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100 Best Workout Songs of 2012

girl running on treadmill with headphonesAs you have probably already figured out, a good playlist can be the difference between a so-so workout and an amazing one. Something about the drum beats and the song’s climax can really get our adrenaline pumping and push us harder than we’ve ever pushed. What songs really pumped you up this past year and pushed you the extra mile? I surveyed my friends, family, the internet, and added in a few of my favorites for Coach Calorie’s 100 Best Workout Songs of 2012. Let us know what you think!

Disclaimer: Some song lyrics are NSFW!

Popular Music

These are the songs that you probably hear on the radio or tv quite a bit, but just because they’re popular don’t count them out for some adrenaline in your earphones.

  1. Call Me Maybe – Carly Rae Jepsen     |     LISTEN
  2. Gangnam Style – PSY     |     LISTEN
  3. One More Night – Maroon 5     |     LISTEN
  4. Feel Again – One Republic     |     LISTEN
  5. Scream – Usher     |     LISTEN
  6. Your Body – Christina Aguilera     |     LISTEN
  7. Don’t Wake Me Up- Chris Brown     |     LISTEN
  8. Wild Ones – Flo Rida     |     LISTEN
  9. Boyfriend – Justin Bieber     |     LISTEN
  10. Live While We’re Young – One Direction     |     LISTEN
  11. Spectrum (Say My Name) – Florence + The Machine     |     LISTEN
  12. What Doesn’t Kill You (Makes You Stronger) – Kelly Clarkson     |     LISTEN
  13. Blow Me One Last Kiss – Pink     |     LISTEN
  14. Give Your Heart A Break – Demi Lovato     |     LISTEN
  15. The Fighter – Gym Class Heroes     |     LISTEN
  16. Locked Out of Heaven – Bruno Mars     |     LISTEN
  17. Where You Wanna Go – Mischa Daniels & J-Son     |     LISTEN
  18. Some Nights – Fun     |     LISTEN
  19. Brokenhearted – Karmin     |     LISTEN
  20. Die Young – Kesha     |     LISTEN
  21. Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself) – Ne-Yo     |     LISTEN
  22. Where Have You Been – Rihanna     |     LISTEN
  23. Part of Me – Katy Perry     |     LISTEN
  24. Domino – Jessie J     |     LISTEN
  25. Too Close – Alex Clare     |     LISTEN
  26. As Long As You Love Me – Justin Bieber featuring Big Sean     |     LISTEN
  27. Without You – David Guetta and Usher     |     LISTEN
  28. Pound The Alarm – Nicki Minaj     |     LISTEN
  29. Get It Started – Pitbull and Shakira     |     LISTEN
  30. Good Time – Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen     |     LISTEN
  31. Titanium – David Guetta and Sia     |     LISTEN
  32. Kiss You – One Direction     |     LISTEN
  33. I Knew You Were Trouble – Taylor Swift     |     LISTEN
  34. Blown Away – Carrie Underwood     |     LISTEN
  35. 50 Ways to Say Goodbye – Train     |     LISTEN
  36. Chasing the Sun – The Wanted     |     LISTEN
  37. Give Me All Your Luvin’ (Madonna Feat. M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj)     |     LISTEN
  38. Ain’t Nobody – Mary J. Blige     |     LISTEN
  39. Want U Back – Cher Lloyd     |     LISTEN
  40. Now or Never – Outasight     |     LISTEN
  41. Good Feeling – Flo Rida     |     LISTEN
  42. Turn Me On – David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj     |     LISTEN
  43. Scream & Shout – ft. Britney Spears     |     LISTEN
  44. Cruise – Florida Georgia Line     |     LISTEN
  45. Clique – Kanye West, Jay-Z, Big Sean     |     LISTEN
  46. Hall of Fame – The Script ft.     |     LISTEN
  47. Everybody Talks – Neon Trees     |     LISTEN
  48. I Cry – Flo Rida     |     LISTEN
  49. The One That Got Away – Katy Perry     |     LISTEN
  50. 22 – Taylor Swift     |     LISTEN

Indie – Electronic – Lesser Known

This is my “hipster” playlist, the off-the-radar type stuff that you probably haven’t heard but should. These beats are killer for workouts. (Thanks to my extremely cool and much younger brothers-in-law for their contributions to this list)

  1. Babes – Icky Blossoms     |     LISTEN
  2. Don’t Go The Other Way – Cody ChesnuTT     |     LISTEN
  3. Default – Django Django     |     LISTEN
  4. Don’t Save Me – HAIM     |     LISTEN
  5. Losing You – Solange     |     LISTEN
  6. True Thrush – Dan Deacon     |     LISTEN
  7. The House That Heaven Built – Japandroids     |     LISTEN
  8. Five Seconds – Twin Shadow     |     LISTEN
  9. Midnight City – M83     |     LISTEN
  10. Elephant – Tame Impala     |     LISTEN
  11. XOXO – Cherub     |     LISTEN
  12. Demons – Sleigh Bells     |     LISTEN
  13. I Love It – Icona Pop ft. Charli XCX     |     LISTEN
  14. Sweet Nothing – Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch     |     LISTEN
  15. Synthetica – Metric     |     LISTEN
  16. Greyhound – Swedish House Mafia     |     LISTEN
  17. Oblivion – Grimes     |     LISTEN
  18. Wonder – Eternal Summers     |     LISTEN
  19. Sad Eyes – Crystal Castles     |     LISTEN
  20. Nuclear Seasons – Charli XCX     |     LISTEN
  21. Awkward – San Cisco     |     LISTEN
  22. All of Me – Tanlines     |     LISTEN
  23. I’ve Got Your Music – Saint Etienne     |     LISTEN
  24. Lucky Numbers – Generationals     |     LISTEN
  25. Why You Wanna – Poolside     |     LISTEN
  26. Good For You – Icona Pop     |     LISTEN
  27. Doused – Diiv     |     LISTEN
  28. Nightmusic – Grimes (ft. Majical Clouds)     |     LISTEN
  29. Objectum Sexuality – Big Boi ft. Phantogram     |     LISTEN
  30. Let It Go – Dragonette     |     LISTEN
  31. I Fink U Freeky – Die Antwoord     |     LISTEN
  32. Silhouettes – Avicii     |     LISTEN
  33. Carried Away – Passion Pit     |     LISTEN
  34. Big City Lights – Lazer Cake     |     LISTEN
  35. Can’t Get Enough – The Sweet Serenades     |     LISTEN
  36. Monkey – Hospitality     |     LISTEN
  37. Don’t Deny Your Heart – Hot Chip     |     LISTEN
  38. Bending the Light – Apollo Run     |     LISTEN
  39. Ghosts – Young Cairo     |     LISTEN
  40. Geraldine – The Avett Brothers     |     LISTEN
  41. Stairway – Yukon Blonde     |     LISTEN
  42. Only The Horses – Scissor Sisters     |     LISTEN
  43. Paddling Out – Miike Snow     |     LISTEN
  44. We Should Be Swimming – Zulu Winter     |     LISTEN
  45. Colour – Wild Cub     |     LISTEN
  46. Youth Is Wasted On The Young – Young Galaxy     |     LISTEN
  47. Purple – California Wives     |     LISTEN
  48. Bangarang – Skrillex ft. Sirah     |     LISTEN
  49. Promises – Nero     |     LISTEN
  50. The Veldt – deadmau5 feat. Chris James     |     LISTEN

I had a lot of fun compiling this list! What songs would you add?

  • Chelsey

    I’m more into metal (like Iron Maiden…not that screamy crap), so this list doesn’t do much for me. But you’re right–great music makes a HUGE difference in how I work out. I think I spend more money on new work out music than on anything else. lol

    • Deanna Schober

      It’s a great motivator for sure Chelsey. Since creating this list I’ve been more excited to get out there.

    • http://google sherrie

      Metal all the way \m/ !! And old school power metal from the 80’s. Not into the teeny bopper crap. Music is a huge part of my day (hubby is a musician) especiallly when I work out, Makes it go by super quick and gets me excited.

  • Meli C

    Killer list! Thanks!

    • Deanna Schober

      You’re very welcome!

  • Ian

    Agree totally–what is it with the 80’s metal that adds motivation anyway??? Nothing pushes you over that last hill like some ‘Run to the Hills’ from Iron Maiden — haha.

  • Jim Maples

    Nice list!

    I do both weights and HIIT (including jogging). For me, I like to have a mixture of upbeat music for when I lift and more easy going music when I do the jogging part of my HIIT. So my ipod has a mixture.

    One group that Iove to listen to (which includes both types) is Nickelback. Oh and some Smashmouth songs are pretty good as well. But probably my favorite artist is Rihanna. She totally rocks.

    • Jessica

      Couldn’t agree more about Rihanne…I don’t generally listen to her or feel strongly about her either away the rest of the time but danm she is good to work out to! Disturbia, Please don’t stop the music just to name 2. Always gets me pumped :)

      Also some Kanye from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy album and a bit of Eminem never goes astray

    • Deanna Schober

      Jim, my husband loves to run to slower beats, he says to keep his heartbeat down. Rihanna had some great songs from the past few years that I wanted to add but I was trying to keep the list from 2012 only. I couldn’t leave off “Where Have You Been” though!

  • DeeAnn

    Have been using Podrunner (mixes based on bpm) and Groovelectic (good for yard work & other low-cardio work). Every week DJ Steve has something new, mixing new music. Tends toward rave, but keeps me focused interval weightlifting.

    • Deanna Schober

      Thanks for those recommendations DeeAnn! Must check them out.


    I don’t know a single song on that list.!! How about compiling a list for us OLDIES (53 years old) of songs from our ‘youth’ that mean something to us. Now that would get my feet pounding the pavement!!

    • Deanna Schober

      Ha Nadine, just so you know I did get my 56 year old mother’s input and a few of her selections are here ;) One of these days I’ll have to compile a list from each decade! Thanks for stopping by!

      • Patricia Craddock Archibald

        Black Eyed Peas… Let’s get retarded … this song will kick your butt on the elliptical :) Brickhouse by The Commodores… Dancing on the Ceiling by Lionel Ritchie…Bad by Michael Jackson…Born to be wild … gonna have to think on this one :)

  • Cristina

    This is great! I can’t train without music!
    I will create a Spotify list and share it!!!

  • Suzanne @WorkoutNirvana

    Great list! I’m always looking for new music. It’s so dang individual. I listen to quite a few on this list, however, and got some new ideas!

    • Deanna Schober

      Thanks Suzanne!

  • Mary Watters

    Totally agree with Nadine, (52 years, how about some Springsteen (born to run) or Stone Roses (Love Spread) or even Kings of Leon. That list is has so much crap on it!

  • Deb

    I agree with Nadine, although I know a bunch of the songs… nothing like Madonna, Bon Jovi, Meatloaf, ABBA, Johnny Cash, Motley Crue and Billy Idol seasoned with a bit of Poison to keep things varied and upbeat.

  • Mari

    oops, this will date me but mine has Bad Company, Def Leopard, KISS, Nazareth, Motley Crue, AC/DC, Blue Oyster Cult, Grand Funk Railroad, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Guess Who, etc… The newest stuff I have on my list is KORN from the early 2000’s. Now that’s all good music. Wakes me up during 5 a.m. workouts before work.

  • Susie

    I usually use a lot of music from ROCKY. It might be lame but it damn well works

  • Rob Walk

    Where is the Metal!!