The Top 11 Songs To Pump Iron To

February 17, 2009

Who’s ready to get ripped? I know I am. I’m not the biggest gym guy in the world, but the times I have entered any weightlifting facility I’ve always made sure to have some serious jams to get me through my intense iron-curling set. Let’s do this!

By Dustin Sussman

The following article does not represent the opinions of Spike TV or its affiliates.


11. “Kickstart My Heart” - Motley Crue

Even though this 1989 Nikki Sixx-penned glam tune is mostly about being revived from a heroin overdose, I see no problem with using it for some serious weight room inspiration. Even if you don’t like the Crue that much, you can’t deny that this song somehow magically conjures up adrenaline in every human that listens to it.


10. “Know Your Enemy” - Rage Against the Machine


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I’m convinced most juiced-up frat guys around the nation keep this record on repeat while they blast out unlimited bench presses with their college homies. I know I do.

First off, Tom Morello’s guitar work on this record is pretty freakin’ brilliant. Mixing his all-natural aggressive licks with Zach’s uncontrollable rage (zing!) is a perfect recipe for some undeniable audio motivation. And if you’re not that into America’s failed foreign policy, all you have to do is ignore the lyrics as political and change them into something that really pisses you off. Like the fact that the McRib is only available for a limited time. Why?!?!

9. “Genesis” – Justice


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I could have chosen any number of hype Justice tracks for this list, but I really think this headlining tune is perfect for anyone’s next iron-curling session. The intro alone gets me so pumped I can’t even control myself. It makes me wanna fist punch every single emo kid on planet earth. I also enjoy this song because it seems much grimier than your average electronic/dance track. This song totally could have been used for a Stallone montage in Rocky IV. That would have owned.

8. "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" - AC/DC


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As serious as it can be, you gotta have a little fun when you’re getting’ big in the weight room. This 1975 classic easily provides gritty rock and roll riffs with some playful vocals from the one and only Bon Scott.

AC/DC also has to be the only band on the face of the planet that could actually pull off a bagpipe solo in one of their songs. Well...maybe not.

7. "Protect Ya Neck" - Wu-Tang Clan

People need to understand that besides NWA, Wu-Tang was the most aggressive and raw hip hop crew ever to be assembled. These guys had the best of both worlds: They were extremely talented and legitimately f***ing scary.

It’s crazy how the raw and rugged lyrics of Deck, Method Man and the rest of the Wu crew can somehow turn you into a dark and disturbed human being ready to snap at the next person you see. It also makes you want to be as bad a man as you can, hence the lifting of weights and growing in size. I’ve always had this vision of inmates rockin’ 36 Chambers while they curl weights in "the yard."


6. “B.O.B.” – OutKast

Man, this song really never gets old. I’ve listened to it a bazillion times and I still get amped the second that insanely fast drum break first comes in. It could be argued that this track would be better for an aerobics class, but I find nothin’ wrong with busting out crazy curls to the ridiculous verses of Andre 3K and Big Boi.


5. “The Payback” – James Brown


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“Payback”  is great workout music, period. Even though it’s a funk/soul track, the song’s theme of revenge gives it an extra nasty flavor that blends perfectly with the high energy of any weight room. James’s screeching vocals are like an audio steroid just waiting to pump up any scrawny teen trying to get yoked.

I don't know karate, but I know ka-razy!

4. “Stinkfist” – Tool

I don’t know why, but every time I hear Maynard James Keenan sing a note I instantly want to beat the living sh*t out of someone. The man just has an unbelievable way of expressing intense emotions through every song he’s associated with. This is why the combination of Maynard’s vocal/lyrics and Tool’s progressive metal power can be the perfect personal motivator for any gym dweller. It’s amazing how the musical arrangement of "Stinkfist" perfectly combines rage and peaceful bliss into one solid masterwork.

3. " Fight Fire with Fire" - Metallica


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How can you not mix thrash metal with your daily workout routine? It’s obviously the perfect music to lift weights to.

I’m sure some people may feel that this song is too fast to do your sets to, but the rabid guitar licks and double bass drumming from this Ride the Lighting classic could get my grandma excited to squat some hefty iron with no problem at all. I definitely feel a song needs to have an epic intro to build you up for your next muscle-ripping set. This track, of course, comes through every step of the way.

2.“Immigrant Song“ - Led Zeppelin

There’s just something about the way Bonzo plays drums that can instantly hook a listener in right out of the gate. It’s like he’s using every ounce of energy each time he hits the drum.

This is by far one of the more popular Led Zeppelin tracks and for good reason. Even though we’ve all heard it a million times, it still somehow has the same energizing effect each times it’s played. If they had mosh pits back in the early 70s, fools would have definitely been kicking each other in the face to this Led Zeppelin III landmark.


1. The Entire Rocky Story Soundtrack

Duh. When I was a kid I can clearly remember running around my elementary school racetrack with a walkman on blasting every song on this classic compilation with sheer delight. From Bill Conti’s epic theme "Gonna Fly Now" to Survivor’s montage masterwork “Eye of the Tiger," every single Rocky track is better than the next. Even Vince DiCola’s training music from Rocky IV can get a weightlifter’s blood boiling the second the first synthesizer drops. Flyyyyy!!!