Why is it that everyone thinks that pumping iron should be done to a heavy metal soundtrack, or that you should complete your reps to a cacophonous rap playlist?

If the thought of thundering guitar riffs is just one of the reasons your new year zest to get healthy is keeping you out of the gym or off the exercise bike, then Malmö University’s director musices Daniel Hansson has the playlist for you.

Along with the University’s choir and orchestra, he has curated a selection of the best pieces for a classical workout.

“For me, and certainly many like me, it is a challenge with the pitiful and lousy music being played at gyms. It feels like they play an endless loop of insipid chart music and cliched rock tracks. With good art music there is always a more dynamic design and greater variety; you get a more layered and qualitative music experience. When you are out for a jog, it becomes like putting a beautiful soundtrack to your day — epic!"

Hansson put the singers and musicians of the choir and orchestra to task, they then bounced some ideas around to compile classical pieces with high energy, drawn from centuries of great works.

“The first movement from Mendelssohn's Italian symphony is not only high energy, but joy in its purest form — it will motivate you up the steepest hill! Dies Irae from Verdi’s requiem is an epic frenzy which will power you through leg cramp better than anything! Dvorak's 9th might not always be full of buzz but it has great energy and wonderful variety to keep your pulse racing.”

Hansson believes that high energy can look different across different types of music.

“Tempo is a factor but there are other things as well; grand orchestration and dense harmonics can also provide power. This is the music which works for me, and I hope many others will find it suitably motivating!”

Check out the Spotify playlist