Whenever someone talks about the best weightlifting playlists, there are usually a few constants in the selections: the songs are powerful, harsh, and metal-y — think heavy bass and punchy beats.
It doesn’t exactly work for me. Powerful, I like it, but I can do without hard and metal-y. Instead, when writing my perfect list, I’m looking for power that comes from a slightly different source. When I’m lifting heavy weights at the gym, pushing my muscles to high single-digit efforts, I’m drawn to the power that comes from those anthems to do, the ones that make you feel like you can take on the world, not to mention this bar.
And okay, that might include some showtunes.
When I’m struggling to gain one more rep, I want Gloria Gaynor in my ear to tell me I can survive the tough stuff. I want Cher to tell me that I can hit anything on the pavement that makes me roll back. And I want Elton John to promise that despite everything that’s come before – that public relations failure, that injury that sidelined you, or even that conversation with your boss that you crossed out earlier in the day – you can always come back better than you were before.
Weightlifting is hard. Life is hard. Sometimes you need that shameless support, in front of you, you can do to get by. And sometimes that medium just happens to be tuned to catchy tunes and must-have choruses. It’s a win-win, right?
Full Reading List:
- « I Will Survive » by Gloria Gaynor
- « Speak Out » by Madonna
- « Born This Way » by Lady Gaga
- « Good as Hell » by Lizzo
- « Take Me or Leave Me » by Idina Menzel & Tracie Thoms
- « I’m Still Up » by Elton John
- Madonna’s « Iconic »
- « Respect » by Aretha Franklin
- « This Is Me » by Keala Settle & The Greatest Showman Ensemble
- « Survivor » by Destiny’s Child
- « 9 to 5 » by Dolly Parton
- « The Truth Hurts » by Lizzo
- « Strong Enough » by Cher
- « The female dog is Back » by Elton John
- « Roar » by Katy Perry
- « You Can’t Stop the Beat » by Hairspray Cast
- « Lady Marmalade » by Christina Aguilera, Lil’ Kim, Mya and P!nk
- « All About That Bass » by Meghan Trainor
- « Hit Me With Your Best Shot » by Pat Benatar