“One of my favorite things about the Zen Planner system is how seamlessly it integrates the class calendar and membership information into my website.”

Brian Lelli
Forge Fitness, Home of CrossFit Chili

forge fitness box management software case study


brian training at forge fitness


Forge Fitness is a gym in Rochester, NY that utilizes CrossFit methodologies to change bodies and minds. Also known as CrossFit Chili, their mission is to deliver a program for their members that makes them both healthy and strong. Brian Lelli, owner of Forge Fitness, comes from a background of powerlifting and Jui Jitsu and serves as the gym’s head trainer.


When Forge Fitness opened in 2013, they used a free online booking system to manage class schedules and a punch card system to track payments. As they grew, this system became extremely labor intensive. To start with, students wouldn’t show up for classes they booked, so scheduling coaches was a difficult task that led to wasted time and energy. Then, charging for each class with the punch card system led to Brian having to “corral” students after class to mark their cards for payment. “The punch card system for managing memberships was an extremely labor intensive and painful process” says Brian.

Other member management tasks were done manually too. Emailing members and managing member data took precious time that could have been spent coaching athletes. As a small business, the lost time and revenue became too much, and Brian knew he needed to find a better way to manage the gym.

Once he began evaluating member management software, he looked at three different systems. The first was not user friendly, and the second was too expensive. Brian knew that he wanted a simple system to manage his small community. If the system was too complicated or difficult for his members to use, he knew he wouldn’t be better off. He also wanted a solution that was priced well. Forge Fitness isn’t a large gym, and keeping member rates affordable was important to him.


Brian selected Zen Planner because it was affordable for his small gym and extremely easy for his members to use. After implementing the system he was extremely pleased with the time he saved on member management tasks. He loves the membership automations and appreciates that he doesn’t need to do any work once a member signs up. That efficiency alone saves countless hours each week and completely eliminated the need for the old punch card system.

The ability to automate emails and quickly access member data and the class calendar also streamlines the day-to-day administration work. “One of my favorite things about the Zen Planner system is how seamlessly it integrates the class calendar and membership management into my website.” Brian says. The Facebook integration is also a great feature that he expects will generate new members.

Brian recommends Zen Planner for affiliates who want a simple, easy-to-use system that will save time and help them run their business much more efficiently. He advises affiliates shopping for software to steer clear of complicated systems. “This easy-to-use systems gets the job done and is so much better to operate,” adds Brian.


  • Saves up to 10 hours a week by automating membership management.
  • Gives the team more time to spend with members.
  • Integrates seamlessly with the Forge Fitness website.
  • Helps Forge Fitness collect all the revenue due from memberships.


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