How To Choose Music For Workout Videos For Best Results

How to choose music for workout video

Do I need to use music in workout videos?

You certainly want your workout videos to get popular, draw attention, and to boost your YouTube subscriptions.

Right music can enhance the performance of fitness and workout videos in multiple ways:

Music helps to stay committed

Following a workout video may be tough for less experienced viewers. The great soundtrack can help your viewers get distracted from physical discomfort and make the workout easier to bear. This will help your viewers committed to watching your videos start to finish (that’s a good thing).

Music boosts performance

The link between music and exercise performance was first established in 1911, when scientists discovered that bicyclists pedaled faster when a band was playing. If your workout videos help your viewers get in shape, they will be back for more and will be happy to recommend your videos to their friends.

How to choose the best workout music to maximize the performance of your fitness video?

Start by understanding what kind of workout video you want to create.

4 types of workout / fitness videos


These videos may include kickboxing, zumba, aerobics, dance and spin exercise.

Strength training

These videos typically include body weight workouts, weight lifting, and even slower workouts, such as Pilates.

Interval training

These videos include a number of high and low intensity exercises following each other in a sequence.

Flexibility training

These videos commonly include stretching and yoga exercises. Not to be confused with relaxation videos, this is still a workout and it can be quite challenging for beginners.

Then Think about the structure of your video.

Structure of a workout video

A typical workout has 3 or more stages. These normally include stages like the warm up, the main exercise, and the cool down / stretching.

For these stages, background music BPM (beats per minute) becomes the important factor. Here are some recommendations how to choose the proper music BPM for different exercise types and stages of your workout video:

Warm up or cool down: 80-100 bpm

Walking: from 120 BMP for relaxed walking to 140 BPM for power waking and light jogging

Running: 145 to 150 BPM

Cycling: 138 to 150 BPM

Weight lifting: 124 to 128 BPM

High intensity interval: 150 to 175 BPM

Finally think about the goal of your video: instruct, motivate, or entertain.

At that point you will decide if your fitness video needs voice narration, if you need any help from a workout partner, and the overall mood of the video (this will help you to pick the proper soundtrack).

Now when you know what kind of workout video you want to make, let’s see how to choose the best music.

Music licensing basics

Cardio classes at your local gym may be using the latest hits to motivate their patrons, but if you want to put your music on YouTube (or make it publicly available) you need to be mindful about proper licensing.

If you don’t plan to monetize your video you may be able to use popular music on YouTube in exchange for letting YouTube running ads in your videos.

However, if you are a professional trainer and you do intend to monetize your fitness videos, you need to legally license music for commercial use.

Choose music that goes with the type of the workout or fitness video you’re creating. It is also recommended to use different music for different stages of your exercise video. Below are some examples of royalty free music for workout and fitness videos to get you started:

Music for cardio, aerobics, spin videos

Cardio fitness videos are designed to help burn calories through a sustained target heart rate. Typically, a cardio workout starts with energetic music at about 120 -130 BPM and can optionally build up to 140 BPM.

Music for strength and power lifting videos

Power lifting video does not need a fast beat. Typically, a strength workout can be comfortably accompanied by motivational mid-tempo soundtrack between 100 and 128 BPM.

Music for high intensity interval workout videos

This is where you need high speed motivation. High intensity intervals come in short bursts and need super energetic music of 150 – 170 BPM to push you.

Music for stretching and cool down videos

This is when you need to bring the tempo and intensity of your video down with calm music of 80 – 100 BPM.
Listen to 10 most popular music tracks for workout fitness video

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