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The Best 80s and 90s Pump Up Songs—From My 10 Years as a Trainer 

80s and 90s Pump Up Songs

When it’s time to play pump up songs—whether for sporting events, like basketball or baseball, or workouts, like running or indoor cycling—you better not sleep on songs from the 80s and 90s decades. These decades brought us a ton of powerful sing-alongs, moody motivational music, and fast-paced tunes.

Which brings me to a key point: there are a few different types of pump up songs and you’ll probably want a mix of types for best impact. 

Here are the types of pump up songs for a great event or workout class.

Sing-along Pump Up Songs

Like the name implies, these are songs that are so popular that even people not born in the 70s, 80s, and 90s know every single word. Sing-alongs are especially good for getting the crowd dancing and participating. 

My advice? Use these sparingly for maximum impact. Do one sing-along every five or so songs. And, do not do a sing-along as your first song. You want to get the crowd “warmed up” before you play your best cards songs. 

Fast-tempo Pump Up Songs

If you’re working out, you typically want a song that has a quick pace or tempo to help you move faster with ease. Songs that have a faster BPM (beats per minute) tend to work well here. 

My advice? Start with a well-known fast tempo song, and use these songs when you’re doing your hardest work (i.e. sprints or HIIT). 

Emotional / Motivational Pump Up Songs

Sometimes you’ll find an incredible pump up song that’s not a sing-along nor is it very fast, but it has a strong beat and emotional or motivational lyrics to really tug at your heart strings and get you PUMPED. 

My advice? Use as many of these as you want to get you motivated. Sprinkle in the fast-paced songs when you need to move fast and then add your favorite surprise-and-delight sing-alongs for an added effect. 

Let’s take a look at some of the best pump up songs from the 80s and 90s by each type of pump up song. 

The 10 Best Sing-along 80s and 90s Pump Up Songs

  1. “Kids In America,” Kim Wilde 
  2. “Footloose,” Kenny Loggins
  3. “R.O.C.K. in the U.S.A.,” John Cougar Mellencamp 
  4. “Livin’ On A Prayer,” Bon Jovi 
  5. “We Got The Beat,” The Go-Go’s
  6. “What’s My Age Again?” blink-182
  7. “Livin’ la Vida Loca,” Ricky Martin 
  8. “Wannabe,” Spice Girls 
  9. “Welcome To The Jungle,” Guns N’ Roses
  10. “You Shook Me All Night Long,” AC/DC

The 10 Best Fast-tempo 80s and 90s Pump Up Songs

  1. “Bad Reputation,” Joan Jett & the Blackhearts
  2. “T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” Travis Tritt
  3. “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” Brooks & Dunn
  4. “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” Billy Joel
  5. “Tootsee Roll,” 69 Boyz
  6. “Turn The Beat Around,” Gloria Estefan 
  7. “Emotions,” Mariah Carey 
  8. “Maneater,” Hall & Oates
  9. “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic,” The Police 
  10. “Kickstart My Heart,” Motley Crue 

The 10 Best Motivational 80s and 90s Pump Up Songs 

  1. “Working for the Weekend,” Loverboy
  2. “She Works Hard For the Money,” Donna Summer
  3. “I’m Still Standing,” Elton John
  4. “Dr. Feelgood,” Motley Crue 
  5. “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Journey
  6. “The Final Countdown,” Europe 
  7. “The Distance,” CAKE 
  8. “Just A Girl,” No Doubt
  9. “Finally,” CeCe Peniston
  10. “U Can’t Touch This,” MC Hammer

I added all of these into the ultimate 80s and 90s pump up playlist. 

You can listen on Spotify here or YouTube here: 

You might also like my other curated song lists: