This Year's Best Workout Music: Beyond Lady Gaga and Ke$ha

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A look at what folks listen to in the gym--when the year's biggest hits have worn out their welcome.

There is always some overlap between the most popular songs on the radio and the most popular songs for a workout. If you were to make a Venn diagram--with one circle for the year's best-selling singles and another for singles with tempos between 125-145 BPM--the overlapping area would contain most of the year's most popular workout music.

Accordingly, it'll come as little surprise that "Bad Romance" and "Tik Tok" were as ubiquitous in the gyms as they were in the clubs this past year.

But, the omnipresence of these songs might also make them the last things you want to hear when you next hit the treadmill. Lucky, there were loads of other gems. Chris Lawhorn--resident DJ at Marie Claire and Real Age--keeps track of every single released to college radio and the Top 40 charts for Run Hundred--an on-line workout music database. Here, users can sort tracks by genre, tempo, chronology--and give feedback on whether a song is worth taking to the gym.

While the obvious choices are still prominent, a quick perusal of Run Hundred's log will show that users are just as adamant about songs like N.A.S.A.'s “Gifted”--a collaboration with Kanye West, Santigold and Lykke Li. Or, in keeping with the collaborative theme, MSTRKRFT and N.O.R.E. won over loads of gym-goers with “Bounce,” off the former's latest album. And, of course, there are the remixes--like Skrillex's take on "Rock That Body," which gives a second wind to The Black Eyed Peas' most recent hit.

In all, the past year's gym tunes include a lot of the songs you'd expect. But there was no shortage of happy surprises either. A list of the year's top five (so far)--and all the runners-up--is available now at


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Chris Lawhorn
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