First off, let me say that I love going to the gym. I do. I’m not really someone who works out, exactly… I like to spend way too much time on the treadmill and not do much else (something I’m admittedly trying to change) and I like that I can be uninterrupted and moving around and listening to music for as long as I want at the gym. With free wi-fi, even.
That said, I do not get these people that can just watch TV and listen to the Property Brothers drone on about how renovating the bonus room will put this asshole couple over budget. Sure, I watch too… with subtitles. The rest of the time? I’ve gotta have my music going. Non-stop. The entire time.
And that means I gotta have a killer playlist.
My gym mix is pretty extensive, since it’s one of my various Genre Masterlists I keep as an ongoing project since I hate shuffling my whole library, but today I’ve picked out ten of my must-have tracks for running, walking, using the elliptical, or whatever you do that gets you moving. Check them out on iTunes if you’d like to help support the blog, or preview the entire playlist on Spotify at the end of this post.
1. “All About It” – Hoodie Allen feat. Ed Sheeran
Why I love it: Every gym mix needs a couple of good hip hop songs, even if they’re from white dude rappers. Or one rapper and a guy who declares in his verse “I’m not a rapper, just a singer with a game plan.” This song has a great tempo and it’s hard not to keep the pace up when it’s on. (Buy on iTunes)
2. “HandClap” – Fitz and the Tantrums
Why I love it: I tried so hard to hate Fitz and the Tantrums. I did. And then I caved and bought their last album. And then as soon as I saw this new release, I freaked. It’s great, it’s fast, and it’s consistently been at the top of my last.fm since it came out. (Buy on iTunes)
3. “Crazy MTFKR” – Silviu Pasca
Why I love it: Everyone knows that songs about running are great for running, but to truly appreciate this song’s place in the list, you gotta watch the video. I don’t even like to run, but when this one comes on it’s too hard not to give in and just take off as fast as I can. (Buy on iTunes)
4. “Bang Dem Sticks” – Meghan Trainor
Why I love it: Listen, Meghan Trainor is amazing. If you ever listened to D.R.E.A.M. circa 2000 (no? just me?) you’re going to love her full album and latest releases. The best part about this song, though, is the pseudo-marching band sound that just keeps pushing you forward. (Buy on iTunes)
5. “Who Do You Think You Are?” – Spice Girls
Why I love it: Uh, okay, real talk? I have like three different Spice Girls songs on this playlist. But this one has one of the best beats to it, and… oh, shut up. It’s the Spice Girls. I really don’t have to explain. You’ll be dancing on the elliptical too when it comes on. (Buy on iTunes)
6. “Uma Thurman” – Fall Out Boy
Why I love it: If you had told me even two years ago that I would like a Fall Out Boy song, I would have laughed. But, look, I love this. Even if I maintain that the sampled track is the theme to The Munsters first and foremost. Because it is. Sorry, Quentin Tarantino. (Buy on iTunes)
7. “Work” – Dorian feat. Jazzy Jo
Why I love it: This song is one of several on this list that I’d probably classify as NSFW, but man do I love it. This song actually has a slower tempo than some of the others, but it’s nice and steady and has a good beat, which makes it a perfect fit for the treadmill. Or a pole dance class, I guess. (Buy on iTunes)
8. “Love Runs Out” – OneRepublic
Why I love it: Do I even need to explain this one? It’s like someone sat down and was like “We need to write a song we can push to people who like to drive fast and run fast.” And they came up with this. (Buy on iTunes)
9. “Do It Anyway” – Ben Folds Five
Why I love it: This song is like my ultimate “get shit done” track. I put it on work playlists, running playlists, road trip playlists, inspiring people to get through tough times playlists. Ben Folds just has a gift, and this song just makes you want to run. And run. And run. Because you can. (Buy on iTunes)
10. “Running Man” – WhoMadeWho
Why I love it: The song is literally called “Running Man” so that should say a lot, but otherwise I just love WhoMadeWho and the rhythm created with this song. It actually goes hand in hand with another track called “The Sun,” and you can listen to both together in the amazing music video. They have a little bit of a slower tempo compared to some, but it’s really steady and perfect for staying focused. You should add both to your playlist, and when you’re done check out the whole album on iTunes.
Check out my playlist on Spotify below, including some great tracks I didn’t list above!
Do you have any favorite songs for running or working out?
Be sure to leave them in the comments!