The Best Exercise and Workout Music

workout music

The Best Exercise and Workout Music:

Mixes, Songs and Playlists for your Fitness Routines

Music to your ears! Then to your muscle!

For me, music and exercise go together like pizza and beer. Bad analogy? Not on your cheat day! I got to thinking, as I did a Hub on my favorite workout music a while back, why not do another one and put the emphasis on the type of training and music that fits the occasion.

Each of these activities I do to one extent or another. So I will impart on you the “soundtracks” to my training.

But not to be just a post about music, I will also include a sample workout to go with the aforementioned music. So you can, download the music, if you don’t already have it, print the workout and have at it!

Disclaimer: The workouts I will suggest here are just that, suggestions. If you’re not sure about your fitness level and how your body will react, go get checked out by the doctor before you begin exercising. Don’t push the limits when you don’t know what they are. Comprende?

Running and Jogging

Sorry to say it, but there is NO better music for running than music from Rocky. Actually, music from Rocky is good for most training especially when you may need to dig deep to get through a session. If you’re halfway through it and start to feel sluggish, Gonna Fly Now in my opinion is equivalent to smelling salts and ammonia caps for powerlifters.

Try Interval Training:

For this you’ll need space, a track or a treadmill. I prefer an empty field or track but it’s up to you.

Sprint, Jog, Sprint, Jog, Sprint, Jog. Pick your distance based on your fitness level. If it’s 25 yards of sprinting and 50 jogging, so be it. Just make you goal to reverse that to 50 yards of sprinting and 25 jogging.

Your Challenge, should you choose to accept it: Stay active for the entire 3 songs.

I’ll leave it to your good judgment to figure out a plan and a system, but if you’re looking to boost your metabolism, get in a great workout in a short period of time and shed some fat without sacrificing hard earned muscle, this is for you.

One example plan:

Warm up & Loosen Up: 10 minutes of Jumping Jacks and Joint Mobility Drills.

-50 yard dash. 100 yard jog. Stay at it for all 3 songs. If you’re still winded by the end of the jog after the dash, walk around until you feel you got another dash in you. Repeat. Track progress. Try this 3 times a week.


I have a dusty mountain bike in the car park behind my apartment. It doesn’t get used as much use (ever) as I would like. Time it seems is this bike’s bitter enemy and it’s lonely seat is eager for a butt to take it out adventuring.

However, this particular biking adventure will have to take place in a different time and place. Someday, I’ll dust off the seat, fix the tires and take the old girl out. Until then, we’re going to bike ala Tabata Protocol style and it’s a 12 minute doozy!

This one can be done at the gym or on a real bike out in nature. If you’re out in nature, make sure you’ve got a good stretch or land and are safe from cars and trucks.

This is the pure, original workout here. Ideally, you’ll want a recumbent bike and you’ll be in the gym, but any bike will do. If you, like me have a dusty, rusty bike and the reality is, you’re not going to the gym, then head outside and find a nice strip of grass and put your running shoes on. Why, Because this works well with running too.

You want to spend 4 minutes of warming up at a moderate pace building up to…

20 seconds of “all out” and 10 seconds of “cruise” do that for 4 minutes (8 cycles)

Then spend 4 minutes to cool down.

Before starting this though, make sure you have warmed up well. The intensity of these bursts can cause injury to a cold muscle. So that could be 10 minutes of Jumping Jacks or Jump Rope. Just get warm and stretch a bit before the 4 minute second warm up.

Same idea as running. 3 times a week. Keep it separate from other training.

Music? Ah yes, here you go:


I like a good long rowing session. For me it’s a way to stretch out my back, get in some power breathing, practice driving from the heels, and also a great way to clear the mind. Repetitive motion can have a tonic effect on the body. At least on mine. And the mind too.

So when I row, it’s not just to get all sweaty and panting like a dog. I row for peace of mind, body and spirit. I’ll set the timer for 20 to 30 minutes and just row. Some strokes will be lackadaisical while others will be hard and fast depending on how I feel. I hardly ever try to get smoked in a rowing session.

And for that, I really enjoy piano music. Below you’ll find my favorite piano music CD and it is also one piece that is great for realigning the noggin!

Weight Training

Whether it’s Olympic Style Weightlifting (which is explosive) or Powerlifting (slow and progressive) or Bodybuilding (think Pumping Iron) lifting weights always goes well with music.

Now I don’t know about you, but as far as I’m concerned, lifting weights requires some good ol’ fashioned Rock and stinking Roll (feel free to replace stinking with the adjective or adverb of your choice).

Since there are so many different weightlifting styles and routines, I’ll put down a few of my favorite Rock Albums for some good ol’ fashioned weight training.

Reminiscent of teenage years lifting weights in my buddy’s garage or in the high school gym…

So for your weight training routine(s), I’m going to link you up to a couple Hubs here.  The first one is here:

and the second one is here:

Both Hubs will have routines for you that will go quite nicely with the following music.  OK, here we go!

Kettlebell Training: Grinds

A grind is just that. Heavy enough to have to lift slow and grind your way through it. The best Kettlebell Grind, hands down is The Turkish Get Up. You start laying down, press a kettlebell overhead and then through a series of movements, stand up. Once up, reverse it and lay back down. You can see a full detailed description of The Turkish Get Up here:

Once you’ve got a firm grip on The Turkish Get Up, the next best grind is the Kettlebell Military Press.

You can also grind your way through the Kettlebell Squat.

Ground One Out the Workout

Warm Up with the Turkish Get Up Get Up 5

Military Press 3 Ladders up to 5. Kettlebell Front Squat 3 Ladders up to 5.

What are ?adders? Take a look!

Additional Music for the Climb…

Legend: The Best of Bob Marley & The Wailers

Always a favorite of mine. Keeps me positive and focused with plenty of joy and energy.

The Doors

This album takes you for a ride and you can let the music guide your workout. I love it for that reason.

Van Halen Best of Both Worlds

Let’s not debate the whole Van Halen/Hagar thing, lets just enjoy the good rock-n-roll both bands brought to the table.

Gladiator Soundtrack

Try this and thank me later. ‘Nuff Said.

Kettlebell Training: Ballistics

Kettlebell Ballistics are just that. Explosive. The most popular Kettlebell Ballistic drill and also the foundation of all Kettlebell exercises is the Kettlbell Swing.

In my Hub, How To Learn the Kettlebell Swing In Ten Minutes, I lay forth a challenge to complete as many sets of a designated amount of repetitions as possible in ten minutes.  This challenge is inspired by the book Enter The Kettlebell by Pavel Tsatsouline.  In Enter the Kettlebell , Pavel tells about a Swing Routine called the Man Maker (sorry ladies, but don’t worry, you can play too!  I know many ladies who are stronger and tougher then a lot of men I know)

The Man Maker is 12 minutes of as many Swings as you can get in good solid form.

Below you’ll find 12 minutes of ballistic music to power you through your workout…