- 100 Best Workout Songs For Hard Exercise
- Best Workout Songs
- Top 20 Workout Songs
- Music that Makes You Want to Move: The Top 100 Running Songs
- The Mood-Altering Power of Music
- Classic Rock
- Pop Hits
- 90s Alternative
- Hip Hop Pick Me Ups
- Electronic Dance Run Music
- Country Hits
- 1. “Hallowed Be Thy Name” by Iron Maiden
- 2. “Blood and Thunder” by Mastodon
- 3. “Angels Holocaust” by Iced Earth
- 4. “Cascade of Scars” by Noisem
- 5. “Walk” by Pantera
- 6. “Are You Dead Yet?” by Children of Bodom
- 7. “Master of Puppets” by Metallica
- 8. “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” by Behemoth
- 9. “Sweating Bullets” by Megadeath
- 10. “The Last Disease” by Nightfell
- 11. “Am I Demon” by Danzig
- 12. “Any Means Necessary” by Hammerfall
- 13. “Angel of Death” by Slayer
- 14. “Reduced to the Failure of Prayer” by Skeletonwitch
- 15. “Bridgeburner” by Mutoid Man
- 16. “Caught in a Mosh” by Anthrax
- 17. “Tres Brujas” by The Sword
- 18. “Bleed” by Meshuggah
- 19. “Superbeast” by Rob Zombie
- 20. “L’Enfant Sauvage” by Gojira
- 21. “The Dark Side of the Compass” by High on Fire
- 22. “The Wizard” by Black Sabbath
- 23. “The Parallel Echöes” by Blut Aus Nord
- 24. “Carry On” by Manowar
- 25. “Red Chaos” by Vhöl
- 26. “Lightning Strike” by Judas Priest
- 27. “Shift of Dismay” by Youth Code
- 28. “Escape from the Prison Planet” by Clutch
- 29. “The Seventh Seal” by Sumerlands
- 30. “For Whom The Bell Tolls” by Metallica
- 31. “World War Now” by Kreator
- 32. “Deadly Sinners” by 3 Inches of Blood
- 33. “Wildlife” by Converge
- 34. “Valley of the Damned” by DragonForce
- 35. “Ace of Spades” by Motörhead
- 36. “Laser Enforcer” by Slough Feg
- 37. “Deceiver of the Gods” by Amon Amarth
- 38. “Metal on Metal” by Anvil
- 39. “Palace of Lepers” by At the Gates
- 40. “Raining Blood” by Slayer
- 41. “Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit” by Pantera
- 42. “Emerald Sword” by Rhapsody of Fire
- 43. “Blaze of Bodies” by Ossuarium
- 44. “Push It” by Static-X
- 45. “Honeycomb” by Deafheaven
- 46. “Take My Bones Away” by Baroness
- 47. “Du Hast” by Rammstein
- 48. “Pillars of Sand” by Vektor
- 49. “Over the Wall” by Testament
- 50. “Tired Climb” by Kylsea
- 51. “Hunting for Your Dream” by Galneryus
- 52. “Miserable Failure” by Iron Reagan
- 53. “Outlive Them All” by Visigoth
- 54. “Painkiller” by Judas Priest
- 55. “Welcome to the Spaceship, Motherfucker” by Oozing Wound
- 56. “Piles of Little Arms” by Morbid Angel
- 57. “Euthanasia” by Pissgrave
- 58. “Melancholia” by Tribulation
- 59. “Hammer Smashed Face” by Cannibal Corpse
- 61. “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath
- 62. “Long Road, No Turns” by Daughters
- 63. “Sugar” by System of a Down
- 64. “Transfiguration” by Inter Arma
- 65. “War Eternal” by Arch Enemy
- 66. “Seek & Destroy” by Metallica
- 67. “Deluminate” by Full of Hell
- 68. “The Beginning and the End” by ISIS
- 69. “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Ax)” by Power Trip
- 70. “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden
- 71. “Born to Be Epic” by Equilibrium
- 72. “Only for the Weak” by In Flames
- 73. “Revel in Flesh” by Entombed
- 74. “The Torture Fields” by Pig Destroyer
- 75. “Unsilent Death” by Nails
- 76. “Immortal Rites” by Morbid Angel
- 77. “Spirit Crusher” by Death
- 78. “Deathhammer” by Asphyx
- 79. “Overkill” by Motörhead
- 80. “Bring Me Darkness” by Black Tusk
- 81. “Neuroprison” by Jesus Piece
- 82. “O Father O Satan O Sun!” by Behemoth
- 83. “Slaughter of the Soul” by At the Gates
- 85. “Kings of Metal” by Manowar
- 86. “The Changeling Prince” by Thou
- 87. “Electric” by Boris
- 88. “Cambrian II: Eternal Recurrence” by The Ocean
- 89. “Fast Worms” by Intronaut
- 90. “Subterranea” by Tribulation
- 91. “Homesick” by Rosetta
- 92. “Stranded” by Gojira
- 93. “Mjød” by Kvelertak
- 94. “Filth Chisel” by Oozing Wound
- 95. “The Traces We Leave” by Harakiri for the Sky
- 96. “Prehistoric Dog” by Red Fang
- 97. “The Doorway” by Neurosis
- 98. “Crusher Destroyer” by Mastodon
- 99. “The Black Sheep” by Kataklysm
- 100. “One More Rep” by Austrian Death Machine
- Fast-Paced Playlist for HIIT
100 Best Workout Songs For Hard Exercise
For most of us, music is an integral component of the Spartan training session, and high-performance headphones are staples in our always-ready gym bags. And why not? Research has repeatedly shown that the best workout songs help motivate us during tough workouts, and it’s constantly proving itself to magically sync up with our toughest exercises.
Consider the kick-drum staccato of an explosive set of burpees or the deep squats that feel like heavy bass beats. Even post-workout stretches can feel like moments of musical bliss (“Everybody hurts … sometimes”).
Best Workout Songs
So what makes for the best workout songs? To democratize the lineup, we asked the folks at Spotify to tally up the top 100 songs in user-generated playlists with “Spartan” in the title. The resulting list, ranked in order of streams, includes hip hop, pop, classic rock, 90s alternative, and some, uh, surprisingly meditative tracks. Feel free to queue these up the next time you’re looking for some aural motivation.
Related: The 20-Minute Playground Workout Plan
For best results, pair the best workout songs with training from our 28-day training plan, which will propel you to the finish line 90 minutes faster.
The Spartan Playlist
- Logic — 1-800-273-8255
- Lil Uzi Vert — XO TOUR Llif3
- Post Malone — Congratulations
- Imagine Dragons — Believer
- 21 Savage — Bank Account
- Travis Scott — Butterfly Effect
- Kendrick Lamar —HUMBLE.
- Kendrick Lamar — DNA.
- António Santos — Gwiyomi
- Sin Shake Sin — Can’t Go to Hell
- Post Malone — Go Flex
- Juhn — Ahora Me Llama (Remix)
- Future — Mask Off
- Ariana Grande — One Last Time
- Willy William, J Balvin — Mi Gente
- XXXTENTACION — Look At Me!
- Ed Sheeran — Shape of You
- French Montana — Unforgettable
- Khalid — Location
- Travis Scott — goosebumps
- Daddy Yankee, Luis Fonsi — Despacito — Remix
- Eminem — Till I Collapse
- Migos — Slippery (feat. Gucci Mane)
- Troy, Gabriella — Gotta Go My Own Way (from High School Musical 2)
- Imagine Dragons — Thunder
- Charlie Puth — Attention
- Childish Gambino — Redbone
- Eminem — Lose Yourself – Soundtrack Version
- Kyle — iSpy (feat. Lil Yachty)
- Imagine Dragons — Radioactive
- The White Stripes — Seven Nation Army
- Linkin Park — In The End
- Tee Grizzley — First Day Out
- Macklemore — Glorious (feat. Skylar Grey)
- Playboi Carti — Magnolia
- Three Days Grace — Animal I Have Become
- Khalid — Young Dumb & Broke
- Farruko — Krippy Kush
- Calvin Harris — Feels
- A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, Kodak Black — Drowning (feat. Kodak Black)
- Fall Out Boy — Centuries
- Lil Uzi Vert — Erase Your Social
- Marshmello — Silence
- Eminem — Rap God
- Metallica — Enter Sandman
- DJ Khaled — I’m the One
- DJ Khaled, Rihanna — Wild Thoughts
- Post Malone — White Iverson
- The Weeknd — Starboy
- Linkin Park — What I’ve Done
- Twenty One Pilots — Heathens
- Papa Roach — Last Resort
- Revol, Ozuna, Cosculluela — Me Ama Me Odia
- Imagine Dragons — Warriors
- Bad Bunny — Soy Peor
- Liam Payne — Strip That Down
- Rae Sremmurd — Swang
- The Chainsmokers, Coldplay — Something Just Like This
- Bruno Mars — That’s What I Like
- Eurythmics — Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)— Remastered
- Justin Quiles — Si Ella Quisiera
- Imagine Dragons — Demons
- Migos — Bad and Boujee (feat. Lil Uzi Vert)
- Big Sean — Bounce Back
- Kid Cudi — Pursuit Of Happiness (nightmare)
- System Of A Down — Chop Suey!
- Twenty One Pilots — Stressed Out
- Cosculluela — Manicomio
- Linkin Park — Numb
- Ozuna, Chris Jeday, J Balvin — Ahora Dice
- DMX — X Gon’ Give It To Ya
- Rvssian — Privado
- Marco Beltrami — Old Man Logan
- Kanye West — Stronger
- 2 Chainz — 0.166666666666667
- Marco Beltrami — Goodnight Moon
- Marco Beltrami — Don’t Be What They Made You
- Farruko, Bad Bunny, Ozuna— Diles (feat. Arcangel, Nengo Flow, Dj Luian & Mambo Kings)
- AC/DC — Back In Black
- Migos — T-Shirt
- Mueka — DM— Remix
- Lil Uzi Vert — You Was Right
- Maluma — Cuatro Babys
- GoldLink — Crew
- Skillet — Feel Invincible
- Lil Uzi Vert — Money Longer
- Linkin Park — Faint
- Childish Gambino — IV. Sweatpants
- Jowell & Randy, J Balvin — Bonita
- The Chainsmokers — Closer
- OneRepublic — Counting Stars
- The Weeknd — I Feel It Coming
- AC/DC, Oz Rocks — Highway to Hell
- Skillet — Monster
- Three Days Grace — Riot
- Fort Minor — Remember The Name (feat. Styles Of Beyond)
- Kodak Black — Tunnel Vision
- Guns N’ Roses — Welcome To The Jungle
- Drake — Portland
- Drake — Passionfruit
Match your high-performance workout with the high-performance sound of Bose Headphones.
In 2012, the International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport, and Dance conducted a study on College Students’ Usage of Personal Music Players during Exercise. They found out the most popular types of music listened to during exercise:
- hip hop (27.7%)
- rock (24%)
- pop (20.3%)
- country (12.7%).
The most common modes of exercise while listening to music on a device:
- free weights (27.2%)
- treadmill (26%)
- machine weights (19.6%)
- elliptical trainer (17.4%)
The most common reasons to listen to music were:
- “to work out harder,” (22.4%)
- “make the exercise seem easier,” (21.4%)
- “to work out longer” (20.2%).
Most participants said they would definitely work out more frequently when listening to their own music
Top 20 Workout Songs
Have you ever noticed how your heart races when you hear the bass kick in, or how spa music relaxes you and puts you to sleep? Needless to say, music sets the mood for any activity.
You can use different genres of music to spur on your different workouts. For running music, your best running songs should come from the Techno or EDM genre. Pump up the volume on rock music for heavy weightlifting, and bring down your heart rate when you do yoga or a warm down with mellow music. But, of course, you might choose to play mellow for weightlifting instead of rock, and rock music for your cool down stretches. It all depends on how your body, your heart responds to the tempo. Each individual is different.
If you still can’t decide which gym music to include in your next workout playlist, you can find exactly what you want by genre on music app Spotify or Youtube. On Spotify, you can find playlists such as Workout Jams, Rock Workout, Beast Mode, Spotify Running, Energetic Run, and Running Workout Goals. Youtube, on the other hand, has a whole line up of Workout mixes for Cardio, Sport Music, Gym Music, Dance Workout, and Workout Rock Music. There’s even a channel called Running Music that has over a hundred running songs and playlists as well as tracks for marathon training and jogging. Genres range from pop to dance to rock.
Selecting the perfect songs is not that easy. You’ll have to consider how each one will affect your mood and if it’s going to push you to go the extra mile. With all the available playlists, you’ll never run out of a music mix to boost your workout sessions. But, in case you want to create your own unique playlist, here’s a run down of the top 20 best workout songs of all time:
Song Name: Turn Down for What
Artist: DJ Snake, Lil John
Album: Turn Down for What (single, 2012)
Exercise style: Weightlifting
Song: Name Anywhere
Artist: Rita Ora
Album: Phoenix (2017)
Genre: Dance-Pop, Electro-Pop
Exercise style: Cool down
Song Name: Sexy and I Know It
Album: Sorry for Party Rocking (2011)
Exercise: style Weightlifting, Running, Cycling
Song Name: Pound the Alarm
Artist: Nicki Minaj
Album: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012)
Exercise style: Running, Cycling
Song Name: Wake Me Up
Album: True (2014)
Exercise style: Running, Cycling
Song Name: Wolves
Artist: Selena Gomez and Marshmello
Album: Single (2017)
Exercise style: Running
Song Name: Nervous
Artist: Shawn Mendes
Album: Shawn Mendes (2018)
Exercise style: Running, Cycling, Cool down
Song Name: Radioactive
Artist: Imagine Dragons
Album: Night Visions (2012)
Genre: Electronic Rock/Dubstep
Exercise style: Weightlifting
Song: Name Enter Sandman
Album: Metallica (1991)
Exercise style: Weightlifting, Running, Cycling
Song Name: No Excuses
Artist: Meghan Trainor
Album: Treat Myself (2018)
Exercise style: Running, Cycling
Song Name: Level Up
Album: Single (2018)
Exercise style: Running, Cycling
Song Name: Welcome to the Jungle
Artist: Guns N Roses
Album: Appetite for Destruction(1987)
Genre: Heavy Metal
Exercise style: Weightlifting, Cycling
Song Name: Filthy
Artist: Justin Timberlake
Album: Man of the Woods (2018)
Genre: Electro Funk/R&B
Exercise style: Weightlifting
Song Name: Eye of the Tiger
Album: Rocky III & Eye of the Tiger (1982)
Genre: Hard Rock
Exercise style: Weightlifting, Cardio
Song Name: Back in Black
Album: Back in Black (1980)
Genre: Hard Rock
Exercise style: Weightlifting
Song Name: Lemon
Artist: N.E.R.D., Rihanna
Album: No One Ever Really Dies (2017)
Exercise style: Weightlifting
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Music that Makes You Want to Move: The Top 100 Running Songs
Is your run feeling stagnant? Add these top 100 songs to your running playlist and reinvigorate your routine.
Do you listen to music when you run? We’ve put together a list of the best running songs to help you power through the tough parts of your run. Because as romantic as it is to envision running through nature, wind at your back and nothing but the sound of your feet hitting the trail/pavement, let’s be real – sometimes you need a little something extra to motivate you or help you experience the run on another level.
The Mood-Altering Power of Music
Listening to music while running can alter your mood. If you’re running to alleviate stress, boredom or to get out of a funk, music can help. There’s actual science behind this: Dopamine (that’s the feel-good chemical that’s released with biological rewards, like eating and sex) is released when listening to music.
Interestingly, it’s specifically released right before the peak emotional moment of songs. Researchers speculate that this comes from the anticipatory pleasure of your familiarity with a song. You know what’s coming next and you’re pumped about it.
New songs, too, can have an emotional benefit. When you listen to new music, your brain tries to relate it to music you’re already familiar with. This is likely why each of us gravitates toward certain genres and sounds. With that in mind, we’ve divvied up the top 100 running songs by genre to ensure everyone can find something they like. You’re welcome!
We’ve got timeless hits, the latest bangers and songs that’ll get that dopamine spiking for a happier running experience. Can you image the combo of music-related dopamine spikes AND a runner’s high? Whoa.
Anyway, check out our list of the top 100 running songs the next time your Spotify/Sound Cloud/Amazon Music/YouTube/Apple Music/My Space (JT!) starts to get stale.
Bonus! We’ve created Spotify playlists for each of these lists.
Note: Our list of the best running songs is not ranked in order. That would be subjective and we’re leaving that to you.
Let’s begin our list of the best running songs with classic rock featuring all your favorites from Led Zepplin and Bon Jovi to AC/DC and Journey.
If we were setting the stage for these running playlists (see what we did there?), we’d suggest these songs for long and steady runs. Maybe you’re enjoying a long trail run or maybe you’re going around the block during that golden hour just before dusk.
Add these to your running playlist if you’re looking for a solid classic rock playlist.
- “Born to Run“—Bruce Springsteen
- “I Can See for Miles”—Styx
- “Sweet Emotion”—Aerosmith
- “Carry on Wayward Son”—Kansas
- “Hungry Like the Wolf”—Duran Duran
- “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)“—The Proclaimers
- “Long Train Runnin’”—The Doobie Brothers
- “Burnin’ for You”—Blue Öyster Cult
- “Ramble On”—Led Zepplin
- “Rock You Like a Hurricane”—Scorpions
- “Peace of Mind”—Boston
- “Heartbreaker”—Pat Benatar
- “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction“—The Rolling Stones
- “Livin’ on a Prayer”—Bon Jovi
- “Don’t Stop Believing”—Journey
- “Eye of the Tiger”—Survivor
So catchy. So hot right now. The radio (what’s that, right?) and the top 40 lists can’t get enough of these right now. Why? Because – admit it – they’re really, really good.
If you’re looking for songs that aren’t as bass-pounding as our EDM list and want something easy and breezy for a casual run, these songs are perfect. They’re a great mix of pick-me-ups and continual catchy beats to help you cruise through your run or workout.
- “Running for My Life” – Karli
- “Hate Me”—Ellie Goulding with Juice Wrld
- “Sucker”—Jonas Brothers
- “Senorita”—Shawn Mendes Featuring Camila Cabello
- “Bad Guy”—Billie Eilish
- “Boyfriend“—Ariana Grande & Social House
- “Hey, Look Ma, I Made It”—Panic! At the Disco
- “Sweet But Psycho”—Ava Max
- “Rescue Me”—One Republic
- “Truth Hurts”—Lizzo
- “With You“—Kaskade & Meghan Trainer
- “You Need to Calm Down”—Taylor Swift
- “My Blood”—Twenty One Pilots
- “Wolves“—Selena Gomez
- “Don’t Start Now”—Dua Lipa
It is an accepted, uncontested universal truth that the 90s were one of the best decades for alternative music.
Grunge fan? We’ve got some of that for you. Ridiculously empowering female rockers? Yup, we’ve covered that in this playlist, too. These songs are the pump-you-up 90s jams that’ll make your run that much more enjoyable.
This is the best running playlist to dig into that nostalgia and take hold of that aforementioned dopamine that’s released when you anticipate that familiar hook. Get it!
- “Machine Head“—Bush
- “Ready to Go”—Republica
- “Sabotage”—Beastie Boys
- “Just a Girl”—No Doubt
- “My Hero”—Foo Fighters
- “Smells Like Teen Spirit”—Nirvana
- “I Think I’m Paranoid”—Garbage
- “My Own Worst Enemy”—Lit
- “Damnit”—Blink 182
- “Lump”—The Presidents of the United States of America
- “Flagpole Sitta”—Harvey Danger
- “Seether”—Veruca Salt
- “Come Out and Play”—The Offspring
- “Infected”—Bad Religion
- “Cannonball” – The Breeders
Hip Hop Pick Me Ups
There’s nothing like a good hip hop track to inspire a badass run. Are we right? We’re right. We’ve created a hip hop running playlist with everything from staples like Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” (mom’s spaghetti!) to some of our favorite new(er) artists like Lizzo, Juice Wrld and Drake.
These are good running songs for when you want to boost your performance and train at your fullest capacity. May each of your strides hit as hard as Kendrick’s every word.
- “Nice for What”—Drake
- “Lose Yourself”—Eminem
- “Pump It”—The Black Eyed Peas
- “Chun-Li”—Nicki Minaj
- “Can’t Hold Us”—Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
- “I Like It”—Cardi B, Bad Bunny
- “Butterfly Effect”—Travis Scott
- “Wow”—Post Malone
- “Power”—Kanye West
- “Old Town Road“—Lil Nas X
- “MIA featuring Drake”—Bad Bunny, Drake
- “If You Don’t Call”—Sol
- “i”—Kendrick Lamar
- “God’s Plan”—Drake
- “Lucid Dreams”—Juice Wrld
- “Good as Hell”—Lizzo
Electronic Dance Run Music
Are you in the club or is this your running playlist? Who cares, right? This dual-purpose playlist will get you pumped to run before and during your run. We love putting it on before we head out the door to get our adrenaline pumping (because, bass).
So if you’re looking for high-energy beats to inspire short, fast runs or a go-to playlist to switch to when the run gets tough, these powerhouses (eh, get it?) are for you (and the club):
- “Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger”—Daft Punk
- “Turn Down for What?”—DJ Snake and Lil Jon
- “Work B***h”—Britney Spears
- “Five Hours”—Deorro
- “Get Low”—Dillon Francis and DJ Snake
- “Lean On feat. MØ and DJ Snake”—Major Lazer
- “Boy Oh Boy”—GTA and Diplo
- “No Money”—Galantis
- “Love on Me”—Galantis and Hook N Sling
- “Take Ü There”—Skrillex, Diplo, and Kiesza
- “Wake Me Up”—Avicii
- “Don’t Let Me Down”—The Chainsmokers
- “Titanium feat. Sia”—David Guetta
- “Anything Can Happen“—Ellie Goulding
Yeehaw! Get ready to run and/or line dance. These country favorites feature sassy southerners like Miranda Lambert and artists who deliver smash hit after country smash hit, like Florida Georgia Line.
- “Something Bad” – Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood
- “5-1-5-0” – Dierks Bentley
- “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk” – Trace Adkins
- “Fastest Girl in Town” – Miranda Lambert
- “Gasoline and Matches” – LeAnn Rimes, Jeff Beck and Rob Thomas
- “All I Want to Do” – Sugarland
- “Life is Highway” – Rascal Flatts
- “Six-Pack Summer” – Phil Vassar
- “Country Girl (Shake It For Me)” – Luke Bryan
- “Aw Naw” – Chris Young
- “Cruise – Remix” – Florida Georia Line featuring Nelly
- “Dirt Road Anthem” – Jason Aldean
- “Flatliner” – Cole Swindell, Dierks Bentley
- “Done” – The Band Perry
There you have it—the top 100 running songs guaranteed to inspire you when you need that extra push. Add them to your running playlist and enjoy.
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Basic gym bros will tell you that trap or “old-school Eminem” is the best music to listen to you when you work out. That’s fine. A good beat can push you through a tough workout. But nothing seizes you like metal. Nothing digs its claws into the very squishy center of your reptilian brain and commandeers your FIGHT instincts like metal. And nothing captures the agony—the blood, the sweat, and the toil—of a grueling, punishing workout session like metal. Hip hop? Sure, if you want to bop your head along to a few bars between sets. But if you want to rage and pummel and conquer, then it is heavy metal and only heavy metal. Particularly these 100 of the best heavy metal songs of all time, presented with no order or ranking. Just pure chaos. As it should be.
1. “Hallowed Be Thy Name” by Iron Maiden
Off the 1982 album, Number of the Beast, Bruce Dickinson wails as his final hours approach. The desperation. The fear. The impending doom! It’s heavy metal workout motivation distilled: something looms; can you prevail?
Motivating lyric: Somebody please tell me that I’m dreaming // It’s not easy to stop from screaming
2. “Blood and Thunder” by Mastodon
Roiling and churning this rendition of Moby Dick by way of guitar-pulverizing is the up-and-down of ambition and depletion all in one.
Motivating lyric: Split your lungs with blood and thunder // When you see the white whale // Break your backs and crack your oars men // If you wish to prevail
3. “Angels Holocaust” by Iced Earth
Stalwart metalworkers Iced Earth feature a heaven’s chorus with trudging guitar in an operatic battle hymnal from their 1991 album Night of the Stormrider.
Motivating lyric: Something is drawing me to the other side // Only time will tell my true destiny
4. “Cascade of Scars” by Noisem
Sheer chaos reigns on this 2015 track that sounds like someone unleashed Cerberus on a Gold’s Gym.
Motivating lyric: You rip, you cry // Runaway, never today
5. “Walk” by Pantera
The Dimebag diatribe is, at its pulsating heart, a song about standing your ground and building yourself up, punk.
Motivating lyric: RE // SPECT // WALK
6. “Are You Dead Yet?” by Children of Bodom
The force of this Finnish group’s all-encompassing sound bites down within the first few seconds and doesn’t release until breath fades. Pair with noise-canceling headphones and a hoodie for maximum effect.
Motivating lyric: Should I regret or ask myself are you dead yet?
7. “Master of Puppets” by Metallica
The driving guitar that fuels this 8:35-long powerhouse only lets up for one melodic guitar solo mid-song, a needed respite in a fury. It’s heavy metal in all of its glory: triumphant and relentless; epic and tactical. And for a band coming off 1984’s Ride the Lightning, a maturation in sound and scope that cracked the boundaries of the entire genre.
Motivating lyric: Just call my name ’cause I’ll hear you scream // Master, master!
8. “Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel” by Behemoth
This monster of a song engulfs you, swallows you whole, and masticates your very being with a big, deep, and unholy sound. All you can do is hold on and hope to survive.
Motivating lyric: Break the bread and crumb by crumb into the Leviathan’s den // Nations fall prey // Hail my return
9. “Sweating Bullets” by Megadeath
Dave Mustaine sneers through five minutes of mirror introspection. Sound familiar?
Motivating lyric: I’m chomping at the bit // I’m sharpening the axe // Here I come again, whoa // Sweating bullets
10. “The Last Disease” by Nightfell
Full-tilt, unhinged, and unrelenting, this apocalyptic screed surges through your system like The Four Horseman. Is that the sound of someone trying to free themselves from shackles in the background?
Motivating lyric: I am the chosen one
11. “Am I Demon” by Danzig
1998’s self-titled classic offers this rhetorical question, driven by a rapid-heart drumbeat and Glenn’s battle cry.
Motivating lyric: And this thing mortals fear // Dubbed evil, hungry
12. “Any Means Necessary” by Hammerfall
Powered, in part, by their feathered coifs, Hammerfall carried the iron gauntlet of Hair Metal with unabashed pride. You, too, may feel the urge to blow-dry in the locker room.
Motivating lyric: Kill by any means necessary // Win by any means necessary // Live by any means necessary // Die by any means necessary
13. “Angel of Death” by Slayer
The wild-animal drumming, the shotgun-blast vocals, the skin-shredding guitar—there’s no metal song more vicious and raw than this now-canonized classic from 1986. Yes, “Raining Blood” (don’t worry, it’s on the list too) stands tall off the album, but in terms of straight adrenaline-coursing terror, Angel reigns supreme.
Motivating lyric: Praying for the end of // Your wide awake nightmare // Wings of pain, reach out for you // His face of death staring down // Your blood running cold
14. “Reduced to the Failure of Prayer” by Skeletonwitch
Hailing from Athens, Ohio, this thrash-metal band flexes their muscle and speed on a 2:51 track of bottled lightning.
Motivating lyric: Your life of devotion now useless // Your years of blind faith are but lies
15. “Bridgeburner” by Mutoid Man
With a guitar line like a SNES boss battle, this 2015 dynamite stick of a song inspires army crawling and rapid-fire footwork.
Motivating lyrics: Someday I’ll learn // Someday I’ll learn // AKA never // Never!
16. “Caught in a Mosh” by Anthrax
Still as inspired to make your limbs flail, your head bang, and your fists pump as when it was released in 1987.
Motivating lyrics: Learn, to give respect // That others, give to you // AAAAAAAAAAAh, the best you can do
17. “Tres Brujas” by The Sword
It means “three witches” in Spanish. There’s sacred smoke. There’s a glowing orb. There’s pure, unadulterated, knuckle-baring metal riffage.
Motivating lyrics: Draw back your arrow and let it fly // May your aim be straight and true
18. “Bleed” by Meshuggah
For seven minutes you feel as if you’ve been thrown into a demonic washing machine set to “madness” cycle. There’s double-kick drumming. There are cymbals smashing. And then there’s that near-constant screaming of Jens Kidman. Then it’s over. Mercifully.
Motivating lyric: Heed, it commands, heed my will // Bleed, it says, bleed you will
19. “Superbeast” by Rob Zombie
1998’s Hellbilly Deluxe brought metal this tromping, stomping ditty that sounds like a cross between a deranged nursery rhyme and a pump-up track played before a monster truck rally.
Motivating lyric: Hey yeah, I’m the one that you wanted // Hey yeah, I’m your superbeast
20. “L’Enfant Sauvage” by Gojira
This band, named after the Japanese name for Godzilla, delivers four-minutes of destruction. Use it as your soundtrack to tail-crushing your way through a metropolis or trying to PR your mile time.
Motivating lyric: What lays inside of us won’t last forever // Don’t fear to let it out
21. “The Dark Side of the Compass” by High on Fire
Do you like guitars? Okay good because here’s 5:30 of them BLASTED INTO YOUR GREY MATTER.
Motivating lyric: We can’t find the direction of now // Compass and Earth are turned upside down
22. “The Wizard” by Black Sabbath
Ozzy inhabits a mystic on this 1970 deep cut with a surprisingly uplifting message.
Motivating lyric: Evil power disappears // Demons worry when the wizard is near
23. “The Parallel Echöes” by Blut Aus Nord
This French black metal band takes you on a four-plus-minute tour through their doom chamber, which, coincidentally, is also a great name for a squat rack.
Motivating lyric: Saw you through a new set of eyes // Thought we had reached the end of the line
24. “Carry On” by Manowar
It’s 1987. The hair is bigger than the double-neck guitars. And the rally cry of this power metal band is an anthem to close out your workout. Wring out your sweatband.
Motivating lyric: Darkness all around us // We don’t close our eyes // No one’s gonna ground us // We were burn to fly
25. “Red Chaos” by Vhöl
The metal supergroup unleashes the torment of legions of the undead rising to life. Have you done enough biceps curls to prepare?
Motivating lyric: Let the sea run red with the blood of my enemies // Let the sea run red with the blood of my enemies
26. “Lightning Strike” by Judas Priest
You didn’t forget about the Priest, did you? This 2018 (yes, 2018) opening track off the British band’s 18th studio album reacquainted those with short memories.
Motivating lyric: Come rally ’round this lack of freedom // Our unions rise so go to hell
27. “Shift of Dismay” by Youth Code
It’s a carpe diem call issued by a band of steam punk night crawlers.
Motivating lyric: Bloodshot restless nights, wings now clipped with age // The ghost of promise echoes louder at this tired stage
28. “Escape from the Prison Planet” by Clutch
The 1995 call for a prison break is also a good way to kick yourself off the couch.
Motivating lyric: Red Rover, Red Rover, Bob Lazar’s coming over // So honey clear the airstrip and light up that stove
29. “The Seventh Seal” by Sumerlands
Sweeping guitars carry you along this 2016 throwback to classic power metal. Fist-pumping resistance is futile.
Motivating lyric: The rain will wash away the tears from their faces // And as the thunder cracked they were gone
30. “For Whom The Bell Tolls” by Metallica
The distant death knell is soon joined by the harbinger of guitar’s crawl. Lars plods on drums, stalking you. Your time is coming. Can you outrun it?
Motivating lyric: Blackened roar massive roar fills the crumbling sky // Shattered goal fills his soul with a ruthless cry
31. “World War Now” by Kreator
The German thrash metal group clobbers you with a chorus that feels like being pelted with shrapnel. What’s a few lat pulldowns after you’ve survived that?
Motivating lyric: See the pain // Hear the cries // Seeds of hate // Sowed by lies // Darkest times // Hold your ground
32. “Deadly Sinners” by 3 Inches of Blood
From the first second, you’re on the front lines of an epic battle thrusting forward to the enemy with an unquenchable bloodthirst. Onward! ONWARD!
Motivating lyric: Kill the tyrants endless conquest // With no mercy, straight for his heart // Blood lust will overtake anger and violence // Without warning, lightning strikes in the dark
33. “Wildlife” by Converge
Sung like a desperate protest song through a rusted megaphone, this punk-infused spitfire of a song leaves you sucking for air.
Motivating lyric: Under constant pressure, diamonds in the rough // Only way to light is fighting through the dirt
34. “Valley of the Damned” by DragonForce
The London power metal band released this seven-minute epic in 2003. It soars with angelic choirs, tireless kick drumming, and a duo of guitar solos that push ever harder and faster. This is 80s hair metal reborn, a phoenix now equipped with dexterity and precision. Even listening to this song without so much as doing a few knee raises will leave you exhausted.
Motivating lyric: Be strong ride on, carry on through the war // Come along carry on, living for ever more
35. “Ace of Spades” by Motörhead
Give it to ‘em Lemmy.
Motivating lyric: The pleasure is to play, makes no difference what you say
36. “Laser Enforcer” by Slough Feg
This sharp song off the 2014 Digital Resistance is charged with tight drumming and precision guitar solos. Pair it with stadium steps for full effect.
Motivating lyric: This is the animal inside // Resistance is always pacified
37. “Deceiver of the Gods” by Amon Amarth
Titans of Swedish modern metal, Amon Amarth are speed demons. Their sound, displayed on full effect in this 2013 track, is a treadmill on the highest setting. Keep up or face the pain.
Motivating lyric: But I’m of different blood // I will overthrow the throne
38. “Metal on Metal” by Anvil
Forever a heavy metal band’s heavy metal band, Anvil helped forged the genre with this 1982 classic. It’s best played to the backdrop of clanging 45k plates.
Motivating lyric: Metal on metal // It’s what I crave
39. “Palace of Lepers” by At the Gates
Modern Swedish death metal in all its rage-igniting glory. Quick, find something heavy to lift!
Motivating lyric: Chants reverberate // Through these halls // The corridors of doom
40. “Raining Blood” by Slayer
The mounting storm in the first thirty seconds opens to a torrent of riffs and hail of drums. By the time the deluge finishes, you’ve created a puddle of sweat around you.
Motivating lyric: Fall into me, the sky’s crimson tears // Abolish the rules made of stone
41. “Yesterday Don’t Mean Shit” by Pantera
Pantera always possessed a brute-force delivery that makes you feel intimidated and empowered all at once. This 2000 track from Reinventing the Steel spells it out: Yesterday don’t mean shit. Because tomorrow is the day you will have to face. Pull yourself up. No excuses. No whining. Get at it.
Motivating lyric: Don’t hold your breath for the turn around
42. “Emerald Sword” by Rhapsody of Fire
Turbo-charged fantasy power metal—with a strings section! Don your battle armor, knight, and prepare for the fight of your life.
Motivating lyric: Only a warrior with a clear heart // Could have the honor to be kissed by the sun
43. “Blaze of Bodies” by Ossuarium
This 2019 stomp-and-clomp feels like a giant with a death wish will stop at nothing to chase you down and tear you limb from limb. Good motivation for a nighttime run.
44. “Push It” by Static-X
Late 90s industrial metal birthed this swift kick in the ass of a song. Feed it into the background of your last bench press set. Do not confuse it with the Salt-N-Pepa hit.
Motivating lyric: Yeah, you push it // Yeah, you push it
45. “Honeycomb” by Deafheaven
The American post-metal quintet fills your soul with so much sound you’ll feel you’re about to self-immolate. “Honeycomb” is eleven minutes of unrestrained pandemonium perfect for an end-of-workout finisher for the truly masochistic.
Motivating lyric: The people keep fighting for rest
46. “Take My Bones Away” by Baroness
From their 2012 Yellow & Green double album, this rolling heavy metal chant feels like blood pumping under stress and strain.
Motivating lyric: Take my bones away // Take my bones away
47. “Du Hast” by Rammstein
The German pyromaniacs scorched the U.S. with this commanding industrial metal track back in 1997. The firepower still stands.
48. “Pillars of Sand” by Vektor
There’s a life-threatening urgency to Vektor’s calls throughout this five-minute wonder. It’s the thrash metal equivalent of a madman aiming a six-shooter at your toes and screaming “Dance! Dance!”
Motivating lyric: Time is a clock on the wall we command // And its hands made from pillars of sand
49. “Over the Wall” by Testament
The 80s trash metal band at their best, Chuck Billy sneering through verses and caterwauling commands.
Motivating lyric: The search will not stop // And hounds will not rest
50. “Tired Climb” by Kylsea
What starts as a plodding drumbeat builds into a upward surge of power and determination—the perfect soundtrack to hill climbs and pyramid sets.
Motivating lyric: We tread a long time // On occasion, on the line // Swaying, weighing // Straying from this tired climb
51. “Hunting for Your Dream” by Galneryus
The Japanese metal band throws you from the heavens in the first few seconds and then documents your descent, with swirling guitar and spiraling vocals, until the last cymbals crashes.
Motivating lyric: Hunting for your dream!
52. “Miserable Failure” by Iron Reagan
Don’t take this song as a knock on your athletic ability. Take it as an ode to that final rep on that final set—the point of failure—and all of its seemingly insurmountable glory.
Motivating lyric: Miserable failure until I die
53. “Outlive Them All” by Visigoth
There’s a lift-your-sword-to-the-heavens-in-victory feeling shot through this entire 2018 five-minute-plus epic by a band from, of all places, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Motivating lyric: I’ll outlast the moon and the sun // Fear my highland steel
54. “Painkiller” by Judas Priest
“Breaking the Law” was a bigger hit for the band, but it doesn’t contain the same vigor and awe of this 1990 track. And the message is clear to anyone who has every struggled through the challenge of a brutal workout: To grow stronger, you must push through.
Motivating lyric: Flying high on rapture // Stronger free and brave
55. “Welcome to the Spaceship, Motherfucker” by Oozing Wound
Who says metal can’t have a sense of humor?
Motivating lyric: See you later, alligator // Channel the master mind // No more faker doppelganger // No more false child of mine
56. “Piles of Little Arms” by Morbid Angel
American death metal old-timers returned in 2017 with this scorched-earth opener to the album Kingdoms Disdained. Use the song title as inspiration for more pushups.
Motivating lyric: Prayers that will save your soul
57. “Euthanasia” by Pissgrave
It’s a torrent of sound that may make your ears bleed, but will also most certainly power you through your last crucial deadlift set. Your call.
58. “Melancholia” by Tribulation
If Dracula found a passion for Olympic lifting, he’d pipe this 2015 track by the Swedish heavy metal stalwarts into his castle muscle dungeon.
Motivating lyric: I’ll venture far // I’ll reach down to my soul tonight
59. “Hammer Smashed Face” by Cannibal Corpse
Admittedly, the shock-metal band isn’t for everyone, but even the squeamish can harness the energy of the hollow drumming and berating guitar of this 1992 opener to the album Tomb of the Mutilated. This is metal at its most gruesome, but also most invigorating.
Motivating lyric: Brutality becomes my appetite
60. “Trial of Perturbation” by Noisem
The Baltimore metalcore band hits peak fury on this 2015 tirade of noise. Press play. Unleash hell.
Motivating lyric: Staring in the mirror tragically different // Aggression stalks into a once untouched spine
61. “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath
Even the lead guitar sounds insane on this 1970 heavy metal standard. Ozzy’s madness sounds all too similar to the inner dialogue that occurs within any distance runner or powerlifter: Why am I doing this?
Motivating lyric: All day long I think of things but nothing seems to satisfy // Think I’ll lose my mind if I don’t find something to pacify
62. “Long Road, No Turns” by Daughters
The backbeat to this 2018 horrorshow makes you feel as if you’re on poorly maintained carnival ride and the carnie at the operating levers just took a handful of something questionable.
Motivating lyric: Don’t look to me // Under the weight of // Your shouldered cross
63. “Sugar” by System of a Down
No one quite knew what to think when Serj Tankian twisted the metal genre to his particular brand of kookiness in the 90s, but this jump-up-and-down gem from 1998 still holds the fun factor.
Motivating lyric: You know that every time I try to go // Where I really want to be // It’s already where I am // ‘Cause I’m already there
64. “Transfiguration” by Inter Arma
The inspirational lyrics to this song from 2016’s Paradise Gallows would make for an excellent yoga meditation, if black metal yoga were a thing.
Motivating lyric: Transfigure! // At Earth’s behest // Transfigure! // The Earth commands
65. “War Eternal” by Arch Enemy
The Swedish metal supergroup could fill a stadium with the all-encompassing sound of this combat anthem.
Motivating lyric: So many times it’s a matter of degrees // From being up on your luck to down on your knees
66. “Seek & Destroy” by Metallica
Off 1983’s Kill ‘Em All, the metal mavens imbue seven minutes with the fight-or-flight schizophrenia of being hunted. Deploy it when you feel your resolve slackening.
Motivating lyric: There is no escape and that’s for sure
67. “Deluminate” by Full of Hell
Full warning: This song sneaks up on you fast, pulls a chain around your throat, and doesn’t let go until you cry for mercy or fall to the floor, crumpled and gasping for breath.
Motivating lyric: Will Cain cradle Abel?! // Sudden death!!!!
68. “The Beginning and the End” by ISIS
This unsung metalcore band pulled influences from electronica and ambient music, creating tapestries within the heavy metal genre. This 2012 death march plods and trods, punctuated with fits of frenzy. Fun workout: Whenever the guitar kicks itself into a fury, sprint. Then slow when the pace of the song does.
Motivating lyric: This is what he’d always known // The promise of greater beyond the water’s final horizon
69. “Executioner’s Tax (Swing of the Ax)” by Power Trip
You can practically hear the spittle fly from the mouth Riley Gale’s vocals as he pushes himself over the heaviness of the rhythm guitar.
Motivating lyric: Go on and look at you // Today is your lucky day // The executioner’s here, and he’s ready to make you pay
70. “Run to the Hills” by Iron Maiden
Listen to the man.
Motivating lyric: Run to the hills/ Run for your life
71. “Born to Be Epic” by Equilibrium
There’s so much you’re not expecting to happen during the course of this 4:04-long paean from this German folk metal band. There’s no use spoiling it.
Motivating lyric: No mission too hard // No challenge too big // Because I was born // Born to be epic
72. “Only for the Weak” by In Flames
Quit on your last set? Here’s your penance.
Motivating lyric: No need for sympathy, the misery that is me // No need for sympathy, it’s only for the weak
73. “Revel in Flesh” by Entombed
This raw 1990 cut from Left Hand Path is tortured and gruesome and prime for dumbbell chest presses.
Motivating lyric: As your eyes are filled with horror // I lift up the corpse on the bench
74. “The Torture Fields” by Pig Destroyer
AKA the rows and rows of treadmills.
Motivating lyric: The sweet // Tension and release
75. “Unsilent Death” by Nails
There’s no stopping in this 2:43 train-wreck of flayed guitar strings, perforated drum kits, and strained vocal chords. Because if you stop, you fail.
Motivating lyric: The fight will never end // I’ve paid in pain and abuse.
76. “Immortal Rites” by Morbid Angel
The 1989 track sounds as if it was recorded in the bellows of a ghost ship, the kick drum reverberating throughout the haunted hull. What fate befalls you if you decide to slow?
Motivating lyric: Cast your spells upon our lives // So that we may receive // The gift of immortality
77. “Spirit Crusher” by Death
The entirety of 1998’s The Sound of Perseverance shakes with a hunger for power.
Motivating lyric: Stay strong and hold on tight // Spirit Crusher
78. “Deathhammer” by Asphyx
Your new name for a dumbbell.
Motivating lyric: We summon thou bastards to rage
79. “Overkill” by Motörhead
The guitars on this 1979 flail with a certain panic that makes you feel like the fiery tongue of some great hellbeast is licking at your heals. Run for your life.
Motivating lyric: Know your body’s made to move, ya feel it in your guts // Rock ‘n’ roll ain’t worth the name if it don’t make ya strut
80. “Bring Me Darkness” by Black Tusk
You quickly lose control in this song and never regain it, tumbling and fumbling for some kind of balance. Hit play and then see how long you can hold a plank, forearms up on a Swiss ball.
Motivating lyric: Scream if you want to // It’s time to die
81. “Neuroprison” by Jesus Piece
This song sounds like when someone tells you to do 10 more burpees after you thought you were finished doing burpees.
Motivating lyric: Down to the second I am trapped in this prison
82. “O Father O Satan O Sun!” by Behemoth
The closer on 2014’s The Satanist is a seven-minute plunge through all nine circles of hell, demonic chorus and all.
Motivating lyric: I’m most complete yet so undone
83. “Slaughter of the Soul” by At the Gates
An undercurrent of zealotry runs through this 1995 thrash metal screed. It’s as if you’ve suddenly found yourself under the direction of a homicidal spin class instructor.
Motivating lyric: There won’t be another dawn // We will reap as we have sown
84. “Forward!” by Anaal Nathrakh
No, the world is not ending around you. Though you may have to lift your headphones to confirm this as you’re subjected to everything from an EMP explosion to a shotgun reloading to creepy child’s voice—all within just three furious minutes.
Motivating lyric: Forward! // No place for cowards, up and over
85. “Kings of Metal” by Manowar
The 1988 horns-thrower embraces self-reference in a sing-along classic.
Motivating lyric: They want to keep us down // But they can’t last // When we get up we’re gonna kick your ass
86. “The Changeling Prince” by Thou
Pay close attention, and you’ll notice some real prose happening in this American sludge metal’s 2018 vignette. It’ll at least take your mind off the sweat in your eyes.
Motivating lyric: As the short sighted ne’er do wells proselytize
87. “Electric” by Boris
Call them shoegaze metal, but this Japanese band can SHRED when they decided to. Drop this 1:45 grenade into your playlist and embrace the explosiveness.
88. “Cambrian II: Eternal Recurrence” by The Ocean
German intellectual progressive metal—and if that doesn’t hook you, the 1:05 vocal roar will.
Motivating lyric: Fellow man! // Your whole life, like a sandglass
89. “Fast Worms” by Intronaut
Intronaut is so kind as to allow you some room to breathe with a little light jazz on this 2015 track of The Direction of Last Things.
Motivating lyric: Like so many arms and legs // The lifeless, limbless body returns
90. “Subterranea” by Tribulation
The eerie piano that introduces this dirge offers a nice start to any particularly threatening workout. The song, after all, is about being buried.
Motivating lyric: It brought us here to this shadowy place // Where there’s naught to do, but pray
91. “Homesick” by Rosetta
This steam engine of a song starts off the tracks slow, but then quickly careens out of control. Perfect for pushups till failure.
Motivating lyric: So just one more // Just one more go // Inspire in me the desire in me // To never go home
92. “Stranded” by Gojira
A piercing guitar shriek bookends this unsettling 2016 contribution from the French modern metal titans.
Motivating lyric: Leave the moment alone // Leave the moment alone
93. “Mjød” by Kvelertak
It’s the song barbarians would paint their chests to as they prepared for plunder. It’ll suit you during 500-meter row too.
94. “Filth Chisel” by Oozing Wound
You’ll feel banged up after nearly three-minutes of this thrash metal rager. In a good way.
95. “The Traces We Leave” by Harakiri for the Sky
Don’t let the unassuming name fool you. The capacity of this Austrian black metal band is not to be underestimated, especially on this expansive 2016 track.
Motivating lyric: It’s hard to wake up from a nightmare, when your’e not even asleep
96. “Prehistoric Dog” by Red Fang
Pure, guitar-driven metal fun about dangerous mutts from outer space.
Motivating lyric: We’re walking tall // If we walk at all
97. “The Doorway” by Neurosis
This California band comes with punk rock roots, which show here through the spit-flying vocals and snare drum snaps.
Motivating lyric: To burrow my way through death and flesh
98. “Crusher Destroyer” by Mastodon
The 2002 song is less polished than the band’s newer sound, but there’s a different kind of shine to heard within the 2002 opener to Remission.
Motivating lyric: Burn your game plan
99. “The Black Sheep” by Kataklysm
Canadian death metal is real.
Motivating lyric: Your face to the ground // Don’t make a sound // How does it feel to be losing your crown?
100. “One More Rep” by Austrian Death Machine
You made it to the end. You deserve this.
Paul Kita Paul is the Food & Nutrition Editor of Men’s Health.
Fast-Paced Playlist for HIIT
Tired of shuffling through the same songs every time you hit the gym? This fall, refresh your tunes-and fitness routine-with a motivating and mood-boosting playlist. Each of the seven songs below pair perfectly with our effective and efficient plyometrics plan, which you can .
With steady yet accelerated tempos of 120 to 130 BPM’s, you’ll maintain a fast pace while transitioning between moves without missing a beat. Run through the cardio circuit twice to complete the playlist, or press pause after Scissor Sisters (the 15-minute mark) to save the rest for your next session.
Rihanna & David Guetta – Right Now – 130 BPM (3:01)
Fergie, Q-Tip & GoonRock – A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got) – 130 BPM (4:00)
Avicii – Wake Me Up – 123 BPM (4:09)
Calvin Harris & Ellie Goulding – I Need Your Love – 128 BPM (3:54)
Scissor Sisters – Only The Horses – 127 BPM (3:38)
Martin Solveig – The Night Out – 130 BPM (4:15)
Kelly Clarkson – People Like Us (Johnny Labs & Adieux Club Mix) – 128 BPM (6:59)
To find more workout songs with this tempo, check out the free database at Run Hundred.
- By Melissa Ivy Katz
No matter how much of a workout you’re doing, it’s all for naught without the right kind of fuel. I’m not talking about Gatorade, Powerade, or Red Bull. I’m talking about what’s massaging your ear drums while you’re pumping iron. There’s a reason there are so many workout playlists and suggestions for songs to check out for gym-goers. Selecting workout music is an imprecise science, though. Just because something moves fast and furious, doesn’t necessarily make it a good song to soundtrack reps. Playlists often make this mistake, sounding like the creator hasn’t even listened to the songs themselves.
In an effort to put together a collection of suitable workout songs, we focused on tracks that synthesize raw energy. We didn’t start from a playlist or from a suggestion. Each of these picks comes from personal experience in the gym. This list is a certified collection of the best workout songs that you’ll find around, regardless of age, genre, or subject matter. Here are the best workout songs for your next playlist.
It is no secret that music has an uncanny ability to motivate us. The right song can make an otherwise dull workout become our finest hour. And now there is scientific evidence to support it, as well as entire businesses dedicated to helping you produce customized workout soundtracks. The benefits of music impact several areas according to HellaSound.com, a website dedicated to helping you find the right music for your workout.
“In academic-speak, the right music is an ergogenic aid—an external influence that positively affects your physiological performance. Wikipedia’s definition breaks ergogenic aid benefits into 3 facets: performance improvement, minimization of distraction and increased recovery.” – HellaSound
It was with this in mind that the 52 best workout songs were selected in an epic exploration of the foot-tapping, guitar-screaming and beat-boxing tracks that have found a welcome home in gyms across America. Most of them famous, some very obscure, but all great songs for running, lifting, spinning and any other workout you can think of.
As for selection criteria one key element stood out from all the rest: tempo. Why? According to experts it is the most important factor in enhancing workout performance because it provides timing and coordination for your movements. Music in the 120-140 beats-per-minute (bpm) range is best for most aerobic exercise because it most closely matches the average person’s heart rate.
In creating this list much attention was also paid to finding a good mix of genres (though most will notice it skewed on the side of rock simply because it tends to have the most uptempo songs), as well as music from different eras (though most will find it skewed in favor of the 90s and today simply because songs like “My Guy” don’t exactly make the average person want to throw around some weights).
Finally, “Eye of the Tiger” was left out because it has been overplayed and now borders more on cheesy than motivational. If this makes you sad then go watch “Rocky” and eat a pint of ice cream.
Now, Art of Manliness presents the 52 best workout songs for your listening pleasure:
1. “Thunderstruck” – AC/DC
2. “Say This Sooner“– The Almost
3. “Keep the Car Running“ – Arcade Fire
4. “Sabotage“ – Beastie Boys
5. “Loser“ – Beck
6. “Ain’t No Easy Way“ – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
7. “Hurricane“ – Bob Dylan
8. “No Woman No Cry (Live At the Lyceum)” – Bob Marley
9. “Unconditional” – The Bravery
10. “The Distance” – Cake
11. “Galvanize” – The Chemical Brothers
12. “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” – The Clash
13. “Crossroads” – Cream
14. “I Believe In a Thing Called Love” – The Darkness
15. “Hands Down“ – Dashboard Confessional
16. “Lose Yourself“ – Eminem
17. “Sunday Shining” – Finley Quaye
18. “Everlong“ – Foo Fighters
19. “The First Single (You Know Me)“ – The Format
20. “Flathead” – The Fratellis
21. “Naked“ – The Goo Goo Dolls
22. “Feel Good Inc“ – Gorillaz
23. “Welcome to the Jungle“ – Guns N’ Roses
24. “Jump Around“ – House of Pain
25. “Numb / Encore“ – Jay-Z & Linkin Park
26. “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)“ – Jimi Hendrix
27. “Bleed American“ – Jimmy Eat World
28. “I Walk the Line“ – Johnny Cash
29. “D.A.N.C.E.” – Justice
30. “Somebody Told Me“ – The Killers
31. “When You Were Young“ – The Killers
32. “Red Morning Light” – Kings of Leon
33. “Immigrant Song“ – Led Zeppelin
34. “Last Light“ – Matt Pond PA
35. “Beat It“ – Michael Jackson OR Fall Out Boy (feat. John Mayer)
36. “Enter Sandman“ – Metallica
37. “Always Love“ – Nada Surf
38. “Here It Goes Again“ – O.K. Go
39 “B.O.B.” – OutKast
40. “Testify“ – Rage Against the Machine
41. “Bulls on Parade“ – Rage Against the Machine
42. “Black Betty“ – Ram Jam
43. “Hide Away” – Rock Kills Kid
44. “Paint It Black“ – The Rolling Stones
45. “Start Me Up (Live)” – The Rolling Stones
46. “Hands Open“ – Snow Patrol
47. “Reptilia“ – The Strokes
48. “Oh! Gravity“ – Switchfoot
49. “All Because of You” – U2
50. “Island In the Sun“ – Weezer
51. “Seven Nation Army“ – The White Stripes
52. “Woman“ – Wolfmother
So, by this time some of you are excited, some are perplexed and still others are furious. Let us know what hidden gem we left uncovered or why you think this is the greatest list of of the last several decades.