If you know me well, you’d know that I work out on the regular. I call it a hobby of mine. When there are days that I’m not able to go to the gym, I feel… well, not myself. So, I try to go every day. For as long as I’ve been hitting the gym, running the track, or even riding on the bike, I’ve tried to find the best music possible to psych me up for the workout routine ahead. I’ve made countless playlists in the past that seemed fitting for a while, until I got tired of them. That is until I spent three hours on a weekend morning making, in my opinion, an ultimate playlist on Spotify that would do nothing but get me in the right zone. 210 songs later, I think I did a pretty good job. Without further ado, here are my top ten go-to workout songs:
1. Disturbed – “Down With the Sickness” (2000)
I know my mom will agree with this song… (just kidding, she’s not a fan of this one)
I’ll start off being basic and including this as one of the first songs on this playlist. But how can you not get hyped to this song? Being one of the band’s most known and most popular tunes, it has been used as an entrance theme for most sports teams, including the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Dallas Cowboys, as well as many MMA and UFC fighters. Once the drums kick in and the David Draiman, the lead singer, wails his famous “ooh-wah-ah-ah-ah” staccato noise, you can’t help but feel like you’ve entered a completely different state of mind. While the lyrical content of this song is a bit touchy, it’s definitely a huge hit among gym-goers.
Favorite line: Looking at my own reflection / When suddenly it changes / Violently it changes / There’s no turning back now / You’ve woken up the demon in me
2. Eminem – “‘Till I Collapse (feat. Nate Dogg)” (2002)
Again, I’m being basic by including this song. But c’mon, people have to agree with this one. I normally don’t listen to rap when I workout, but this one had to be listed. Another very popular song played at sporting events, Eminem’s last track off of The Eminem Show tells you to keep going no matter how bad you want to stop and give up. He demands that you search within yourself for the will and intestinal fortitude to reject these feelings and push out one last set or rep. Don’t stop until you’ve reached your limit. But then again, do you even know what your limit is? That’s for you to find out on your own.
Favorite line: When you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up / But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength / And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up / And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face
3. Shinedown – “Cut the Cord” (2015)
This band’s most recent album, Threat to Survival, received mixed reviews from critics. Some said that it had “a complete lack of substance” with choruses that “are rarely memorable” (personally, I disagree with this statement) while others said the album “proves that Shinedown still have plenty of gas left in the tank” after years of performing. This song is the ultimate evidence of that last remark. This hard rock headbanger will get the blood flowing and will keep you moving. Brent Smith, the lead singer, described the song as “a wake-up call reminding us all that we can control our own destiny by finding the courage and tenacity to destroy whatever it is that’s holding us back.” And boy, will it wake you up.
Favorite line: Cause agony brings no reward / For one more hit and one last score / Don’t be a casualty, cut the cord
4. Metallica – “Enter Sandman” (1991)
Batting cleanup on my list is my favorite band of all time, Metallica. While often overplayed, it’s a crowd favorite at concerts and has become a staple in the history of the iconic heavy metal group. When James Hetfield, lead singer and rhythm guitarist, begins the opening riff, you know it’s about to go down. New York Yankees fans can attest to this, knowing that when this song started to play, legendary Mariano Rivera was about to come out of the bullpen, seal the deal, and get the win. Thus making this a perfect song to include on your next playlist.
Favorite line: It’s just the beasts under your bed / In your closet, in your head
5. Jay-Z & Linkin Park – “Points of Authority / 99 Problems / One Step Closer” (2004)
When this collaboration album, Collision Course, came out, it opened a passageway for artists who want to dare to be different and experiment with elements outside of their genre. These two artists paired well and complimented each other in the same manner. Most people know the “Numb / Encore” mashup from this EP, but it’s the mashup featuring Linkin Park’s two Hybrid Theory singles and Jay-Z’s Black Album hit that take the cake in terms of getting you into the right zone for working out.
Favorite line: But ain’t nothin’ sweet ’bout how I hold my gun / I got 99 problems, bein’ a bitch ain’t one
6. G-Eazy & Borgore – “Forbes” (2015)
I know, I know… “Why Ian? Why dubstep?” Listen to the song first before you say anything. Israeli DJ Borgore and rapper G-Eazy teamed up in mid-2015 to release a new song classified under the genre of “trap”. When I first heard this song, the bass drop blew me away, as well as it did when I showed it to friends. It leaves you simply saying “…woah.” I’m usually a heavy guitar and drums kind of guy when I work out, but I just have to make an exception when putting this song on the list.
Favorite line: Look, mama, I made it to Forbes *insert massive bass drop here*
7. Disturbed – “Meaning of Life” (2000)
Yet another Disturbed song to appear on this list, but this one is not as well known as the first one mentioned. This track brings the band’s debut album, The Sickness, to a close in the most perfectly fashionable way to demonstrate their genre. Looking past the lyrical content of this song and letting the rhythm flow through you is only going to help you during your workout. Especially since David Draiman is screaming “Get psycho!” throughout the tune. I guess you should do what he says.
Favorite line: I can feel the blood, flowing through my veins / Spilling on my soul / And now the hunger’s getting bigger
8. Linkin Park – “Hit the Floor” (2003)
There are always a couple treasures hidden on albums that get no recognition due to lack of airplay or promotion. I have a habit of finding these types of songs, and this is one of them. When you think Linkin Park, would you even think to mention this song? Probably not because you probably have never heard it. Their sophomore album, Meteora, continued their nu metal campaign which went on to slowly fade away to their current alternative electronic rock sound. Before their experimentation, however, they secretly put this on the album for only the true fans to hear and enjoy. And in my case, use on my playlist.
Favorite line: I know I’ll never trust a single thing you say / You knew your lies would divide us but you lied anyway / And all the lies have got you floating up above us all / But what goes up has got to fall
9. Velvet Revolver – “Slither” (2004)
Most famous for its instantly recognizable opening bass riff and its unmistakable guitar riff that will send shivers down your back, it is arguably the hard rock supergroup’s signature song. Their debut album, Contraband, featured this lead single which went on to win a Grammy in 2005 for Best Hard Rock Performance. Most people say that this band was merely a combination of Stone Temple Pilots and Guns N’ Roses. To me, this group made lead singer Scott Weiland’s legacy even greater because it added to the level of work that he put out.
Favorite line: When you look you see right through me / Cut the rope, fell to my knees / Born and broken every single time
10. Limp Bizkit – “Crack Addict” (2003)
Don’t worry, this song is not about drugs. Bringing our list to an end is the ever popular rage rock group, Limp Bizkit. I’m mostly putting this song on here to give lead singer Fred Durst a mention because I know it’s been a while since anybody’s said his name. This last track was set to be released on their fourth studio album, Results May Vary. However, it did not appear. It was later released as an available download through their MySpace page (here’s the part where I laugh at the fact that this band is so old). If you’re a true headbanger and you appreciate a hardcore song to workout to, this is the tune for you. Warning: song cannot be found on iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, or Pandora. You’ll have to download it illegally like the rest of us.
Favorite line: I’m a crack addict / That’s right I’m a crack addict / You heard me I’m a crack addict / I’m addicted to crackin’ skulls when punks start static! / It’s time to panic