The 10 Best CD's and Albums for Workout Music

Music Sooths the Savage Beast

I workout. I workout a lot. One of my favorite past times, actually.

Music goes with working out almost as good as music goes good with... well, I'm sure get my point.

There have been many studies about the effect of music on the brain and the body and how music can assist you in thinking better and performing better.

Depending on the type of training I'm doing, I have different music for different workouts and moods.

So without further to do, may I present, in my humble opinion:

The 10 Best Workout CD's Ever!

Pearl Jam's "10"

Released in 1991, this was a life changing album for me and I'm sure many others. It is filled with passion and energy. When I first heard this album, I knew it would be with me for a very long time. I still listen it to it often when I train.

Pearl Jam's 10 is good on days where your training will be aggressive and hard. This is good for weightlifting and bodybuilding where there will be a lot of intensity and drive.

The songs on this are well placed so you can listen through the album from start to finish and let the energy of the music guide your workout session. At least that's what's worked for me.

My favorite song for blasting through a sticking point in my training is "Porch." When I was training for the Russian Kettlebell Challenge Certification Course, "Porch" helped me get ready for some of the daunting tasks that laid ahead for me.

If you need to add some passion to your workout and want to do it with some good hard Rock-n-Roll, then this is the record for you!


Everyone remembers this movie and the music that came with it was awesome. In the opening of the film we see the Roman's conquering a part of Germania and the music that was set to the battle sequence should stir the blood of any "warrior at heart."

This soundtrack flows through a mix of power driven orchestrals with touches of gentle guitar or horn coming in at times to sooth the troubled warrior spirit.

I start taking this album to the gym right after I discovered a book called Power to the People by Pavel Tsatsouline. It is a book about traditional strength training and it had a very serious effect on me.

In Power to the People is a prescription for a very simple, powerful, and highly effective strength building routine. The workout is short and sweet and the main lift has you doing battle with an exercise known as the Deadlift.

This soundtrack was perfect for following the Power to the People workout. If you find yourself doing battle with the iron, make sure you have this album handy for an extra boost to your inner warrior.

The Rocky Story

No self respecting exercise junky's musical library would be complete with out the Rocky soundtrack. Does the possibility exist of being teased? Perhaps, but I'll tell you this, if you've ever needed a good pump or you're not just quite feeling it, "Gonna Fly Now" is the answer.

I have used this Soundtrack to blast through plateaus and hit new PR's. I could knock off countless examples of how this music has pushed me through to another level. What if you're not in the mood, but know you got to train today? What if it's too cold? What if you're too tired?

Whether it's in the car on the way to the gym or on the Ipod, this will be your answer to finding the strength to go for it and get to the gym or just get that last rep!

Similar to Gladiator, this Soundtrack will aid you in summoning your inner warrior and is a must have.

Bob Marley Legend

Who prefers to train outside? I do! The first time I saw the weight pin at Venice Beach, I said to myself, someday, when I'm big enough, I'll train there. I had got it stuck in my head that in order to train at the weight platform you got to look like Arnold in his prime. I love the beach and being near the ocean. I also love lifting weights. Why do I have to look like a pro bodybuilder to combine these things?

Truth was/is, I don't. To hell with it I thought, I don't care, I'm going anyway. And so I went. Life changing event for me. This was one of the first times where I told the little voice in my head that I appreciate the input, but I'm going anyway. Soon, that began to spill over into other aspects of my life and I became a little stronger for it.

That being said, can you think of better music for training in the cool ocean breeze of Venice, CA? Bob Marley's legend is perfect music for a day at the beach. No, his songs don't get you all riled up like Pearl Jam or Rocky, but there's something about this Album that's just great for training and working out. It really goes well with a bright sunny morning. This album is best for the times when you're going to do a high volume/medium intensity workout. At least that's where it comes in handy for me!


One season, I watched American Idol all the way through for two reasons. One, was Taylor Hicks and two, was this guy, Chris Daughtry. Here were two men who looked the conventional "American Idol" stereotype in the face and took the Frank Sinatra approach. They did it their way. Stuck to their guns, played their hand with their whole heart out front and nailed it!

Daughtry's debut album is simply just great Rock and Roll with lots of heart. Lot's of heart is very important for successful exercising and longevity.

This album also came along at a point in my life where my spirit had weakened. I had lost some of my will. My fighting spirit; my inner warrior had collapsed on the field of inner turmoil.  Let me just say this: Grief is a powerful thing. When you carry it with you instead of letting it go, it will weigh you down and keep you there.

While I was picking myself up and nursing my inner warrior, this album was there with powerful threads and passionate lyrics to help my rise back up.

Gaelic Storm and The Young Dubliners

Most of blood is green. No, I'm not Vulcan, like Mr. Spock, I'm Irish! And speaking of warriors, the Irish people are a strong and hearty breed.

I feel a tremendous connection to the days of yesteryear when times were a bit different. Celtic music and Celtic rock stirs the blood of my ancestors that pumps through my veins.

I don't know about how you feel about your heritage, but I'm proud of mine and it resonates in this music and fills me with strength.

So even if you're not of Celtic origin, this music may do the same for you. For me, I think in a past life I was the guy in the picture over here...

Both albums would be a great addition to any music library even if you're not a pugilist or have Celtic blood.

Scott Joplin

Courtesy of my connection with all things traditional, one of my favorite ways to workout is to follow some of the training routines prescribed by this guy, Eugen Sandow. He's touted as being the father of modern bodybuilding and is the figure on the Mr. Olympia statue.

In his book, Sandow's System of Physical Training , he includes a few exercise routines which I like to follow on occasion for fun and variety.

There's a routine to do with light dumbbells that is a great way to warm up before a workout. It is also a great thing to do in the morning to get the blood flowing and start the day. Exercise doesn't always have to be about getting ripped or buff. Exercise should be about being healthy and fit. What's most important is that you get moving. If you can find something that's fun and excites you, do it.

Training like it's 1905, is fun and it excites me. I'm not partial to wearing a fig leaf when I train, but the movements, I do do those!

And what better music to listen to while you train like it's 1905 than Scott Joplin!

The Shakti Sessions and Reaching In

These two Albums are about love, light and spirit.

Larisa Stow and Gathering Guru and The Shakti Tribe creates music that will align you with Spirit and help you make your connection with a higher power. The music on these 2 CD's will fill your heart with love, peace and abundance.

Both Albums are a beautiful blend of east meets west. There are chants and mantras done to edgy pop and rock styles that will make you want to sing, dance and praise. Me? I dance with a 24 kg Russian Kettlebell.

Strength exists on so many levels, as well as movement.

The music you will find here is perfect for meditation, yoga, tai-chi, and even weightlifting. I find this music to be uplifting, enlightening and it strengthens not only my spirit, but my body as well.

These CD's also remind me that even though this world has many races, cultures and beliefs, we are all still part of one tribe on this planet known as the human race and it is love of our fellow man that will save us and over power the negativity and hate.

Music fuels my workouts

I listen to music when I workout:

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Comments - What's your favorite training music? 8 comments

Cheri Schultz profile image

Cheri Schultz 6 years ago from Midwest

Thank You David - I love working out too and I am always curious what type of music people listen to, in order to keep them motivated. You selected a couple of my favorites - Rocky and Daughtry

David R Bradley profile image

David R Bradley 6 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity Author

Thanks for reading, Cheri. In addition to Daughtry and Rocky, what are some of your favorites?

christryon profile image

christryon 6 years ago

Thank you for the music motivation. I am partial to Jimmy Buffet and Keith Urban.

David R Bradley profile image

David R Bradley 6 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity Author

Jimmy Buffet is a great idea for working out. I've got his greatest hits album and will give that a shot next time I train!

mike 6 years ago

Allison Iraheta is awsome to work out too, she is such an underrated artist. Still Breathing, Holiday, and D is for Dangerous help me so much when I'm running, I also listen to Journey greatist hits and Butterfly by Crazy Town.

David R Bradley profile image

David R Bradley 6 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity Author

Mike, I'll have to check out Allison Iraata! I like Crazy Town too... Thanks for checkin in!

Arlecchino profile image

Arlecchino 6 years ago from Top of the Cloud

Pearl Jam is a music for my boyfriend's workout. Heavy music for hard training.

David R Bradley profile image

David R Bradley 6 years ago from The Active Side of Infinity Author

Arlecchino, I'm with you all the way. Heavy music for hard training. My only stipulation there is that the hard music has good lyrics and that there is passion behind it. Not just hard for the sake of being hard.

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