My Exercise Tunes

In general, I’m pretty much incapable of doing any activity without the proper soundtrack as an accompaniment. If ever you see me shopping in the grocery store, standing in line at the bank, or just strolling down the street, I’m knee deep in my own music video fantasy.

The success of my exercise routine is highly dependent upon the perfect music mix. I have a painfully short attention span, which makes reading books/magazines while exercising almost impossible. Sometimes, if I get stuck on a bad song while I’m exercising, I can feel a noticeable lag in my productivity. But with the perfect music, I become a MACHINE.

I rarely listen to entire albums, and some of my favorite work-out songs are not songs which I would listen to under any other circumstance (i.e. around other people). In fact, I’ve been embarrassed more than once by realizing that the song I’m jamming out to is blaring so loudly that the person on the spin bike next to me is mouthing the lyrics to a fairly embarrassing song.

Likewise, there’s a lot of music I love that drags me down when I’m working out.

Here are some of my favorite songs for working out.  What Are Your Favorite Exercise Songs?

[There are a few artists (Daft Punk, Michael Jackson, Peaches, Prince, etc.) which compose a huge portion of my mixes. The list below only includes a few “essentials”.]

Amanda Blank– Big Heavy

Bel Biv Devoe– Poison

Britney Spears– Womanizer

The Contours– Do You Love Me?

The Cool Kids featuring Lil Wayne– Gettin’ It

Crystal Castles– Untrust Us

Daft Punk– Around The World

Destiny’s Child– Nasty Girl

The Donnas– Too Bad About Your Girl

Drake– Best I Ever Had

The Dresden Dolls– Mandy Goes To Med School

Feist– Gatekeeper (Do Right Remix)

The Fiery Furnaces– Single Again

Girl Talk-One of the few artists whose entire albums can be the soundtrack of my workouts; I especially love Night Ripper and Feed The Animals

Gnarls Barkley– Smiley Faces

Gogol Bordello– Mala Vida

Gossip– Where The Girls Are

Jackson Five– Dancing Machine

Jamiroquai– Canned Heat

Jump, Little Children– My Guitar

Kanye West– Stronger

Lady Gaga– Bad Romance

Lady Gaga– Paparazzi

Le Tigre– Nanny Nanny Boo Boo

M.I.A.– Teqkilla

M.I.A.– Bamboo Banga

Madonna– Deeper and Deeper

Marvin Gaye– Got To Give It Up (Part 1)

Michael Jackson– Bad

Michael Jackson– Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’

Miss TK and The Revenge– No Biterz (DMNDAYS Remix)

N.E.R.D.– She Wants To Move

Outkast– Bombs Over Baghdad

Otis Redding– Love Man

Pat Benetar– Heartbreaker

Peaches– Mommy Complex

Peaches– Tombstone, Baby

Prince– Baby, I’m A Star

Prince– Computer Blue

The Prodigy– Smack My Bitch Up

Queen– Bicycle Race

The Red Hot Chili Peppers– Higher Ground

Rihanna– Rude Boy

The Roots– Web

Spank Rock– Loose

Sleater-Kinney– Dig Me Out

Sleater-Kinney– Entertain

Tobacco– Backwoods Altar

Unk– Walk it Out (Remix)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs– Date With The Night


3 responses to “My Exercise Tunes

  1. Sam

    I can’t go anywhere without music, either. It’s particularly helpful at the gym to distract me from thinking “Is that bitch looking at me? I think that bitch is looking at me. Oh man, check out *that* guy. Please don’t look at my ass, pleasedontlookatmyass!!” It kind of keeps me focused and feeling kickass!

    Warmup/warmdown music is just as essential to me as my actual workout jams. It has to have the right tempo. I like “Breathe” by Telepopmusik and “Boom” by Anjulie, among others.

    Otherwise, my favorite workout songs include
    Marcy Playground — Comin’ Up From Behind
    Matt & Kim — Cinders
    Matt & Kim — Daylight
    Hot Chip — I Feel Better
    Hot Chip — Ready For The Floor
    Radiohead — Idioteque
    MGMT — Kids
    MGMT — Time to Pretend
    MGMT — Electric Feel
    Pretty much anything by Lady Gaga
    Kid Cudi & MGMT — Pursuit of Happiness

    There’s lots more, and I’m with you on the Daft Punk and Peaches! I gotta listen to some Girl Talk.

    Take care!

    Sam S.

  2. Julia

    I’m so excited to add your songs to my running playlist!

    Here are some of my favorites:
    Black Eyed Peas – Pump it
    KT Tunstall – Black Horse and the Cherry Tree
    Mika – Grace Kelly
    Mika – Lollipop
    Mika – Love Today
    OK Go – Here We Go Again (I always think of the treadmill video!)
    OK Go – Don’t Ask Me
    OK Go – You’re So Damn Hot
    Outkast – Hey Ya
    Far East Movement – Like a G6
    Oh No! Oh My! – Walk in the Park
    Patrick Wolfe – The Magic Position
    Pink – Cuz I Can
    Pink – So What
    Rihanna – Pon de Replay
    Scissor Sisters – Laura
    Simon & Garfunkle – Cecilia
    The Vines – Get Free
    The White Stripes – Icky Thump
    Third Eye Blind – Semi-Charmed Life
    Yeah Yeah Yeahs – Y Control

    I listened to these podcasts when I was doing Couch to 5k:

    Also, I found this article (“I’m not really running, I’m not really running”) incredibly helpful when I first started using a treadmill and didn’t own an mp3 player:

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