21 Fast-Paced Workout Songs You'll Love


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  263 comments   :  1,314,867 Views

It's been far too long since I've shared some new music ideas for you to update your workout playlists, but reading the New York Times Well blog recently reminded me just how important music is during exercise. Recapping several studies about music's affects on exercise intensity and perceived exertion, one in particular caught my eye. In a small study, male college students pedaled stationary bicycles while listening to popular music that the researchers secretly either slowed down or sped up at random, without the knowledge of the participants. When the music was faster, they pedaled faster, liked the music better, and elevated their heart rates more, yet perceived their workouts as less intense than they actually were. When the music slowed down, exactly the opposite happened.

We all know that some good booty-shaking tunes can make our workouts more fun, which is why I prefer to go for beat and music tempo over "motivation" factor, like how the song makes me feel or whether the actual lyrics are particularly inspiring.

If you want to boost the intensity of your workouts and make them feel easier at the same time, try update your workout playlist with one of these upbeat workout songs.

Black Eyed Peas – Rock That Body

Matchbox Twenty – How Far We've Come

Junior Senior – Move Your Feet

Michael Jackson – Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough

The Sounds – Dance with Me

Madonna – Sorry

KT Tunstall – Suddenly I See

Journey – Any Way You Want It

Jimmy Eat World – Pain

Gnarls Barkley – Smiley Faces

Erasure – A Little Respect

Sean Paul – Temperature

Jennifer Lopez – Let's Get Loud

Alien Ant Farm – Smooth Criminal

Johnny Cash – I've Been Everywhere

OK Go – Here It Goes Again

Beyonce – Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)

Rihanna – Please Don't Stop the Music

The Offspring – You're Gonna Go Far, Kid

Rancid – Time Bomb

Outkast – Hey Ya

What are your favorite upbeat workout songs? Do you agree that great music can make your workouts feel easier?

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  • 213
    I am always looking for new music ... to me anyways. - 6/11/2013   3:35:15 PM
  • 212
    Michael Jackson!!!! :) - 6/5/2013   6:39:19 PM
    Moves Like Jagger really helps me especially when I am doing a workout video
    - 5/25/2013   6:42:34 PM
    I totally agree with you. I peronally work better when I have fast phase music. And I enjoy out the workout better. Time just fly!!!!!
    - 5/23/2013   10:54:59 AM
  • 209
    Im listening to Imagine Dragons Night Visions album and I particularly like On Top of the World, Fallen and Working Man when I'm working out. - 5/3/2013   1:53:58 PM
  • 208
    I listen to jango if I work out without a video. - 5/2/2013   5:45:55 PM
  • 207
    The best work-out song ever... Beastie Boys Sabatoge! - 5/2/2013   12:29:20 PM
  • 206
    Donna Summer, "I Feel Love" is always a good one. - 5/2/2013   10:24:58 AM
  • 205
    Well there are some really go christian ones to, but everyone likes different kinds of music? Just lets move it! - 5/2/2013   10:06:34 AM
  • 204
    Some decent songs on there. But where's that country music playlist I'm still waiting for?
    - 5/2/2013   8:35:08 AM
  • 203
    I love "Town Called Malice" by the Jam and "She Sells Sanctuary" by the Cult.....showing my age huh? - 5/2/2013   8:32:38 AM
  • 202
    Too funny! I just posted this question on Facebook yesterday! Thank you for the great suggestions everyone! - 5/1/2013   11:49:20 AM
  • 201
    I'm with JENTHEBLOGGER on AC/DC making the playlist for good Beats Per Minute selections. (The lyrics sometimes make me cringe, but the melodies and harmonies are what make the songs so good.) I've been incorporating some bhangra/Bollywood music as of late, too Here are some songs that are in regular rotation now:

    Lonely Boy--The Black Keys
    Heavy Mood-- Tilly and the Wall
    Sheila Ki Jawani--Sunidhi Chauhan & Vishal Dadlani
    Black Tongue--Yeah Yeah Yeahs
    When the Lights Go Out-- Oingo Boingo
    Ghosts Are Everywhere--Presidents of the United States of America
    Cry For You--September

    - 5/1/2013   11:13:00 AM
  • 200
    The Japanese girl band Perfume gets me going better than anything else! Especially in the early mornings when i'm still trying to wake up :)
    Electro World and Dream Fighter are two good songs.... - 5/1/2013   10:32:13 AM
  • 199
    I'm showing my age here, but AC/DC always makes my exercise playlist, especially Thunderstruck and Long Way to the Top. Of course, I usually have some Kanye (love Stronger!) and Eminem on there too! In the end, putting music you really enjoy will keep you going and lift your mood as well! - 5/1/2013   10:13:19 AM
  • 198
    Ooh! I love A Little Respect by Erasure! My old ipod crashed (only two months after my computer with my 8,000 songs crashed...), and I had to start all over. I had forgotten about this one, so thank you!

    I have a lot of work out songs, but my absolute "push it" list to get me through a shorter, faster run is:
    -'Till I Collapse by Eminem ft Nate Dogg
    - Only the Horses by Scissor Sisters
    - Captain Jack (Grandale Remix by Captain Jack (this is a Dance Dance Revolution one)
    - U Can't Touch This Remix by Beam vs Cyrus feat. MC Hammer
    - Push It by Salt N Pepa
    - Sweat by Snoop Dogg vs David Guetta
    - Enter Sandman by Metallica
    - Dancing in the Dark by Bruce Springsteen
    - You Get What You Give by New Radicals

    And then when I feel like I can't do any more and have to take a walking break and feel like quitting...I play:
    -Don't Give Up by Peter Gabriel
    Or I will play Springsteen by Eric Church just because I think it is beautiful, and it puts me in a good mood and a little pep in my step to make me start up again (at a slower pace and then into a faster one).

    - 5/1/2013   9:55:25 AM
  • 197
    Two of the above listed songs are on my cell phone for exercising (Journey and MJ). Gloria Estefan is one of my favorites also: "Get On Your Feet", "Turn The Beat Around", "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You"... - 5/1/2013   9:44:34 AM
    Not too bad of a list, but I think a person's playlist is personal and has to speak to them. Never been a fan of someone giving me songs to motivate me. But I will use a couple of these songs =) - 5/1/2013   9:21:07 AM
    Love Beyonce. Just can't dance like her but I try to get with it. Lol - 5/1/2013   8:43:23 AM
  • 194
    Thanks! Have several of these, but there are some I don't. Gonna get a few more of these. - 5/1/2013   7:41:45 AM
    Swedish eurodisco singer E-Type har several tunes which make you move, for example Russian lullaby, Back in the loop, Angels crying, Borschtjii, Hold your horses, Campione or Life. All of them super for jogging or just getting in a good mood! - 4/1/2013   11:21:49 AM
  • 192
    I have most of the songs on this list but not in one playlist. I think I'm going to make it now. - 2/20/2013   2:07:16 PM
  • 191
    Great list. I love the black eyed peas, that's not my name, by the ting tings. anything with a fast beat helps when I run. - 1/22/2011   8:55:25 PM
  • 190
    I'm a HUGE Beyonce fan and I love her live performance of Crazy in Love from her B*day Experience tour. I always listen to it at the start and end of my treadmill workout. It gets my blood going and by the end of my workout...I think I'm here and it gives the extra edge to push hard towards the end. THANK YOU B! - 12/21/2010   4:24:15 PM
    Frankie Goes to Hollywood ... RELAX - 10/28/2010   4:37:31 PM
  • 188
    Daniel Bedingfield - I Gotta Get Thru This...it's the perfect motivation to go a little bit harder during a workout. - 10/18/2010   5:07:21 PM
  • 187
    This may be a weird one, but I find myself almost singing it out loud and pedaling faster when on the elliptical machine at the gym ... Marvin Gaye's version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" ... - 10/9/2010   8:28:10 PM
  • 186
    Music is an important part of my workouts. Katy Perry and Blake Lewis are 2 favorites of my workouts. I also like WhiteCross. - 10/7/2010   10:21:40 PM
    I like prodigy's album music for a jilted generation - 10/4/2010   11:08:41 PM
  • 184
    So glad Rancid made the list! - 10/3/2010   10:03:24 AM
  • 183
    Relient K is great for upbeat short songs - 10/2/2010   6:18:29 PM
    Is there a way to share a zip file with all the musics together? - 9/30/2010   3:39:08 PM
    I exercise to Biggest Loser CD 80's music - 9/29/2010   7:08:01 AM
  • 180
    I actually like listening to the soundtrack of Mamma Mia-it has some really fast paced songs and it is over an hour long so you get a good workout. I use it even when I'm doing Walk it Out and it seems to work fine. - 9/24/2010   5:16:28 PM
  • 179
    I love listening to Gwen Stefani when I work out. I also love Rancid (so happy that they were on your list!), Michale Jackson, motley Crue, Rise Against, Black eyed Peas, Lady GaGa, and lots of punk rock! Its so loud and fast that you just can't help but get your butt movin'! - 9/24/2010   1:29:17 PM
    I need upbeat lyrics in addition to upbeat tempo - and How Far We've Come just doesn't cut it. - 9/24/2010   12:50:46 PM
  • 177
    I'm a big fan of running to Beyonce (or is it from her Destiny's Child days?) Crazy in Love - 9/24/2010   12:01:10 PM
    Opening up iTunes right now, so I can add these to my Couch to 5K routine. Thanks!! - 9/24/2010   3:56:12 AM
    Lasgo ! Inna , Madonna,
    Dj encore- i see right through you. - 9/23/2010   6:54:44 PM
  • PEPE865
    When I'm walking, the song 500 Miles by the Proclaimers will start playing in my head at some point. I don't need to carry an iPod :) - 9/23/2010   3:32:56 PM
  • 173
    Thanks for all the awesome suggestions! For me, music changes exercise to playtime!
    *hugs* - 9/23/2010   3:05:39 PM
  • 172
    Nice lists here...
    I'd also like to add:
    "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus (don't judge me).
    "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen.
    "Can't hold us down" by Lil Kim and Christina A.
    "Let me blow your mind" by Eve feat Gwen Stefani.
    "Imma Be" Black Eyed Peas.
    - 9/23/2010   10:44:31 AM
  • 171
    Great list - Definitely took a few of your suggestions - comes just in time for my 1/2 marathon this weekend and was definitely looking to spice the play list up.

    Some of my favorites:

    Gotta Feeling - Black Eyed Peas
    Lay All your love on me - Abba
    Promises in the Dark - Pat Benatar
    Lose Yourself - Eminem
    I'm Not Afraid - Eminem
    Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
    Alive & Kicking - Simple Minds
    Relight my Fire (old disco song)
    Beautiful Day - U2
    Pretty Vegas - INXS
    Paradise City - Guns n Roses
    It Goes Around the World - ATC
    I'm Every Woman - Chaka Kahn
    I Get Knocked Down - Chumbawumba
    Telephone - Lady Gaga - 9/23/2010   9:29:39 AM
    HOw about the Classics, as in Bach, Mozart? - 9/23/2010   7:08:43 AM
    Is it sad to admit that I bought a CD of music I heard at the gym (a compilation of euphoric house tunes such as Spiller's Groovejet)? Seriously, though, when I listen to it now, it reminds me of being there!

    Apart from euphoric house, anything by the Chemical Brothers - they've NEVER recorded a bad track - with the Beth Orton tracks good for cool down. Though I like it, Drum and Bass is too fast! - 9/23/2010   6:43:54 AM
  • 168
    I find when I listen to music my feet have to move. To me the best to listen to is show tunes When I listen to Chorus Line I see myself dancing ..so I dance.. - 9/22/2010   11:48:56 PM
  • 167
    BLACKHUNTER, I listen to a lot of country. Check out Anthony Smith's "If That Ain't Country" album. Tons of upbeat stuff there. I also like Garth Brooks, he has quite a few songs that get you moving, like "Longneck Bottle", "Two Pina Coladas", "Wrapped Up In You", "Do What You Gotta Do". George Strait, " Carrying Your Love With Me", "All My Ex's Live in Texas", Hank Williams, "Hey, Good Lookin'", Jeannie C. Riley "Harper Valley P.T.A.", Jo Dee Messina, "Bring on the Rain", Johnny & June Carter Cash "Jackson", Johnny Paycheck "Take this Job and Shove It", LeAnn Rimes, "One Way Ticket", Mindy McCready, "A Girl's Gotta Do" and "Guys Do It All the Time" Roger Miller, "Dang Me" and "King of the Road" Tennessee Ernie Ford "Sixteen Tons" (great for weights, lol) Toby Keith "How Do You Like Me Now", "I Wanna Talk About Me", and "I Love This Bar" Bobby Bare and the Old Dogs "Still Gonna Die" Dave Dudley "Six Days on the Road" (also recorded by Sawyer Brown), Dixie Chicks "Ready to Run" and "Goodbye Earl" Eddie Rabbit "Every Which Way but Loose" and "I Love a Rainy Night"
    Hope this helps the country fans! - 9/22/2010   10:09:51 PM
  • 166
    Thanks, I just bought a new ipod and wanted some new music! Great article! - 9/22/2010   5:26:54 PM
  • CYCLONE564
    #1 workout song:

    Don't stop moving
    by S Club 7 - 9/22/2010   4:29:53 PM
    Thanks for suggesting the new tunes! - 9/22/2010   2:38:29 PM

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