21 Songs Guaranteed to Make You Work Out Harder
No doubt about it, music can make or break a workout. We're not just saying that — science proves the right tunes can enhance your time in the gym. Just this year, studies showed music can make long cardio sessions more enjoyable and help you work harder during high-intensity interval training.
And, in 2014, our favorite artists delivered countless jams that keep us going harder, faster, stronger. Not to mention, some of their epic videos provide just the kind of inspiration we need to get off the couch ("Booty," anyone?). From Meghan Trainor's body-love anthem to pretty much everything Ariana Grande worked on this year, 2014's best workout songs are guaranteed to make you want to move.
Pump up the volume on the Spotify playlist below next time you hit the treadmill, stationary bike, or weight machines. Just don't be surprised when you find yourself cranking out more speed, miles, or reps than ever before.
1. "All About That Bass," Meghan Trainor
A catchy song like this is just begging for repeat status at the gym. And, who doesn't love a little self-affirmation while breaking a sweat?
2. "Bang Bang," Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj
A little competition between divas — plus a beat that's perfect for pacing yourself on the treadmill — never hurt anyone. In fact, it's all payoff for listeners.
3. "Fancy," Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX
First things first, if you're not rapping along to Iggy while pumping out reps, you're doing something wrong. Second of all, this happens to be a perfect track for distracting yourself during planks. Trust.
4. "All My Love," Major Lazer, Ariana Grande
Grande's new Mockingjay jam is a slow build, just like your warmup jog. But once the beat drops, you'll be ready to fly.
5. "Baby Don't Lie," Gwen Stefani
You know why Gwen Stefani's still got the best abs in the music biz? Because she keeps putting out dance-worthy reggae-tinged jams like this. Meet you at Zumba?
6. "Booty," Jennifer Lopez, Iggy Azalea
Squat your heart out to this jam. Need extra motivation? Just watch the video (friendly reminder that Jennifer Lopez is 45 and still rocking a derriere like that).
7. "L.A. Love (La La)," Fergie
Fergie's back, and her flow is perfect for keeping yourself on track, whether you're setting the pace for strength training reps or long-distance running.
8. "Happy," Pharrell
We dare you not to dance to this infectious track. Pharrell's been behind some of our favorite workout tunes from other artists; it's about time he turned the spotlight on himself.
9. "Pompeii," Bastille
This is another great warmup tune for your run — pace your steps to the beat, then pick up your speed every time the band reaches the chorus. Easiest intervals ever.
10. "Talk Dirty," Jason Derulo, 2 Chainz
Let Derulo get you two-stepping on the treadmill. With a beat this catchy, you'll barely notice the miles passing by.
11. "Chandelier," Sia
Don't blame Sia if her chorus actually makes you want to swing from the chandeliers (or, you know, fluorescent light fixtures).
12. "Centuries," Fall Out Boy
Ah, a good pop-punk song goes so far at the gym. Looking to burn off a bad mood or speed up your sprints? Queue up this anthemic jam.
13. "No Flex Zone," Rae Sremmurd
Hey, if this track is good enough to keep Jessica Alba motivated through endless leg lifts, it's good enough for us.
14. "Boom Clap," Charli XCX
OK, sure, this song started as The Fault In Our Star's aural tearjearker, but just try timing your weight reps to that beat — it's so good, you'll barely notice how much you're lifting.
15. "Can't Remember to Forget You," Shakira, Rihanna
Shakira's Latin flavor + Rihanna's Queen of Pop status = a guaranteed hit that will keep you moving no matter what your workout of choice is.
16. "Shut Up And Dance," Walk The Moon
You hear that beat, the one that you'd be clapping along to in concert? It's perfect for that point in your cycling ride when you're ready to hit peak speed. Flat road, go!
17. "I Wanna Get Better," Bleachers
This '80s-tastic throwback track comes from fun.'s Jack Antonoff, who's helped craft some of the past few year's catchiest tunes. Use this as your mid-workout pick-me-up.
18. "Do It Again," Röyksopp, Robyn
It wouldn't be a workout playlist without a track from Swedish pop queen Robyn, who came through with a dance jam that will motivate you to "do it again" — even it that means more burpees.
19. "Don't," Ed Sheeran
Sheeran doesn't seem like an obvious choice for the gym, but this (kind of dirty) soul tune has such a great beat, you won't be able to help adding a little pep to your step.
20. "Blame," Calvin Harris, John Newman
We've still got Harris' "Summer" stuck in our head, but "Blame" is pure gym gold. Keep things steady during Newman's verses, then go all out during the EDM chorus.
21. "Animals," Maroon 5
Ignore the kinda creepy stalking/hunting lyrics — the background beat is so steady, you won't even have to think about pacing yourself (focus instead on how, exactly, Adam Levine can sing that high).
Spotify is the sponsor of this article.