Everyone’s got their exercise routine. Some people have a dedicated workout playlist; some people like to jog along with no soundtrack other than the birds; some of us, um, don’t do any exercise at all. And for a lot of people, the perfect backing track to a session at the gym is a good audiobook. But which book?
Depending on your personal feelings towards working out, you’ve got some options. If you love it, you’re probably going to want something empowering to listen to while you feel the burn. If you hate it, a page-turning thriller is exactly what you need to make the time fly while you trudge away on the treadmill. Busy people can use their time at the gym to brush up on the latest bestsellers that they’d never have time to read otherwise — or to listen to something super-educational to make that workout time extra productive. And if you need some motivation, then perhaps a summery beach read will remind you of what you’re working towards (if that’s your goal! You’re obviously beach-ready just as you are!).
Whatever type of workout reader you are, there’s got to be a perfect audiobook for you — and we’ve teamed up with Audible to bring you some of the latest releases to get your blood pumping.
1. Mycroft Holmes by Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Anna Waterhouse, performed by Damian Lynch
After retiring from being a super-successful basketball player, Kareem Abdul Jabbar went on to co-write this Sherlock Holmes-inspired thriller with screenwriter Anna Waterhouse. It's totally absorbing, and will make the time fly by!
2. Summer at Sea by Beth Labonte, performed by Erin Spencer
This light summery romance will make you feel a million miles away from the gym — and it will remind you of all the summer holiday fun you can have with your new, more muscular physique!
3. Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes, performed by Santino Fontana
This sequel to You is the creepiest thing you'll listen to this year. You might find yourself running faster, rowing harder, and biking more frantically just to get away from the terrifyingly charming Joe!
4. Things I Can’t Explain: A Clarissa Novel by Mitchell Kriegman, performed by Emily Hart
If, like me, you're someone who doesn't much like the gym at all, it can help to get lost in your own little world. And there's nothing quite like nostalgia to transport you away to another place. This sequel to the 1990s hit Nickelodeon show Clarissa Explains It All is performed by Melissa Joan Hart's little sister — so it feels like the real deal.
5. Play It Safe by Kristen Ashley, performed by Savannah Richards
When the blood's pumping to your head, and endorphins and adrenaline are flying around (can you tell I paid attention in science class at school?), things can get a little... emotional. You need a summer romance with enough heat and drama to match — and Play It Safe is the perfect audiobook for the occasion.
6. Borrowed Time by Edie Claire, narrated by Amber Benson
There's enough drama, secrets and romance in this suspenseful novel to keep your heart bumping for hours even after you've left the gym. I mean, it's basically a workout in itself.
8. Vino Business: The Cloudy World of French Wine by Isabelle Saporta, performed by Kristin Kalbli
My least favorite thing about the gym is that you're not allowed to drink wine there — but the second-best thing to drinking wine is reading about it. (Said no one ever, but humor me here.) This nonfiction title, written by an investigative journalist, is absolutely thrilling. You'll find yourself racing harder than ever on the treadmill —partly from excitement, and partly so you can get home sooner and pour yourself a glass.
9. Uninformed: Why People Know So Little About Politics and What We Can Do About It by Arthur Lupia, performed by Kevin Pariseau
Try as we might, it can be hard to keep up with all the election details that we're supposed to know — so the gym is the perfect time to brush up on your political knowledge. Come summer, you can impress people with your toned abs and your election trivia.
10. Leonard: My Fifty Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner, performed by the author
No matter how tough the gym is, no matter how much your muscles ache, there's nothing so painful that William Shatner's voice in your ear can't make it all worthwhile.