The Technical Side of Music

It used to be that the only choice you had for playing music in your fitness classes was to use the cassette player. You could purchase a fitness tape, although selection was limited, or mix your own pretty easily. Even when CD players were the rage and everyone had one, they took a while to grab hold in aerobics rooms. You may not remember when, but there was a time when the idea of burning a CD in the convenience of your home using your latest iMusic purchases was inconceivable! Now that we’ve come so far, you really have to improve your technical skills if you want your room to rock during class without having to spend a mint on produced CDs. Even if you do spend a mint, you rarely get a mix that comes perfect as-is or sounds as compelling as the preview did. This is kick-off post for a new category I’ll be adding to GroupFitPower. Today, we’ll just take a look at current available methods for obtaining music you can play in your classes.

No Effort

  1. 1. Buy a CD from a 32-beats-style producer.
  2. 2. Insert CD into CD player at gym.
  3. 3. Use the CD player’s ability to pitch the music to the correct speed for your class.
  4. 4. Smile through the songs you don’t like or try to ignore them altogether.


  • Super easy!
  • Increasing number of choices on the internet for purchases.
  • No pauses in the music, keeping energy high throughout class.
  • The more varied your library, the more expensive it will be.


  • Limited to what tracks are on your CD.
  • Limited to merchants on the Internet or by catalog or at tradeshows. (Unless you can share a brick and mortart aerobics instructor store somewhere!!)

Minimal Effort

  1. 1. Subscribe to a music service.
  2. 2. Create a playlist that matches your class plan or profile.
  3. 3. Download the playlist to your iPod or mp3 player.
  4. 4. Plug in the player and jam away.


  • Also very simple.
  • Relatively low cost, although you do not “keep” permanent copies of the songs you use without purchasing them separately.
  • Allows you to play a different playlist as frequently as you want or simply trade songs in a playlist that works.


  • Costs a regular monthly membership fee to access the service’s full library.
  • Must teach at a gym with the ability to plug in your player (I use an old cassette car converter that came with my XM radio).
  • Music will pause between songs.

Small Effort

Just like the above, only you obtain mp3s of the songs you want in your playlist and burn them to a CD to play in class.


  • You can usually opt to burn without the 2-second pause between songs so music will seem more continuous play.
  • A new playlist as often as you want to burn one or purchase new music.
  • Allows you to “remix” the CDs you purchased in Method #1.


  • Requires CD burner, blank CDs and mp3s that you purchase online or rip from your CD collection.
  • If your burner settings are off, you can burn CDs that won’t play in all CD players.

Most Effort

  1. 1. Get some music mixing software. I use Sony Acid Music XMC (costs $60). There are others that I have heard of. There are others that are probably free. However, this is the only one I have ever tried, since it worked so well and was so easy for me to learn.
  2. 2. Add your mp3s to your music project.
  3. 3. Edit out foul language, extra beats, change the tempo, add sound effects and blend the songs together for continuous play.
  4. 4. Burn your project to CD.
  5. 5. Receive rave reviews for your amazing work!


  • You have complete control over the music in your class — you can finally have it all!


  • Requires learning a new software and putting effort into creating each CD. (It does get easier with practice!)
  • If you tend toward OCD or perfectionism (I’m not naming any names here, but…) this may suck up all of your spare time and your family could wonder why you care more about your music than their dinner. 🙂

Have fun playing that funky music!


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