Nothing has the ability to get you in the mood for a workout like music does. If you listen to the right songs that is. Let’s face it, you’ll never reach beast mode listening to Coldplay or Maroon 5.
To help beef up your playlist, we’ve compiled 20 tunes from the past 50 years that when combined, provide a sweet-sounding, sweat-producing, kick-ass compilation fully fit for purpose.
Our list of killer tracks embraces a variety of genres, from dance to hip hop to rock and electro-pop. It’s sure to get your feet tapping, hips shaking, muscles pumping and heart racing.
Kicking off with songs that deliver the fewest beats per minute, the pace of our playlist rises as the beat builds. If it gets too intense, just hit the pause button.
Jamie N Commons & X Ambassadors – Jungle (2013)
Every playlist needs an opener with the power to get you in the zone. Delivering raw energy and a driving bass-line, ‘Jungle’ will get you fired up and ready for the pain that’s about to come.
DJ Snake feat. Lil Jon – Turn Down For What (2013)
Steadily raising the pace to 100 bpm, ‘Turn Down For What’ serves up aggressive lyrics and an intense beat to help release your fiery feelings into your workout. It’s time to step on the gas.
DMX – Party Up (Up In Here) (1999)
With its booming beats and relentless tempo, ‘Party Up’ supplies an added boost of adrenaline to prepare your body, getting it ready to move up through the gears.
Linkin Park feat. Jay Z – Numb/Encore (2008)
When fused together, rap and rock can produce a monster energy source. The “Numb/Encore’ mix offers a fast-paced beat alongside moments of calm. Catch a breath when you can.
House Of Pain – Jump Around (1992)
Promising to serve your ass like John McEnroe, ‘Jump Around’ puts this playlist into second gear with its relentless rhythm and uplifting lyrics. Are your muscles burning yet?
Snap – The Power (1990)
There’s no let up as ‘The Power’ pushes you even further. It’s time to move faster and crack out more reps. It’s gettin’, it’s gettin’, it’s gettin’ kinda hectic.
C&C Music Factory – Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now) (1990)
The title doesn’t lie. Guaranteed to put your body into full motion, ‘Gonna Make You Sweat’ will make those sets absolutely fly by. Jump to the rhythm, jump jump to the rhythm, jump.
Junior Senior – Move Your Feet (2002)
Don’t stop, don’t stop, don’t stop the beat. ‘Move Your Feet’ to this classic from 2002. You won’t get a second’s rest as the lyrics pump out, insisting that you to push yourself even harder.
The Chemical Brothers – Go (2015)
With its funky beat and motivational lyrics, ‘Go’ will shift your workout into third gear. Oh, no time to rest. Just do your best. Oh, what you hear is not a test. We’re only here to make you go!
The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army (2003)
Summed up nicely in the line “from the Queen of England to the hounds of hell”, ‘Seven Nation Army’ provides a hammering chorus while offering a few brief moments to ease off and recover.
The Eurythmics – Sweet Dreams (1983)
With its repetitive elements and robotic rhythms, complimented by Annie Lennox’s smooth, soulful tones, ‘Sweet Dreams’ and sweet workouts are clearly made of this.
Technotronic – Pump Up The Jam (1989)
Opening with some of the most inspirational lyrics of any song, from any genre, ever, ‘Pump Up The Jam’ will get your feet stompin’ as the jam is pumpin’.
Azealia Banks feat. Lazy Jay – 212 (2011)
The raw attitude and bouncing beats of ‘212’ will push you through the pain barrier. Your mind will be too busy catching the lyrics to even feel the burn. What did she say is getting eaten?!
Salt-N-Pepa – Push It (1986)
It will be impossible to lose traction during your workout as ‘Push It’ pushes you further, inspiring you to go even faster and harder. The end is in sight – almost.
RUN-DMC vs. Jason Nevins – It’s Like That (1997)
With its cranked up beat from the 1983 original, ‘It’s like That’ generates a vicious 129 bpm to get those legs working overtime. You’ve got to work hard if you want to compete. Huh!
The Prodigy – Breathe (1997)
You’ll be afraid to quit as ‘Breathe’ hits you like a 200 ton railway train. Breathing is vital for a successful workout. Inhale, inhale, you’re the victim. Exhale, exhale, exhale. Cheers Keith.
Blur – Song 2 (1997)
A chance for a breather before “Woo-hoo!” kicks in. At that point, be ready to go full pelt. At just over two minutes, ‘Song 2’ is the shortest track on our playlist. It’ll be over before you know it.
Basement Jaxx feat. Lisa Kekaula – Good Luck (2003)
At a colossal 154 bpm, ‘Good Luck’ delivers a springy electronic bass-line and smoky vocals, just the right ingredients to motivate your body this deep into a session.
Queen – Don’t Stop Me Now (1978)
Scientists named ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ the world’s most uplifting song so its place on our playlist is fully deserved. Turn into a racing car as you pass by other gym-goers like Lady Godiva.
The Strokes – Reptilia (2004)
For the final stretch, we’re closing out with the most dynamic guitar solo of all time. At 158 bpm, ‘Reptilia’ is veracious and unforgiving. The perfect track to push out those final beads of sweat.
What do you think of our top 20 workout tracks? Tell us what’s missing, or what you think we could have left out.