Creating a Workout Video? Here’s What You Should Know About Music

Creating your own workout video is an exciting endeavor no matter what your goals are. It can give you strong motivation to stay in shape, give you an opportunity to create and nurture a fitness community, and if you’re able to grow your audience substantially, it can even help you make money through advertising.

You’ll need to start with a good fitness program, though the specifics are up to you—you could focus on the basics of cardiovascular training, yoga, or weight lifting, or something more obscure, like boxing for fitness. You’ll also need decent production equipment and a space where you can film reliably.

However, you’ll also need to think about the music you include—since it has the power to make or break your video.

Why Music Is So Important

Music has the power to win over new audiences or turn people away forever. These are just some of the reasons why:

  • Motivation and energy. Upbeat music, or music with a lot of intrinsic energy can help motivate you during a workout. This has the power to improve your own performance during your videos, but may also help push your audience to achieve their potential as well.

  • Audience alignment. If you play music in a genre your target demographics prefer, you’ll instantly win their Just be aware that music they hate could have the opposite effect.

  • Brand distinctiveness. Music gives you a chance to distinguish your brand from those of your competitors; after all, workout videos are pretty common. The right songs could make yours seem more memorable.

  • Music can also make your video seem like it has a higher production value. If you’re working out on camera and the only sounds are the echoes of your grunts and groans, it’s not going to look good to newcomers.

Where to Find Music

So where can you find music to include? You could shell out thousands of dollars (or more) to pay for the licensing fees of popular songs, but chances are, you won’t have the budget for this. You could also try to create your own music if you’re creatively inclined.

However, most people will stand to benefit most by using royalty-free music. Soundstripe, for example, has an extensive library of royalty-free music, including some music created specifically for workouts. It may take some time to hunt down the perfect songs, but you’ll end up with something inexpensive and distinctive for your channel that keeps you and your viewers motivated to push yourselves.

Making the Selection

So what factors should you consider when making your selection?

  • Your target demographics. First, keep your target demographics in mind. Young men trying to get buff probably aren’t going to like the same music as older women trying to stave off osteoporosis. Focus on targeting one group of people, and do some market research to learn what their interests are. Hopefully, you’ll be able to eliminate some genres from consideration immediately.

  • You’ll also want to think about the beats per minute (BPM) in each song you choose. If you’re doing a rhythmic exercise, like dancing, this is especially important. The BPM of the song will dictate your pace, and set the tone for the rest of the video. Slower exercises or exercises for fitness newbies demand much slower songs than fast-paced or highly intense exercises.

  • Think about the instrumentation as well. Songs with heavy percussion or deep bass are good for dancing and other rhythm-based exercises, while it’s hard to go too wrong with traditional rock instruments. Full orchestral arrangements or ethereal sounds are best kept for low-intensity exercises, like yoga and stretching.

  • Lyrical content. You’ll also want to pay attention to the lyrical content of the songs you choose. If you’re narrating, you don’t want the words in your background music to overshadow you in the video. You also don’t want to include songs with lyrics that could offend your target audience, or seem out of place juxtaposed to your exercises.

  • Shorter songs almost always work better for fitness videos. You’ll be able to include more songs in each video, and your audience will never hear any single song for too long. Longer songs can work only if they have sufficient changes throughout their duration.

  • Finally, try to include some variety in your videos. If you play the same song or the same type of song every time you make a new video, people will grow tired of it.

Choosing the right music for your workout video can take it from “average” to “exceptional,” but it’s not always a straightforward choice. Spend some time cultivating the right tunes for your audience, and cycle through a variety of options until you find a combination that works.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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