20 Powerful Songs That Will Transform Your Workout Playlist


Who knows workout music better than the trainers who work at some of the best gyms in the United States? We asked fitness experts for the most intense songs that get them going, and these were their suggestions.


Motivation a bit lacking? Try this workout playlist. (Image: 10'000 Hours/DigitalVision/GettyImages)

1. "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses

"If you've ever tried Tabatas (20 seconds of exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated eight times), this is the perfect workout tune," says nutritionist Mike Roussell, host of The Dr. Mike Show podcast.

2. "C'mon (Catch 'Em By Surprise)" by Tiesto featuring Busta Rhymes

"You can't really go wrong with Tiesto if you need something to bring up the pace and keep you moving," says strength coach Tony Gentilcore, CSCS. He uses this song to help push through sprints or running steps.

3. "Down" by Stone Temple Pilots

Some songs are so powerful that they make you want to hit something. This STP tune is no exception. Joe Dowdell, CSCS, owner of Peak Performance, recommends "Down" for boxing workouts.

4. "Carry It" by Travis Barker, RZA, Raekwon, Tom Morello

"Pop this in on your ride to the gym and start getting fired up. It's perfect because it's not too crazy, so you don't fry yourself before," says strength coach Jason Ferruggia, CSCS.

5. "Enter Sandman" by Metallica

"When you're doing a strongman circuit, which requires both strength and endurance, few songs fit the bill better than this classic," says Dowdell.

6. "Cochise" by Audioslave

"If you're looking for a song before lifting heavy weights, this has to be a go-to option," says Gentilcore.

7. "Are You Ready?" by Rollins Band

"After you finish your warm-up, this is the perfect song right before you begin your workout," Ferruggia says. "Are you ready to rip it up? Are you ready to tear it down?" The lyrics will have you ready!

8. "Mosh" by Eminem

"The beat alone is enough to have anyone ready to hit the gym. Tune this up before doing a heavy lift or an exercise you struggle with," says strength coach Jim Smith, CSCS.

9. "Hot For Teacher" by Van Halen

"What more could you ask for? Great drums and a good up-beat tempo that gets you moving," says health and weight-loss expert, Brad Pilon.


10. "No More Sorrow" by Linkin Park

"This song is good for heavy pulling exercises because it starts a little slow (while you're getting your head together), and then ramps up when you're ready to pick heavy weights up off the floor," says strength coach Eric Cressey, CSCS.

11. "Lost at Birth" by Public Enemy

"This makes me lose my mind right before a big set or max effort," says Ferruggia.

12. "Mouth for War" by Pantera

"Some people only need songs for that final mental push. In that situation, save this song to help you work a little harder," says nutritionist Alan Aragon.

13. "Spaz Out" by Army of the Pharaohs

"For anyone who does squats or deadlifts, this is perfect right before you start moving the weight," Ferruggia says.

14. "Welcome Home" by Coheed and Cambria

You might have never heard of this song (we didn't), but it's another favorite for heavy lifts, Gentilcore says.

15. "Hells Bells" by AC/DC

Intervals are one of the best forms of fat loss currently used by trainers, and this song fits the bill to help you get through the mentally draining sessions.

16. "Down With the Sickness" by Disturbed

Some people think of the dynamic warmup as a passive process. But when done right, it should have your heart rate pumping and your body ready to go. That's why strength coach, Bret Contreras, CSCS, uses this song to prepare his muscles and help avoid injury.

17. "'Till I Collapse" by Eminem

The song's beginning should have you focused: "You gotta search within you. You gotta find that inner strength…" "If you're looking for the perfect time to pull out this song, it's great for metabolic circuits, Airdyne Sprints or battling ropes," says PJ Striet, owner of FORCE Fitness and Performance, LLC.

18. "Power" by Kanye West

Think what you will about Kanye, but this tune has the all the elements of a great workout song. If you're having trouble dragging yourself to the gym, pop this on, grab the keys and go. It's Smith's pre-workout favorite.

19. "Electric Head Pt. I" by White Zombie

You won't hear this song on the radio, but you'll probably find it playing at the highly acclaimed, Indianapolis Fitness and Sports Training, where co-owner Mike Robertson, CSCS, recommends this as part of his go-to playlist.

20. "You Don't Know" by 50 Cent and Eminem

The best way to finish a timed-circuit still standing? Pick a fast-paced song and keep on pushing till you've performed all your work. This song is a favorite of Smith and his Diesel Crew.