Just think of the chocolate glazed you'll get later.

Sometimes getting the inspiration to workout is harder than the workout itself… especially when the alternative to gym time is a big, comfy bed calling your name or a delicious breakfast donut. This is where music comes into play. Music and exercise make a great team, and for some people (myself included), music is essential to having a solid, rewarding workout. Knowing you have some good music to get you going can Pump. You. Up.

So, what makes a song a good song to workout to? There are a few things you can keep in mind when crafting your playlist.

Pick it up, pick it up

BPM (Beats Per Minute) is pretty important. A quick-paced song helps keep you going consistently harder and faster. Some studies show that you want your playlist music to keep you moving to the tempo of about 120-140 BPM.

Some songs that hover right around 130 BPM:

  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Heads Will Roll
  • Mumford & Sons – The Cave
  • David Guetta – Sexy Chick
  • Wiz Khalifa – Say Yeah
  • Muse – Uprising
  • Pitbull – Hey Baby


Get emotional 

There are some songs that simply just elicit a strong emotional response from you. This is of course incredibly subjective, but songs that bring out personal significance, such as ones where you identify with the singers’ perspectives, or tunes from musicals, can be especially motivating.

Some songs I love in this space:

  • Dear Evan Hansen – Waving Through a Window
  • Hamilton – Alexander Hamilton
  • Hairspray – You Can’t Stop the Beat
  • Wicked – Defying Gravity


In it to win it 

Current hits and personal favorites are always good choices, but even more so if they are associated with athletes or sports success, victories, and overcoming adversity.

  • Trick Daddy – Let’s Go
  • AC/DC – Thunderstruck
  • Song 2 – Blur
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd – Freebird
  • Metallica – Enter Sandman (If the first 1:10 of that song doesn’t get you amped to move, I’m not sure what will.)


Hit ’em with a remix

I happen to LOVE newer takes on older songs. They do not try to replace the original classics, but rather give them a breath of fresh air, making them more up-tempo/workout appropriate.

  • Kygo – Sexual Healing
  • Eric Prydz – Call on Me
  • Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven (Gramatik Remix)
  • The Rolling Stones – Gimme Shelter (Zeds Dead Remix)


One last piece of advice: when all else fails, you can’t go wrong with Britney. Love her. Always will. Now go make an inspiring playlist that you’re excited to listen to, and enjoy your workout!

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