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in: Health & Sports

August 5, 2008 Last updated: January 16, 2020

52 Workout Songs To Help You Get Bigger, Stronger, and Faster

It is no secret that music has an uncanny ability to motivate us. The right song can make an otherwise dull workout become our finest hour. And now there is scientific evidence to support it, as well as entire businesses dedicated to helping you produce customized workout soundtracks. The benefits of music impact several areas according to, a website dedicated to helping you find the right music for your workout.

“In academic-speak, the right music is an ergogenic aid—an external influence that positively affects your physiological performance. Wikipedia’s definition breaks ergogenic aid benefits into 3 facets: performance improvement, minimization of distraction and increased recovery.” – HellaSound

It was with this in mind that the 52 best workout songs were selected in an epic exploration of the foot-tapping, guitar-screaming and beat-boxing tracks that have found a welcome home in gyms across America. Most of them famous, some very obscure, but all great songs for running, lifting, spinning and any other workout you can think of.

As for selection criteria one key element stood out from all the rest: tempo. Why? According to experts it is the most important factor in enhancing workout performance because it provides timing and coordination for your movements. Music in the 120-140 beats-per-minute (bpm) range is best for most aerobic exercise because it most closely matches the average person’s heart rate.

In creating this list much attention was also paid to finding a good mix of genres (though most will notice it skewed on the side of rock simply because it tends to have the most uptempo songs), as well as music from different eras (though most will find it skewed in favor of the 90s and today simply because songs like “My Guy” don’t exactly make the average person want to throw around some weights).

Finally, “Eye of the Tiger” was left out because it has been overplayed and now borders more on cheesy than motivational. If this makes you sad then go watch “Rocky” and eat a pint of ice cream.

Now, Art of Manliness presents the 52 best workout songs for your listening pleasure:

1. “Thunderstruck” – AC/DC

ac dc thunderstruck song cover

2. “Say This Sooner– The Almost

the almost southern weather album cover

3. Keep the Car Running – Arcade Fire

4. Sabotage – Beastie Boys

5. Loser – Beck

6. Ain’t No Easy Way – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

7. Hurricane – Bob Dylan

8. “No Woman No Cry (Live At the Lyceum)” – Bob Marley

9. “Unconditional” – The Bravery

10. “The Distance” – Cake

11. “Galvanize” – The Chemical Brothers

12. “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” – The Clash

13. “Crossroads” – Cream

14. “I Believe In a Thing Called Love” – The Darkness

15. Hands Down – Dashboard Confessional

16. Lose Yourself – Eminem

17. “Sunday Shining” – Finley Quaye

18. Everlong – Foo Fighters

19.The First Single (You Know Me) – The Format

20. “Flathead” – The Fratellis

21.Naked – The Goo Goo Dolls

22.Feel Good Inc – Gorillaz

23.Welcome to the Jungle – Guns N’ Roses

24.Jump Around – House of Pain

25.Numb / Encore – Jay-Z & Linkin Park

26.Voodoo Child (Slight Return) – Jimi Hendrix

27.Bleed American – Jimmy Eat World

28. I Walk the Line – Johnny Cash

29. D.A.N.C.E.– Justice

30. Somebody Told Me – The Killers

31. When You Were Young – The Killers

32. “Red Morning Light” – Kings of Leon

33. Immigrant Song – Led Zeppelin

34. Last Light – Matt Pond PA

35. Beat It – Michael Jackson OR Fall Out Boy (feat. John Mayer)

36. Enter Sandman – Metallica

37. Always Love – Nada Surf

38. Here It Goes Again – O.K. Go

39 B.O.B.– OutKast

40. Testify – Rage Against the Machine

41. Bulls on Parade – Rage Against the Machine

42. Black Betty – Ram Jam

43. “Hide Away” – Rock Kills Kid

44. Paint It Black – The Rolling Stones

45. Start Me Up (Live)– The Rolling Stones

46. Hands Open – Snow Patrol

47. Reptilia – The Strokes

48. Oh! Gravity – Switchfoot

49. “All Because of You” – U2

50. Island In the Sun – Weezer

51. Seven Nation Army – The White Stripes

52. Woman – Wolfmother

So, by this time some of you are excited, some are perplexed and still others are furious. Let us know what hidden gem we left uncovered or why you think this is the greatest list of of the last several decades.

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