So there you are, wearing your fancy workout clothes, hair slicked back into a killer pompadour, ready to press play and get to work. You’re about to jump into your latest bout with Shaun T or Tony Horton, about to break a sweat and try to break some personal barriers. Score some new records, do more than you’ve ever done before. What can you do to help you in this journey toward excellence? Fancy kicks, check. Recovery drink, check. 72″ inch flatscreen monitor with 3D capabilities: check. What else could get your blood pumping, stir your heart, push you farther than you’ve ever gone before? That’s right, music.

Now, the workouts come with their own music tracks. In fact, Chalene Johnson of Turbo Jam and Turbo Fire fame is notorious for playing incredibly infectious and upbeat music that she mixes herself, keying each blow and kick to a beat in the song, so that it feels like you’re doing some sort of crazy line dancing disco killer workout, not just jabbing and kicking.

Shaun T’s Hip Hop Abs comes with, as you may have guessed, some excellent hip hop to workout to. In fact, you could say that the very heart of this workout is the music it’s set to, in that Shaun T helps you groove and move in time to the beats, allowing the songs to lift you and push you. Without the music, his workout would just be entitled ‘Abs’, which isn’t very motivating. No, he put the hip hop in there, and the result is a killer groove.

Whom else? Well, we can’t forget the latest release from Beachbody that features live Gospel music: Body Gospel. Donna Richardson Joyner (who was just nominated by Michelle Obama to her Fitness Council!) has put her workout to the most stirring and powerful gospel music out there. One of the workouts is even performed before a live Gospel Choir, with members in their flowing yellow robes occasionally jumping forward to take part in the moves. If you’ve ever been to a gospel church you’ll know just how much energy those places can generate. Now imagine doing your interval circuits to that kind of power!

But what about you? Do you listen to these embedded tracks, or do you play your own music that pushes you higher and farther than anything else? What do you listen to, and why? And yes, Foot Loose by Kenny Loggins counts, so feel free to ‘fess up if that’s what you groove to when the going gets tough 😉