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Top Ten Songs to Spice Up Your Gym Routine



Tiktok has been boasting content regarding the 12-30-3 gym routine. This entails walking on a treadmill at an incline of 12, a speed of 3mph, for thirty minutes a day. Results have motivated women to get into the gym to do this seemingly-easy routine that actually burns a large amount of calories. But walking for thirty minutes can get tiresome and boring – even with great music, sometimes you need a song that sends you into an adrenaline rush. Here are a few suggestions to strengthen your strut: 

Part of Me by Katy Perry

Perfect after a long day, week, month, year…even a global pandemic, this song will surely get your blood pumping and remind listeners about the intrinsic value of oneself. Not only is Katy Perry’s message empowering, but the song provides a great beat to sync those steps to. This song is a great reminder of strength that lies within the human person, with lyrics like: “throw your sticks and stone, throw your bombs and blows, but you’re not going to break my soul.” A song like a phoenix rising from the ashes, “Part of Me” should surely be added to any gym routine to give that extra oomph to any workout.

My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark by Fall Out Boy

The beat drop on this song is reason alone for this song to be considered a  gym-must-listen. The building crescendo is perfect for any cardio workout and provides an opportunity for interval training. There’s something about the singer’s voice that also fills listeners with untamed rage and power that can be utilized to boost any workout. It’s best to use this song at the very end of a workout, when energy is depleted and the mind is in need of reinvigoration.

Holding Out for A Hero by Bonnie Tyler

No matter the version of this song – whether you choose the classic Bonnie Tyler soundtrack or the renowned Shrek 2 recording – this song is great for those long runs at a hefty pace. Picture the hurdles in front of you as you listen to this song – or remember the obstacles of breaking into a castle on the shoulder of a giant gingerbread man to save the woman you love – and feel empowered. This song makes listeners feel like they are amidst a fast and vivacious race, perhaps to stop one’s lover from kissing another man, or maybe because the chorus of singers in the background leaves listeners feeling like the “main character.” This lengthy, six minute song will also propel listeners through a long stretch of workout.

Dreams and Disasters by Owl City

A slow-burn type of gym-jam, this song by the famed Owl City is from one of their most recent albums. It’s message is one full of positivity and a necessity for any workout routine after a difficult day. The chorus of this song is almost as iconic and upbeat of their cult-phenomenon “Fireflies” that it is certainly worth a try. Specific lyrics of this song encourage listeners to not turn around and not slow down in their following of the light through both dreams and disasters. Despite being a great gym song, this song is also dualistic and makes for a perfect scream-it-in-the-car song.

Cannibal by Kesha

For those gym-junkies craving a taste of the 2000s, any Kesha song will be sure to help give you that perfect fix. Whether it is the original or the Tik-tok famous remix, “Cannibal” by Kesha is a classic song to add some sass to the treadmill strut. The quick-paced lyrics are enough to get any feet moving quickly but also the lyrics regarding cannibalism are surprisingly empowering. And while HerCampus does not condone cannibalism, this song may just be the perfect hype song for the sweatiest of gym routines.

The Man by Taylor Swift

If there is any artist that has been brutalized and downplayed by the music industry, it is Taylor Swift. Like the wordsmith that she is, she took this unfair treatment to create some of the most iconic, legitimizing songs about inequality in the world. Specifically, “The Man” is a comparison song about the power plays and double standards between men and women. Her lyrics “I’m so sick of running as fast as I can” is surely a mood amidst any cardio workout, but when coupled with “wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man” adds that little bit of pizazz and anger to push any powerful woman forward.

Me, Myself and Time by Demi Lovato

Coming directly from the “Sonny with a Chance” soundtrack, this old-school Demi Lovato song is great for anyone in the gym focused on self-improvement. The opening piano, coupled with a solid drum beat will send listeners right back to middle school – and the lyrics are no better, referencing “snapshots” and the like. This song is highly recommended for those who feel overwhelmed, in over their head, doubtful, and stressed. Every chorus acknowledges these challenges and fears, but ends with: “and I know everything will be fine, with me, myself, and time.” A great, important reminder for our generation, this song is a must-add to any workout playlist.

One Little Slip by Barenaked Ladies

In keeping with the off-brand hype songs, this easily recognizable song from none other than “Chicken Little” is surprisingly a great workout song. Perhaps it is the note of classic rock, the electric guitars, or the message about making mistakes, but the instrumentals of this song are enough to hype anyone up mid-workout. It’s best to play this song on full volume so as to enjoy the exciting guitar solos mid-song.

Dark Horse by Katy Perry

Ever wanted to feel like a model strutting on the runway? Turn the treadmill up to 3mph and turn Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” on. Either consciously or unconsciously, you’ll reach model status in no time. The beat drop will start the sashaying and the empowering lyrics will add the spice. References to Aphrodite, magic, and dark horses are enough to make the song feel ethereal. Lift that chin high; everyone’s looking at the girl who decided to “play with magic.” You’re on the runway, each step synced to the beat, wearing whatever makes you feel sexy and powerful. Like a Dark Horse.

Bad Reputation by Half-cocked

As the second Shrek soundtrack song to appear on this playlist, this song’s lyrics are the epitome of female empowerment. This song is about forgetting the labels, the reputation, and the standards society imposes on women – you don’t have to please no one. This song is about taking back one’s power, owning who you are, and not caring about what others think. In other words, it is the essence of any 90s – 00s rom com, especially 10 Things I Hate About You, which features this same song. When the world starts closing in, its best to play this song to remind yourself that you are in charge, and it matters most what you think of yourself – not any reputation another gives you. Hit that + button and start running your own reputation. 

Current Architecture student at the Catholic University of America and proud published author of Unravel by Kat Kade. President and Campus Correspondent for CUA's Her Campus Chapter and Business Manager of The Tower Newspaper.
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