Top 10 Songs to Listen to When Working Out

Introduction: Exercise is a great way of improving health and fitness and creating an active lifestyle for most people. Music is one of the greatest inventions ever created in human history. Exercise with music is like peanut butter and chocolate; It blends well with any type of physical activities. But there have been certain songs people choose to feel motivated and perform the workout better. I came up with 10 songs that you can start listening to for better performance of the exercise.

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Why Music is good for exercise?:

According to the book “The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive” by Jim Afremow, music helps people to improve one’s mood while helping you stay in the moment for game time or high-intensity zone. Professional athletes like Shaun White and Ray Lewis use music to motivate them into champion’s mindset. ACE Fitness explores the effects of music during exercise. One of their articles “How Music Affects Exercise Motivation” list reasons for listening to music for motivation which includes a feeling of fatigue lessens, improving motor coordination, increases relaxation, and create mental arousal for performance enhancement. Check the article for more information at

Another article titled “How Your Music Influences Your Workout” from MyFitnessPal provide scientific evidence for a relationship between music and exercise. For example, the article stated that music could help you power your performance of a HIIT workout and power muscle gains for bigger muscle endurance and strength. Even lighter intensity workout like jogging or walking can distract you from discomfort and leave you less tired during exercise phase. Lastly, the article concludes that listening to music during warm-ups and workouts can lower heart rates and blood pressure to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease or signs and symptoms of it.

The last article to state why listening to music is good for you came from ACE Fitness again. Their incredible title “Why You Should Workout With Music” pulled two studies to show how powerful music can affect your wellbeing. It mention that music is like a legal drug for athletes because it is appropriate for athletes and shows an increase of endurance and perception by 15%. Listening to music can improve brain function. Don’t believe me? Charles Emery from Ohio State University conducted an experiment where 33 men and women do cardio rehabilitation program and evaluate mental performance. He divides the group into two where the control group is without music and the experimental group is with music. After letting them exercise, Emery gave them a verbal fluency test. He saw that men and women who exercise after listening to the music show better performance than those who exercise without music. The last thing this article includes is a music playlist for active walking, running, and workout blast (assuming high-intensity work).

For more information on these articles, look at the resources at the bottom page.

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Top 10 list:

This top 10 list is based on my personal experience and opinion. Some songs included are from the book “The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive” by Jim Afremow. You might like one of these songs. *Click on the video link*

  • Hold On To The Vision by Frank Harris

This song is an underrated song. From the movie “No Retreat No Surrender” I love the music and the lyrics, it combines motivation and better push for a workout. This is my personal favorite song to work out to especially when doing full body circuit training. “Hold on to the vision in your eyes Keep the fire burning bright Got to make them realize Only with this power can you rise Hold on to that vision in your eyes” Link: (Original Pitch)

Click the link above to download the song one pitch higher

  • Hearts On Fire by John Cafferty

Rocky 4 song but another great song to work out to. Check out the training montage with a song to give you great motivation. I recommend the extended version. “Hearts on fire Strong desire Rages deep within Hearts on fire Fever’s rising high The moment of truth draws near” Link:


  • Little Fighter by White Lion

This song is about Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace boat destroyed by the French. Listen to the lyrics and understand why this song is dedicated to the Rainbow Warrior. The chorus pumps me up and the guitar solo adds power to the workout. “Rise again little fighter And let the world know the reason why Shout again little fighter And don’t let it impair the things you do” Link:


  • Holding On by Creye

A recent song that sounds like a soundtrack song for a training montage. Fill with a melodic sound and inspirational lyrics is a great combination for any cardio or strength training. “We gotta keep holding on to love Cause we’re losing touch with who we are” Link:


  • It Doesn’t Matter by Tony Harnell

This song is different from any other songs in this list. This song came from Sonic Adventure. Don’t be fooled by a song from a video game. The music packs a punch and lyrics that will help you power through your run or any type of exercise. “It doesn’t matter now what happens I will never give up the fight. There is no way I will run away from my frights Long as the voice inside me says go, I will always keep on running There is no way to stop me from going to the very top It doesn’t matter who is wrong and who is right.” Link:


  • Hang Tough by Tesla

The hard rock version of Eye of the Tiger in my opinion. I love listening to the lyrics because it puts me in that mental state to help push through the workout. “Hang tough. When the goin’ gets rough. Hang tough. You got to give it all you’ve got. Hang tough. Keep your head above the ground. Don’t you let it get you down. Oh, you gotta hang tough.” Link:


  • Lose Yourself by Eminem

One of the most popular songs of the 2000s. This is for those who want to be in the champion mind and get you in a zone for competition or training. “You better lose yourself in the music, the moment You own it, you better never let it go (go) You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow This opportunity comes once in a lifetime (yo)” Link”


  • Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

The chorus is pretty much the reason for this song as a good selection for training. “Can we go back? This is the moment Tonight is the night, we’ll fight ’til it’s over So we put our hands up like the ceiling can’t hold us Like the ceiling can’t hold us” Link:


  • Remember the Name by Fort Minor

“This is ten percent luck Twenty percent skill Fifteen percent concentrated power of will
Five percent pleasure Fifty percent pain And a hundred percent reason to remember the name” Link:


  • Thunderstruck by AC/DC

This is a battle cry and like Lose Yourself, you feel like you’re in the zone for competition and training and good for training with your friends or partners. “My mind raced
And I thought what could I do And I knew There was no help, no help from you Sound of the drums Beating in my heart The thunder of guns Tore me apart You’ve been
Thunderstruck” Link:

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In short, consider the top 10 list or create your own playlist that will help you with your training or exercise regime. Beat boredom and pump up the volume for power.





Yeung, A. (2018, March 31). How Your Music Influences Your Workout. Retrieved November 30, 2018, from

Kovar, E. (2015, December 07). How Music Affects Exercise Motivation. Retrieved November 30, 2018, from

American Council of Exercise. (2015, August 12). Why You Should Workout With Music. Retrieved November 30, 2018, from

Afremow, J. A. (2014). The champions mind: How great athletes think, train, and thrive. New York, NY: Rodale.

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