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10 Pieces to Pump You Up

Do you enjoy getting swole and the Hollywood Bowl? Many people listen to an upbeat playlist packed with the latest pop hits, hip-hop beats, or even murder-mystery podcasts to set the pace of their gym workouts… but there are a few who prefer letting Tchaikovsky dictate the pace of their pumps. If you find yourself wedged firmly in the center of the Venn diagram of sweat and Saint-Saëns, this playlist has been personally curated with Rimsky-Korsakov and Core Strength in mind. 

Start your workout with literal fanfare; your joints deserve it. 

If you’re feeling sluggish at this point, the Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla is like an audio shot of caffeine to your brain. 

You’ve now hit your groove. Keep up that steady tempo with Rimsky-Korsakov’s Dance of the Tumblers (its frenetic energy is infectious). 

The final movement of Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence has a tempo marking: Allegro Vivace, which literally translates to “happy, full of life.” This is your affirmation! You are sweaty happy! You are out of breath full of life! 

Take it easy, have a breather. The first movement to Autumn from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is like a gently brisk metronome. Whatever you’re doing, keep going. 

Bartók’s Romanian Folk Dances are perfect for short sets that need quick bursts of strength. 

This is the duel between your fatigue and your mental fortitude. Pain is weakness leaving the body! Just try not to get cut in half. 

The hardest part of your workout is behind you, but you have one final leg to go. Take a joyful stride to the finish line with Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. 

Your valiant effort is coming to a close. Celebrate your struggle with the majesty of Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony No. 3. 

The triumphal finale to your exercise can only be accompanied by the triumphal finale to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5. Congratulations! You did it! 

Do you have other workout favorites? Tell us which gym piece to add to the list! 

Written by:
The Classical Team
The Classical Team
Published on 01.01.2024