You know you’re into working out when you have your “go-to” songs for your big lifts, and when you even scrub forward to the right spots in the songs–right where they get the loudest and hit the hardest–and then go for big squats or deadlifts.
If that sounds ridiculous to you…you’re missing out.The psychological boost of music translates into the physical.
Studies have shown that the right music stimulates the nervous system and increases adrenaline levels while exercising. This can make high-intensity exercise feel easier, can help you keep up your pace while doing cardio, can help your sprint times, can improve your body’s oxygen consumption efficiency (really!), and may even increase strength.
Adrenaline also induces lipolysis (the breakdown of body fat into fatty acids that can be burned as energy), so it’s not TOO much of a stretch to say that music may even help you burn more fat while exercising.
As you would expect, the best types of music for exercise are those that, well, pump you up, not put you to sleep. Songs with fast rhythms perform best in studies like those I cited above.
Alright, with that out of the way, let’s get to the fun part. Below you’ll find 70 of my favorite songs to exercise to. I tried to include a fairly wide variety of genres, so I hope you find some stuff that you like.
Rock & Heavy Metal
Rage Against the Machine
Sleep Now in the Fire
Bulls on Parade
Dragula (Si Non blah blah blah mix)
Breaking Me Down
More Human Than Human
The Fight Song
Long Hard Road Out of Hell
Got the Life
My Own Summer (Shove It)
Children of Bodom
Are You Dead Yet
As I Lay Dying
Nine Inch Nails
March of the Pigs
Before I Forget
Pledge Allegiance to the Swag
Tuck Ya Ice
Waka Flocka Flame
Black and Yellow
Thug Motivation 101
25 to Life
Party and Bullshit
6 Foot 7
Swimming Pools (Drank)
Hard Knock Life
Put You on the Game
Chevy Ridin’ High
We Right Here
Get It on the Floor
I’m On One
Money to Blow
Lights (Bassnectar Remix)
Never Win (Benny Benassi Remix)
Florence + The Machine
Shake It Out (Benny Benassi Remix)
Fire In Your New Shoes (Sultan & Ned Shepard Electric Daisy Remix)
Confusion (Pump Panel Reconstruction Mix)
Out of Space
Smack My Bitch Up
Swedish House Mafia
Call Me Greyhound (Kap Slap Bootleg)
Black Sun Empire
Rise & Fall
Like any of these? What are your favorite songs to exercise to? Let me know in the comments below!
+ Scientific References
- Qvisth V, Hagström-Toft E, Enoksson S, Moberg E, Arner P, Bolinder J. Human skeletal muscle lipolysis is more responsive to epinephrine than to norepinephrine stimulation in Vivo. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006;91(2):665-670. doi:10.1210/jc.2005-0859
- Karageorghis CI, Drew KM, Terry PC. Effects of pretest stimulative and sedative music on grip strength. Percept Mot Skills. 1996;85(3 PART 2):1347-1352. doi:10.2466/pms.1996.83.3f.1347
- Bacon CJ, Myers TR, Karageorghis CI. Effect of music-movement synchrony on exercise oxygen consumption. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2012;52(4):359-365. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22828457. Accessed February 12, 2020.
- Simpson SD, Karageorghis CI. The effects of synchronous music on 400-m sprint performance. J Sports Sci. 2006;24(10):1095-1102. doi:10.1080/02640410500432789
- Karageorghis CI, Mouzourides DA, Priest DL, Sasso TA, Morrish DJ, Walley CL. Psychophysical and ergogenic effects of synchronous music during treadmill walking. J Sport Exerc Psychol. 2009;31(1):18-36. doi:10.1123/jsep.31.1.18
- Yamamoto T, Ohkuwa T, Itoh H, et al. Effects of Pre-exercise Listening to Slow and Fast Rhythm Music on Supramaximal Cycle Performance and Selected Metabolic Variables. Arch Physiol Biochem. 2003;111(3):211-214. doi:10.1076/apab.18.104.22.16864
- Priest DL, Karageorghis CI, Sharp NCC. The characteristics and effects of motivational music in exercise settings: The possible influence of gender, age, frequency of attendance, and time of attendance. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2004;44(1):77-86. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15181394/. Accessed February 12, 2020.