Zen Planner Comparison (Pricing, Features, & Benefits)

Manage and Grow Your Business Better with Exercise.com. Learn more below.

Review our head-to-head Zen Planner software comparison to see why Exercise.com has a leg up. Get a custom web and smartphone app designed for your brand with additional customization available throughout your custom-built software. Grow your business. Turn leads into clients. Increase revenue. All with Exercise.com’s All-in-One Business Management Software

Fitness SoftwareExercise.comZen Planner
Creator / Logger
Client / Class
Gym / Facility
Sell Products
iOS & Android
Custom Branded
Marketing Integrations
Custom Exercises
1-1 Training
Group Training
Sell Workout Plans
Run Workout Challenges
Offer Online Workout Memberships
TV Workouts
Performance & Measurement Reports
Client Automation
Dedicated Zapier Support
Dedicated Account Manager

As an owner of a gym or studio, one of your earliest and most vital decisions will be selecting the right management software to suit your particular business. You and your clients will interact with the software every day. Having the features you need to do business according to your vision and the reliability to operate smoothly are big concerns. After all, you started this business out of a love for fitness, not to engage in complicated backend management!

To help you in this important choice, this review will comprehensively cover one of the major players in the market of gym management software, Zen Planner. We’ll also tell you why you should choose Exercise.com over Zen Planner to manage and grow your business, increase revenue, and engage and retain your clients.

In an industry that is constantly growing, if a business cannot adapt to stay relevant, or at least change its practices to be more industry-ready and user-friendly, that business will not be around for an extended period of time.

That’s why you should choose Exercise.com: we are building a software that adapts for every custom client because it’s customized to their brand, so it sets up their business for future success no matter how the fitness industry shifts.

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business with a software that can be customized to your business, book a demo with Exercise.com.

Zen Planner Software Review


Zen Planner is a Colorado-based company whose software is used by over 5,500 gyms, yoga studios, martial arts schools, and Crossfit boxes. The company, founded in 2006, has grown rapidly since 2017 when it was acquired by Daxco, one of the premier providers of large-scale facility management software for multi-location health clubs.

Zen Planner represents an option best suited to small businesses. While it provides the capability to set up linked accounts for management of multiple locations, it is primarily designed to serve single locations with membership bases fewer than 250 clients.

If you have hopes to eventually grow beyond 250 clients, you may feel constrained by Zen Planner’s platform. Additionally, some small business owners have found that Zen Planner requires a time-consuming learning curve.

“Very hard to figure out on own without help. Things that you would think is [sic] logical isn’t [sic]. Setting up, deleting class series and programs is difficult. Billing and financial also seems to have a mind of its own. I know a lot of this is human error, but I’ve worked with other office programs that are much easier to figure out.” (Capterra)

“Not every function is user friendly. It can be a little confusing at times.” (Capterra)

We get it. Trying to figure out a new software system can be daunting and frustrating. However, it doesn’t have to be. We don’t use fill-in-the-blank website and app layouts. Exercise.com’s software is specifically tailored to your needs and goals.

Zen Planner Features vs Exercise.com

Zen Planner boasts a long list of features from the basic, universally used member check-in to specialty functions like skill and rank belt tracking for martial arts studios. What separates Exercise.com from Zen Planner is a software experience that is fully customizable without requiring web-development experience. An added bonus is that your website and applications will display your brand and not the brand of your website-and-app developer.

Full customization is a must for a well-branded business. Great branding helps attract leads and helps turn those leads into clients. Let’s dive in!

Unless otherwise stated, all images and reviews below are of/about Exercise.com’s All-In-One Fitness Business Management software platform.

Custom-Branded Websites, Web, and Smartphone Apps

While a touted feature of Zen Planner’s platform, its mobile apps are its greatest weakness — not so with Exercise.com but more on that later.

Even though gym owners will find some limited convenience in the ability to quickly add a membership or change a client’s saved payment information, the Zen Planner Staff App and Zen Planner Member App seem to have been created as an obligatory afterthought rather than the mainstay they could potentially be.

Beginning with the Staff App, processing overdue payments is the app’s glaring weakness. There is no way to process on-time payments. With Exercise.com’s system, you can not only set up recurring payments but also take single payments from your custom software.

Here’s the concern with ZenPlanner:

If the developers troubled to include payment processing functionality in order to take overdue payments, why not allow users to utilize that ability at any other time? To demonstrate the problem, imagine your client, not on automatic draft, wishes to pay their monthly dues in person. As a staff member utilizing this app, you are unable to input the payment unless it is already late and an alert has appeared on the member’s profile.

While there is always the option of opening the software on your desktop computer and utilizing the full version to complete the transaction, it begs the question, “If there is an app that can process payments, why must I go to this trouble?”

Continuing on to the Member App, whose claimed benefits are that it allows members to view schedules, reserve classes, and make payments, for a lot of gym members it is an experience that will end in frustration. Member App users overwhelmingly report problems with the app failing to load or crashing so frequently as to render the app practically unusable.

Zen Planner’s apps currently lack customization options like branding with the name, colors, or logo of the gym. With Exercise.com, you’ll get a fully customized smartphone app that showcases your brand. You’ll build your brand reputation with a professionally tailored app that customers know is exclusive to your company.

The customization isn’t just your basic boilerplate items but also includes customization for wording in your app, custom dev work, a website to match your software, and performance health software assessments.

Basically, the app is built for your business.

Workout Creation and Delivery

Among Zen Planner’s advertised features is the ability to create workouts and track trainees’ performance. The usefulness of this function is hit or miss; it will be based on your gym’s particular style of workouts and programming.

Contrast that with the predominant approach of a strength and conditioning coach who guides a trainee through a progressive training program in which the work requirement of each workout and it’s component parts needs to be deliberately increased over time as the trainee improves.

This would require a robust workout building and tracking software strong in its ease-of-use when updating the workouts themselves.

This is beyond the scope of Zen Planner’s workout tracking feature. To put it bluntly, the system is simply too slow and unintuitive and with no exercise library, a coach would find himself spending an inordinate amount of time trying to bend this feature to his purpose.

Our Exercise.com software provides an easy-to-use workout plan creator, a customizable exercise library, workout and progress tracking, and more. Keeping clients motivated is easier when they can see their progress over time and on their own time.

The workout plan creator is powerful and allows for automation for group delivery or single client delivery as well as block training and alternate to meet your clients needs for any training scenario.

E-Commerce/Point of Sale

Zen Planner does offer a POS and inventory tracking feature. However, it doesn’t provide the endless options for selling that Exercise.com does.

With Exercise.com you can go above selling products and memberships and can include a wide range of additional revenue-increasing options by upselling, down selling, reengaging, and preventing church:

  • single workout plans
  • group workout memberships
  • workout of the day subscriptions
  • annual subscriptions
  • group workout challenges
  • individual workout programs
  • other programs that are specifically tailored to your business

Plus with the advanced calendar and booking options, you can take single payments or set up recurring payments for classes, different gym locations, and more. Last, you can set a percentage for staff payouts as well as commissions for complete control of staffing and payments.

For example, Exercise.com client, PJF Performance, set up group memberships for basketball vertical and handles training (see image below). Each group has its own leaderboard, exercises, videos, instructions, and more. These workout plans are time-released for specific goals enabling Paul to reach 100s of clients with a single workout plan. PJF is setup for passive income monthly for years to come.

My custom-branded apps have made my life easier and helped streamline my online training, which in turn has transformed into a pretty awesome additional revenue stream for me and my family.
Tony Gentilcore 
Exercise.com has enabled our company to expand in ways we couldn’t imagine possible. As a Strength Coach that also manages the business this platform has made it much easier to get our programming out to not only our local clientele but also new clientele throughout the world as well as our professional athletes in different cities.
Eric Mahanke Carr Elite
I sold a workout program and matched my yearly salary of in-person training within two weeks of selling to my community.

Program and Schedule Design

Outlining your gym’s various programs, class types, and schedule is the first logical step in getting your management software to work for you.

Within Zen Planner, the account admin would visit the Setup screen and create (if applicable) multiple programs or categories and, within each program, the specific classes. For example, a gym which features weight training and yoga may generate this structure for their program:

    • Weight training [program]
      • Beginner class
      • Intermediate class
      • Advanced class
    • Yoga [program]
      • Hot Yoga class
      • Flow class
      • Barre Fusion class

For each class, the user may then create a schedule of specific times when the class occurs.

Why is this important?

Designating the time of each class controls when it will appear for check-in to your members should you opt to track their attendance. I highly recommend you do in all cases but when it comes to gyms using a business model based on class limits (3/week, 12/month, etc.), utilizing this feature is a no-brainer.

Despite the high degree of freedom to create as many programs and classes as needed, Zen Planner’s scheduling system has one significant downside:

When it comes to individual appointments such as personal training sessions or consultations, adding or changing these one-off events to the calendar is a hassle, to put it mildly.

Let’s say, for instance, that a trainer’s private coaching client is normally on a recurring schedule of 5 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This week, however, they want to move Friday’s appointment to the morning.

Rather than a simple drag-and-drop on the calendar or two-click time adjustment as one might hope for, the trainer will be required to click through multiple windows back in the Setup section, essentially creating that new calendar entry from scratch.

When considering that there may be a high volume of clients, all of whom require flexibility from time to time, this inefficiency can add up to quite a bit of wasted time for a trainer or gym owner.

For a better scheduling solution, check out Exercise.com’s all-in-one Business Management Software where you can easily manage schedules, appointments, and memberships.

Appointments can be dragged and dropped across the schedule from the trainer platform or adjusted by the client if preferred all through your custom-branded apps. The control is in your hands, and it’s made easy, so no more spending hours of time clicking through menus to make adjustments in the fly.

Schedule Screenshot Closeup

Grow and manage your fitness business better with Exercise.com

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Automation From Your Own Custom Apps

As a gym owner or coach, the more aspects of the business you can automate, the more you can focus on training and client relationships. Thus a feature like automated emails to your clients is a must-have in your management software. Zen Planner comes with a default list of suggested automatic messages.

There are dozens of templates set up to auto-fill the appropriate information about the client’s name, membership type, and relevant dates. Additionally, all emails can be customized giving you the ability to create an automation based on any piece of data you track in Zen Planner.

However, with Exercise.com automation isn’t just for messages. You can automate workout delivery, client engagement messages, reminders for appointments, and automated payments.

You can also put e-commerce on autopilot with group memberships or annual subscriptions as well as deliver custom-built performance health assessments to onboard new members as well as reengage and adjust programming for existing members.

Last, you can automate the delivery of nutrition plans, videos, and just about anything else you could think of right from your custom-branded app. The options for automation are endless.

By using Exercise.com’s automation, you can reinforce the member’s decision to join, build rapport, and potentially even gain new leads all without lifting a finger after the initial set-up.

In the modern fitness industry, if you’re not using software with email automation you’re doing yourself and your business a disservice. Exercise.com’s automated services are custom-made by our dev team with your business goals in mind. For your business’ marketing, automate your efforts by connecting to MailChimp, ConstantContact, ConvertKit, Zapier, Google Analytics, & Facebook Pixel 

Are you catching the pattern?

  • Implement systems that save you time
  • Have all your management tools in one software
  • Manage your business from anywhere

Fitness Business Management (FBM)

Successful gym owners constantly stay in tune with the performance of their business, not just their clients. Quick access to your gym’s critical data and staff on a daily basis is a key feature of management software. ZenPlanner does offer Data Reporting and Staff Management. However, it doesn’t stand up to some of the robust features that having a custom-built all in one software offers.

Never worry about sales, staff, clients, or data logged falling between the cracks with reporting at your fingertips in your custom web and mobile apps. Managing a staff of any size is time-consuming but FBM saves you time with assignable staff roles, so you can put staff management on autopilot.

Plus all your reports can be run in a single software. No more safaris for which software has which reports. Exercise.com’s Fitness Business Management (FBM) software makes reports easy — sales, business, appointments, class, and payroll reports all in one place. Plus you can also sort reports by:

  • Client
  • Location
  • Services

These reports empower you to have your finger on the pulse of your business and if you’re bringing on new trainers you’ll know how much to pay staff based on commissions.

Grow and manage your fitness business better with Exercise.com

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Zen Planner Pricing

Zen Planner features a tiered pricing model based on your gym’s number of active memberships. An active membership would be any person in your database as a member, even if their membership is on hold or has a past due balance. Not included are people saved in your database as prospects or alumni of your gym.

Zen Planner offers both month-to-month and annual payments, the latter entailing a discount of roughly $20-30 each month depending on which volume tier your gym falls in.

Exercise.com does not price per member which allows gyms optimal growth no matter if they are just starting and thinking big about growth or already managing a huge client base.


Zen Planner Software Competitors

In fitness facility management software, some of Zen Planner’s top competitors are:

  • MindBody, one of the most widely used platforms due to its compatibility in multiple industries.
  • Exercise.com, the only software offering complete custom-branding for your business’s online platform and mobile apps.
  • Virtuagym, a lower-price software option for gym owners not necessarily seeking the full array of features of an all-in-one platform.

The Bottom Line: Pros and Cons

Choosing the right software to run your business can mean the difference between success and failure, but it doesn’t have to be a hard choice because Exercise.com makes everything easier.

Zen Planner Cons

Many reviewers love the Zen Planner app and their customer service team but the inability to fully customize apps without upgrading and a steep learning curve leaves some users frustrated.

Exercise.com Pros

If you’re looking for an all-in-one fitness business management software that will allow you to grow and manage your business with ease Exercise.com should be your choice.

We build your web and smartphone apps with your brand in mind. It’s not just a cookie-cutter, pick-a-color software. It’s your app. It’s your software. It’s your brand front and center. If you need a feature, integration, and more engaging performance health software let us know. Our world-class dev team has a proven track record of delivering software that works and works well.

Hopefully, you see the benefit of not waiting to have a system and software in place that allows you to manage and grow your business for years to come.

What features are most important for your business?

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business with a software that can be customized to your business, book a demo with Exercise.com.


Who are you guys, anyway?

The team at Exercise.com solves a major problem — how to grow your business without wasting time and losing money. We work with the real, confident decision makers — the best of the best — like James Harrison (Steelers great), Don Saladino, D1 Training, Fairchild Sports Performance, and Freestyle Connection — and offer our all-in-one fitness business software to simplify managing your business. The team at Exercise.com solves a major problem — how to grow your business without wasting time and losing money. We work with the real, confident decision makers — the best of the best — like Steelers great James Harrison, Don Saladino, D1 Training, Fairchild Sports Performance, and Freestyle Connection — and offer our all-in-one fitness business software to simplify managing your business.


What sets you apart from your competitors?

We turbocharge your business with our all-in-one fitness business software that’s custom branded for your business.• Efficiently schedule, view, and manage all appointments and classes — including by trainer, location, and service — with easy options for scheduling recurring events and availability.• Save time creating workouts with our simple workout plan creator and exercise manager and built-in integrations, tools, and more.• Sell your training three ways – group subscriptions, individualized training, and single workout plans – to increase revenue inside and outside your training walls.• Take clients through your custom assessments to automatically deliver personalized workouts based on the data important to their success.

Why not pay for custom development?

So many things could go wrong when building custom-branded apps. It's also expensive, takes years to develop, and requires trust with your developers. We have a proven track record delivering apps for top trainers around the world and remove the risks present when doing it on your own.

What if I'm not technical?

You don't need to be. Our dev team will build your custom-branded apps and take care of all the technical stuff so you can focus on what you do best.

What if I don't have a following?

Engaging the followers you have is paramount because you can instantly convert engaged followers into paying clients with your all-in-one fitness business software.

Is it hard to set up?

No, it's very easy. All you need to do is follow our success team’s proven process. We will deliver your custom-branded, all-in-one fitness business software, and you can do what you do best!

What if I wait to implement this solution?

If you wait, you will leave a lot of opportunity on the table to save time as you scale and manage your business with all-in-one software to engage and retain your clients. Whether you’re looking to bill customers on a recurring basis, single session, or package basis, do it all with a fully integrated, secure platform that can support in-person and online payments. This is a high-quality problem to solve. You shouldn’t wait to solve it.

What exactly do I get?

You get all-in-one fitness business software that does everything you need. No more having one software solution for doing personal training, another for booking and scheduling, something else for client assessments, and yet another pricey subscription for marketing and client communication. And then there are custom-branded iOS & Android apps. If you're tired of paying too much for too many moving parts, stop the hacks and demo the Exercise.com all-in-one fitness business software today. This all-in-one fitness business software will save you time running your business, handle everything in one place, provide endless opportunities to engage and retain your clients, and allow you to sell workout plans.

Will this really work for me?

Yes. We have a proven track record with fitness professionals like Ashley Borden, Just-Train, PJF Performance, Madeline Moves, and Fit Thrive. Our all-in-one fitness business software will allow you to grow your business as much as you want.

What are the next steps?

The next step is simple. Click “Get a Price” anywhere on this page and schedule a call with one of our team members.

Will this integrate with my other software?

Our software integrates with a variety of other software including Zapier, Stripe, YouTube, Vimeo, MailChimp, MyFitnessPal, ConvertKit, and more.

What if I don't have the budget?

This is an all-in-one fitness business software that allows you to grow your business as much as you'd like. You should strike while the iron is hot by investing in a workout platform that will help you scale your business, earn more revenue, retain and engage your clients, and save you time running your business.