What music motivates you to workout? Here is what’s on our top 5 lists

For many people, selecting the right music before they hit the gym can make or break a workout.  Inspired by articles from Shape Magazine and National Public Radio, we decided to ask some of our A Healthier Michigan cohorts what five tunes keep them on track during a workout.

From Eric Lingaur

  1. REM – It’s the end of the world as we know it (My class song)
  2. White Stripes – Seven Nation Army (My wife’s favorite song)
  3. AC/DC – Thunderstruck (LIVE) (Soccer warm up song)
  4. Reel 2 Reel – I like to move it (My kid’s current favorite song to dance to – Madagascar)
  5. Rednex – Cotton Eye Joe (It just makes me laugh)
  6. Jamiroquai – Virtual insanity (It has a smooth groove)
  7. House of Pain – Jump around (How can you not jump?)

These songs get my feet moving no matter what I’m doing. A lot of the songs on my list have a special meaning, so not only does hearing these songs get me motivated, but they distract my mind from working out.

From Grace Derocha

I love music. I grew up as a dancer and still love dancing today. Therefore, music is a very important part of my workout. My music selection does vary depending on my mood, what new music is out and the type of workout I am doing. No matter what type of song it is, a good beat is a must. I feel like it helps me stay motivated during my workout. I have been asked to give you my top 5 workout songs, so here they are presently to include some classics and new favorites.

  1. Michael Jackson – Working Day and Night – this is an all time fave workout song
  2. Survivor – Eye of the Tiger – this is classic, you can’t go wrong with this song
  3. Beyonce – Love on Top – Even though this is a new song, it has a nice Motown feel that makes me smile
  4. Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera – Moves Like Jagger – newer guilty pleasure song
  5. Justin Timberlake – I’m Bringing Sexy Back – What can I say? Who doesn’t love a little boy bandish pop music

From Jason Weslosky

  1. Turn it Up – Timeflies
  2. Dj Antoine vs Timati feat. Kalenna – Welcome to St. Tropez (DJ Antoine vs Mad Mark Remix)
  3. This is Why I’m Hot – MIMS
  4. Afrojack Feat. Eva Simons – Take Over Control
  5. Breathing – Jason Derulo

These songs make my workout list because they are upbeat and have a lot of bass. When I work out, I need something fast-paced to keep me motivated and to “keep my wheels turning.” This includes a lot of hip-hop/rap but also a lot of “house” music which has become more and more popular on college campuses. A healthy mix keeps me pumped up during my long runs and when near exhaustion, it helps to be able to sing along with songs in my head to keep my mind off of being tired.

From Sven Gustafson

  1. Get It On – Turbonegro
  2. Theme From ‘Masterburner’ – Monster Magnet
  3. Little Honda – Yo La Tengo
  4. You Never Should – My Bloody Valentine
  5. Blues From Down Here – TV on the Radio

My workout jams lean pretty heavily to loud and noisy guitars. I especially like the droning noise of the “Little Honda” guitar solo (actually just a single atonal note that somehow manages to sound like a motorcycle engine at high RPM) and the churning sound of “Blues From Down Here”; they hit a sweet spot that really provides a psychological boost when you hit the skids and start fatiguing during a long run. As for the others, I challenge you not to get a rise from these anthems.

From David Lingholm

  1. So Fresh, So Clean – OutKast
  2. Electric Mistress – Jamiroquai
  3. Prison Train – Howling Diablos
  4. Satisfaction – Benny Benassi
  5. Ten Thousand Fists – Disturbed

I know this list is all over the map but if you look at my iPod, you would understand why. This time of year, I’m usually focused on electronic music in general coming off of the Movement festival which might explain why I have Love in a Movie by DJ Johnston playing so much. During the fall, I’m likely to listen to a lot of Heart. When I want to relax, jazz guitar and neo-soul dominate my list. What makes these five stand out is the energy I get when I listen to them, regardless of mood or time of year.

What does your workout playlist look like?  What songs get you motivated?  We’d like to know!

Photo courtesy of betobeto.

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