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Best Pump Up Songs

Updated on May 23, 2015
These songs will pump you up, but perhaps not this much...
These songs will pump you up, but perhaps not this much...

Whether it’s for a competitive sports event or a hard physical training session transforming the mind into a battle-like state is a key part of every athlete’s preparatory period.

One of the ways this can be achieved is through the power of music.

Here are some of the best songs from a variety of different genres that could be good additions to your pre-game or pre-workout playlist to get the motivational juices flowing and help you perform at your peak.

Rap / Hip-Hop

Eminem – Lose Yourself

Arguably the most powerful and memorable hip-hop tune from the noughties – backed with a simple piano riff and drum beat the lyrics are characteristically brilliantly delivered by Eminem and topically relevant if used pre-game - all about performing, seizing the moment, making the most of your opportunities.

Fort Minor – Remember The Name

A very popular pump-up rap track that has been used in a lot of different sports – the beat features a powerful cello/orchestral riff combined with a beatbox – the lyrics are well delivered too by the whole group.

Nelly – Heart Of A Champion

A basketball themed song backed with a beat that draws heavily from “Roundball Rock” that was the theme for NBC’s coverage of the NBA during the 90’s, the chorus sung by the Lincoln University choir is the standout - very uplifting and inspirational.


Bond - Explosive

This song was used as the theme song of Channel Seven’s 2004 Athens Olympic coverage – a very powerful and inspiring string quartet piece.

Carmina - O Fortuna (Orff)

A medieval latin poem set to music by Carl Orff that’s famous for it’s use in a number of movies and TV commercials – it starts of thunderously with thumping drums, drops down to a whisper, before a slow drum crescendo and a powerful orchestral finish.

Clint Mansell – Lux Aeterna

The theme song from the all-time classic film Requeim for A Dream – a beautiful, but eery build up in between the powerful middle section and finish.

Rock / Hard Rock

Survivor – Eye Of The Tiger

Probably the most famous pump up rock song of all time, popularised in Rocky III.

We Will Rock You - Queen

One of the all-time classic rock songs and pre-game anthems used all around the world in a variety of different sporting codes.

Foo Fighters – The Pretender

A real in-your face song with an explosive chorus – a lot of Foo Fighter’s songs as great additions to any pump up playlists.

Heavy Metal

Metallica – Enter Sandman

A classic heavy metal pre-game anthem that’s used pre-game by many football teams... James Hetfield described the track as having a “wall of guitars” that produces awesome level of intensity combined with the deep drum beat.

Trapt - Headstrong

A nu-metal song with a great chorus, that is built up to very nicely at the end of each of the verses with the band ceasing for a few seconds before an explosive entrance into the chorus.

Drowning Pool - Bodies

Epic start with the line "let the bodies hit the floor" death whispered 4 times before breaking into a scream and the drums, bass and electric guitar kicking – perfect pump-up for any heavy collision/contact sport.


Darude – Sandstorm

This is a classic and widely used hard trance pre-event anthem at a number of sports stadiums.

Fatboy Slim - Right Here, Right Now

Another classic, widely used pre-game track in the ‘big beat’ style of Fatboy Slim.

DJ Dean – Protect Your Ears

Not as widely known as the above two, but this trance track has a strong baseline.

Listening to his favourite hip-hop tunes is a big part of Michael Phelps pre-event preparation.
Listening to his favourite hip-hop tunes is a big part of Michael Phelps pre-event preparation.

Don't like my choices? Do you have some better pump up music suggestions for readers? If so I'd love to hear what gets you going and maybe other readers would appreciate some new additions to their own pump-up playlists. Please let me know about your personal favourite pump-up songs in the comments below...just please no Strawberry Kisses by Nikki Webster or Oops I did it again! By Britney Spears!

What's your favourite genre of music?

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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Pump up songs?

      Get real, I'm not going to sleep. Heavy metal and hard techno will pump you up. This guy has no idea

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Excellent hub, i really liked the metalica entry, thats one of my personal pump up songs, keep up the great writing! :)


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