Shooting a Fitness Video – Behind the Scenes

Have you ever watched a workout video and noticed how everyone’s hair seems to be perfect the whole time? Or how the people in the video never even seem to sweat – well, at least not nearly as much as you do while following the workout.  Their makeup stays just right, they never mess up, and somehow their short-shorts never ride up either.  I know I’m always a hot mess at the end of my workout and never look anything close to what the people look like on the screen.  So I often wondered these things, too.

Of course, it’s a video production, so things like hair, makeup, lighting, and editing are expected.  BUT there are also a lot of little tricks the cast uses that most people would never guess.  I recently got an awesome opportunity to be a part of a few fitness videos, and some of the little tricks I saw behind the scenes kinda blew me away!  People don’t just naturally look THAT good working out – there’s a trick to it!  So, just because I thought it was pretty cool, I wanted to share with you a few of the behind-the-scenes secrets involved in shooting a fitness video!


1. The cast’s clothes are soaking wet from the start.

Castmate Shukria getting sprayed down!

This was a big surprise to me!  When I got to be in my first video, I was dressed in a bright purple top that would immediately show any signs of sweat.  I was a little surprised (and chilly) when just before going on set, I had to put on a shirt that was soaking wet!

In order to avoid showing any strange sweat marks while filming, many people in workout videos have their clothes wet down before even starting.  On camera, you can’t tell that the clothes are wet, and you also can’t see any sweat marks once the people start moving.  If the clothes start to dry in between takes, the crew chases you around with a water bottle and sprays you down to keep your clothes the same color throughout the entire video!  So, it looks like you never even break a sweat!


If you look closely, you'll see my hair was GIANT and teased to the high heavens before we tamed it. Still very big though!

2. There’s LOTS of hair…everywhere.

Not everyone is blessed with a giant ponytail to swing back and forth while jumping around in their spandex.  So a lot of the people you see in workout videos have some type of extensions put in for the video to make their hair bigger.  The more hair you have and the bigger you make it, the less sweaty it looks.  There’s also tons and tons of hairspray keeping it all in place.  On top of this, the more you whip your hair back and forth, the harder it looks like you’re working.  So when you start to get tired, you’re actually told to make your facial expressions and head movement bigger to give the rest of your body a little break without looking like your energy has dropped.  Sneaky!


3. So, there’s this little thing called “butt glue.”

Yup.  There’s a reason those short shorts don’t ride up (or down)!  Oftentimes, a spray glue is used to keep the shorts stuck to your legs and butt, so they don’t move around when you do.  Luckily, I’ve never had to use the dreaded butt glue, but I heard it’s no fun to take off,…so once your shorts are on, they’re on until it’s a wrap!  Yikes!


4. Makeup tricks.

Lots of makeup and fake lashes!

Makeup and big lashes make a huge difference on camera.  Pretty thick eyelashes are used for the female cast members.  And I never knew this until becoming a Master Trainer, but you can also get waterproof makeup.  This is used in filmings and really helps keep things from smearing and rubbing off when you sweat.  To keep it on longer, when using a towel to get sweat off your face during breaks, you must dab instead of wipe to keep your makeup in place.  “Get Wet” from It Cosmetics is a great waterproof bronzer used almost every time by Makeup Artist Coach Glitter (follow her here for amazing makeup tips).

And, almost everyone you see in a fitness video has had a spray tan.  Not only does it look nice, but spray tans really accentuate your muscles, too.  You can also use leg makeup or a shimmery spray to tone up even more on camera.


That's a wrap!

5. Always one step ahead.

Knowing the choreography is a big part of being in a video.  You rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse some more.  Plus, obviously if someone messes up noticeably, you do another take.  However, you do your very best to get it perfect every time.  So, what keeps the cast from messing up when there’s so much going on?  They’re always one step ahead!  There’s a “Choreography Tech” right by the camera, — a person performing whatever move is coming up next, so you never get lost!  They keep everyone in step and keep things moving smoothly!


While some of these things are expected, it was cool to learn the little tips and tricks many people never know about.  I was grateful to be a part of the experience, learn the little things that make a big difference, and see how great the final product turns out…because of all the hard work from the cast, crew, and production…but also because of the little, unexpected things… like butt glue! ; )

One Response to Shooting a Fitness Video – Behind the Scenes

  1. Sydney February 15, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    I had NO IDEA about the sprayed down clothing….but now that I think about it, it kinda makes sense!! Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to experience all these things for myself :)

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