As a fitness instructor, it’s important to keep your routine fresh — from the new moves you incorporate each week to the music you play to keep your class members feeling motivated throughout the entire workout. Yet finding new music that’s going to resonate with your class members and lend itself well to your workout routine can be tricky. And once you find a few tracks that work well, it can feel hard to part with them.
To help find some fresh beats to play at the next class you teach, we asked a few fitness instructors to share their secrets for coming up with new music week after week. Here are their best tips and advice for finding new tunes to turn up to!
Seek out new remixes of your favorite songs
If there’s a song you’re really into that works well with certain parts of your class routine, Jake Giamoni, certified personal trainer at HEAT Studios says you don’t necessarily need to part with it. “Hit up Soundcloud and search some of your favorite songs, new and old school, and type the word ‘remix’ after it,” he says. “There’s a good chance there’s a DJ out there that’s put together a fast paced mix of any popular song you can think of the last 10-15 years. Some popular hip hop and pop songs are a little slow for a high intensity class, so finding some of these mixes can be crucial to keeping the energy up in your training sessions!”
Take advantage of new releases
Lucky for us, new music gets released all the time. For Tomás Rodgers, fitness instructor and creator of Reps On Rhythm™, the secret for staying up to date on the latest releases is through Spotify. “Every Friday morning I make sure to jump on my ‘release radar’ on Spotify, which reveals new releases that have been catered down to my already pre-existing library,” he says. “In addition to that, I make sure to comb through all of the ‘new music Friday’ in case there is anything my ‘radar’ may have missed.” Rogers also takes advantage of Spotify’s ability to offer suggestions based on your music preferences. “Scrolling to the bottom of any playlist, you will be able to find songs of similar artists or genres,” he says.
Multitask while finding new music
Sometimes the biggest challenge of finding new music is actually finding the time to do it. For Laci Chisholm, instructor and founder of Fit4Dance, playing music while completing other tasks allows her to discover fresh tunes without sacrificing time. “I love to play Spotify while I’m doing not so creative work like paying bills, creating schedules, responding to emails, drafting invoices, etc.,” she says. “I enjoy checking out ‘my daily mix’ on Spotify. With this option, Spotify chooses four mixes of different genres that they know I like. I have one for trap music, smooth R&B, top 40 and Latin music. I also enjoy ‘discover weekly’ which highlights new music and artists that I may have never heard of.”
Search for dance and club remixes
Michele Gordon (AKA Miss Motivational), creator of Cardio Sweat Party loves for her classes to feel like a night out — so she seeks out music her students would want to get down to on the dance floor. “I always look on Pandora, Spotify and Google for different night club and dance mixes since that’s the energy I want to have in my workouts,” she says. “I also stay on what’s in the ‘top 40’ since I play those while mixing it with fun throwbacks from the 90’s, early 2000’s, or even the 80’s!'”
Have a song that you love that’s not the right tempo for your workout? Gordon says there’s an app for that. “I love the Tempo Magic app. This app helps you to change the bpm (beats per minute) of your music right on your phone. For me, I teach a fast cardio class at 150 bpm. That means the majority of my music has to be turned up! For strength, barre and boot camp classes, you can keep things lower from 125 bpm to 140 bpm. Yoga varies on the class and its pace.”
Take a class
As an instructor, taking a class not only opens you up to experience new music — it also allows you to see how the class is responding to each track. “I teach yoga six times per week at a studio that is very focused on music, so finding new music is a big part of my routine,” says, Lindsay McClelland, fitness instructor at Revolution Studio. “It can be really easy to get into a music rut, but I’ve found one of the best ways to get out is to get inspired by music in other classes. And not just yoga classes! I’ve been amazed by how inspired I can get from a Pilates or spin class.”