Sometimes you don’t just need awesomely terrible pop to get you moving and grooving at the gym. Sometimes, you need true inspiration—a motivational tune (or 9) to make you dig deep and pull your inner strength from within. While some of these songs are more serious than others, we hope you find some inspiration in even the goofier ones. Use the entire playlist as the soundtrack to your next great strength session (or similarly tough cardio workout) and prepare for 37-or-so minutes of strength-spiration. —Erin
(4:19) Proud, Heather Small: You’ll recognize this one as being The Biggest Loser theme song, and what better way to start a workout? Its gospel vibe and uplifting music will have you wanting to make yourself proud with your workout.
Get It Done
(3:23) Stronger, Britney Spears: No way this classic pop song could be left off the list. It’ll have you thinking “I’m stronger than yesterday, too!” With its message of strength throughout, let its bubblegum beat get you through an interval push or a particularly challenging set.
(3:18) I Will Survive, Gloria Gaynor: Without a doubt one of my favorite all-time songs. If this one doesn’t make you think you can tackle anything life throws your way, I don’t know what will. While it’s about getting over an ex, this one will do more than inspire; it’ll uplift your heart.
(5:11) Stronger, Kanye West: If offended by explicit lyrics, buy the non-explicit version. This hip-hop song has a good beat, a catchy refrain, and a great lyrical twist on the old “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” mantra—a great phrase to repeat when hitting the weights.
(4:04) Eye of the Tiger, Survivor: It’s just you and your will to survive, and of course, this classic song. The steady beat will make you go for the glory—whether during an uphill climb on a bike, a superset or even Turkish get-ups.
(4:38) Tubthumping, Chumbawumba: Always one to get me bopping my head when it comes on the radio, this song will make you want to get up when you get knocked down. This song has a quick pace perfect for a longer interval or high-energy strength move, such as a clean and press.
(4:05) You Gotta Be, Des’ree: A throwback to the mid-90s, this song will inspire you to be bad, bold, wiser and stronger. With a laid back vibe and slower pace, this one is great for slower lifts where you really feel the burn or for a recovery after a sprint.
(4:19) Beat It, Michael Jackson: Your last faster-paced song in the list, this classic MJ track will make you want to beat anyone or anything keeping you down. Need I say more?
(3:58) Beautiful, Christina Aguilera: Perfect for a cool down, Christina’s beautiful vocals and message will wrap you in a musical hug. So cool it down, stretch it out, and remember, you and your fit bottom are beautiful!