While I’m a big fan of premade Group X CDs — they’re convenient, volume controlled and have a consistent BPM (beats per minute) — my participants tend to prefer iPhone playlists, because the workout songs selection is better and the music is less squeaky. However, one of my biggest problems with playing a self-made playlist off iTunes is the song volume fluctuates drastically with each song. So, instead of having the freedom to be anywhere in the room, I have an invisible chain keeping me within arms’ length of the stereo so that I can turn the volume up or down to adjust with each song.
For the longest time I’ve been playing premade CDs in my strength classes. But, recently the CD player in my class wasn’t working, so I had to plug in my iPhone instead. A few participants commented that they loved the music. I was playing all of my jams — like some of Beyonce’s old stuff, like, “Crazy In Love”. But, as each song would come on, I would run over to the stereo to adjust the volume.
After the class was over, one of the members came over to suggest a solution: iTunes’ Sound Check. It automatically adjusts playback volume to the same level. I added it to my iPhone, and while it didn’t completely fix the problem, it made the volume fluctuation between workout songs more tolerable.
For those interested in adding Sound Check to your Apple devices (e.g. iPhone, iPad, iPod, etc.), here’s a step-by-step guide.
1 – Open your iTunes on your computer.
2 – Click the top left corner button and click “Preferences”.
3 – Select the “Playback” tab. Then, make sure “Sound Check” is selected.
4 – Finally, sync your Apple device with your computer, by connecting your product to the computer with the power cord.
5 – Play your workout songs the same way you always do.
We tested my playlist after enabling Sound Check. While there was still some variability between songs, the volume was much better than last class. This is a great solution for instructors during Group X classes, but also for those that like to listen to playlists on a long run or other exercise. That way, you don’t have to yank your earbuds out of your ears when a loud song comes up on shuffle.
Sound Check just might be the technology I needed to finally start using an iPhone playlist of workout songs for my Group X classes.
For fitness instructors looking for more advice, check out the group exercise ideas and tips page.