Top Ten Tunes for Your Workout

Working out is hard. Even people who enjoy getting up at 5 am to go for a run have days where they just don’t want to leave the comfort and warmth of their bed. Now, I’m not a person who voluntarily wakes up before the sunrise to get a head start on going to the gym. It’s simply not in my nature. It’s also not a far stretch to say I don’t like working out very much. Aside from high school sports, where I was distracted from the painful shin splints and practices in 85-degree weather by my teammates and having fun, I’m not a huge fan of working out. During the summer, I try to go running a few times a week. And during the school year I force myself to go to the gym, but often times I find myself making excuses not to go -- including, but not limited to, “I’m tired” or “I have too much homework” or “Netflix just sounds much more appealing."

But the second half of not wanting to work out is once you actually get there and get started. You need some motivation or something to get you going at a good pace. Now, I’m not talking about a goal you’ve set for weight loss or how far you wanna run. I’m talking about making sure you enjoy your workout as much as possible while you’re doing it. For me, this means having a killer playlist. I’ll run on the treadmill or do the elliptical to the beat and pace of my music — which means my playlist is pretty upbeat. It’s also a good way to measure how long you’ve been doing something or how long you’re going to be doing it. It honestly makes the time go by so much quicker, which is a good thing if you ask me. A killer playlist, good sneakers, and cute workout clothes are three keys to success at the gym, but I’ll focus on the latter two another time. For right now, I’m going to share my top 10 songs on my workout playlist that ensure I kick at least a little butt at the gym.


1. New York City — The Chainsmokers.

I’m a huge fan of the Chainsmokers (I’m going to their concert for my birthday) and almost all of their music is great for working out because it makes you wanna get pumped, which makes working out so much easier. As I said, I work out to the beat of my music and this particular song starts off slow, so you have some time to get your pace. It really gets going at the chorus, so it’s great for starting off a workout to really ease you into it. I tend to go to the gym in the afternoon when I’m ready for a nap, so easing into a workout is very good. It’s also just a really catchy song so that’s always a plus.


2. Castle on the Hill — Ed Sheeran.

I’m sure we can all agree Ed Sheeran’s new album is fire — from the slow love songs to songs like this. I’ll admit it, Castle on The Hill makes me nostalgic for home, but it also reminds me that you’re always working towards something that you want. I know it can be a stretch of a metaphor, but I’m working towards my fitness goals and this song keeps me going in that direction… although I’m not going at 90 ;). 


3. XO — Kelsea Ballerini.

Country songs always grace the playlist of my road trips with my best friends because they’re catchy, relatable and just fun to sing. But songs like this one are also great for workouts. I don’t have any recent exes but this song just makes me think, “Alright, I’m having my super post-break up transformation and showing my ex what he’s missing.” Nothing says you screwed up like looking hot and having your life together, and part of that is fitness. When we’re in shape we just feel better. And I know I’m getting repetitive with this one, but it’ll be true for all of the songs on here, it’s just really upbeat and gets me going.


4. Setting Fires — XYLO & The Chainsmokers.

This is a relatively new addition to my workout song selection. As with the other Chainsmokers song, this is something I like to listen to at the start or end of my workout because it’s upbeat. However, it also slows down and packs a punch for that last leg of your workout, and lets you cool down a bit as you’re finishing your workout.


5. Stay — Zedd & Alessia Cara.

Alessia Cara is one of my favorite artists at the moment, and I’ve loved Zedd for a few years, so you can imagine my excitement when they released a song together. And while I highly doubt they’re talking about the gym, this is good for those days where you want to half-ass your workout but you’ve got Alessia Cara in your ear saying stay just a little longer and put in a little more effort. Trust me, it’s effective.


6. Dirty Laundry, Undo It, Cowboy Casanova — Carrie Underwood.

Carrie Underwood. Not only are Carrie’s songs great for breakups and girl’s nights, they’re also great for the gym. Much like the other country songs I’ve got on my playlist, they just make you wanna kick butt and get the workout done. Because they’re so good, they make you forget how much time is passing. When my Carrie songs or even Carrie playlist comes on, I just focus on my workout and singing along in my head. Before I know it, I’m halfway to my daily goal. I’ll be honest, when I just have my music going, I imagine I’m in a music video, and Carrie’s songs are very good for that… don’t judge me. I know you all do it too. And we all know it’s very effective for passing time.


7. HandClap — Fitz and the Tantrums.

This is a song I listen to specifically when I’m running because I’m the type of person to run to the tempo of a song. With this song, I have no excuse to slow down — so it’s good for going up that steep hill or for that last bit of your run where you just want to collapse. It really keeps you going for whatever part of your run that needs the most improvement. I’m not saying don’t take a break if you need it, I just tend to be lazy and need something like this to push me forward.


8. That’s My Girl — Fifth Harmony.

This is the song I need on days where I have to drag myself out of the house to go work out and would rather be watching paint dry. It really makes you feel good because the song is saying “I know it’s hard and you don’t wanna do it, but someone’s pushing you and is proud of you for doing it, even if that someone is you.” So for those days where you have no motivation, Fifth Harmony is rooting for you.


9. Lights and Thunder — Gareth Emery & Krewella.

This is another one I tend to listen to when I’m starting or finishing a workout. It’s also great for doing weight sets. The chorus is super upbeat and the verses are a bit slower, so it’s the push through the set and then breathe for a minute before you do your next set type of song. My best friend is currently making me do cross fit and we’re about to start with weights, so I will definitely be using this to help me time my sets and keep me on a steady pace.


10. Nevada — Vicetone & Cozi Zuehlsdorff.

This is my newest find, and it’s not only one of my favorite workout songs, but one of my favorite songs in general. As I’ve said like 10 times, I love upbeat things for working out, but I find that a workout playlist is also great for mornings where you’re tired. The point is to wake you up and get you going, and this song does that. It’s just a pick me up and it makes you wanna dance. I do some Zumba classes with my friends in the summer, and if this is what we danced to I can promise you, I’d never stop. It’s just an amazing song for the treadmill, weights, running, or anything really.


Alright, guys, I hope you enjoyed this week’s article. I know this is the time of year where everyone is stressed because of the workload, but just like a workout, you have to push through. As much as I don’t love working out, it is also a great way to get some stress out and distract yourself, especially with the nice weather we’ve been having (aside from that little snow storm). So get out there, go run around Nickerson, go for a walk, go to the gym, do whatever you like to do for working out and what works for you. I hope these songs have given you some motivation and some good suggestions for your next workout. I know after listing these, I kinda wanna go to the gym, so maybe it’ll have that effect on you too. Stay tuned for the next workout installment: Why cute gym clothes actually make you wanna work out.