Every month, 50 million people listen to more than 2 billion playlists on Spotify. While some would argue that working out with music is sacrilege, many of us turn to our Spotify playlists for extra motivation to finish that last rep, power through the final pull-up, or send that ten-footer.
This got us thinking: what exactly are the most popular songs among the nation’s cyclists, CrossFitters, runners, and skiers? To find out, we asked the nice folks at Spotify to help us compile a list of the top 20 songs included in playlists with each of the aforementioned sports in the title—that is, the most popular songs in user-made playlists that have “running,” “cycling,” “CrossFit,” or “skiing” in the name. We looked at songs played in these playlists from just the month of February, which may be why the data favors newer releases (who knew so many athletes like Ed Sheeran?) and ranked each track in order of how many inclusions it had in the playlist category.
The chamois club favors Top 40, it seems. There are more than 700,000 cycling playlists on Spotify, and Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You” is on 10 percent of them—presumably because its 96 beats per minute align well with a morning sweat session at SoulCycle.
Pulling from more than 9 million user-generated playlists, the runner’s soundtrack is quite similar to the cyclist’s but with a few more hip-hop tracks to add a bit of bravado to those tough morning intervals. And you could make a heck of a fartlek adjusting your cadence from “Starboy” at 93 beats per minute to the 188 BPM “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.”
Between DJ Khaled and Slim Shady, it seems CrossFitters can’t decide whether they want to turn it up or get angry. With classic pump-up staples like Eminem’s “Lose Yourself,” Fort Minor’s “Remember the Name,” and Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” it seems the 100,000-plus CrossFitters on Spotify found what worked for them and stuck to it.
We get it, skiers, you love AWOLNATION. Six of the band’s tracks made their way into the skier’s top 20 list, which is pulled from more than 600,000 playlists. Who doesn’t want to hear that “SAILLLLL” while sailing off the side of a cliff? Unlikely pairings of Migos and the Naked and Famous, Big Sean and MGMT finish out the top ten—call that an all-mountain track list.