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The Best Workout Songs

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Music is essential to working out: anything that distracts you from the burn in your legs or that cramp in your side surely benefits your inner gym rat. Only music – without having to concentrate like you do watching television or reading a book – has the rare ability to make working out seem a little less like work. However, some music is better to take to the gym than others.


Take the story of my sister, for instance. When she got her iPod she was determined to fill it up with fist pumping, leg running workout music. Instead, she made an error and realized, once she arrived at 24 hour fitness, that the only song she had programmed was by Bette Midler. For some reason, she just didn’t seem to really strain and sweat to the powerhouse song that is “The Rose.”


This brings me to my point, some songs belong in the gym and some songs, such as “The Rose” belong as far away from anything physical as possible (Dear Bette Mrs. Midler, please don’t kick my butt for saying so, even though I know you could).  


The following is our list of the best work out songs, songs that are sure to help you get up and run, get up and bike, get up and go, or get up and row.


"Eye of the Tiger" – Yes, you all saw this coming. “Eye of the Tiger” is the epitome of a good workout song, one that can make you try just a bit harder without even realizing it. Released in 1982, this song has become the anthem of sports teams and organizations everywhere. It is also routinely played in gyms and athletic training areas. Putting it on your iPod will make Rocky proud.


"St. Elmo’s Fire (Man in Motion)" – A song that is perhaps best known as being the theme of the similarly titled 1985 film St. Elmo’s Fire was originally written for Rick Hansen, a wheelchair bound Canadian athlete touring around the world to raise spinal cord injury awareness. Performed by John Parr and adapted for film, “St. Elmo’s Fire” became an instant hit, earning a Grammy nomination along the way.


"Under Pressure" – Who knew David Bowie and Queen would make such a nice combo? “Under Pressure,” released in 1981, climbed the charts in several countries. Remembered for its baseline (no you youngsters, that wasn’t written by Vanilla Ice), “Under Pressure” is the epitome of a great pop song. It’s also one you can identify with as you work out, feeling that you are under pressure to run one more mile or lift one more weight.


Almost Anything by Van Halen – One of the Patriarchs of Hard Rock, Van Halen routinely releases songs that are sure to help you bust a move. A band with a sound like no other, each Van Halen song is uniquely livening. Try listening to “Jump” as you workout with a speed rope. You might be surprised the difference it makes.


"You Shook Me All Night Long" – Arguably AC/DC’s greatest hit, “You Shook me All Night Long” is regarded as one of the best songs of its decade. Released in 1980 and still great today, “You Shook Me All Night Long” is impossible to listen to without feeling a little more pumped… and ready to shake a little something yourself.

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About JM Jordan

  • Joe Bmore

    Different age groups will, of course, favor tunes of their time for workouts. I teach taekwondo and for my tournament team practice — ages 10-45 — I promote more rhythm in my fighters with standards like “Night Train” by James Brown, “Disco Inferno” by the Trammps, “Freeway of Love” by Aretha Franklin and others on our CD. Strong beats work for us…who ever heard of an 11-year-old athlete digging the Godfather of Soul. But they do.

  • Haha totally agree on ‘anything by Van Halen’ anything by GNR and Metallica come to think of it too.

    Do check out the list I did too when you have the time.




    TRY THIS……BEST Workout SOngs
    Rise UP-Yves LaRock
    Eye of the Tiger-Survivor
    Mortal Combat Theme
    Fired UP-Hush
    Pump IT-BEP

  • Tobester

    One of the best songs u have to have in your gym playlist:

    eminem – till i collapse

  • Rohit Sagar

    Paul Oakenfold – Ready Steady Go
    Mint Royale – Singin In The Rain
    Phat Planet – Audiosurf
    Ian Brown – Happy Ever After
    Darude – Sandstrom

  • Kieran

    Britney Spears – Body and soul

  • thiago

    We Ready – Bubba Sparxxx

    amazing gets me pumping always!

  • Lola

    Dizzee Rascal’s Bonkers. It’s so fast it is brilliant for the peak of the workout

  • Danny

    most of those songs aren’t really all that great. Try these

    Chop Suey-System of a Down
    More Human Than Human- White Zombie
    Black Dog- Led Zeppelin
    Kashmir-Led Zeppelin
    Push It- Rick Ross
    Face the Pain- Stemm
    Metallica- Sad But True, The Memory Remains, For Whom the Bell Tolls
    Disturbed- Indestructible,Stricken, The Night
    The word best friends become redefined- Chiodos

  • lkerknvg


  • misslisa

    Those are good, and some of you are probably going to shoot me for this. BUT as much as I don’t like dance music, I HAVE to say that it helps me stay focused, and it’s upbeat. So, here’s some of my list.

    Carrie Underwood – Before He Cheats
    The Ramones – Blitzkrieg Bop
    Green Day – American Idiot
    Warrent – Cherry Pie
    Ashlee Simpson – Rule Breaker
    Pink – So What
    Kelly Clarkson – Since U Been Gone
    Avril Lavigne – Girlfriend

  • Ryan

    Drowning Pool-Let the bodies hit the floor
    Lamb of God-Laid to Rest
    Disturbed-Ten Thousand Fists
    Disturbed-Down With a Sickness
    Mayday Parade-Black Cat

  • cathryn

    brooke hogan…about us
    kings of leon…fans

  • Taylor

    I believe in hardcore, guitar busting, drum killing music. No not metal. Just really, really upbeat.

    Anberlin’s album Cities is a great one.

  • Jamieson

    Death In Vegas – Hands Around My Throat
    Tube & Berger – Straight Ahead
    Radiohead – There There
    Van Halen – Right Now
    Placebo – Without You I’m Nothing

  • chris

    u need more songs with bass in them—-

    now your gone by basshunter.. great for workouts

  • Work outer

    Kelis- Milkshake
    Keisha Chante- Been Gone
    Chris Brown- Run it
    WhigField- Saturday night
    The Chordettes- My Boy Lolipop
    Fergie-London Bridge

  • lizgr

    yeah all those songs are very good.

    i wanna share some of my faves

    Black eyed peas- Pump it
    Chevelle- The Red
    Gravity Kills- Guilty

  • Mr.Everywhere

    I Like all His But Also Add
    -you’re the best around by phil esposito
    -stronger by kanye west

  • Calvin

    Best list ever! All the other list put crappy stuff like beyonce! Yours is short, sweet and kickass! Awesome. I will definitely put these on my Ipod.

  • Additional suggestions based on observation:

    “When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going” – Billy Ocean (from THE JEWEL OF THE NILE soundtrack)

    “No Limit” – 2 Unlimited

    pretty much any remix that Jonathan Peters has ever done

    “Start Rockin'” – Antiloop (from FASTLANE PEOPLE album)

    “Fetish” – Baby Ford (from BFORD 9)

    “Reach (Brothers In Rhythm mix)” – Judy Cheeks