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Ten Great Classic Rock Workout Songs

Updated on February 4, 2014

I love listening to classic rock music and also enjoy working out and nothing is better then combining the two. With this is mind here is a list of ten of my favorite classic rock songs that can carry me through the last few minutes of any tough workout.

Obvious Child - Paul Simon

The thumping, pounding drums are so infectious and powerful that I can feel their energy passing to me through the ear buds. Simon partnered with Brazilian superstars Grupo Cultural Olodum, masters of the heavily percussive musical style called Batuque, and their drumming is the centerpiece and foundation of this song. Surprisingly, Simon has several numbers that are great for exercise such as "Late in the Evening", "Graceland", "Boy in the Bubble", and "Only Living Boy" among others.

Baba O'Riley - The Who

I try to time it so this song ends right at the finish of a hard interval. In the last minute it builds to a crescendo with the synthesizer, violin, and drums all merging together and going faster and faster, building to a frantic climax that only makes me want to push harder.

Second Hand News - Fleetwood Mac

An infectious and bouncy number from the all-time classic rock album Rumors. John McVie's bounding bass and Mick Fleetwood's crisp drumming provide the bedrock. Lindsey Buckingham's and Stevie Nicks' vocals merge together beautifully and the "pow-pow-pow" chorus puts the song into sonic overdrive. A forgotten gem.

Ramblin' Man - The Allman Brothers Band

One of the all-time great classic rock number also makes for a great high energy workout song. This irresistible Dicky Betts vehicle from the 1973 Brothers and Sisters album, the first after Duane Allman died in a motorcycle crash, is an intoxicating mix of catchy lyrics, joyous guitar picking, and sweeping slide guitar runs. This is another song I like to time so it finishes at the end of a hard aerobic interval. Dicky Betts' urgent, majestic guitar riffs near the end have a way off lifting me to higher levels of performance.

Where the Streets Have No Name - U2

The brooding synthesizer intro builds slowly like an ominous storm on the horizon. Then the Edge's urgent, ringing guitar appears like lightning flashes and mixes with Adam Clayton's pounding, pulsing bass. Turn it up loud and it will "rattle and hum" your workout. "Desire" is also another great workout companion U2 song.

The Song Remains the Same - Led Zeppelin

Fueled by Jimmy Page's crashing, jangling guitar runs and Robert Plant's screeching vocals. Another favorite Zeppelin workout song is "The Battle of Evermore," which builds slowly builds in intensity.

Working on the Highway - Bruce Springsteen

One of Bruce's faster songs. You can't sit still when the hand-clapping, knee-slapping number comes on. Bruce's manic vocal, the ringing guitar, and fast tempo are the perfect tonic to get you through a hard set or interval.

Hollywood Nights - Bob Seger

Bob Seger is the definition of classic rock and this frantic track from 1978 Stranger in Town album is one of his best. The charging guitar and Bob's snarling vocal create a furious sound that will carry you along and lighten your burden for 5 minutes.

American Girl - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

A chiming guitar intro leads into Tom's frantic vocal and builds to an urgent, blistering, jamming finish.

(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding - Elvis Costello

The surging guitars, Elvis's urgent vocals, and torrid drumming all add up to 3:33 minutes of rocket fuel for your workout.


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    • theframjak profile image

      theframjak 2 years ago from East Coast

      bonmotsminot, thanks for reading and glad you enjoyed the trip back in musical time.

    • bonmotsminot profile image

      Sue Minot 2 years ago from Wellington, New Zealand

      Awesome list! Another night is one of my all time favourite songs -takes me back :)

    • theframjak profile image

      theframjak 4 years ago from East Coast

      Hey Rob, thanks for reading. American Girls is one of my favorite songs, not just a favorite work out tune. It's a true rock classic. I'll have to check out the songs you listed.

    • Rob Lattin profile image

      Rob Lattin 4 years ago from Born in Chicago, now I'm in Mostly Michigan

      Wow! Someone else likes American Girl by Tom Petty. Have you ever considered working out to Eye of the Tiger by Survivor, Candy-O by the Cars, Vehicle by Ides of March, and Rock N Roll Part 2 by Gary Glitter?

    • theframjak profile image

      theframjak 5 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks purl3agony. That song is one of my all-time favorites, not just for working out.

    • theframjak profile image

      theframjak 5 years ago from East Coast

      Thanks for reading billybuc. Glad to hear you liked the list.

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 5 years ago from USA

      Love that you chose Elvis Costello!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      No doubt about it; this is a great list!