I find that people who don’t necessarily like metal music or whoa re teetering on the fence at least can say “I could listen to this in the gym.” There seems to be some general acceptance that in the gym, hard metal is a great fuel while you are doing squats or pummeling your last rep at the bench press. For me, metal is my saving grace while working out – my proverbial “power” to push myself to the absolute limit of what I can do. In addition, many songs help set my pace as the sheer intensity and tempos dictate how fast I can run on the treadmill or allow me to force that extra sit-up. I have comprised what I feel my top 10 songs to workout to. This isn’t necessarily a playlist, more like the essential tracks that keep me motivated and pushing forward. This should be a general guide and as with any workout, remember to always consult your physician before pushing yourself.
10) Metallica “Fight Fire With Fire”
The hardest part about the gym is getting there and beginning the workout. Once there, I feel like half the battle is over. This track opens with a calm and ethereal intro which eventually builds into full-blown metal armageddon. Perfect to get on the treadmill and begin the warm up before the more intense part of the workout begins.
9) Slipknot “People Equal Shit”
Probably my favorite track from the nine crazy guys from Iowa. The trick at this point in the workout is to maintain the intensity for the next hour or so. This track, especially with the chorus, does not let up. “People Equal Shit” chanted over and over helps me pump that extra rep. This isn’t about playing nice – it’s a war of attrition against myself. What gets tired first? My mind or my body? It certainly varies every workout – but usually my mind wins.
8) Fear Factory “Demanufacture”
Raymond Herrera’s opening kick drum segment that initiates this kickass metal anthem slowly builds and then is joined by Dino Cazares’ staccato, machine-gun tight rhythm guitar part. This song is just devastating and beyond a killer workout anthem is one of the quintessential metal tracks that defined the 90’s movement.
7) Trivium “Down From The Sky”
When I first heard this track I knew that it had to be included in my workout routine. One where these guys utilized the seven-string guitar to create a massive arena rock intro that drops into a more laid-back verse that builds with a sick pre-chorus. If I am doing a set of 10 or 12 reps I hope to hit the chorus of this tune right before the inevitable fatigue sets in!
6) Lamb Of God “Redneck”
The boys from Virginia lay waste to all in the pit and in the gym with this groovy track that pummels all who listen. “This is a motherfucking invitation” to get your ass going hard, son! A steady paced track with the trademark blistering Lamb Of God mid-section that drives your mind crazy while working the bench press or some squats. One of the best metal bands of all time, right here.
5) Hatebreed “Destroy Everything”
Need I say more? The object of this particular destruction is whatever rep count I have to achieve, or pumping myself up for the next weight level which may be a bit out of my ability. The object is to destroy any obstacle in the gym; I can do just that as long as this track is resonating loudly in my earphones.
4) Meshuggah “Bleed”
I can barely contain myself when this syncopated menagerie of time signatures and absolute pure devastation of pummeling greatness that is Meshuggah comes on. Although chaotic and intense, I find myself examining this song closely and trying to dissect it’s sheer complexities while maintaining absolute focus on my breathing and repetitions.
3) Megadeth “Tornado of Souls”
One of the finest crafted metal tunes ever. Mustaine and the boys penned an epic track while fellow axe man Marty Friedman delivers one of his finest leads, if not one of the finest leads in the history of metal music. My love for Megadeth is right up there with my love for Metallica and when the mid-section riff kicks in and the solo comes screaming out of the speakers, I just hit all around euphoria.
2) Pantera “Mouth For War”
Cannot have a list of metal songs without including at least one Pantera tune. It was a tough one but this would be one of my favorite tracks from the “Cowboys From Hell” to kick my ass. Especially Anselmo’s motivating lyrics (which I hone in on during the workout) “Pulling and pushing the rest of duration, no one can piss on this determination.” I feel Pantera is in the gym playing only for me and keeps me going. As I am getting tired, it’s tracks like these that keep the pace up.
1) Machine Head “Davidian”
One of my favorite bands of all time and probably the most devastating track they have ever released. Definitely their “Walk” or “Master Of Puppets.” I have been blessed to tour and even jam with these guys. A roller coaster ride of a tune that combines all the finest grooves and songwriting from this Bay Area monster of a band. By the time the outro hits, weights hit the floor and I exit the gym – triumphant once again after a successful workout.
What are your favorite metal songs to workout to? Leave us some comments below!
The opinions stated in this article are those of the author, and not of All Axess as a whole.