It’s #BulkingSeason, and if you’re like me, you need all the motivation you can get to power through an intense workout. Whether it’s during cardio and I need that extra push for 5 more minutes on the treadmill, or it’s lifting day and I need to get pumped to pump iron (5-pound weights count, right?) — I’ll always have an aggressive playlist blasting through my almost broken, off-white/brown-ish Apple headphones. I don’t know if it’s just my gym that plays not-so-great music, but I don’t consider Echosmith or Jack Johnson to be workout music — love ’em both, but no, just no. Release your inner juice head with this workout playlist:
1. Wild for the Night by A$AP Rocky, Skrillex, Birdy Nam Nam. (“Okay, feelin’ good and strong!”) This mash-up is equal parts EDM and hip-hop with two artists who are at the top of their game in their respective genres. The combination of Skrillex’s extraterrestrial, dubby beat and A$AP’s vocals gets at least an extra 8 minutes out of me (umm, maybe that’s pushing it actually) on the treadmill.
2. UFO – Trap Edit by Vigiland. (“I wonder how many more songs there are until I’m done. Maybe like 5?”) The Swedish duo (was NOT a part of Swedish House Mafia — I’ll admit I sometimes categorize all DJs hailing from Sweden under the trio of super-DJs) remixed their electro house song and made it into a trap banger. With this song playing, you can’t really tell if I’m shuffle-dancing or running.
3. Speakerbox by Bassnectar, Lafa Taylor. (“Okay, after this song, I’m probably at least 10 minutes into the workout… right?!”) A part of Bassnectar’s latest 16-track mixtape, Into the Sun, “Speakerbox” is intense and straight-up aggressive. I’m not a huge fan of Bassnectar, but this track’s rude beat and angry-sounding vocals amp me up and keep me going.
4. NRG (Skrillex, Kill the Noise, Milo & Otis Remix) by Duck Sauce. (“Aw, this song’s nice and light and airy!”) Providing a little break from the almost hostile trap- and rap-heavy playlist, this song gives you some lighthearted NRG (lol).
5. Syclla by RL Grime. (“SOS: my shorts are riding up.”) RL Grime serves up a main dish of trap with two extra sides of trap on this track. This is what I’d consider a “dirty” beat. As soon as the beat drops, this song gets your heartbeat going (ya know, as if it wasn’t already obnoxiously beating out of your chest, but hey, at least you’re burning extra calories?).
6. ‘Till I Collapse by Eminem, Nate Dogg. (“If I pretend I’m in Marine bootcamp right now, I can keep going until at least the end of this song.”) The stomp-stomp-clap beat made famous by Queen’s “We Will Rock You” will never get old to me. Also, how much more perfect can this song get for a workout with its mini-motivational talk in the beginning: “‘Cause sometimes you just feel tired,/ Feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up./ But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength/ And just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up/ And not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.” Dawww thanks, Eminem!
7. Born To Rage – USA Version by Dada Life. (“I think I’m dying.”) These guys are straight up wild, and released 39 versions of “Born To Rage” based on which country you’re from. It’s a huge anthem with a big beat that will definitely keep you going strong (I mean, it just doesn’t feel right to walk to this song).
8. Radio by Santigold. (“I’m dripping. Wow, I sweat a lot… is this normal?”) I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: This track is pure (Santi)GOLD.
9. Turbulence – Radio Edit by Steve Aoki, Laidback Luke, Lil Jon. (“Oh God, I don’t know if I can make it.”) At this point in my workout, this intense banging beat is the only thing that can help me finish my workout strong.
10. 2AM (Matoma Remix) by Astrid S. (“Oh thank sweet baby J — I’m done. I need to air out before I go back into the car.”) The perfect cool-down song.