The Power of the P: 'Leveling Up' Your Playlists

FACT: Music can make or your break your group fitness class.

There i’ve said it. Now, you can have the next 24-hours to debate me on this, to try and tell me that this is an opinion and not a fact, but in my humble opinion….it’s a fact and I won’t change my mind on this! :) I’ve been to way too many classes as a student and taught way too many classes to know what it takes to take a class to the next level…and while your incredible instruction techniques definitely add value, it’s your playlist that people will remember and respond to the quickest. Let’s discuss….

Let’s start by thinking back to a time where group fitness classes did not incorporate music….wait, can’t think of one?? Neither can I! Whether it was simply played in the background or it was selected choreography set to the beat of music, music has been a continued driver in how students experience our classes, from start to finish. A study at California State University, noted a series of reasons why including

  • Reduced Fatigue

  • Increased Mood

  • Improved Motor Coordination

  • Increased Motivation

…not to mention studies conducted showed that those who had music performed better in each movement they were asked to do, including squat jumps, burpees, and other power moves. So, yes, there really is power in your playlists…and I bet you’re wondering now what to do to change your class playlists to celebrate that power!

3 Strategies for ‘leveling up’ your playlists immediately:

  • Know Thy Self: The truth is, a great playlist starts with knowing thy self! Why? Because doing so allows you to create playlists that are from the heart and authentically you that your class connects to. Have you ever been to a class and the instructor played random songs from every genre to the point you were like this playlist just feels so random, thrown together, and I have no connection to it nor the class.....or the instructor???Yep, me too. The reason why is because that playlist is trying to reach everybody but instead reaches no one because it’s not grounded in who the instructor is. So, first step, understand who you are and the type of music that brings you joy.

  • Find Your Playlist Sourcing Spot: You’ve identified the type of playlists you want to create based on your style and now...you’ve gotta figure out where to get the songs from! 3 of my favorite places to find new music for my classes:
    🎧Spotify playlists! @spotify has some incredible playlists that are frequently updated with new songs to use. My favorite public playlist?: BEAST Mode with Workout Twerkout being a close second.
    🙋🏾‍♀️From following other instructors. There are some great songs we miss because we don’t follow and share our stuff...I personally am working on making more of my class playlists public.
    🎬Movie Soundtracks! Look, y’all can make fun of me if you want to but Black Panther? Spider-Man Into the Spider Verse?? Step Up (all of them!)??? All have some bangers that are amazing to workout too! Don’t sleep on em!

  • Choose an Incredible Warm-Up Song: Think about that opening song that inspires your students to immediately forget everything else except the excitement for working out with you. Make it a song that shows your personal brand and lets everyone what type of jams are going down. And by all means, if it’s a early morning class, make it a hype jam. If I’m in your class at 6am, I need you to wake me UP!

This week, remember this: the music matters. And it matters that it also speaks to who you are, flows with your class, and helps motivate your students. Stop ignoring the power of your playlist..and use it take your class experience to the next level.


Actions Speak Louder than Words: Want ALL of my playlist tips, access to a few starter playlists, and a bucket of templates and tools you can use to take your playlists to the NEXT level??? Get signed up for my weekly guide, Nine in Ninety Seconds, and get first-hand access to new resources as they launch!