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Girls hit your hallelujah
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For most of us, the music is half the fun. Or at the very least, the music gets you through it when you need that extra kick to keep going. Some prefer to workout to the same songs all the time; others love to mix it up and find the groove with a new playlist every day. Personally, I do much better when I know the song & lyrics, and can amp up when I know the build/ chorus/ drop is coming. I also sing to myself, which is super annoying to the people around me. Such is life.


Lift it, drop it, shake it, pop it
GIF via buzzfeed

No one is more mad for playlist perfection than a fitness trainer or instructor.  We polled the QC’s most popular studios to find the favorite tunes of some of our favorite guru’s.  Here’s what we found:


Head trainer at OTFQuail Corners, Frank Moran’s current favorites are “Run Boy Run” by Woodkid along with oldie but goodie “All My Life” by Foo Fighters and favorite mashup “We Will Breathe In The Name Of Bangaran” by Queen vs. Rage Against The Machine vs. Prodigy vs. Skrillex.  Frank saysBy far, the most requested song in all my classes is “Game Of Thrones” (Original Mix) by Albert Neve & Manuel Galey.

Bekah, head trainer at the new OTFArboretum studio, likes Kanye West-Stronger for lifting weights and Kanye West-Power & Eminem-Till I Collapse for running.  Bekah is “a big lyrics person so when the lyrics are motivating along with the beat it helps to push me through!”

orange theory arbo

Orange Theory Fitness in Quail Corners and Arboretum


9ROUND Dilworth

9Round trainer Lauryn likes to focus on the energetic beat of a song in order to extend my strides and in turn think less about the actual running. Because of this, I enjoy listening to music such as:
1. All I ever Wanted (Radio Edit) by Basshunter
2. Dangerous by David Guetta ft. Sam Martin
3. Wake Me Up by Avicii
While lifting, Lauryn likes to have Rock or Rap to motivate her to lift heavier:
1. Fourth of July by Fall Out Boy
2. Can’t Hold Us by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis ft. Ray Dalton
3. Dirty Little Secret by The All-American Rejects

Owner/Operator John Dee recommends Van Halen-Dance the Night Away becauseThis song always makes me want to smash my dashboard when I’m driving so why not smash a 100 lb. heavy bag??”  John also likes Avenged Sevenfold-Afterlife and Madonna-Ghosttown, along with the crowd-pleasing Bruno Mars -Uptown Funk-“When this song is playing, I can move as fluid as Bruno. When the song stops,,,,,not so much.”

9round dilworth

9round dilworth



Denise Duffy, owner and head trainer at SmartCore and ridiculously popular spin instructor at Flywheel Charlotte has lots of tune tips:

For SmartCore, we like to use a mix of Old and New music to give people a little boost when the workout is at its toughest — and we mix Rock, Top 100 and Hip Hop but skip the Dance/Techno genre.  Here are a few popular songs:
– Eminem — ‘Til I Collapse
– Eminem — Lose Yourself
– FloRida — GDFR
– Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
– Fabulous – My Time
– Sevyn Streeter — How bad do you want it
– Usher — Yeah!
– Salt ‘n Pepper – Push it
– Motley Crue – Same Old Situation

For Flywheel, I try to have music fit the emotional flow of the ride — loud, hard bangin’ music for sprints, solid beats for jumps, slow builds for climbs — here are some of my current favorites:
– No Way — Naked and Famous w/Bassnectar — it starts out so softly and then explodes into a long push.
– Earthquake – Labrinth — love to hold a tempo pace with small pushes
– Drop — Ying Yang Twins — great 90 Rpm song with a strong beat — makes me want to dance on the bike!





We polled Flywheel’s 2x Tiny Terrors for their current songs to spin and to pulse to.

Meghan Lee:

Too Original by Major Lazer
I love the strong beat of the song and the fun tempo. I love to use it in FlyBarre Sport during our cardio with weights portion because you can do hard cardio like jump squats and then pull back into pulsing squats when the music gets a little quieter. You could do the same thing at home by doing cardio (jumping jacks, jump squats, burpies) when the beat picks up and recover when it pulls back.

Often-Kygo Remix by The Weekend
This has a slower, sexier beat that is perfect for sculpting our thighs during class. It has a strong beat that clients are easily able to find, but it’s slower so we can really focus on form and that oh so wonderful shake! Narrow V is the perfect exercise for this song. Add in some travels and tap your knees back and you feel like you’re dancing!

SummerThing! by Afrojack
This is just a fun summer song with fun lyrics and a good beat that can be used for any type of exercise. Lately, I’ve been using it for abdominals in class. At home you could do traditional crunches for the verses and then keep your shoulder blades lifted and do pulsing crunches when the beat drops.


And Jen Dufresne’s picks are:

GDFR (feat. Sage the Gemini and Lookas) Flo Rida – Running, Cycling on a sprint, Lifting Weights – fast beat and deep bass get me pumped up for pushes.

Machinehead – Bush – Running, Lifting Weights – I love the lyrics. They get me motivated to push.

Wild For the Night (feat. Skrillex & Birdy Nam Nam) A$AP Rocky – Cycling on a Hill, Running – The intensity of this song settles down and picks up so distinctly. You know when you need to go!

Too Original (feat. Elliphant & Jovi Rockwell) Major Lazer – Conditioning Circuits – Fun, uptempo. I’m digging EDM right now.

This Summer’s Gonna Hurt Like a Mother F* – Maroon 5 – Running, Cycling – The beat to this song is right about where my average pace is on a run. When I really get into my workout and the music, I oftentimes find myself running each step to the beat of the song. So cool!

Radioactive – Imagine Dragons – Lifting – Heavy, hard, loud. Love Imagine Dragons.

Flybarre Charlotte

Flybarre Charlotte



These are some of Liz Hilliard’s favorites:

My 9 minute plank and push-up inspiration is “Purple Haze for President, Jimi Hendrix remix
My getting down and dirty in leg work is “Take Me To Church , (Delirious & Alex K remix)
My slow grinding music for ab work is “Swoop (I’m Yours) the Dazz Band


HSM and HSM | Core Liz Hilliard and Clary Hilliard Gray

HSM and HSM | CoreLiz Hilliard and Clary Hilliard Gray



Tips on Tunes from 3 of this Arboretum More Than Pilates studio are:

Carly – Break Free by Ariana Grande can never get old to me because she’s a powerful and strong young woman and it makes me push harder to find my inner strength too. My other new fave is Uma Thurman by Fall Out Boy– it has a 90’s beat that reminds me of high school sports and I instantly get a youthful surge of energy when I hear it.

Holly – I love to workout/run to I’m A Survivor, by Destiny’s Child. This sound always reminds me that I can survive the workout.

Laura – I love the song Anything Can Happen by Ellie Goulding – great motivational song to warm up to.

IM=X pilates

IM=X pilates

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Do you have a favorite song or playlist? Share in the comments below!

GIF via buzzfeed via the starhorse1 youtube