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Tips for Filming Better Workout Videos
Reading Time: 6 minutes 14 seconds
YouTube and social media are king when it comes to content, information (good or bad), and creating a personal and professional brand. Anyone with a camera can create video content and make it available to the masses. However, good content is harder to come by than one may think!
Whether your goal is to become a fitness influencer or just help as many people as you can, video content will expand your reach. A personal trainer looking to not only establish and grow their brand but also become a reliable fitness authority needs to grasp the idea of video content…and do it well!
Why Every Trainer Needs to Film Workouts
There are many reasons every personal trainer should be filming their workouts. To start, you can demonstrate proper exercise form and share your workout routine with current and prospective clients.
The state of the world today demands flexibility in the delivery of training content. Some clients may not feel comfortable in a gym setting or with in-person sessions and offering video content that is valuable and easy to follow can help retain them even during the toughest of times.
Speaking of client retention, having video content gives clients the ability to train ‘with you’ even when they aren’t ‘with you’! For example, days that a client isn’t training directly with you, on vacations, and over the holidays. Videos and tracking physical activity have a built-in layer of accountability and keep clients engaged and on track towards their fitness goals.
Take advantage of live video to motivate and correct clients in real-time. The live video feature is a unique benefit of social media platforms. Demonstrate exercises and watch a client execute them while making corrections and adjustments on the fly just like you would in person. Cheer them on when they do well and verbally push and encourage them when they need more intensity. It is absolutely possible for a fitness professional to motivate a client to a fitness goal when they cannot be together!
Upgrade your Equipment Game!
It is possible to get some great video equipment without breaking the bank. A lot of trainers even shoot all their videos from their phones. However, if you are an online or hybrid trainer or are really looking to grow your fitness business, make the investment and get the good stuff! It’ll last longer and provide excellent quality videos.
When looking at video production equipment, think of the things a beginner filmmaker would need:
- Video camera: Will you use a real camera or your phone?
- Tripod: They come with various mounts that can accommodate any type of camera and provide a steady base for solo filming.
- Camera light: A must! We’ll talk about lighting shortly, but it is key!
- Adjustable lighting kit: These kits include larger movable lights that can illuminate a larger area.
- A good microphone: For sound capture and voiceovers, like a podcaster or radio host would have, not like a talk show host!
- A wireless microphone for on-camera sound: If you’ve ever taught a group fitness class, you’ve worn a mic pack before! These are a smaller and less conspicuous way to pick up your voice in your video.
- Extra camera batteries: Always good to have backups! If you’re using your phone, a portable charging pack can be sufficient.
- An external hard drive: High-quality video files can take up a lot of phone or computer memory, so a large capacity hard drive will help store all your content as your video library grows!
- Camera memory card(s): If you’re using a regular camera like a Cannon, you’ll need memory cards to store your videos before you upload or save them to your hard drive.
- A bag to hold it all: With all that you are investing in your equipment, make one final investment and get yourself a nice, padded bag to carry everything around in!
While you likely won’t need fancy camera mounts, boom poles, or a drone for aerial shots (although that would be cool!), you’ll need a decent setup to capture well-lit video with good quality sound. Once you film your content, the most important part is editing! This is where you can cut out the outtakes, splice videos together, and even add voiceovers to narrate what you are doing and layer in details for your viewers.
PC Mag online has rated their top 10 video editing programs for 2020. Many are fee-based, but a few, like Apple iMovie, are free to use. When picking one, look for one that allows you to embed keywords and tags for social media and online use. This makes your content easier to find and can help with search engine optimization (SEO).
Picking a Spot to Film Your Workouts
For trainers who own or work at a gym, filming in a gym is easy. You can set up and tear down whenever you need to. However, most trainers don’t have open access to a gym space to film videos. You may be restricted to a home gym, the garage, a client’s house, or even your living room! Don’t worry—these are often the locations that clients will be viewing and following along from, so it makes sense! To be effective, your clients have to be able to replicate what you are showing them.
If you’re doing a home-based workout and most of your clients have some space and minimal equipment, you should do the same. Set up in your living room or garage space. Inform clients of the best location at the beginning of your content so they are set up effectively. Also, let them know what equipment, if any, they should have handy!
Check Your Background
Be aware of your surroundings…and what’s going on behind you! It’s easy to think that clients will be 100 percent focused on you while watching your content. But how many video calls have you sat through where you didn’t check out the background of another participant or notice their cat cleaning itself on the armchair behind them? We are human and we are very easily distracted. If at home, make sure you have a clean background free from distraction. If at a gym or facility, try to pick a quiet corner or utilize the editing tools that blur the background as your clean up your videos.
Let There Be Light!
No matter the location of the video, lighting is important. People have to be able to see what you are doing to use the information! Lighting setups can range from simple with one well-placed light to complex with 3-point lighting (fill, key, and backlighting). The best option will be based on the size of the space, the movements you will be doing, and your budget for equipment!
Here are two great resources to check out for lighting tips for video:
A basic lighting tool recommended by the pros is a ring light or camera light. These simple lights often vary in intensity, brighten your face, and put a little glow in your eye. While this glow seems silly to focus on, experts will tell you it brings the focus to your eyes when you speak and makes you look energetic and ‘alive’ on camera!
Stay Organized and Repurpose Content
Creating a better workout video is simple when you stay organized and have a good attitude. The energy you have when presenting your content comes through the camera and your viewers can feel it! Focus on sharing valuable, relevant information with good form and verbal cues. Unless specifically designated for specific populations, keep your content open for people of all skill levels and dress appropriately! Remaining professional on video is more than just the clothes, though. You’ll have to make sure your video quality, sound, and angles are up to par and thought out.
Here's the final tip…a sort of “and then?” moment…. Once you have all this video content, what more can you do with it? Tons! There are many ways to repurpose your video and audio content to keep it working for you! Marketing, self-promotion, building your resume…. all of these can be enhanced with short clips of your videos.
You can use your audio and turn it into a podcast! What a great way to reach even more people! Your audio content can also be transcribed to create website material, blogs, or even be compiled into a book! Book writing is a fun, useful marketing tool that many fitness professionals overlook, or think is out of reach. It’s easy when you just repurpose and organize your existing content!
Short clips of your videos can also be used on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn to market your business and what you do. Finally, take the screen grabs from your videos and make your own memes! Every trainer has a favorite saying! “Last one, best one!” “Namaste in the Shade.” or “Sweat is Fat Crying!” Share these in a fun and engaging way by attaching your own images to them!
Ready to jump in and start changing lives through fitness? Take the first step by earning your ISSA Personal Training Certification today!
Certified Personal Trainer
The Certified Fitness Trainer program is designed to equip graduates with the practical day-to-day skills necessary, as well as the theoretical knowledge needed to excel as a personal trainer serving the general public. Along with the necessary exercise science foundation, the distance education program covers client assessment, program design, basic nutrition, and sports medicine along with business and marketing skills.