80s Tunes For Energetic Workouts: The Best Workout Music

The Best Workout Music
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Survivor – “Burning Heart” (1985)

“I can't begin to describe how over ‘Eye of the Tiger’ I am at this point, so much so that when the stadium DJ decided to play it as my walk-out song for my Muay Thai debut, I almost pulled a 180 back to the changing room, climbed back into my clothes and tried to unlearn boxing. I can only assume the reason people don’t have the same passion for Survivor’s other absolute stomper, ‘Burning Heart’, is down to pure ignorance - let's fix that now. The four-to-the-floor bass will help drag you through any tough gym period and the melodic screams about worlds colliding, unmistakable fire and warrior codes will ensure you summon that reserve of workout-conquering energy you know you have deep down somewhere.” – Sam Razvi

Joe Esposito – “You’re The Best” (1984)

“Believe it or not, this film soundtrack classic was actually turned down twice before finding its eventual home as the signature tune in Karate Kid – first for Rocky III, where it lost out to ‘Eye Of The Tiger’ (understandable) and secondly for Flashdance, whose directors instead opted for ‘Maniac’ (unacceptable). Regardless, it's gone on to become an all-time classic training montage tune, with ultra-motivational lyrics that are guaranteed to get you pumped up for pretty much any kind of physical activity, including crane-kicking Cobra Kai goons.” – Ben Ince

Bryan Adams – “Run To You” (1984)

“I’m not sure if Canadian heartthrob Adams is a POSE method-qualified running coach, but he utterly nails the first rule of any training plan: know what you’re running for. Find a worthwhile target and you’ll brave anything – pain, wind, rain or blizzard – to reach it. The fact the lyrics describe Adams spurning his ‘heart of gold’ partner in favour of his seductive mistress is by the by. Just think your couch is the cosy home comfort lulling you to lethargy and that burning in your loins when running flat-out is the pain/pleasure concoction you’re chasing. Or, you know, just enjoy the lustful air guitar riffs. Up to you.” – Sam Rider

Joe Jackson – “Steppin’ Out” (1982)

“By ‘cheese’ we mean undeniably great songs, right? Good. I’m listening to this right now and it’s so upbeat I genuinely feel, nay, know I could do anything. From what I can gather the song is about being excited for a night out, but who cares about lyrics when you’ve got those lovely piano hooks and synths merrily bopping along? Whether you’re looking to keep your spirits up on a gruelling finisher or having a gloomy morning, it's literally impossible to feel sad when you’re listening to this. (I really like this song.)” – Matt Huckle

Glenn Frey – “The Heat Is On” (1984)

“I can never decide if Beverly Hills Cop is the worst or the best film ever made – but the soundtrack is most definitely the greatest ever. Harald Faltermeyer’s theme tune ‘Axel F’ is pretty much drilled into everyone’s heads from childhood but Glenn Frey’s track is my gym choice with that classic 80s saxophone. If that’s not enough to make you want to work at a body strong enough to take down some greasy villains rocking spandex, I don’t know what is.” – Emil Walker

Journey – “Any Way You Want It” (1980)

“Even if you haven’t had ‘Don't Stop Believin’’ ruined for you by Glee, adverts and endless, joyless karaoke nights, you have to accept that Journey’s second-best known song is its superior, at least if you’re in the gym. There’s no meandering intro, just three minutes 21 seconds of wailing guitar and meaningless-but-inspiring lyrics. If it doesn’t make you want to somersault off a plyo box, you've probably got a vitamin C deficiency.” – Joel Snape

Toto – “Africa” (1982)

“You can either mindlessly plod along on the old treadmill until you get bored and decide to retire to the changing rooms a physically unsatisfied man, or you can blast this absolute fatty down your ears and magnificently bound along to those emphatic synths as you picture yourself flying across the savannah, laughing in the face of breathlessness.” – Thea De Gallier

Joel Snape

From 2008 to 2018, Joel worked for Men's Fitness, which predated, and then shared a website with, Coach. Though he spent years running the hills of Bath, he’s since ditched his trainers for a succession of Converse high-tops, since they’re better suited to his love of pulling vans, lifting cars, and hefting logs in a succession of strongman competitions.