Pump It Up: Rockin' 45-Minute Cardio Playlist

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Music goes a long way with motivating me to work out. I can't imagine running, teaching Spinning class or even lifting weights without some good tunes to keep my mood and energy levels high.

When I teach classes, music takes center stage. I take a lot of time to create a good playlist and craft a class that follows the speed, beat and mood of the music itself. And now, I'm going to share one of my new playlists with you, along with the great cardio workout that goes with it.

If you want some cardio ideas for using this playlist, look at the "What to do" cues below each song, where I'll give you a general idea of how to match your workout to the music (using speed and incline/resistance cues)—whether you're on a treadmill, stationary bike, stair-climber or even an elliptical. Use the "Intensity on scale of 1-10" guidelines (10 being the hardest you could possibly work) so you know how hard to work during each song. Even if you don't follow this sample workout, these are some great tunes to take to the gym!

*Please note that this sample workout is for the intermediate to advanced exerciser. Adjust the time and intensity to suit your fitness level and needs.

(Time) Artist – Song Title
What to do
Exercise Intensity on a scale of 1-10

(3:37) Paul van Dyke – Time of Our Lives
Reach 6 to 6.5 by end of song

(4:04) U2 – Beautiful Day
Moderate resistance/incline with high-intensity bursts at chorus
7 during recovery, 7.5 during bursts

(4:04) Coldplay – Viva la Vida
Low-intensity recovery with sprints at each chorus
7-7.5 during recovery, 9 during sprints

(3:43) The Killers – Mr. Brightside
Increase incline/resistance every minute
Start at 7, Reach 8.5 by end of song

(3:00) OK Go – Here It Goes Again
Go for speed and maintain a quick pace
Start at 7, Reach 8 by end of song

(3:12) Madonna ft. Justin Timberlake – Four Minutes
Reduce speed and resistance (recovery song)
6 to 7

(4:18) The Ataris – The Boys of Summer
Moderate resistance/incline and with speed bursts at each chorus
Start at 7.5, Reach 8.5 during each burst

(3:17) Johnny Cash – I've Been Everywhere
Increase incline/resistance every minute
Start at 7, Reach 8.5 by end of song

(3:12) The Clash – Train in Vain
Reduce speed and resistance (recovery song)
6 to 7

(3:15) The Strokes – Last Night
Low-intensity recovery with sprints at each chorus
7-7.5 during recovery, 9 during sprints

(4:04) Jamiroquai – Canned Heat
All out effort!
Sustain 8 to 8.5 for entire song

(4:07) Alanis Morissette - Underneath
Cool Down
Reach 6 or lower by end of song

(3:30) Yael Naim – New Soul
1 to 2

And you're done!

Would you give this cardio playlist two thumbs up? If not, tell us what songs you do like to work out to.

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This playlist looks GREAT! :D I also love Daft Punk - harder faster; and 'Man eater' by Nelly Furtado Report
I like to listen to Meatloaf, Queen, Los Lonely Boys and the Bee Gees. The faster the beat, the faster I walk. Report
Great list...I am with the AC/DC people on this one...one of my favorite and I know this is bad "Pour some sugar on me" just gets me moving. Report
I like to have a few playlists to keep me from getting bored and I'll try Nicole's. One of my current favorites for speed on the elliptical is Temperature by Sean Paul. Report
Jibbie, I'm with you! Those are songs I know! (Are we showing our age?) Report
Thanks for the suggestions! Even though I'm OLD, I've got kids who have this music. Now I just need a stationary bike, treadmill or elliptical!

I'm going to keep this for future reference. Thanks again! :) Report
I like Christian and country so do anybody have any really good songs that have a good beat to it please let me know. I do like trying new songs out though so thanks for all the suggestions. Report
Don't recognize many of those songs, but I listen to mostly Christian music artists which are all loaded on my i-Pod. I, too, put my music on random so that I'm constantly having to change my pace. I've found that picking songs you really like is the best motivator because they make you want to move. And, if a song comes on that just isn't working for you that day....fast forward or skip is a great option! Report
My playlist for the treadmill...ACDC, Rolling Stones, The Village People, Billy Idol....that's to name a few artists... Report
I would pick Time of Our Lives by David Cook instead of van Dyke. (-:
Godsmack's VooDoo for the hills
Most of high energy output for me would be classics by AC/DC and Metallica.
Good choices though, they would work. (-: Report
Your play list may be good, but its Greek to me. The only one you listed that I have ever heard of is "I've Been Everywhere". So I guess I will just have to create my own. Report
I really like your playlist. it's a great mix of artists and tunes Report
Songs that get me moving include

Green Day - Holiday
Maroon 5 - Harder to Breathe
Jet - Are You Gonna Be My Girl
Fall Out Boy - Dance, Dance
Christina Aguilera - Lady Marmalade (extended club mix)
REM - It's the End of the World
Alien Ant Farm - Smooth Criminal
Finger Eleven - Paralyzer
I have Mr. Bright Side on mine too, nut I also have When we were young by the killers. And some other songs that just make me want to move. But i just got my first i-pod last week, so I only have like 30 songs on it. Report
Gotta have Beyonce's Get Me Bodied! The extended version is 6 minutes, so it can really get your heart rate up there. Report
Ray Peterson - Corinna, Corinna -
3 Phil Phillips and the Twilights - Sea Of Love
Edith Piaf - La Vie En Rose
You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' - The Righteous Brothers
6 Unchained Melody R. Brothers.
7 Marty Robbins Sings 'Don't Worry.'
8 John Lennon stand by me
9 Ðøn Gibsøn-Sea of a HeartBreak
Elvis Presley - Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain
11 Paul & Paula - Hey Paula
12 Jay and the Americans - This Magic Moment
13 Elvis Presley - I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry
Jackie Wilson - Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher
15 Outsiders - Time Won't Let Me
16 CC Rider by Chuck Willis
I agree you need to add Beyonce-get me bodied. I am more into hip-hop so I am not feeling that list above. I think we need to make another list for other music types. Report
WOW I have never heard of any of this list except for the Johnny Cash. Am I telling my age. All my work out CD's are late 70's and a few early 80's songs. Big hair bands, fast paced, ROCK n ROLL. I will have to check it out. Report
Pet peave. Sometimes instructors play the music so loud it is hard to hear what they are saying.

I've been working out to the sound track of Sweeney Todd. Report
Thanks Nicole - that's a pretty good one overall. One thing that I really enjoy is just having one big playlist (I call it "Gettin After it") and then just putting it on random - I find this especially effective for a longer run because it seems I always get a really good one just when I need it most... Report
As long as it gets me going, any song will work. I tend to like disco and hip hop for fast cardio, but new age music for cool down. Report
OK do not see the oldies but goodies. I am into that and have several cd's I burned for running in 5 K's. Report
Thanks for sharing your playlist, Nicole! Report
That is a ok playlist but I am more into the heavy stuff to get my blood pumping.
AC/DC, Van Halen, Disturbed, NickelBack, Def Leppard, Linkin Park, Drowning Pool, Seether, Creed, Accept, Night Wish, Limp Bizket, I could go on and on and on. Report
great playlist Report
it's not a playlist without
Black Sabbath
Black Label Society
I'll even throw in some Kinks
Rhianna - Pon de Replay;
Luca Zetta - Calling
great playlist! Here are some other's that i recommend

Beyonce - Get me bodied (esp. during the chorus when she sings "a little sweat ain't hurt no body"...keeps me amped for the elliptical lol)
Pink - U + Ur Hand
Fall Out Boy - Dance Dance
Pussycat Dolls - When I grow up
Britney Spears - Blackout (the entire album keeps me pumped...great dance beats)
Rihanna - Breaking Dishes
Ashlee Simpson - Hot Stuff
Jay-Z - 99 Problems
Avril Lavigne - Sk8er Boi
Black Eyed Peas - Pump It (THIS WILL KEEP YOU SO PUMPED!)
Kanye West - Champion and The Workout Plan
Danity Kane - Damaged
Craig David - Hot Stuff
Dizzie Rascal - Fix Up, Look Sharp (UK artist...beat is so hot)
M.I.A - Boyz (UK artist...beat is amazing as well)
DropKick Murphy - Shipping up to Boston
Kirk Franklin - Stomp, Looking For You (Gospel)
Tye Tribbett - No way (Gospel)
Gwen Stefani - Yummy
Janet Jackson - Control, Nasty Boys, Feedback, Love will never do without you, Pleasure Principle, Rhythm of a Nation
Jennifer Lopez - Let's get loud
Justin Timberlake - Futuresex/Love Sound (entire album keeps me pumped)
Katy Perry - I kissed a girl

...just thought i'd share my playlist too! :) Report
Cool playlist. I listen to different things based on what I'm doing, but for my sprint workout I use the following playlist.

Warm up - Go Hard or Go Home by E-40
Sprints (I pause during the rest periods) - Here Comes the King (Instrumental) by X-Ray Dog - it's the song to the Chronicles of Narnia trailer
Time after Time by Quietdrive
Face Down by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Crawling in the Dark by Hoobastank

This gets me through 15 sprints.
Then I walk at 4mph to songs like Rock this Party by Bob Sinclair, Ties that Bind by Alter Bridge, and Walk it Out by Unk Report