Concepts and Terminology

Before installing and using Gym Assistant it is important that you have an understanding of some basic concepts and terminology that will be used in the software and in this guide.  This section offers a brief overview of these terms.  More details can be found elsewhere in this document.


Membership Record

Every member in Gym Assistant has a member record.  The Member Record contains all information about a member including personal Information (name, address, birth date, emergency contact, etc.), contract and billing information, and other information (custom fields) that can be tailored for your specific needs.


A check-in (or visit) is recorded each time the member walks into the club.  Check-in can happen either automatically (the member scans a barcode or enters a number of a numeric keypad) or manually (front-desk staff scans the barcode or types in the member’s name or membership number).

Structured Pricing

Gym Assistant was designed as a structured system.  Once you specify your pricing structure, Gym Assistant ensures that every membership fits into that structure.  This design gives you optimal control over your memberships for the long term.  To change the pricing for one of your membership plans you only need to change the standard price for that membership plan and every member with that plan will automatically renew at the new rate.

Membership, Visitor and Day-Pass Plans

Gym Assistant allows you to create three different types of memberships:  Membership Plans, Punchcard Plans and Day-Pass Plans.

A Membership Plan is time-based.  The member pays a defined amount for a given period of time.  A membership plan has a billing period (for example, every month), and it can also have a contract length.  Contracts, however, are not required.  You can use the contract length as a minimum commitment (in which case billing will continue after the contract is fulfilled), or you can specify that the member will be terminated at the end of the contract (billing will stop until they sign a new contract).

A Punchcard Plan is based on visit, rather than time.  A member with a Punchcard Plan will buy a package of entries into the club.  Each time the member checks in at the front desk one visit is automatically deducted from his total number of visits remaining.  Check-in can be done either by swiping a card or by checking in with staff.

A Day-Pass Plan requires that a member pay for each visit individually.  A Day-Pass plans can be used either members or non-members (drop-ins).

Family (Dependent) Memberships

Family memberships can be linked together so that all billing is charged to one of the family members.  The member who pays is the Responsible member, and the members who are linked to the Responsible member are Dependents.

Membership Add-Ons

A Membership Add-On is anything that can be paid for separate from the regular membership.  Some common examples of member add-ons would be personal training sessions, aerobics classes and tanning sessions.  Note that add-ons are very different than Punchcard Plans.  With a Punchcard Plan, one visit is deducted every time the member walks into the club.  With a Membership Add-On, a credit is deducted only when the member uses one of her pre-purchased add-on credits.

Transaction Journal

Every transaction that occurs in Gym Assistant is recorded in the Journal file.  This feature allows you to track not only financial transactions (such as adding a member or recording a payment), but also changes to member records (such as changing a member’s due date or adding a comment to a member’s record)

Visits Log

Every member check-in (allowed or denied) is recorded in the Visits file.  This feature allows you to review who came into the facility on any given day or to list all of the visits for a particular member.

Billing/Payment Options

Memberships can be paid either by manual payment or automatic billing.  Manual payments may be received in-person, or they may be received in the mail (for example, if you send out invoices).  Automatic Billing will either deduct fees from a member’s bank account (checking or savings) or charge fees to the member’s credit card.

EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer)

While the term “EFT” technically refers only to electronic transactions through bank accounts, this term is often used to also include all methods of automatic billing.  Gym Assistant provides the tools necessary to interface with various EFT processors and payment systems including ACH (Automated Clearing House – electronic bank transfers), paper draft and credit cards.

Access Control

Gym Assistant can control access through an electronically-controlled door or turnstile.  When a member swipes a barcode through a reader, the system determines if that member should be allowed access and sends a signal to unlock the door.  All card swipes (even denied entries) are recorded for later review.