How film fitness videos with a DSLR

If you want to film fitness videos with a DSLR then there are a few things you should know before you go out and buy the latest camera.

Over that last few years the video features for DSLR cameras have improved massively with every model released. However they still have one Achilles heel which means it’s not necessarily the perfect solution for filming fitness videos.

You can film fitness videos with a DSLR in HD and even 4K now, but these cameras have a maximum record limit of 29m 59s and many split recordings in to separate 4GB files. This means that if you want to film a fitness video that’s longer than 30 minutes, you’ll need to hit record again. And because video may be split into different files you’ll need to edit them together with software after filming.

And without being ready to push the button straight away you’re going to lose a few seconds of your workout.

Of course, if you’re not planning to filming workouts any longer than 30 minutes, a DSLR camera may be perfect for you because:


  • The basic kit lenses are usually good quality useful for many situations
  • The storage media like SD cards are inexpensive
  • The cameras can dive good results in low light
  • Many have articulating screens so you can check your frame while filming and they can double as a vlogging camera
  • And many models have input jacks to allow you to attach radio microphones to improve audio quality


But to be fair, we have to highlight some cons as well.

  • You’ll probably need to invest in extra batteries because many will die after an hour or so
  • The pre-amps for audio recording inside older camera models aren’t the best quality.
  • You need to be careful how you record your audio to avoid a lot of hiss in your recordings.
  • Cameras can be more technical and complicate to use.
  • Video setup and menu systems can be confusing and you may need to consult the manual to make headway.
  • You will need a relatively sturdy tripod to help the weight of the camera.


So is it worth trying to film fitness videos with a DSLR?

It’s certainly an option and it can be a high quality and cheap solution. If you plan to do a lot of editing and construct your videos in parts then you can get high quality results with a low investment.

But if you’re adverse to editing and want a quick way to film and upload your fitness videos, then you might want to consider a dedicated video camera; an action camera like a GoPro or use a phone or tablet device.

How to film fitness video with your phone

It’s easy to film fitness video with your phone nowadays. The cameras and tablet devices are capable of delivering high resolution HD images. And with the right cable you can also connect external radio microphones to them to improve your sound quality.

The simplest way to film fitness videos with your phone is to do it without music. This helps to future proof your content and avoid any copyright issues or claims if you post your workouts on social media channels.

Filming fitness videos without music also means you have less to worry about when filming. Its easier to focus on delivering great sounding audio instructions from your mic than trying to balance a music mix as well.

If you want to use music in your videos its best to add it in editing. Or invest in equipment that allows you to mix music and your mic with more control for a better user experience.

For most instructors however, filming without music is the best option. This gives your audience the freedom to use any music they choose when they workout.  This means every time they repeat your workout they can choose the music that best suits their mood.

If you’re planning to use either of the two radio mics below then you’ll also need a Rode SC4 cable (£10). This cable converts the stereo output from the microphone receiver to your 3.5mm jack plug on your device. Without this your phone or tablet won’t be able to record the input signal from your microphone receiver unit.


Tips to help you film fitness videos with your phone

  • Film facing a light source to improve the quality of your image. With plenty of light your camera will create the best picture and keep you in focus.
  • If you’re using extra lighting to illuminate your scene, bring your light as close as possible to you to get the most benefit.
  • Lock the exposure on your camera app so the brightness of your video doesn’t auto adjust with slight changes in light and cause a distraction.
  • Try and film your fitness video in an area that isn’t messy or cluttered so following along is easy to do without distractions.
  • Wear colourful clothes and avoid wearing all black. It’s difficult for viewers to perceive position, depth and distance if the instructor wears all dark colours. So choosing what you wear can help your participants to mirror you more effectively.
  • Test your camera setup and field of view before you film for real. Mark the edge of your frame with a water bottle or piece of equipment so you never stray out of shot. Try and fill as much of the frame as possible – your participants will appreciate an easy to see demonstration.
  • Always film in landscape so your audience can cast your video to a TV for the best big screen experience.
  • Make sure your device has plenty of available space to record your video and your battery is charged.
  • Film in full HD 1920×1080 resolution for great quality video.
  • Avoid filming in 4K resolution. 4K is 4 x bigger than HD and creates big video files that eat up a lot of space on your phone; take ages to transfer to your computer and can be a struggle to edit and upload to hosting platform like YouTube.
  • Set you phone to air plane / silent mode to prevent any interruptions like messages or phone calls.
  • Charge your radio mic batteries so you don’t run out of juice
  • Practice your intro and outro and start on time so you come across as a professional.
  • Use a timer app like seconds pro to periodize your workout so your workout lasts your planned duration. It can be easy to loose track of time!
  • If you talk constantly through your workouts your audience may mute your video and follow along by sight. This means they’re not going lose your coaching expertise to help them get the most out of the workout. Without periods of silence it can be difficult for you audience to identify the most important coaching, so be economical with your words and let your coaching cues land before adding more.
  • Keep the volume of your voice consistent so it can be well heard and don’t whisper even if you’re doing a holistic workout. Your audience can always turn down your volume at their end if they think you’re too loud.


Recommended apps for filming fitness workouts:

Filmic Pro

Open Camera


Recommended Radio Mics for filming fitness videos:

Rode Filmmaker Kit £250

Rode Go Wireless Kit £150


Recommended Head mics for filming fitness videos:

Great for both men and women. More comfortable than the AKG with a snap back style adjustment for size. Great clarity and low noise which is why I use this for filming professional videos.
AKG C555 £100
Good for women because it adds more low end sound to your voice giving you more power to cut through the music.
Can also be used my men, but you may need to reduce the bass EQ for in studio teaching. You may need to buy an extra adaptor to attach to you mic pack.
The double ear SubZero (£35) could be a good option as an alternative. I was impressed with the single ear mic (see below) but I’ve not used the full headset. In skin colour it’s more discrete.
If you do lots of lying on your back (e.g. Pilates) you may want to consider a single ear headset like this one from SubZero (£15). The quality is excellent for the price and with no bar around the back of the head, it wont touch the floor or knock of your head when lying down. The fit can be tricky though sometimes if you have small ears. You can bend the wire to fit better – but be careful you don’t break it!


That’s it! Now go and film fitness videos on your phone with confidence and deliver workout experiences that meet the expectations of your audience.


How to stream fitness workouts from home to your clients

Fitness Video Disclaimer Examples (Free download no opt in)

Do you want to stream fitness workouts from home?

If the current health scare has affected attendance to your gym or fitness classes and you’re considering live workouts via Zoom, YouTube Live, Facebook Live and Instagram Live, here are some tips so you can launch some content TODAY!

???? Make sure your insurance covers you for LIVE classes.

???? Set up your camera/phone in landscape mode so your audience can cast the image to their TVs for a big screen.

???? Intro your workouts with a short disclaimer (examples)

???? Don’t use music as you film. You can then record and re-post/reuse your workout without fear of copyright issues.

???? Invite your audience to play their own music in the background as they workout, so you can optimise audio for your own speech for the best user experience.

Don’t commit these copyright crimes with your on-demand fitness workouts

Don’t commit these fitness music copyright crimes with your on-demand fitness workouts.

Watch out for fitness music copyright if you are creating online fitness workout videos.

If you want to create on-demand workouts fast to help your clients train from home, don’t make these fitness music copyright mistakes.

The following quick fixes are the WRONG way to go about it. They all fall foul of COPYRIGHT.


❌ Distributing, sharing or making instructor training DVDs and online workouts publicly available online. e.g Les Mills UK (LMUK), SH1FT, Beachbody

Selling or providing paid access to on-demand content that you don’t own.

❌ Taking free content from YouTube that you don’t own. Passing it off as your content to members of paid, private Facebook groups or via membership sites is wrong.

❌ Creating audio workouts that use your voice with commercial music. Using music that isn’t licensed for audio only products isn’t allowed. Many providers like Soundstripe , Epidemic Sound and Paramusical Music Library license their music for synchronisation to pictures only.

How to present world class fitness videos with confidence, speed and better results!

If you want to present fitness videos or launch an on-demand workout channel then this blog post is for you.

If you’re used to teaching to a room full of participants, presenting a fitness class alone to a camera can seem ridiculously intimidating.

Preparation is key. Without the visual feedback from people in front of you, there’s more to remember and less help to trigger teaching points.

With this list of tips, you can present world-class fitness videos that you can be proud of and deliver the best exercise experience for your audience so they come back for more.




Let’s get the most obvious tip out of the way at the start. Rehearsing pays of massively. The more familiar you are with your workout the more confident and natural your performance becomes.

Making mistakes can be frustrating and time consuming. If you want to bang out your workouts quickly, then take the time to rehearse so you’re more prepared and less likely to make mistakes.

When you know your workouts instinctively you can focus more on your performance and connection though the camera to your audience.




Keep your intros short and concise and aim for no longer than 10-30 seconds. People want to workout not listen to a lecture, so if you’re not saying what people want to hear they may not stick around.

If you’re workout warrants further explanation and back ground information, make a separate video. This provides a more appropriate opportunity for you to connect with your audience on a deeper level at a more appropriate time and doesn’t frustrate your audience if they want to get into the workout quickly.

A good intro:

  • qualifies your audience by need, ability or objective
  • gives a name to your workout and highlights the benefits
  • highlights and equipment requirements
  • tells them how long the workout is.


Anymore than this will overload the viewer with too much information and cause unnecessary delay to the workout.

Remember, you ability to deliver confidently to camera without ‘ums’ and ‘errs’ demonstrates your professionalism and ability to communicate.

If you’re using videos to bring more people into your live classes, then it’s in your best interest to make the best possible first impression.

Here are some good examples of workout introductions:


Yoga Class for BEGINNERS with Ashton August (Full Class)

15-Minute Beginner’s At-Home Cardio Workout 





There’s no reason why you can’t intro your workout while your audience is moving.

If you’ve planned your workout correctly then your warm-up moves should be low impact and easy to follow making it possible for you to maximise the workout opportunity.




Without the right preparation you’re more likely to make mistakes and say the wrong things on camera.

If you’re new to filming your workouts, relax, it’s OK to make mistakes and you’ll get better with experience.

If you do something by mistake in your video it can be hard not to show your disappointment,. But don’t stop and ruin what could otherwise be a perfectly good video.

Always film your workouts by imagining that they’re LIVE! What would you do it you made the same mistake teaching in a club?

You correct yourself and move on. You don’t have to be perfect, just be prepared to deal with mistakes in the most professional way.




When it’s just you and your camera, silence can be deafening and one of the hardest things for fitness instructors to be comfortable with is being silent.

If you want your audience to get the most out of the workout then you need to give them a reason to listen. If you’re talking all the time, it’s difficult for them to tell what’s most important.

If you find yourself talking too much, train yourself to coach in as few words as possible. Think before you speak and be economical with your words, review the phrase in your mind before sharing it.

This will help you to cue better and give any music the room to breathe for a better exercise experience.




Present your workouts so they’re suitable for returning fans. You audience will only be first-timers once, so coach for progression instead of introduction.

When you present your workouts, imagine your audience have already done it 10 times. This will help you to create workouts with a longer shelf life that will appeal to returning fans as well as first timers.

If you want your participants to repeat your workouts, then you need to coach and deliver in a way that doesn’t frustrate the experience or slow them down.

If you teach in a way that assumes everyone is doing it for the first time, then the pace of the workout could be interrupted by explanations or demonstrations that are unnecessary to a more experience audience.




Sometimes following along to exercise videos becomes an audio only experience. When you present fitness videos you have to rely on more than visual cues.

If participants are adopting yoga poses or exercise that make it difficult for them to see the screen, you’ll need to change your coaching style to be more descriptive.

When visual coaching cues are compromised you’ll need to rely on strong verbal cuing. If you can pace your cuing with moments of silence, then it’s easier for your audience to follow your coaching cues when they need them the most.




Making your workouts a positive experience for your audience will encourage them to return for more.

Rehearsing your workouts and paying attention to your teaching cues can help you to become a better coach.

Avoid negative cues like ‘don’t’ and ‘can’t’ and set objectives instead.

Warning people what they’re doing things wrong takes up valuable coaching time and doesn’t help your audience feel good either.


Here are some examples of negative cues and alternative phrases.


NEGATIVE: “Don’t let your knees fall inward as you squat down.”

OBJECTIVE: “If your knees are falling in, keep you them inline with your second toe as you squat down”


NEGATIVE: “Don’t bounce the barbell on the chest”

OBJECTIVE: “Are you smooth and under control as you lower the bar down?”


NEGATIVE: “If you can’t keep your speed up, drop your bike’s resistance”

OBJECTIVE: “Keep moving and drop your resistance if you need to, then when you’re ready take it up again”




Just like your intro, you need to script your outro. The last thing you want to do is fluff up the ending when your workout has gone so well.

Preparing your outro in advance is the only way to wrap up your video with confidence and avoid waffling.

The secret is simple here, just figure out the last think you want to say (word-for-word) and work towards it.

So what should you say as your outro?

  • Congratulate your audience on completing the workout
  • Empathise and let them know that you know how they feel.
  • Repeat the workout name and focus.
  • Tell them what to do next e.g. “if you like’d this workout , next time try this one…”


Remember at the end of the workout, your audience will be tired but they’ll also feel great, so it’s the perfect time to ask something of your audience.

That could be a request to subscribe to your YouTube channel, follow a link to find out more about your local classes or take advantage of a promo you’re currently running.


So now you know how to present fitness videos that will deliver your audience the best exercise experience.



Create Better Fitness Videos with Professional Audio – Fitness Instructor Microphones for Fitness Videos

An instructor microphone is essential for being heard in class, so let’s improve the audio for your fitness videos too.

In this blog post you’re going to learn 3 ways to record great audio to make your fitness videos sound more professional.


It’s easy to film high quality videos nowadays. When there’s plenty of light available, action cameras, mobile phones and consumer level DSLRs are all capable of producing great looking videos.

But did you know that more people are put off watching videos that have bad sound than bad video?

Without a good way of recording your music and voice at the same time, the sound soon becomes messy and unclear.

And that means your audience will either skip your video, or (if you’re lucky,) turn off the sound and put their own music on.

But that means they’re no longer listening to your expert advice. So they’ll only get so much out from the workout if they can only watch to follow along.

Fortunately recording clear audio for your DIY fitness videos it’s a lot easier than you’d think and it doesn’t have to be expensive either.

In this blog post I’m going to share with you 3 ways to record great audio for you fitness videos.

Fitness Instructor Microphone Setup 1: Use a second mobile phone to record your voice.


If you’re using an action camera, tablet device. mobile or DSLR to film your workouts you can use another mobile phone to record you audio.

Slip the phone into your mic belt and feed the mic up your shirt and clip on your collar. Mae sure you’re clothing is not too loose or the mic will swing around and create unneccesary noise.

You can then easily sync the audio to your video with any free editing software on your computer.

There are many inexpensive microphones available through eBay and amazon that will deliver high quality results.

Before you purchase any microphone make sure you check that:

  • The mic is compatible with your device
  • Your phone is capable of recording sound with an external mic

Here are a few options:

You’ll also need an app to record the audio – here are a few to choose from:

Fitness Instructor Microphone Setup 2: Use a portable audio recorder for your voice.


There are many inexpensive portable audio recorders available that allow you to connect an external mic. Likewise there are many cheap mics that give good results.

My favourite audio recorders are:

I’d recommend the Zoom H1n. It’s small, light and has a built in limiter that prevents your audio from distorting when you raise you voice.

Here are a few compatible mics for all recorders listed above:

Fitness Instructor Microphone Setup 3: Use a wireless recording system for your voice.


This is the most expensive option for recording sound for your fitness videos. The best and cheapest radio mic system available is the Rode Filmmaker Kit (£250).

You can plug the receiver directly into your DSLR camera and record the sound directly to your video. So when you put your video on your computer you don’t have to synchronise the audio to the video.

It’s possible to connect the Rode Filmmaker receiver to your smartphone as well for the same result. But you’ll need this SC3 adapter to stereo mic plug (£8) to make it work.

Rode Filmmaker kit

SC3 adapter to stereo mic plug

So there you go, three ways to record professional audio for your fitness videos.

Let’s take a quick look at the pros and cons for each so you can decide what option is best for you.

Setup 1:

Use a second mobile phone to record your voice


  • Cheapest solution
  • High quality mics are cheap
  • You may need 2 phones


  • Audio and video need to be synchronised with editing software
  • Downloading audio from your phone isn’t always quick and easy
  • You might stop recording by accident if you knock the phone

Setup 2:

Use a portable audio recorder for your voice


  • Cheapest and wider selection of mics available
  • Audio recorders can be used for many other purposes like podcasts.
  • If you only have one phone, you can use it for filming
  • Recorders have ‘hold’ buttons to prevent stopping recordings by accident.
  • Quick and easy to download audio files.
  • Batteries and storage last a long time


  • Audio and video need to be synchronised with editing software
  • Dedicated audio recorders could be more complicated to use.
  • You may need to buy a micro SD card / SD card.

Setup 3:

Use a portable audio recorder for your voice


  • Audio is recorded straight to the video – no need to synchronise using editing software
  • Professional grade audio
  • Quick to setup and simple to use
  • If you only have one phone, you can use it for filming
  • Batteries and storage last a long time


  • Expensive solution
  • Unit may feel large in a mic belt
  • Best used with a DSLR camera for better control
  • Extra adapater needed to connect to a phone.