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.