BPM Workout Music Guidelines

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The acronym BPM stands for "beats per minute." Learn about BPM workout music guidelines with help from a health and wellness expert in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Life & Exercise
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Dr. Nina Cherie Franklin, health and wellness expert with Ninacheriephd.com and I'm here at the HF Racquet and Fitness Club in Homewood, Illinois. In this clip I'm going to explain to you proper BPM guidelines for workout music. The BPM or beats per minute refers to the tempo of music. The tempo of your workout music pretty much sets the tone for your individual workout or any type of group fitness format including dance aerobics, step aerobics and water aerobics. Dance aerobics formats usually require faster tempos, anywhere between 130 and 155 BPM is appropriate. This is appropriate for dance formats like traditional high low, salsa, and even zumba. It's just important to implement a warmup on the lower end of the tempo, anywhere between 130 and to 135 BPM is ideal. Step aerobics should be performed at relatively low tempos, anywhere between 118 and 128 BPM is ideal. Now, if you are dealing with a highly skilled group of individuals or those who are highly advanced, you could take the BPM to as much as 135, however, when it comes to step aerobics and any other group fitness format for that matter, it's important to work at a tempo that reduces the risk of injury. So with that said, capping off at 128 BPM is probably the most appropriate and when it comes to dealing with highly skilled individuals, it's best to implement more complex choreography or more hops and jumps in order to increase the exercise intensity. Water aerobics formats can be performed within a wide range of tempos. Due to the fact that your body parts are submerged underwater, there tends to be a slow response time with water aerobics. So you may find that although you are working at a specific tempo, you are performing actual movements half time or every other beat. So as a general guideline for water aerobics formats in shallow water, stick with a BPM between 125 and 150. For formats in deep water, 100 to 135 BPM is ideal. And there you have it, proper BPM guidelines for workout music. This is Dr. Nina Cherie Franklin. Thank you for watching.

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