10 best rock songs for your next workout

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dontstopbelievinMost people listen to music during their workout, because music — unlike silence — motivates and inspires, changes our feelings, and can breathe new life into our aching limbs. Rock music, unlike folk or indie, is full of the kind of inspiration you need in your next workout, whether that be a 6-mile run or a trip to the weight room. Here are the top ten rock songs I like best for my own workouts.

1. Don’t Stop Believin’, Journey

You can’t resist this 80s hit. It’s like Steve Perry is right there with you, singing for you, challenging you to keep on believin’ in yourself and push that extra mile or groan through that extra rep. This rock classic should be on every rocknut’s workout playlist.

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2. Welcome To The Black Parade, My Chemical Romance

While “Welcome To The Black Parade” is also classified as the emo anthem of the 2000s, the five-minute track is full of dramatic tempo changes, an upbeat, rebellious refrain, and the emotionally charged story of a boy growing up to fight his demons and save the world and directly challenge anyone — especially that big hill — who gets in his way: “Go on and try, you’ll never break me.” Doesn’t get more inspirational than this folks, even if you’re no longer a teenager.

3. Where The Streets Have No Name, U2

“I want to reach out and touch the flame where the streets have no name.” Philosophical musings spill from U2’s songwriting in this track, but if you’re afraid it’s too deep for a casual run in the park, don’t worry. The first minute and 45 seconds are dramatic, guitar-led buildup to the climactic, “I wanna run,” perfect for getting you in the running mood. Yes, you wanna run. You definitely wanna run to this song.

4. It’s the End of the World As We Know It, R.E.M.

You’ll probably think it’s the end of the world when in the middle of that sixth set, you don’t think your arms will hold out another rep. But in the words of R.E.M., “It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine.” R.E.M. cleverly runs through a wildly extensive list of all the things wrong with the world, but constantly returns to the refrain, “I feel fine.” If the world is as bad as R.E.M. thinks it is, then you can make it through that set.

5. The Middle, Jimmy Eat World

You’re stuck in the middle of training. “Don’t write yourself off yet,” the song advises. You can do this.

6. I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts

Upbeat and full of determination, this is a go-getter song for a go-getter workout.

7. 21 Guns, Green Day

“21 Guns” is an epic, telling a story and inspiring you to greatness. “Do you know what you’re fighting for?” Armstrong sings. Yeah, you’re fighting for that post-workout burger and fries.

8. Dear Maria, Count Me In, All Time Low

Another punk/pop rock track with fast tempos and a rebellious attitude. This song is fun, and it makes your workout fun too.

9. Godspeed, Anberlin

Anberlin wishes you godspeed on your run. Literally. “Don’t fall asleep, don’t fall asleep,” the song warns, but you aren’t in danger of that. The ferociously fast-paced chords keep you chugging through each mile, and you’ll be sleeping well tonight.

10. Mercy, Muse

It’s that one song on your workout playlist that almost admits defeat —Muse knows you’re at the end of your strength, and you need help. This song is to the rescue, aptly titled “Mercy.” The soaring melody and determination in lead singer Matthew Bellamy’s voice implies mercy is already given: you will take down this workout.

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