Last Updated: January 31st
Depending on the stage of a workout you find yourself in, there are plenty of things about getting your sweat on that could be considered the worst part. The good news is that like many of life’s woes, these problems can usually be solved by music. Music and improving your fitness are such a natural pairing that Spotify is filled to the brim with playlists designed to make working out a much more enjoyable experience. Different folks have different workout music needs at different times, though, so below, I’ve found some of the best Spotify workout playlists right now that should prove effective in a variety of situations.
Beast Mode by Spotify
With cover art featuring an absolutely shredded gym aficionado, it’s a pretty safe bet what this mix is best for. Featuring barrel-chested rap bangers like Jay-Z and Kanye West’s “N—-s in Paris” and Rick Ross’ breakout hit “Hustlin’,” this is motivation music of the highest order.
Cardio by Spotify
It’s the most important, widely-recommended type of workout you can do, so of course, you’ll need a playlist that works any time, all the time. At 60 songs and three hours long, Spotify’s official cardio contains a bit more than the suggested 30 minutes a day accepted as the minimum to maintain good heart health, but its uptempo dance and pop selection is the perfect thing to keep your heart rate up and its length is a blessing in disguise. Just pick up where you left off and boom, you’ve got another solid 30 minutes waiting for you, six days out of the week.
Cool Down (Various genres, by Spotify)
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Just as every workout should start with a warm-up, it should end with a cool-down, and Spotify has you covered (the playlist at the very top of this post would serve this purpose well too). There are a ton of relaxed vibes here to help ease you out of your workout as you pace with your hands over you head or as you sit doubled over, dripping in sweat. Unlike the introductory playlist, though, this one appears to be largely instrumental, because maybe at the end of your workout, your internal monologue is congratulating you, so there’s no need to drown that out with other words.
Country Workout Playlist (by Spotify)
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What if nothing I’ve talked about so far does it for you, though? What if you’re really just looking to burn off the cold beer you had on the farm on a Friday night with some country? This 16-hour country workout playlist ought to get the job done, then. Featuring favorites by Blake Shelton, Luke Bryan, and others both huge and more obscure, this mix of anthemic pop country tracks will complement any workout, whether or not you’re wearing your cowboy boots.
Electronic Workout (Weekly Updates) (Electronic, by Billy Billings)
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And now for something completely different: The thumping beats of electronic music can be great for finding a consistent rhythm to lock yourself into during a workout, and this playlist that’s updated regularly and features over five hours of electronic tracks hits the spot. It features tracks by the likes of Marshmello, Avicii, and others of the same ilk that you may not have heard of before, but can still motivate you to bust out those last few reps or finish strong on that last mile.
Gym Motivation (Various genres, by justin.tilley)
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The main appeal of this playlist is that it’s absolutely huge: Over 1,000 songs, over 73 hours, and the genres are all over the map. There’s hip-hop, electronic, pop, folk… If you can move to it, it’s on here, and unless you’re some sort of ultramarathoner, it’ll take you more than a few gym sessions or long runs to run through this entire mix. This is also good if you don’t want to get so genre-specific with your workout music, so enjoy the transition between Lord Huron and Drake and get some variety in your sweat session.
Gym Rock Music (Hard rock/alternative rock, by Tommy Druk)
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Whether or not you listen to adrenaline-fueled, post-grunge rock music on a regular basis, you have to admit that when it comes to getting pumped up, it can really hit the spot. That’s the itch that this “gym rock” playlist scratches, and since it’s large and updated regularly, you should be able to mix up the riffs effectively. Bands like Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold, and Rise Against are what you’ll find here, but if you’re looking to machismo but want to stray into more metal territory, “Workout Playlist METAL” has similar offerings but, of course, leans more towards metal than rock.
Gymshark Alternative Hip-Hop (Hip-Hop, by Gymshark)
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This is less of a playlist and more of a gateway: This mix of songs will do you just fine if you’re looking to work out to some alternative hip-hop, but the active apparel brand has a bunch of public playlists specifically geared towards active activity that should be a fine resource. There are genre- and mood-specific mixes, like hip-hop, power, grime, motion, hype, old-school hip-hop, and the list goes on. They also have playlists created by fitness experts, and since these muscle-y people seem to know what they’re doing around a squat rack, listening to their recommendations is probably a solid idea.
Indie Workout (Indie, by Spotify)
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Spotify has a ton of great playlists they’ve made in-house, of course, and their mix of indie workout tunes is no different. This mix was created in 2014 and last updated in 2015, but instead of seeing that as a negative, I’m looking at is positive: Consider it a time capsule of what energetic indie rock was like during those two years, which wasn’t that long ago but was actually an eternity ago in internet time. At 269 songs, it’s also a big playlist, so throw it on shuffle and have yourself a sweaty Seth Meyers-style “back in my day” nostalgia session.
Run ‘N’ Bass 170-175 BPM (Electronic, by Spotify)
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Sometimes you need a pounding beat that goes faster than the one most mainstream electronic music provides, so this Spotify-curated, crazy fast playlist of songs in the 170-175 beats per minute range is useful for when you want to feel like you’re running a thousand miles an hour. The intensity tends to oscillate between quieter moments and tempo explosions, so it’s not a white noise wall of speed: There’s a balance to it, and it makes you want to move really, really fast.
Throwback Workout (by Spofify)
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One of the number one things I’m looking for in a workout playlist is something to take my mind off what my body is doing, transport me somewhere else. There are few things that are capable of transporting you more than an old, beloved throwback song, and that’s exactly what this playlist is chock full of. Get ready to run, walk, jog, lift and flex to all the best throwback rap and R&B that will take you out of the gym and have you grooving while your body does what it needs to get done.
Warm Up and Cool Down (Various, by Nike+ Training Club)
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It’s safe to say that Nike knows a thing or two about athletics, so they’re a trusted guide to the songs that can help us ease into or out of a workout. Since you shouldn’t start or finish your gym sessions at 100 percent intensity, this playlist is filled with mid-tempo tracks that will set the mood for those bookends of your workout with some indie, R&B, pop, and electronic music. It’s a long one too, so you can throw it on shuffle and probably go a while before you find yourself hearing the same songs over and over.
Workout Hip Hop Edition (Hip-Hop, by Digster Playlists)
This very modern, trap-heavy playlist features up-to-minute bangers from the likes of Dreezy (“RIP Aretha”), JID (“Westbrook” and “Off Deez”), and Mustard (“Pure Water”) with the latest tracks to help you get hype for your next workout session. Since most of these are uptempo with pounding bass, your heart rate will definitely get a boost, while the tough talk might make you feel invincible enough to take on challenges like setting a new personal record or upping your maximum lift.