Music for the Muscles or What You Should Definitely Add to Your Workout Playlist

iPod earplugs, workout music

Sweat pouring down my face, muscles in my arms and chest almost about to rupture as is the vein in my neck. This time I would get it done. Just one more rep of pushing those damn dumbbells toward the ceiling. Slowly inching the weights upwards, teeth clenched, breathing rapidly. Almost halfway there. My iPod’s shuffle function picks that exact moment to have Anna Kournikova’s boyfriend proclaim he could be my hero. The subsequent laughing bout nearly dislocates my shoulder.

For me, a good song can make or break a workout. I think it’s because how far you can push yourself at the gym is very much dependent on your mindset. Music happens to be a great tool to help us snap into a certain state of mind. And I am not alone with this opinion, there’s a whole range of studies suggesting that the right kind of music can support your athletic efforts.

Now I don’t know about you but Enrique Iglesias is hardly the kind of music that will push me to bench press a new max or run a new best around the course. For those feats I rely on a different caliber of tunes of which you can find the a fine selection below. Put one or two of those into your mp3-player before your next visit to the gym. You will not be disappointed.

> Rocky Theme

Awesome song to help you squeeze the last juice from your muscles on the final meters. Careful though, it also makes you want to run up the nearest long flight of stairs and gives you strange cravings for raw eggs.

> Trapt – Headstrong

Imagine me with a grim face, clenched teeth and scowling menacingly at a loaded barbell while listening to this song and you have a pretty accurate picture.

> Fort Minor – Remember the Name

Never has a hook summarized striving for any kind of success so accurately: “10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain (and 100% reason to remember the name)”. Nothing to add on my part.

> Eminem – Not Afraid

Detroit’s most famous export has been through some rough times in his life and he is still standing and still making great songs. This is one of them. It carries a lot of energy and encourages anyone to work on and break through their limitations.

> Outkast – B.O.B.

Crank this up if you are going for a few sprints. Often leaves me with an exhausted smile on my face. If this doesn’t get your ass moving you should check your pulse.

> Eminem – Won’t Back Down

Yes, Mr Mathers made it onto the list twice. Wait, I need to put on the Headstrong face again.

> Rage Against the Machine – Renegades of Funk

Originally by Africa Bambaataa RAtM put a nice twist on it. If you want to bust through a plateau, this track is your friend.

> Jay-Z – Encore

Funky and full of swagger. Not so much the kind of music for short energy bursts but for longer and sustained efforts.

> Dr Dre – Still D.R.E.

This probably already counts as old school hip hop by now (Encore just barely made the cut). Representing for them gym rats all across the world. In my opinion one of the best beats ever.

> The Refused – New Noise

I like to time my first bench press repetition with the moment this track explodes. Very nice for high-intensity interval training as it starts calm, has a dramatic peak and then casually trails off.

> LL Cool J – 10 Million Stars

Not only the ladies love it. The massive beat will give you an adrenalin surge when you need it (sorry, no video).

> Linkin Park – Faint

I guess no workout music list is complete without at least some screaming from Chester Bennington and his bandmates. Pushups have never been that easy.

honorable mention:

PSY – Gangnam Style

just because….

What are your favorite workout tunes? Did I miss any important ones? Share your opinion and tips in the comments.

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