Hit songs are the staples of workout mixes—and for good reason. They’re generally catchy (which is probably what made them hits in the first place) and they’ve already won over the masses (which makes the pop charts a reliable source for musical inspiration). Nevertheless, the omnipresence of these tracks is also their main drawback, since this constant exposure often limits their effective lifespan in a gym playlist. With that in mind, this week we’re looking at excellent alternatives that—for one reason or another—never quite reached a broad audience.
The list kicks off with a Gorillaz track that did well on college radio and winds down with the Luis Fonsi single that had the unenviable task of following “Despacito.” In between, you’ll find tracks that were hits outside the United States, courtesy of Muse and The 1975. This playlist also picks out collaborations geared toward club (rather than radio) audiences featuring Steve Aoki, Mahalo and Keelie Walker.
In all, the virtue of the selections below is that they didn’t miss the charts for the same reason. Some were simply overlooked while others targeted different crowds entirely. In that regard, the list has untapped potential and variety, both of which will serve you well while running.
- Gorillaz, Snoop Dogg & Jamie Principle – Hollywood – 104 BPM
- The 1975 – It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You) – 121 BPM
- Gunship – When You Grow up, Your Heart Dies – 125 BPM
- Steve Aoki, Nicky Romero & Kiiara – Be Somebody – 115 BPM
- Space Lungs – I Didn’t Know What I Was Doin’ – 138 BPM
- Keelie Walker & Wideboys – Hit Me Up – 120 BPM
- Mahalo & Le:Blanc – In My Arms – 123 BPM
- Logic & Jaden Smith – ICONIC – 120 BPM
- Muse – Pressure – 136 BPM
- Luis Fonsi – Calypso – 110 BPM
To find more workout songs, folks can check out the free database at Run Hundred. Visitors can browse song selections there by genre, tempo and era to find the music that best fits their particular workout routines.