5 Movie Themes That Will Supercharge Your Workout

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Feeling like you’re starring in your own movie is bound to help you get your active juices flowing. We asked the Men’s Fitness team to pick their favourite soundtracks to listen to while getting sweaty.


Max Anderton, head of digital content “There’s so much incredible movie music to choose from, but rather than go for a Williams, Silvestri or Zimmer classic, my go-to is the 80s sleazefest that is Drive. ‘Why’s it so good for working out?’ I hear you cry. The clue’s in the name – every track (aside from the 50s female French crooner number) inspires momentum, but rather than smashing heads and breaking hearts, I’m smashing PBs and breaking a sweat.”

Once Upon A Time In China

Joel Snape, associate editor “Rocky? Entry-level. The theme to Jet Li’s none-more-kickass trio of films about Chinese folk hero Wong Fei Hung is based on a Ming Dynasty-era folk tune, and it’s stood the test of time for a reason: it’s an absolute belter, all drums and pipes and soulful singing. It’s appeared in a variety of forms across films like Drunken Master (sung by Jackie Chan) and Iron Monkey (sung by a troupe of adorable children) but the gold standard is the intro version heard here, complete with training-style ‘Hah’ noises. If I ever have the sort of fight where you get to choose your own walkout music, this is my pick.”

2001: A Space Odyssey

Ben Ince, deputy editor “Epic orchestral tunes abound on this seminal sci-fi soundtrack, but it’s the opener, Richard Strauss’s ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’, that should permanently feature on your pre-gym playlist (preferably accompanied by the film clip of monkey skeleton-smashing antics). Guaranteed to get you psyched you up for the squat rack, it’s been used as walkout music by everyone from wrestler Ric Flair to Elvis Presley, so you’re in esteemed (and flamboyant) company.”

The Breakfast Club

Thea de Gallier, acting digital editor “Who can keep still when there’s an 80s classic like ‘Don’t You Forget About Me’ playing? This soundtrack is the perfect accompaniment to a brisk walk, jog or treadmill session – the fast pop beats of ‘Fire In The Twilight’ and ‘We Are Not Alone’ won’t let you lose your pace. And there’s so. Much. Reverb. Close your eyes and you could be running through a cavernous hall, surrounded by people in orange legwarmers.”

Back To The Future

Max Anderton, head of digital content “This couldn’t be left off any list of rousing movie soundtracks. Right from the word go, it’s one big helping of bombastic sonic power. Pumping iron is scientifically proven* to be 82% better with the driving beats of ‘The Power Of Love’ or ‘Johnny B Goode’ in your ears, and you can even mentally insert yourself into your favourite scenes if the gym gets a bit much.”

*It isn’t, but it probably will make it more fun.

Coach Staff

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