. It's only natural that you'll want to have an app that bears the look of your business and aligns with your brand.
You can find customisation features within your Profile Settings. You can provide your business name, website and your physical address. Then in the Theme section, you can add your logo and choose one from the pre-set 9 colours.
Once your free trial ends, you'll be able to integrate PT Distinction into your website if you have one. You'll have to embed a code on a client login page and paste that link back to the PTD Settings for this to happen. You can also chose any colour or add hex codes to match your brand perfectly. If you decide you want to upgrade to the Pro plan, you'll have your own branded iOS and Android app available for both you and your clients. It won't get any more custom than that.
Customer SupportWherever you're located, you want to ensure that you'll get quick and helpful support if you need it.
Both TrueCoach and PT Distinction provide quick and helpful support through webchat and Helpdesk, these can be found from within the platforms or on both websites. Both PT Distinction and TrueCoach offer extra support through their free Facebook groups and get answers to your questions from community members and, in the case of PT Distinction, the creators.
Besides the usual tech support, you also have many extra resources available from the PT Distinction University for strategy and marketing and PTD Ninja with made for you programs, integrations and a lot more.
PricingWe left this one for last because we think it's important to understand what you get for the price.
The pricing structure with TrueCoach allows you to have 1 active client on a free account, you also have a 14 day free trial to test out the system and see how it works for you. If you have more clients, the monthly plan tiers go $25 per month for up to 5 clients, $55 per month for up to 20 and $110 per month for up to 50 clients. You can get in touch for a custom quote if you have more than that.
We offer a 1 month free trial for all our plans so that you have ample time to test it out and enjoy all the features. After your free trial our Novice plan costs $19 per month, and includes 3 active clients on it. The Pro plan will give you access for 25 active clients and your own branded app for $60 per month. On the Master plan, you can have up to 50 clients and your own custom branded apps for just $80 per month, any additional clients cost an extra $1.60 per month.
ConclusionTrueCoach and PT Distinction are both designed with you, the trainer in mind so you can help your clients get better results. TrueCoach features focus primarily on workout performance and adherence, while PT Distinction has a wider approach that makes the software suitable for trainers that focus on more than just workouts. We believe the comparison above speaks volumes about the versatility of PT Distinction as an online personal trainer software and shows independent verified review sources to back up how good these software are.
You can join the highest rated software on Trustpilot, Capterra, Software Advice, and Get App here - www.ptdistinction.com/free-trial