Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hi! I'm Inappropriate!

Part of a Group Fitness Instructor's job is selecting appropriate music for each workout session. Does this mean I can't just play "Low" by Flo Rida, fifteen times in a row, like I do for my own workouts?

Well timed booty slaps raise aerobic intensity by 14%.*

According to the exam content outline, I should know something about music licensing laws. Group fitness classes in a for-profit situation, are considered public performance. Playing my legally-downloaded copy of "Low" in class is a copyright violation! Luckily most fitness centers have a blanket license, covering the music played by their instructors.

Another option would be to purchase music that is specially licensed for use in fitness classes. Pre-fab programs like Zumba, often come with their own licensed music.

The book also mentions using a drum machine or synthesizer to create your own music. WAY too much work! WAIT, would that give me an excuse to buy one of those awesome 80's keyboard-guitar thingies? Please say yes.

Other considerations besides not getting sued:


I must bump "Low" at a volume below 85 decibels. That's slightly louder than an alarm clock (80 dB), but much quieter than a chainsaw (100 dB).


Music slower than 100 beats per minute (BPM) should be used for yoga, Pilates and stretching.

Beginner step training, low impact aerobics and hip-hop classes should use music with 100-122bpm.

122-129bpm is appropriate for conditioning, advanced step, low-mid impact aerobics, dance and aquatic exercise.

Mid-High impact aerobics, trampoline and martial arts classes should use music that has 130-160bpm.

'Low' is 130bpm, and would only be acceptable for strip-aerobics. (You can use this handy free Iphone app to figure out the BPM of any song.)

Lyrics and Content:

Any song that discusses giving a woman $3000 for adult activities, is probably not appropriate. Lyrics such as "All you alcoholics, where you at?" should also be avoided. That pretty much rules out all my favorite songs.

*Yeah, not really.

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