Talking Box Technology

Box technology

Are there more ways to use tech in your business? Take a peek at the various ways to incorporate Box technology in your day-to-day operations.

Virtual Tours

When a guy from Google walked into Lawrence Jacobs’ Box, CrossFit Park Ridge in Chicago, Illinois, Jacobs said he and his co-owner had been toying with the idea of a virtual tour already. For a little over $1,000 the tour was produced and put up on their website.

“Our virtual tour has been a solid investment for our gym,” said Jacobs. “People want to see the inside of your gym ahead of time. They want to know what they are walking into.”

In terms of getting it in front of people, he gave three ways: 

  1. Ask members to share the virtual tour on their respective Facebook pages.
  2. Sharing on the gym’s own social media outlets.
  3. Having teen athletes show their parents, most of which have never seen the inside of a CrossFit gym.

Management Software

With a background in the information technology track, Jeff Rice said automation was one of the first things he and his wife looked into after opening Flower City CrossFit in Rochester, New York. They settled on Zen Planner for the back end and Wodify for workout tracking.

But, the Box soon transitioned to just using Zen Planner. Rice said he made that decision based on how the software functioned on the business-facing side. He explained it’s key to have a system with reliable communication abilities, report access, etc. Those reports can do everything from helping with taxes to viewing trends in revenue streams.

“Information is power and the more you have access to information on your business, the more you can make the correct business decision and stay informed about what’s happening in business,” said Rice.

Heart Rate Monitors

Kathy Childress, the CEO of CrossFit Maximus in Lexington, Kentucky, said it was about three years ago when they realized heart rate monitors would be beneficial to the new member. She took the gym’s bootcamp and married it with the technology, forming the program ZONE.

She explained members ranging in age fill the class, and since their goals in the workout are aimed at hitting a certain heart rate, it levels the playing field. “The 70-year-old might be walking on the treadmill and their heart rate might be at 75 percent, and … the 20-year-old might have to run at a higher level in order to get their heart rate to 75 percent,” she said. “Nobody ever feels like they’re being left behind.”

Four TVs line the walls, so members can see their heart rate at any given time. Childress uses MYZONE and allows members to borrow monitors, although many end up purchasing their own. She said the biggest benefits of the heart rate monitors range from having quantifiable data showing increased fitness to simply being a better Coach.

“It takes the guesswork out of whether or not you’re working at your optimal level,” said Childress. “It is just a great indication of whether or not you can push a little more or you need to pull back.”  

Body Composition Scanners

Jacobs said they first purchased the InBody composition scanner for nutrition challenges. However, they have since made it part of their intake process and membership packages.

“We just felt like it was time to incorporate something that would make our facility better on a start to finish standpoint,” he said. “It’s used as a benchmark for all new clients, and we educated them on what the results mean and steer them into understanding how to hit their respective goals they are shooting for. Clients don’t know what it takes when they walk in and that’s why we have implemented this into our intake process.”


From the platform for email and communication to the gym’s calendar, Rice said he uses various Google tools to run his business.

Google Calendar is used mainly to schedule who’s coaching what class. By color-coding, Rice said it’s easy for he and his wife to stay up-to-date on holes in the schedule.

Google Voice is another piece of technology Rice has implemented. He explained you can set up a phone number local to your area. Plus, if people leave a voicemail, Google Voice will translate the audio and text Rice a transcript of the message. He said the translations are pretty accurate, although sometimes there are kinks. But the benefit for a busy Affiliate outweighs the problems. “That way we have 24/7 coverage of our voicemail,” he said.

Heather is the editor for Box Pro Magazine. Contact her at