How many times have you started your workout feeling sluggish but then plugged in your favorite power song and immediately felt uplifted? It's not magic; it's psychology.
Research shows that music can reduce your perception of fatigue, improve your mood, and make exercise seem easier. For these reasons, music is a powerful and essential tool for your fitness classes.
Before you start building your awesome musical playlist, let's review some music basics you need to consider.
You may already be familiar with the term BPM or Beats Per Minute, which refers to a song's tempo. When choosing tunes for your fitness class, you want to select the BPM that corresponds to the type of exercise you are doing.
For example, a higher BPM relates to a faster-paced workout, whereas a lower BPM is excellent for more tranquil movements. If you don't know the BPM of a song (it can be hard to recognize if you're not musically inclined), try this handy BPM tool.
Wondering what BPM you should aim for your specific workout type? Here are general tempo guidelines:
Yoga, pilates, or other low-intensity activities: 60 to 90 BPM
Power yoga: 100 to 140 BPM
HIIT: 140 to 180-plus BPM
Zumba and dance: 130 to 170 BPM
Steady-state cardio, such as jogging: 120 to 140 BPM
Weightlifting and powerlifting: 130 to 150 BPM
Set the Mood
Beyond the workout type, you can also consider choosing the right BPM depending on which part of the workout you are in. For example, as you are warming-up you might want your participants to feel energized, so choose tunes with a BPM between 110 to 140. In the cool-down phase, you want to lower the heart rate, so choose songs with a BPM of 60 to 90.
Now that you've identified the tempo of the songs you'd like to include in your fitness playlists, it's crucial to consider if you can legally use this music. By definition, you need to own the rights to any music you use in your fitness class, whether it's virtual, in-person, or on-demand.
The short answer is that you need to own the commercial rights to the music you are using in your fitness class. If you subscribe to a streaming music service, like Spotify, your license only permits you to play music for personal, non-commercial purposes (think: jamming out in your car.)
To acquire the commercial rights, you'll need to go through an organization like ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. Or you can subscribe to a service like Epidemic Sound, but be aware that a commercial license costs around $49/month.
Remember your most important instrument
Music isn't everything—the instructor's voice is essential. Have you ever been to a class where the music was so loud that you couldn't hear what move came next? It's especially important to get this balance right when teaching online. You compete with background noise, smaller visual fields, and potentially, a new audience unfamiliar with your teaching style.
Regardless of the setup you choose, remember to test. Try out your workout routine with your playlist and make sure that you've chosen the right song for the right part of your workout. Create a test class and invite your friends, family, or us! Ask for feedback on your sound, and play with features like auto-adjust or Moxie Music.
An all-in-one solution
If BPM and licensing have your head spinning, there is an easier alternative: Moxie Music. Moxie Music features smart technology to help ensure an excellent class experience. The music volume is automatically adjusted whenever the instructor speaks, so you don't need to shout. Best of all, it's fully legal. Find out more about Moxie Music.