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Best Workout Songs for Your Type of Workout

July 28th, 2011 | Posted in Playlists

The difference between a good workout and a great workout, in my experience, is the right music. Each type of athletic activity you are involved in needs the right music to put you in the mood for serious work. Let’s look at the difference between the right workout songs for weight lifting, running, and yoga/pilates.

Weight Lifting Music

When I’m working on strength training I want music that has a steady beat with more bass/metal sound to it. Solid, not too fast and not too slow, beats help me keep my tempo and timing of my lifts. If the music is too fast it keeps me from getting the most out of my strength training as I want to lift and lower the weights slowly to get the maximum burn from each set of muscles.

Good workout songs that will last you through a 45 min weight lifting routine could include:

  • System of a Down – Aerials
  • System of a Down – Soldier Side
  • Seven Mary Three – Cumbersome
  • Rage Against the Machine -Testify
  • Nickleback – Leader of Men
  • Metallica – One
  • Metallica – St. Anger
  • Green Day – Welcome to Paradise
  • Fuel – Hemorrhage
  • Korn – Falling Away from Me
  • Godsmack – Realign
  • Breaking Benjamin – I Will Not Bow
  • Buckcherry – Sorry
  • Audioslave – Show Me How to Live

Running Playlist

When I run I am trying to accomplish something different. I want my running songs’ to boost my energy so I can get a good cardio burn. Sometimes I want steadier upbeat music through my whole run to help me keep a steady pace. However, if I want to do some sprints in between the longer runs I want some faster music inter-spaced among the steadier songs, and I’ll include a few slightly slower songs for the recovery jogs after the sprints. If the music isn’t upbeat enough, with a quick enough tempo it can definitely have a negative effect on the the amount of push I’m able to give myself.

A playlist that will give you a good mix of upbeat songs might include:

  • Pink – Raise Your Glass
  • Shakira – Hips Don’t Lie
  • Black Eyed Peas – Rock That Body
  • Cee Lo Green – Forget You
  • Florence and The Machine – Dog Days are Over
  • Andy Grammer – Keep Your Head Up
  • Pink – Funhouse
  • All American Rejects – Dirty Little Secret
  • Jimmy Eat World – Pain
  • Kings of Leon – Use Somebody
  • Ok Go – Crash the Party
  • Theory of a Deadman – No Way Out
  • Verve Pipe – Hero (good recovery song)
  • Vertical Horizon – Finding Me

Yoga Music Playlist

When I’m looking for a slow, but intense bout of pilates or yoga, my music needs to help me get my mind focused on the individual muscle groups. This means the beat should be a little slower, and I like the vocals more at the forefront. I don’t want angry lyrics or hard instrumentation.

A good playlist for a slow deliberate stretch or pilates session might include:

  • VAST – Touched
  • Train – Hey Soul Sister
  • Terrance Howard – Love Makes You Beautiful
  • Buckcherry – Sorry
  • Black Eyed Peas – Where is the Love?
  • Citizen Cope – Son’s Gonna Rise
  • Bruno Mars – Just the Way You Are
  • Blue October – Let it Go
  • Blue Foundation – Eyes on Fire
  • Rob Pattinson – Never Think
  • Paramore – I Caught Myself
  • Collective Soul – Tremble for My Beloved
  • Blue Ghosts – Full Moon

If your goal is to have a great workout and have fun doing it, then the music you choose must match both the activity and your taste. The playlists I’ve listed suit me; they may not suit your interests. Just remember that the beat, tempo, and style of lyric will effect how strong of a workout you are able to get out of yourself and pick the music style you like the most. Most importantly….have fun!

Leave a comment and let me know what kind of music or songs you like to hear during your workouts. I’m all for expanding my iTunes collection — so I would love to hear from you.

6 Responses to “Best Workout Songs for Your Type of Workout”

  1. Speaking just about running, you’ve got some great tracks there! I also like songs like:
    – Party Rock Anthem (LMFAO)
    – Dance, Dance (Fall Out Boy)
    – One More Time (Daft Punk)

    I will say I’ve found it really enjoyable when songs like these are mixed together into a seamless DJ mix. They provide a much more consistent level of energy for my runs and maybe it’s my ADD but I like when a song changes every 2 to 2 1/2 minutes like they do in good mixes. Keeps me energized!

    Of course being a DJ I’m probably a little biased 🙂

  2. Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

  3. The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  4. Definitely liked your blog. Will come back again shortly. Best.

  5. Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

  6. Very interesting ideas! I’ll be back for your new articles!

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