Workout jams

An air-conditioned gym visit must be accompanied by tunes to keep you moving. Here’s our pick of 15 top workout jams from the Time Out international team

Workout jams

There’s nothing as motivating in life as an endorphin-releasing sweat session at one of Doha’s gyms but, without the jams, it’s going to be tough. To keep you slogging it out on the treadmill, upping the reps, and spinning until you can spin no more, fire up your playlist with these upbeat tunes and see the pounds drop away in no time.

‘Let’s Get It Started’
The Black Eyed Peas
Poised to become lite pop royalty, Cali foursome the Black Eyed Peas delivered this fist-pumping anthem on their third album, Elephunk. It’s time to turn up the speed on that treadmill, champion! Sophie Harris

‘Mama Said Knock You Out’
LL Cool J
Featuring one of the most legendary opening lines in hip-hop – ‘Don’t call it a comeback!’ – LL Cool J’s 1990 battle-rap anthem features a Marley Marl beat powerful enough to make you want to punch through a wall. For best results, don the same robe that LL has on in the music video. Drew Millard

‘Here It Goes Again’
The snappy beat supporting this Chicago band’s 2006 runaway hit offers plenty of juice for any low-impact cardio session, but it’s the beyond-clever video that prompted more than 25 million YouTube views and sparked copycat auteurs.

Seriously, if synchronised swimming is an Olympic sport, then the co-ordinated feats the boys pull off in this famous clip are more than enough to deserve a write-in vote for gold medals all around. Steve Smith

TV on the Radio
Released on 2011s Nine Kinds of Light, this is the perfect song for long slogs on a treadmill – a robotic, almost Kraftwerk-like beat with a slow build that will cause you to spontaneously crank up the speed when it hits the crescendo. There is almost nothing as mindlessly repetitive as working out in the gym, so you may as well acknowledge it while rocking out. Nick Leftley

‘Feel the Love’
Every workout mix needs some dubstep – there’s nothing like that jolt of shuddering energy to deliver a massive adrenalin rush – and British breakbeat outfit Rudimental offer class and bass on this 2012 track, the group’s first No. 1 hit in the UK. So good you might just want to play this one song on a loop for an hour. Watch out. Sophie Harris

‘All My Friends’
LCD Soundsystem
So perfect is the buildup in this 2007 anthem it’s as if it’s been precision-planned to make you run: A jittery piano riff kicks it off, followed by lickety-split drums and an irresistible bassline. ‘That’s how it starts,’ shrugs LCD main man James Murphy. And with its unrelenting, awesome krautrock-inspired drive, this song keeps you running too. The fact that there’s also lyrical profundity to ‘All My Friends’ (namely, deciding what’s actually important in life) makes this a home run of a workout track. Sophie Harris

‘I Would Die 4 U’
Ideally, we’d don pastel spandex and break into synchronised aerobic moves for this song. The uptempo dance track, off 1984’s Purple Rain, has synth-pop, dramatic lyrics and funky breakdowns aplenty, making us the star of our own ‘80s workout montage whenever it comes up on our playlist. Kate Wertheimer

‘Such Great Heights’
The Postal Service
It’s true that this track was featured in the Garden State trailer and is now forever haunted by the spectre of Zach Braff, and yes, Ben Gibbard’s oeuvre isn’t what you generally turn to when it’s time to break a sweat, but this 2003 classic has enough energy to power the workout of any indie-pop fan who wants to stay skinny-jean-slim. A tenderhearted love tune and an exercise must-have? It’s no wonder that after a decade, we still can’t get ‘Such Great Heights’ out of our heads. Gabrielle Bruney

‘Runnin’ Down a Dream’
Tom Petty
Whether you’re currently pursuing your dreams or fleeing the smouldering embers of your once-bright hopes, Tom Petty’s 1989 jam, which celebrates the freedom of the open road, will put some fire in your step. What was it you wanted to do again? Make yourself a healthy, farmers’-market dinner? Join a book club? Take a nice weekend trip? By the time the solo hits, you’ll be in full sprint, grasping at that dream’s heels. Andrew Frisicano

‘House of Jealous Lovers’
The Rapture
The best use of a cowbell in a dance song ever?

That auspicious award goes to this banger off the Rapture’s essential get-the-party-started LP Echoes.

Three guitar chords, an insanely catchy bass line, whiney screams and a ceaseless disco-y beat will make you want to work. Trust us. The drawn-out count-off from one to eight midway through is perfect for plugging through another set of reps. Tim Lowery

‘Lose Yourself’
Eminem’s still a hit machine, but it may not be too early to call ‘Lose Yourself’ his creative peak. Written for the soundtrack of 2002s 8 Mile, Em’s semi-autobiographical film vehicle, the lyrics clearly refer to the Marshall Mathers myth, but they tap right into the universal. Who hasn’t felt like a major goal was just within their reach? And was there ever better thematic material for an exercise classic? Save this one for the late-workout slump; ‘Lose Yourself’ will power you over that last hill or through that final mile. Gabrielle Bruney

The White Stripes
The Stripes have plenty of back-to-basics rippers, but halfway through this economical, under-two-minute song from 2003, Meg cuts out, and Jack stomps on his fuzz pedal for an as-simple-as-it-gets ‘solo.’ When the drummer comes back in and the two link up for the chorus again it’s epically energising. If this doesn’t get your heart rate up and make you want to push yourself past your limit, we don’t know what will. Tim Lowery

‘Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)’
There’s no better workout inspiration than Beyoncé; end of discussion. Every treadmill in the world should come with her photo Scotch-taped to its digital display.

And few songs capture Queen Bey at the height of her powers as well as 2008s ‘Single Ladies.’

By the end of the track, you’ll slip into hand-clap-induced hypnosis and barely notice that you’ve cleared an extra half mile. Even outside of the gym this tune is a portable cardio routine – can anyone fight the urge to do the signature ‘Single Ladies’ bend-and-snap dance whenever the song comes on? We definitely can’t. Gabrielle Bruney

‘Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)’
Michael Jackson
Even before his King of Pop days, MJ’s dance-floor decrees were irresistible.

Throw this 1978 disco burner on the iPod, and you’ll find yourself obeying the dearly departed icon’s every command: ‘Let’s dance!’ Roger. ‘Let’s shout!’ You got it. ‘Shake your body down to the ground!’ Yes, master. Hank Shteamer

‘The Edge of Glory’
Lady Gaga
You’ve made it! You’re on the last lap of your excruciating treadmill run, the red LEDs are counting down, three minutes to go and you’re so nearly there – you’re on the edge! The edge of glory! Let that Clarence Clemons sax solo from Lady G’s 2011 smash inspire you to sprint to the finish. We’re proud of you. Sophie Harris

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