The most innovative fitness apps all have one thing in common: community. By harnessing the power of online communities and social media, a few start-ups have proven that the crowd helps keep their users honest--and their businesses going.

Check out these four apps:  


Founders: Brian Wang and Richard Talens

Funding: $250,000 in seed funding

Based: New York, NY 

What it is: Fitocracy is a fitness app that connects users or “Fitocrats” with hundreds of thousands nutrition and fitness coaches and allows them to earn points by completing activities. Fitocrats can compete with friends and other Fitocracy users; jumping levels and completing challenges. It is free, unless users want to pay $4.99/month to unlock more features and reach “Hero” status. Works with both iPhone and Android systems.  

Lose It!

Founders: Charles Teague, Paul Dicristina and J.J. Allaire

Based: Boston, MA 

What it is: A free weight loss app that helps users set daily calorie budgets to achieve weight loss goals. Works with different devices to track users’ food intake and exercise output to develop personalized weight loss plans. Lose It! users have access to a network where they can connect with friends and other users for support and to share foods and recipes. 


Founders: Daniel Gaeta, Brent Hronik, Kevin Yun 

Based: Chicago, IL

What it is: Users can use the Fitsby app to challenge friends and place wagers on time spent in the gym. Fitsby members check-in to the gym (sessions less than 30 minutes don’t count as successful check-ins). Anyone who does not meet their gym goal pays their friends. Coined “The Fantasy League of Fitness,” Fitsby is free--unless you bet and lose. Currently only available for Android systems--though there are rumors of an iOs model coming soon. 


Founders: Robin Thurston, Kevin Callahan

Funding: $23.5 million

Based: Austin, TX 

What it is: A series of free fitness websites and apps pertaining to specific activities (including MapMyRUN, MapMyBIKE and more) that provides users with mapping capabilities to trace routes, nutrition data, training tools, fitness calculators and a community of active individuals. Users are able to track, store and share all of their activities and routes.