Over 80K Monthly Readers Issue #7 of Fitness Business Insider Digital Magazine is Now Available! READ NOW

Playlist Protocol

Physical results can take months to see, but mastering THIS will keep clients coming back right away.

By Shay Kostabi

In a group X training environment, music is arguably half the experience – regardless of modality and whether or not your programming works with the beat. In fact, while beat-based workouts have dominated the group X market for the past four decades, studies out of IHRSA show that Gen Xers prefer results-driven, small group training sessions that also provide an immersive and meaningful experience as opposed to traditional tempo-driven, choreographed group X classes.

Music is a large part of what gives movement meaning. That means: if you want to provide classes that your clients crave, you have to know how to direct your team to create immersive playlists.

Whether you offer yoga, circuit training, or other modalities that don’t rely on connecting each action to the beat, music can turn a workout into an emotional journey that will contribute significantly to a client’s desire to come back over and over again. Playlists that tell a story will hook clients on an emotional level, get them into a Flow State, keep them immersed, and motivate them to work a little harder than they thought they could. They’ll leave the studio wanting more. They’ll invite friends and talk up your business.

While it may take some time for a client to see the physical results of their hard work, how they relate to their bodies and their enjoyment of moving can shift immediately.Music is a massive piece of that.

If you take your clients on an unforgettable journey AND get them results, you’ve set yourself up for massive impact and undeniable success. If you’re ignoring the musical component of your offerings, you’re missing a significant opportunity to attract and retain clients.

The unfortunate fact is that roughly 60% of instructors I have worked with do not have a replicable formula for creating playlists that would help them develop a consistent experience that enhances the workout. When instructors go through their certification process, they are not taught how to make playlists that contribute to immersive and unforgettable classes. If the certification does have a music training component, it’s usually very basic and very brief or provides pre-programmed mixes.

Instructors that excel at playlisting often rely heavily on intuition. (I know this because I used to be one!) Few can actually break down and codify their process in a way that can be passed on to others.

The good news? There is a formula and a handful of tips guaranteed to elevate your team’s playlist abilities and create a better experience for your clients. Here are some best practices for playlisting to share with your team.

  • Check the BPMs (beats per minute) of every song. A lack of variety in BPMs can cause clients to mentally tune out, even if the songs are fire! Different BPMs evoke different levels of intensity, speed, strength, and meaning. The song choice for any section of class influences how your clients feel about themselves in relation to the exercise.
  • Build a story. Every playlist should have a clear beginning, middle and end that takes clients on a journey with a “Peak Track” in the middle amongst other highs and lows throughout.
  • Crossfade the music. Every single gap in the playlist is an opportunity for clients to check out of the workout. Your instructors can easily turn this on in the settings of their streaming software.
  • Avoid fidgeting with volume levels during class. Choose a setting that fills the room with energy without having to shout.
  • No skipping, shuffling or repeating tracks. Could you imagine if a DJ did this in the club?
  • Empower your team to choose music that lights them up. If they love it, the clients will love it. Not every class has to be a total request and they don’t have to stick to top 40 pop, rock, and hip hop.
  • One classic sing-a-long that everybody knows will win people over every time.
  • The final song should be upbeat and celebratory! There are few opportunities for us as humans to feel like we’ve really won the day. If the end of class feels like a grand finale or a finish line, participants leave feeling confident, elated, accomplished, and more likely to return sooner than later.

Implementing just one or two of these ideas will have a huge impact on how your clients experience your workouts and therefore on your studio’s retention and growth.

For expert tips on playlisting and more, follow @thegroupX_conservatory by Fitness Career Mastery. Sign up for their Ultimate X-perience Newsletter packed with free science-backed tips and tools to help you create unforgettable workout experiences your clients won’t want to live without.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fitness Business Insider magazine was created to support you, our valued fitness business owners, at all stages of your entrepreneurial journey. This endeavor is dedicated to sharing teachings from start-up visionaries and a network of expert business leaders and entrepreneurs who are focused exclusively on providing inspiration, education, and tools for your success. Evolution and education are imperative during this highly competitive, post-pandemic rebuild. We strive to support you, the movers and shapers at the frontline of our industry. Let us help you build back better and stronger!

Len Fridman, WellnessLiving Co-Founder & CEO

Evolve your mindset, your team, your customers, and the people you serve. Join our mailing list and be the first to know about all the latest fitness business strategies and tools, events, trends and more!? Please fill out your details and we will keep you updated with our newsletter and share our latest blog articles!