Royal Blood – Loose Change
I always use this track to start off gym playlists. I might be giving away my West Sussex origins there – Royal Blood have been hometown heroes since they blew up in 2014, and I can’t think of anyone I know who isn’t impatiently waiting for their sophomore album. “Loose Change” starts off intimidatingly simple, with big slabs of bass over low-key drums. A nice way to ease yourself into things. But the real beauty of this track lies in its last minute, which explodes into a wild, unashamed hard-rock finale: it’s a great, unpretentious wodge of rock to kick off with.
Future – Poppin’ Tags
If I could bring myself to do it, this whole list would be Future – the man’s a hook monster, and almost every track he touches turns to gold. (Except maybe his song with Maroon 5. Come on, man.) I’ll limit myself to “Poppin’ Tags” off his recent self-titled, though, since it features a bassline thick enough to smash eardrums and Future flowing energetically even by his high standards. Let’s be honest, nobody cares about the content of these songs. People are only here to collect some new bangers, and you can’t go wrong with this one.
Lil Wayne – 6 Foot 7 Foot
This might seem like kind of an odd choice for this playlist – after all, this track’s barely got a hook, and a big repetitive hook is often the most important part of a gym song, but the great thing here lies in the production. “6 Foot 7 Foot” is one of those beats that is so iconic that it doesn’t need a hook to push you further in the gym – it just swaggers in with a confidence that can’t be denied and forces you onward. The fact that it’s got the best verse of Lil Wayne’s career over it, well, that’s just icing on the cake.
Tempa T – Next Hype
My litmus test for whether a song is good for the gym is whether I would be visibly embarrassed to hear it come on the radio in the car with my mum – and this song would absolutely get me. Luckily, this is never going to get radio play, seeing as the song’s basically just about stealing cars, kicking TVs over and stabbing people with the cheek to go out and fly their kite. Luckily, it’s nice and repetitive, which makes it pretty easy to run to, and if you find the lyrics a bit much (even though Tempa T’s yelling is easily the best part of the song) the instrumental is on Spotify as well.