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50 Best Workout Songs to Get and Keep You Motivated

It might seem meta to blast Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill” the next time you are, in fact, running up a hill, but the science behind music’s ability to improve your workout is sound. Countless studies indicate listening to songs with a moderate-to-fast tempo, between 170 and 190 beats per minute (bpm), can boost workout motivation and lower your perceived effort mid-workout.

One Italian study concluded the faster the beat, the easier a workout feels, a huge finding that nods to the fact our physical limits are largely mental. We usually tap out because we think we’ve hit our limit when, in reality, our body still has more gas in the tank. Moreover, if you’re doing a long effort (think marathon or ultra distance), it can be beneficial to find songs with rhythmic patterns that mimic your movement and create a sort of feedback loop.

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Ultimately, music can yield better performance, improve and/or regulate your mood, and shift attention away from those intense screamy-barfy efforts so you can endure more for longer. All you need to do is find the music that speaks to you. Maybe it’s the Foo Fighters to get you out the door, Eminem to get past the grueling midpoint of your workout, and The Strokes to take you on home.

We tapped Peloton instructors for the tracks they turn to when they need a kick in the pants to get (and stay!) motivated, as well as their own relationship with fitness and music.

50 Best Workout Songs, According to Peloton Instructors

John Hosking Tread instructor: “Music is what gets me up in the morning, charges me up for a run, inspires me for a painting, and calms me down in the evening. [It’s] what makes me remember moments in my life and makes me feel most alive and present. There’s always music playing in my house or in my headphones.”

1. Prince – “I Wanna Be Your Lover”

2. Chaka Khan – “I Feel For You”

3. Stevie Wonder – “I Wish

4. Rolling Stones – “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”

5. Frank Ocean – “Sweet Life”

6. Hiatus Kaiyote – “Building A Ladder”

7. Vulfpeck – “Wait For The Moment”

8. George Michael – “Freedom! ’90”

9. The Beatles – “I’ve Got A Feeling”

10. David Bowie – “Young Americans”

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Alex Toussaint, Bike instructor:

11. T-Shyne – “Still Ain’t Finished”

12. Future – “712PM”

13. T-Shyne – “Geeked Up”

14. Kendrick Lamar – “N95”

15. Drake – “Jimmy Cooks”

16. The Game – “Change the Game”

17. DJ Khaled – “GOD DID”

18. NAV – “Never Sleep”

19. The Game – “Stupid”

20. DJ Khaled – “Gospel”

Jenn Sherman, Bike instructor: “I rely on music to be the ultimate motivator and distractor during all my workouts. I put serious thought and intention into every playlist I create for my Peloton classes. The music is everything, because nothing can elevate your performance or push you harder than a kickass song or playlist. That’s just a fact.”

21. AC/DC – “Thunderstruck”

22. The Who – “Baba O’Riley”

23. AC/DC – “You Shook Me All Night Long”

24. Metallica – “Enter Sandman”

25. The Killers – “Somebody Told Me”

26. Guns N’ Roses – “Welcome To The Jungle”

27. Jay Z & Linkin Park – “Numb / Encore”

28. Bruce Springsteen – “Badlands”

29. Led Zeppelin – “Rock and Roll”

30. Coldplay – “Fix You”


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Emma Lovewell, Bike instructor (and former DJ): “I 100 percent choose a workout based on the playlist. Finding the right soundtrack to match your mood and your workout can make all the difference between showing up and crushing your session, or completely losing your motivation.”

31. Foo Fighters – “Everlong”

32. Rüfüs Du Sol – “Treat You Better”

33. Florence + the Machine – “Dog Days Are Over”

34. The Strokes – “Last Nite”

35. Blur – “Song 2”

36. Diplo – “On my Mind”

37. Smashing Pumpkins – “Bullet with Butterfly Wings”

38. Beastie Boys – “Sabotage”

39. ODESZA – “The Last Goodbye”

40. St. Lucia – “Elevate”

Denis Morton, Bike and Yoga instructor: Long before music was an art form, it was a means of communication. Sometimes it’s the beat. Sometimes it’s the build. Sometimes it’s a lyric. Whatever form that element assumes, shared musical experience has the capacity to ignite something primal, to become a unifying force across all perceived borders of age, continent, or culture. Music helps us channel vibration into movement, creating one social soundtrack as we resonate in pursuit of a common goal: to overcome ourselves.

41. TOOL – “The Pot”

42. Kanye West – “Stronger”

43. Eminem – “Lose Yourself”

44. Snow Patrol – “Open Your Eyes”

45. Rob Dougan – “Clubbed to Death (Kurayamino Variation)”

46. NONONO – “Pumpin’ Blood (Chainsmokers Remix)”

47. Bassnectar – Pennywise Tribute”

48. DMX – “Ruff Ryders Anthem”

49. Eminem – “‘Till I Collapse”

50. The Score – “Legend”


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