The 2020 Summit is now Sept 19-20. Get the early bird rate today! BUY NOW

The 7 Best Gym Management Software Platforms: Our 2020 Review

A complete evaluation of the 7 best gym management software platforms of 2020.

Chris Cooper’s Intro

 

This is our second review of the top gym management software platforms.

Below, you’ll find sections on Arbox, Mindbody, Pike13, PushPress, Trainerize, Wodify and Zen Planner.

In 2019, we published what I consider to be the first objective review. You can read it here. It cost me $35,000 to put it together, but doing so produced an unforeseen benefit: Several of the platforms we reviewed actually took steps to improve.

“We’re going to win next year!” was the first comment I heard from two companies (Arbox and Wodify), and both took steps to get there this year.

We also got the opposite, of course: One company immediately complained that it wasn’t included—until we showed its people the dropped email threads and unreturned calls. Whoopsie.

The first quarter of 2020 had the whole industry scrambling. When payment processors decided to withhold funds for gyms, many of the gym management platforms were caught in the middle. That meant using resources and time to communicate with gyms and attempt to bridge the gap. It also meant a large turnover in clients as gym owners moved from one platform to another.

In 2020, we asked each platform to give us an update, and we summarized their messages below. We also polled our clients for their opinions, and we received a great response from gym owners around the world. These people don’t test software; they rely on it to help them make a living. We summarized their responses for you below, too.

 

The Search for the Best Gym Management Software

 

“Which gym management software is best for my business?”

At Two-Brain Business, we’ve been helping gym owners answer questions about software for years. And the answer isn’t always the same. Two-Brain Business mentors have talked to thousands of entrepreneurs, and their needs change quickly as businesses evolve and new products appear on the market.

Our mentoring team is always discussing the best gym management software. Our constant research has led us to dozens of presentations, demos and software trials. Every company wants to know how it can help our huge pool of clients, and each one promises improvements to existing platforms soon. Some have asked us to sign non-disclosure agreements.

Beyond software providers, we’re constantly surveying hundreds of clients around the world. These gym owners—among the best in the world—bring up software solutions and pain points almost daily in our private Facebook group for Two-Brain Business clients.

Ultimately, we want to know what they need to make their businesses successful.

Is their software supporting them or letting them down?

Our exhaustive evaluation of the 7 best gym management software platforms of 2020.

 

Essential Aspects

Gym owners are usually concerned with two things first:

1. Point-of-sale payment processing and automated billing. Cash flow is critical. In 2020, some gym management software companies were put in a bad position by their payment processors. While this wasn’t directly under the platforms’ control, some handled the problem better than others.

2. Membership management—essential to client tracking and retention.

Other critical elements: a powerful database with robust reporting, seamless automations and third-party integrations, appointment scheduling and facility management, check-ins and reservations, administrative features, and retention systems.

Also important: general functionality, cost of service, ease of use, customer support and mobile apps.

Things that are becoming increasingly important to some gym owners as the industry evolves: features that allow lead nurture and marketing, and the ability to use one system for all aspects—facility and group class management, personal training, and online PT and nutrition coaching.

So which gym management software is best for you and your business? Which ones are easy to use? Which ones have the most features? Which boast a host of integrations?

The answer is critically important to your business. The right software will help you become profitable, grow, retain members, analyze your business and plan for the future. The wrong choice will have you throwing your hands in the air as you try to figure out how to get what you really need.

 

Gym Management Software: Our Exhaustive Evaluation

We’ve compiled our research on the key players in the gym software industry to help you decide which system will work for you, your staff, your clients and your growing business. You are investing in a service, and you need to see a return on your investment.

Our review is unbiased: We have no partnerships of any kind with any of these companies.

Below, we rate each of the major software providers from 1 to 10 in a few critical categories:

Function—Does the software meet the basic needs of a gym? These are the must-have elements: payment processing, scheduling (appointments, classes and staff), membership packages and so on.

Reporting—Are the reports useful? How easy is it to find the data you need? Can you create and run your own reports based on what you need? Is it easy to do so?

Usability—Is the software easy to use by the owner and staff? How about by the clients? Is there an app? What about the user interface (UI)? Does it make you feel at ease when you open it or does it give you a headache? Look and feel also factor in here.

Integrations—Does the software platform play nice with others? Does the program integrate with common management tools such as Mailchimp, SugarWOD, iCalendar, Zapier, etc.? Does it have an open API so you can add things as you see fit?

Bonuses—Does it have any useful extra features such as a killer workout logging app or a kick-ass customer relationship management system (CRM)? What’s the customer service like? How about the development cycle? Does the software stand out through any unique features?

We’ve included pricing info in US dollars, but in some cases rates are highly variable based on the features you select, the size of your membership, and so on.

We’ve also selected videos that will give you an idea of how each platform functions, and you can find others on each company’s YouTube channel.

Scoring and Standards

The maximum score for each gym software platform is 50. We’ve published our gold standard here.

One final note: We’re not endorsing any platform yet or making blanket recommendations to our family of entrepreneurs. But we really want to. We want to be able to tell our clients exactly which platform will help them solve their problems and grow their businesses.

So we’ll keep evaluating and communicating the needs of the community to developers.

And when a platform finally does everything we need, we’ll recommend it to the Two-Brain family.

Now, on to the software, presented in alphabetical order.

 

The Top 6 Gym Management Software Platforms

 

Arbox

Chris Cooper’s Intro—Arbox, based in Israel, produces some great data that gym owners can leverage. Unfortunately, few gyms in the U.K. or U.S. use Arbox yet, so that data set isn’t as robust as it could be. During the covid crisis, Arbox was able to provide really great data on revenue and retention—in a format that was easy to understand. No one else provided this “meta” view of their clients.

Function: 8

Arbox is a newer company, and it has shown a strong desire to improve. It offers almost everything you’d need: scheduling, texting, pro shop, messaging—users can use SMS or email now to send digital forms and waivers. Arbox reports that the biggest drawback from last year—slow load times—has been addressed with servers located around the world.

Reporting: 7

While the dashboards, insights and reports are good, users cannot fully customize them. The support team will assist, but experienced database users would appreciate more flexibility. That said, Arbox is always adding more reports, including lead/conversion stats, booking statistics, retention metrics, employee efficiency reports and a summary view.

Usability: 8

An area of strength. The UI is easy to use and navigate, and Arbox improved the mobile experience.

Integrations: 5

Arbox doesn’t offer a ton of integrations but gets points for an open API and a responsive development team that has volunteered to build integrations we might need. The platform now works with First American and PaySafe for processing, and leads acquired from Facebook can be sent into the system.

Bonuses: 6

Arbox offers a host of features you’d want right out of the box—a big bonus. It has a robust client app, and Arbox added a dashboard inspired by the Two-Brain Roadmap. The reports there allow users to see key metrics such as lifetime value, length of engagement and average revenue per member. During the covid crisis, Arbox improved functionality to allow users to input holds and activations en masse, control access to facilities, and obtain pre-class medical statements.

Cost: Starting at $59 per month (billed annually). Pricing page: Click here.

What Our Clients Said

In an informal poll in a private Two-Brain Facebook group, our clients said they really liked the email/SMS communication options and the ability to warm leads. There were no complaints about general management of memberships and attendance. They also liked the user interface and the ability to have clients complete forms in the app.

On the flip side, our clients said Arbox’s workout tracking isn’t good enough yet (Arbox said SugarWOD integration is coming), the shop is glitchy at times, and reporting could be improved even if support staff will assist you in finding what you need. The Two-Brain crew would also like more flexibility with scheduling and more integrations to improve workflow.

What Arbox Said

Arbox reports that its team has doubled in size, which has reduced development time. That team is completely rebuilding the members app, with release set for later this year. New features will include personal profiles, a store and a dynamic feed. Two-Brain clients will get the brandable app for free for a year.

Overall

 

A graphic ranking of function, reporting and usability of the gym management software platform Arbox.

We’ve been impressed by Arbox’s desire to improve, and we’re looking forward to seeing what it can do with a larger team. We’ll be monitoring feedback as more gyms around the world use the software.

 

Mindbody

Chris Cooper’s Intro—Think about the negative reviews you read about Mindbody: “It’s too confusing.” No one ever mentions missed payments, over-billings or absent features. There’s just too much stuff, and it takes a while to learn. I started with Mindbody in 2006, when it was simple, so I missed the feature dumps over the years. But Orangetheory Fitness uses this system for a reason, and the integrations are pretty amazing for coaches. In the end, it’s easier to block the stuff you don’t need than to fill the gaps in the other systems.

Function: 9

Mindbody has everything. Every. Thing. The platform has been around for a long time, and it’s grown to serve its large user base. It’s also very reliable. The drawback is that it can be tough to navigate the many, many features. And some of our clients said they still have to rely on external software that’s better than the Mindbody options. For example, Mindbody could improve its email platform so users don’t have to use other systems, sometimes at additional cost.

Reporting: 8

The gym software keeps data on everything and allows you to create and save custom reports. You’ll get the reports you need.

Usability: 5

Mindbody is robust, but it can still be tough to use. One user called the membership/contracts system “the most confusing process I’ve ever come across.” To get the most out of this platform, users must invest time in learning. How much time? Well, Mindbody has offered courses in the 20-hour range for managers and front-desk staff, so the time investment isn’t small if you want to get the most from the system. And while the system does everything, users in our private Facebook group said they wish it did some things much better.

That said, the usability of the mobile staff app is great and definitely offsets some of the issues with the desktop platform.

Integrations: 8

Mindbody integrates with lots of systems—more than anyone else—and if you don’t find an integration for the one you want, it has a robust open API. One flaw: It does not sync with Google Calendar.

Bonuses: 9

Mindbody has bonuses galore—some as add-ons and some as part of upper-level service tiers. One in particular is worth mentioning during the covid crisis: a video/streaming service that’s free for a limited time. The system allows you to broadcast live or pre-record classes clients can access via a video-on-demand library.

Cost: $129-$599 per month. Pricing page: Click here.

What Our Clients Said

In an informal poll in a private Two-Brain Facebook group, users said Mindbody’s reporting needs work even if it’s better many other systems, and the platform isn’t completely tailored to microgyms. Users also said they still sometimes need external apps like Mailchimp and Acuity, two people expressed concerns about price and value, and one mentioned that Mindbody won’t work well for you if you’re trying to separate data for multiple locations.

That feedback was balanced by assertions that the platform is very reliable, payment processing is solid and support is good. Our clients also said the app for clients is straightforward and user friendly, with features that will allow gyms to easily navigate government restrictions due to covid-19.

What Mindbody Said

Mindbody’s additions include the streaming/video platform mentioned above, and it’s free at the time of publication. The provider also offers the Bowtie AI virtual receptionist for an additional fee, and marketing automations are available in the premium plans. A branded mobile app can be added on to the first three service tiers, and it’s included in the Ultimate Plus package. That app includes push notifications and an after-class review prompt. Finally, Mindbody has connected with btwb for tracking and ADP for payroll functionality (in certain service packages).

Overall

A graphic ranking of function, reporting and usability of the gym management software platform Mindbody.

 

As we said last year, this is a well-developed, well-established system. Mindbody is a leader in the industry, and it shows. You’ll never have to look for gym software with more options, and Mindbody’s ability to improve your clients’ experiences is unmatched. If you can customize the system for your needs, this is the one to choose. Unfortunately, the learning curve can be steep.

 

Pike13

Chris Cooper’s Intro—Nikki Violetti was the first CrossFit business blogger back in 2006, and I learned about on-ramps from her. When she started FrontDeskHQ nearly a decade later, I was eager to join, but I was pretty entrenched with Mindbody, and FrontDeskHQ’s initial payment processor didn’t work in Canada. FrontDesk is now known as Pike13.

Function: 8

Pike13 handles the basic functions most gym owners need quite well, with payment processing, class scheduling, appointment scheduling, a pro shop, etc. However, there is no inventory control functionality, so this limits any online store or profitability reports for retail items. Pike13 has a basic app you can put on a tablet so clients can sign in and fill out waivers, and it also offers an app that allows clients to schedule appointments and check into classes. This app, formerly $20 per month, is now free.

Of note during the covid crisis, Pike13 has recently allowed virtual classes to be scheduled and Zoom/Google Hangouts links to be sent to all participants.

Reporting: 7

Reporting functionality has improved in the last few years, with help from Looker. Data is accessible faster than before, and with some practice you’ll get better at mining it. Service questions are answered fast, but the answers aren’t always clear.

Pike13 now offers an “insights” dashboard for the pro subscription level ($50 extra). It’s useful, but it would be nice to be able to customize it. Also at the pro level, the payroll feature is great for calculating percentages of personal training fees or commission rates for different staff members, but the payroll reports themselves could use more capabilities and customization.

A drawback: The address input field is open; i.e., it doesn’t include individual cells for a specific street, city, state/province or zip/postal code. This causes significant inefficiencies and inaccuracies. Trying to use customer data for a mailing is extremely difficult and time consuming to standardize for printing.

Usability: 6

Pike does not allow the user to have the complete freedom found in some other systems. For example, you can’t change sale dates and payment details after a sale has been processed—helpful for month end/year end or adjusting mistakes. If the original sale had issues, it requires extra steps to refund and start over. This is frustrating at month end and year end and also over-inflates refunds in reporting. Pike13 wants to prevent the accounting data from being manipulated, but owners would like the freedom to correct errors more easily.

Similarly, you can’t edit logo size and graphics on digital documents such as waivers or forms through Pike13’s Smartwaiver integration.

Integrations: 8

Pike13 has greatly improved integrations since our last review. Zapier is connected now, as is BrandBot (a comprehensive, fully integrated CRM system), Webhooks, Mailchimp, Smartwaiver and Emma. The platform also links up with Intelivideo and PieSync. Users can now track leads, purchases and enrollments and build lists through a Facebook pixel.

Gym owners have the ability to use their own payment processors.

Bonuses: 5

Pike13 has a robust app for staff that almost totally duplicates the desktop version. This feature alone can seal the deal for users who are looking for mobile functionality—the gym can run entirely on an iPhone if needed. As mentioned above, the client app is now free—a definite bonus.

Cost: $129-$179 per month. Pricing page: Click here.

What Our Clients Said

In an informal poll in a private Two-Brain Facebook group, users liked Pike13’s robust open API, as well as its customer service. The app—which duplicates desktop functionality—was a hit, too. Users named the client self-checkout process as the biggest area for improvement. They wanted better functionality (fewer clicks, the ability to add notes, etc.) and more ways to customize the process.

What Pike13 Said

Pike13 highlighted its vastly increased integration package, as well as improved reporting. The company also reported new and more flexible widgets that are compatible with common website builders (iframes).

Overall

The best gym management software: a graphic rating the elements of Pike 13.

Pike13 finished at the bottom of the pile last year but has shown significant improvement over the last year. And if you’re done with desktops and all about mobile, this platform deserves your consideration.

 

PushPress

Chris Cooper’s Intro—PushPress kicked off a new pricing model in 2020, and it was among the first companies to pitch in and help gym owners when the covid crisis hit.

Function: 6

PushPress has most functions you’d want from gym software, but there’s a missing piece: Clients cannot book appointments and pay on their own. Only staff can do these tasks. The appointments are synced with the staff member’s Google calendar, and members receive invites to add appointments to their Google calendars.

Reporting 6

Reporting is limited. Clients need the ability to create custom reports. That’s balanced by the fact that PushPress will do something Two-Brain clients desire: It will calculate average revenue per member, length of engagement and lifetime value. You will have to manually enter sign-up dates for clients if they started with you before you began using PushPress, but doing so is worth it—these are essential metrics.

Usability: 7

PushPress is simple to use—a definite plus when some other platforms have a steep learning curve. But users have reported that the check-in, booking and waitlist systems are not glitch-free. For example, members who book classes for the following day can show up on the current day.

Integrations: 9

PushPress integrates with everything via Zapier and uses Stripe as a payment processor. Open API: We wish all software were so flexible.

Bonuses: 5

Client, staff and front-desk apps are available, and they’re easy to use. In particular, the member portal is wonderful—clients can reserve classes, add plans and change info with ease.

Cost: $0-$139 per month (the free option, released late in 2019, has no monthly fee but charges processing fees plus 1 percent of gross revenue. Fees increase until your gross is $13,900, at which point users should switch to the premium monthly rate). Pricing page: Click here.

What Our Clients Said

In an informal poll in a private Two-Brain Facebook group, users said PushPress was easy to use and had a great support team. They also mentioned that setting up billing was a breeze, and the platform seems to be evolving all the time. Those positives were balanced by a clear desire for much better reporting and improvements to the appointment/PT booking systems. On the wish list: a way to quickly add a fee for no-shows to classes.

What PushPress Said

PushPress reported that features to be released later in 2020 include multi-location functionality, a branded mobile app, a retooled and more flexible communication platform (with custom automations), and revamped reporting. Expect more details to come later in the year. No timelines were available at press time.

Overall

The best gym management software: a graphic rating the functionality of PushPress.

 

PushPress carries all the pros and cons of a small company. Customers can speak directly to the founders almost any time and get a quick response. On the other hand, when the founders are talking to the clients, they’re not building software.

 

Trainerize

Chris Cooper’s Intro—After being named our top fitness coaching platform of 2019, Trainerize was added to this list. The platform also takes payments for appointments. It’s not really set up to manage gym memberships well, but with more gyms coaching their clients online, Trainerize could possibly serve as a one-and-done platform. I’ve been using Trainerize since 2015.

Function: 4

Trainerize is probably all you need if you’re a personal trainer or coach small groups in a gym. It has great programming features (even if they’re not CrossFit friendly; you can’t do an AMRAP, for instance, though you could enter a circuit). A coach could literally have their own branded app, a payment gateway and client programs ready for delivery within a few hours of signing up. But Trainerize can’t replace the other platforms for gym memberships—yet.

Reporting: 6

Trainerize has great client reporting but weaker business reporting metrics. However, client progress metrics are really important, and most of the gym management platforms don’t report on retention or adherence at all. Our clients loved being able to quickly see athlete compliance.

Usability: 7

It’s pretty easy to train clients on Trainerize, but—like Mindbody—there are so many features that it’s hard to use them all. We asked Trainerize when it would offer the ability to deliver programming to groups of people at once, and its CMO reported that the feature had existed since 2017. But one user since 2015 didn’t know that. In fact, we asked Trainerize sales reps about it for our coaching platform report last year and were told, “It’s coming soon.”

Integrations: 8

Trainerize syncs with MyFitnessPal better than anyone else, putting all a client’s nutrition and exercise data on one dashboard. But it also integrates with business platforms, and its Stripe integration would have been very useful when other processors held back funds in early April.

Bonuses: 6

The platform offers a custom-branded app, tons of integrations, and a very useful exercise library that can be updated by each gym—or not.

Cost: $0-$350 per month. Pricing page: Click here.

What Our Clients Said

In an informal poll in a private Two-Brain Facebook group, our clients said the user interface is not intuitive and takes some getting used to, and notifications have been glitchy for some. Creating programs and workouts can take time—and users have to find a hack to add workouts for nutrition clients.

Conversely, one user called Trainerize a “powerhouse,” and several mentioned that they loved the auto-messaging feature. A big hit: a dashboard that makes it easy to see client compliance. Coaches loved the ability to assign daily habits and add info to client files, and they mentioned that synchronization with Apple Health, Fitbit and others is nice. Our crew also reported that the client side of the app is very easy to use.

What Trainerize Said

Trainerize unveiled habit-coaching features in fall 2019, and it will be upgrading the system in 2020 so trainers can tack habits onto master programs. In the first part of 2020, Trainerize synced up with Apple Health, and an Apple Watch app is on the way. Also to come: the ability to create and archive video workouts for clients, video-call capability for face-to-face check-ins, and better messaging in the app (threads, reactions, delete/edit functions).

Overall

The best software for gym management: a graphic rating the elements of Trainerize.

Trainerize isn’t really a gym management platform. But in a pinch, it could run your whole business.

 

Wodify

Chris Cooper’s Intro—Wodify’s contribution to the industry in 2019 included a programming marketplace and some business courses for gym owners. Both were great additions. They also took steps to make online coaching better, which was timely. And they were up front with their clients during the covid cash-withholding crisis on April 1.

Function: 8

Wodify’s appointments feature is worth noting: It allows you to create free appointments and embed a scheduling widget on your site, and you can create paid and free appointments for members and non-members. The system offers two-way synchronization with Google calendars, and customers can schedule right through the app. Perhaps best of all, customers can purchase PT sessions as they schedule the appointments.

While Wodify is not a full-featured messaging platform, you can SMS and email your clients in broadcast form, and you can send leads a broadcast email. Automated messages are available but are not related to lead nurturing.

Also good: a customizable sales portal so anyone can purchase a membership and sign all associated digital forms.

Wodify uses Stripe and takes out the payment processing fees on each transaction. This process might slightly increase cost, but it makes it a lot easier when dealing with reports, chargebacks etc. Unfortunately, it also means that Stripe could withhold funds from gyms, which it doesn’t do on other platforms.

Reporting: 7

Wodify introduced a new reporting feature called “insights” and offers a few prebuilt dashboards, but they’re confusing to read and difficult to customize. You can dig into some reports and export data, but this should be easier. Instead of trying to guess what you want, Wodify should provide a small number of prebuilt dashboards and the ability to custom-build and export any data set you like.

Usability: 7

Everything is listed nicely on one sidebar, with reports and financial data as obvious links to build a WOD and edit the class schedule (the WOD and class schedule just happen to be at the top). That said, some features are not easily found. For example, pricing is under “classes” even if the program you want to price has no class associated with it. Additionally, you need to create a “program” before you create a price point for it, and they are two different features. While display is not an issue, organization of options is.

Integrations: 7

Wodify is solid. The system plays nice with Zapier and others such as Stripe, Facebook, Mailchimp and WordPress. The developer API allows access to workouts but not much else. You get the impression the developers would work with you if you had something creative you’d like to do.

Bonuses: 7

Because the company started with workout tracking, it’s the primary focus, and Wodify still does it well.

The Wodify suite of apps is diverse and slick. Owners and coaches use one, while athletes use another. Others allow you to run challenges, competitions and live seminars. All have free or paid versions that integrate with your Wodify payment gateway.

The app suite mentioned above is a definite bonus, and Wodify Sites is a custom website builder that integrates with Wodify on the back end for an additional fee.

Cost: $109-419 per month with a la carte add-ons including WOD Marketplace and Wodify Sites. Pricing page: Click here.

What Our Clients Said

In an informal poll in a private Two-Brain Facebook group, our clients said Wodify has improved over the years, and they really liked the reports that allow users to see ARM and LEG. Also on the positive side: Solid customer service with video responses.

Our crew pointed out a few sticking points, including management of kids programs—it’s a challenge because parents can’t register multiple children without using a different email address for each one. Users want more options and functionality when building out memberships—especially hybrid or tiered memberships and recurring PT memberships. On the wish list as owners’ needs evolve: the ability to program individual workouts for clients.

What Wodify Said

Wodify has improved functionality so you can directly book No Sweat Intros online and mass-update memberships (for price increases and program changes). The platform has also enhanced reporting on its Business Health Dashboard, showing revenue, members, leads, ARM, LEG, discounted revenue and other key metrics.

Payment processing is available, through Stripe in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Europe. Additionally, users can now embed videos in coaching notes. Also new: A priority waitlist with options. Clients can be automatically added to the class in the order in which they signed up or you can designate “first come, first served” to give everyone a chance to take an open spot.

Wodify is planning improved APIs/integrations for connecting third-party apps, better functionality for the Athlete App and customized reporting delivered via regular emails.

Overall

The best gym management software: a graphic rating the elements of Wodify.

 

Wodify is feature rich, and if you primarily sell classes in your gym, it might be best. However, as we learned in 2020, the class-only model is the most fragile one. What gym owners need in 2020 isn’t quite the same as what we needed in 2018. But Wodify has a solid platform to build from if the company determines what its clients actually need going forward.

 

Zen Planner

Chris Cooper’s Intro—Zen Planner was sold to a larger conglomerate in 2019. The same group went on to purchase both SugarWOD and UpLaunch. I hoped that Zen Planner would improve its workout tracking (or just integrate SugarWOD, which would be far better). SugarWOD plus UpLaunch (a CRM) plus booking and billing would be a pretty unbeatable combination. They’re still sold separately, however. As a Zen Planner user myself, I didn’t notice any upgrades in 2019 or early 2020.

Function: 7

Zen Planner offers scheduling, appointments, payment processing, and staff management, and it works reasonably well. But it’s not always easy to do everything. For example, some clunky features make it tough to sell a T-shirt to a drop-in client. Customers have reported issues with double billing in the past.

Reporting: 6

Zen Planner’s reports are flexible, and the company seems willing to customize reports based on need. Users can reach out directly to a support person who can walk them through report creation. The Two-Brain dashboard is very helpful for tracking the critical metrics we measure. However, the reporting system can be hard to manage unless you’re a master. And the results you get from reports aren’t always the results you’re seeking.

Usability: 6

The web apps and dashboard are clean and simple. However, the online app and web browser can be difficult to navigate, and it gets challenging when you try and log in from a different computer. The app itself has a lot of bugs. The user app interface is great for class reservations, and Zen offers a workout tracking feature that looks nice and is great in theory. However, users can’t search for previous workout performances or make purchases through the app, so it’s less than ideal.

Integrations: 3

Zen Planner does not offer an open API. If you use Zen as a base system but want to add programs from industry leaders to handle workout tracking, texting/emailing and so on, you are limited to the options Zen Planner chooses. It also doesn’t integrate with Zapier to help you out with any automations beyond the emails generated and sent by Zen Planner itself.

Bonuses: 5

The client app and workout tracking are nice bonuses, and SugarWOD integration is available for an additional fee. Zen Planner’s support team is great, but users often wish they didn’t have to contact the support team so regularly.

Cost: $117-$227 per month, with options for software-website suites for up to $1,074 per month. Pricing page: Click here.

What Our Clients Said

In an informal poll in a private Two-Brain Facebook group, our clients generally said Zen Planner does a lot but could do more—and better. Our clients named integration—especially two-way Google calendar integration—as a weak spot, and several mentioned that reports are generally clunky. Other items on the wish list: flexibility with membership options, improved staff and client app functionality, better native workout tracking (not through SugarWOD), store flexibility, and improved reporting of Two-Brain metrics (especially length of engagement).

They reported that the platform is robust and has lots of reports and automations. Also noted: a very strong support system.

What Zen Planner Said

Zen Planner did not supply an update by our publication deadline.

Overall

The best gym management software: a graphic rating the reporting and integrations of Zen Planner.

Zenplanner is great if you want the no-frills, straightforward approach and aren’t looking to customize with integrations. You’ll have to invest some time climbing the learning curve for this software, but it will get the job done. 

 

Final Rankings

 

The best gym management software final rankings: Mindbody, Wodify, Arbox, Pike13, PushPress, Trainerize and Zen Planner.

 

The Rest

Many members of the Two-Brain Business family asked us to evaluate their favorite platforms. Our mentors can help clients who are using any gym management software, and our Two-Brain reporting systems don’t require clients to use a specific product.

We had conversations with 20 platforms total, and we chose to focus on what we consider the top seven.

For one reason or another, we chose not to add more companies to our main report in 2020. Some just weren’t ready, some weren’t interested, and some didn’t meet minimum standards for greater consideration.

 

Selected Other Platforms We Considered in 2020

Club OS

Exercise.com

WodBoard

Glofox

Triib

 

The Big Question: Should You Switch?

 

Right now, no single platform is so far ahead that it’s worth the pain of switching.

Some platforms have features you might find more important—such as scoreboards—but we’d prefer that you stick with systems that provide good reporting and metrics.

But all the main software packages are so close that it might not be worth switching—yet. If one platform offers you something the others don’t and offers to move your clients over, that’s valuable.

In the end, the best system for you is the one you’ll use. If you can’t get your basic metrics, or if the gym software can’t book appointments or collect money, the platform isn’t giving you what you need as a box owner and entrepreneur.

We’ll stay in touch with these companies—and others—and keep letting them know what box owners, gym owners, studio owners, personal trainers, coaches and clients need. As the providers grow and improve their products, we’ll let you know which ones we believe are best for you and your business.

Click here for Two-Brain’s huge collection of Free Tools.

3 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share on facebook
Like
Share on twitter
Tweet
Share on google
Share