Whilst discussing potential ideas for Top Tens as a CPRW team, Robyn suggested that a gym playlist or songs to get you pumped up would be a good idea. Colin noted how I already had a growing gym playlist so I might be the best suited for the job. It’s true that I have a ‘workout’ playlist, although my going-to-the-gym basically consists of using the exercise bike, the cross trainer and rarely anything else (but hey, I am one hell of a swimmer too!). As the music that plays in my gym is usually Kiss FM, I definitely benefit from having my headphones in and punk rock is without a doubt the best soundtrack to my workouts.
Bull In A China Shop – Faintest Idea
This song and this band are so good for a gym session that I sometimes just stick Faintest Idea themselves on shuffle. Hell, sometimes I just put Faintest Idea on at home and dance about for the fun of it. The one song that gets me moving more than any other is Bull In A China Shop from The Voice Of Treason – it’s so good.
Fuck You – Bad Religion
What better song to get you pumped up than one with a generous use of the F-word in the chorus. So if someone has pissed you off earlier in the day, whether it be at work or whatever, you can really just let everything go with this song – and say ‘Fuck you!’ Yeah!
Stick ’Em Up – Masked Intruder
While angry and aggressive punk songs are great for a workout playlist, pop punk songs are surprisingly good as well. And Masked Intruder are the kings of pop punk. This is another song that features a fair amount of F-ing but that’s not the only formula for a good workout track. Stick ’Em Up is fast-paced and bouncy – just like me on the cross trainer.
Show Me On The Doll Where The Music Touched You – Red City Radio
It’s a slow builder – which is certainly a change from the last song – but bear with it as it builds and builds. There’s a classic Red City Radio guitar solo in the middle which leads into the bridge and the lyrics of the bridge are why this song is on this list. ‘We're redefining the word impossible, We're standing up for what we feel is right, I am fucking unstoppable, I am a fucking juggernaut.’
Ruby Soho – Rancid
This is one of my favourite Rancid songs and a great one to dance and just generally move about to. The chorus is, well, repetitive to say the least – ‘Destination unknown, Ruby, ruby, ruby, ruby, Soho’ – but I think that’s one feature that can make for a great workout track. It’s probably the same reason why the average Joe might listen to dance music in the gym – repetition.
Play Some Ska – Random Hand
‘Why don’t you play some ska?’ Good idea! Ska music has got to be one of the best genres to get you moving and get your blood pumping. For the most part, this is actually a fairly mid-tempo song but the chorus is fast-paced and furious. I guess it would work well for interval training… not that I really know what that means.
I Always Never Said That – Iron Chic
Iron Chic are just a brilliant punk band. I could have picked from a number of their tracks to be featured on this list but I Always Never Said That is a perfect fists-in-the-air punk rock tune – and fists-in-the-air tunes translate well to workout tunes. I feel that the line ‘So what’s the use in being normal’ connects well with the fact that you don’t have to listen to typical gym music.
Anywhere You Wanna Go – The Bennies
More ska! From the outset this song is both fast and bouncy. Featuring some lively ‘hey! ho!’s that wouldn’t be out of place in The Ramones’ Blitzkrieg Bop (incidentally that’s also a song on my bigger ‘gym’ playlist, although I haven’t featured it here), Anywhere You Wanna Go really gets your adrenaline pumping. With fast vocals, as well as fast guitar and a splattering of horns, you can’t fault this track.
Clear The Air – Off With Their Heads
With the somewhat depressing and negative nature of Off With Their Heads’ lyrics, you wouldn’t think that they would be the best match for a feel-good gym playlist. However, above all else, Clear The Air makes you feel that you’re not alone. You can do this. The song may also make you want to scream along to it and vent some anger (perhaps not the best idea in the gym but hey).
Should I Stay Or Should I Go – The Clash
To stay at the gym and lengthen your workout or go home and eat pizza, that is the question. This is the last song on my top ten and so the answer is probably go home… but Should I Stay Or Should I Go is a great track to ease you out of your workout – particularly after ‘clearing the air’.
Ten punk songs doesn’t amount to more than 30 minutes for your workout – and even I would do more than that in the gym – but at least it’s a taster of what a punk workout has to offer. And, of course, there are plenty more great punk rock tunes that could compliment your workout, whatever your workout style may be.